Mother and Son Found Dead in Suspected Murder-suicide in Central Israel

The son, 67, had apparently been in financial trouble

Police at the scene of suspected murder-suicide, Bat Yam, Israel, March 11, 2018.
Ofer Vaknin

The bodies of a 91-year-old woman and a 67-year-old man were found early Sunday morning in an apartment in Bat Yam. The case is being investigated as a suspected murder-suicide. The two were mother and son, and police believe the man shot her to death and then turned the gun on himself. The names of the victims were not released at the time of publication.

The son, who worked as a security guard and in alternative medicine, apparently had been in financial trouble. Police believe he went to his mother’s home late at night, having already resolved to kill her and then himself. In a letter that he left, the son wrote that he feared that if he only killed himself his mother would remain alone, since he was an only child, so he decided to take her life as well. The police said neither individual was known to the police.

At around 3:30 A.M. Sunday, police and Magen David Adom emergency services received a report of a man and a woman, both unconscious, in an apartment on Balfour Street in Bat Yam. Paramedics who responded found the two on a bed and declared their deaths.

Acquaintances of the son confirmed that he had been in financial trouble for a few years, in part due to efforts to set up a business in his area of alternative medicine and in painting. He took out loans, a few checks bounced and around two years ago he borrowed money on the “gray market” and sank into depression.

When he failed to return to their home in the Sharon region, his girlfriend notified the police, who had to break down the door of his mother’s apartment.

“He tells jokes all the time, it’s a tragedy,” one of his mother’s neighbors said Sunday. Neighbors said he often came to see and help out his mother.

“In two days I’ll get my monthly paycheck, which like the flask of oil will last eight days,” the son wrote on his Facebook page about a year ago, referring to the Hanukkah miracle. “The other days I live on cigarettes and coffee from work and occasional meals at my mother’s, she should live and be well. Nobody promised me a rose garden, true, but why can’t a security guard who works 158 hours a month support himself in dignity... I call it survival.”