Suspected Israeli Serial Killer to Be Charged With Two Counts of Murder

Fyodor Beshnery set to face trial for murder, arson and rape; police currently unable to link him to two other murder cases.

Serial murder suspect Fyodor Beshnery appears in Haifa Magistrates Court on May 2, 2016.
Rami Shllush

Suspected killer Fyodor Beshnery is set to be indicted Monday on two counts of murder and arson, and one of rape, the police said Thursday.

Beshnery protested his innocence at the opening of Thursday morning’s hearing at Haifa Magistrate’s Court. “I love my children and am not guilty of anything. I know I wasn’t the one who did this. I don’t want to talk. I didn’t do anything.” His attorney, public defender Leonid Parkhovnik, added, “My client insists he didn’t commit any of the crimes attributed to him. Yesterday [Wednesday] there were four cases and today there are only two. I suggest that everyone wait until Monday for the indictment.”

The accused’s remand was also extended until Monday.

Beshnery was arrested on March 17 on suspicion of murder, rape and arson. The investigation revolved around four murder cases, but the police were only able to tie the suspect to two of the scenes.

The first incident occurred in Haifa on June 14, 2013, when an apartment burned down, with an electrical fault initially suspected as the reason.

The second incident, after which Beshnery was arrested, took place in Ashdod on March 7. In this case, too, an apartment was burned down.

In two other cases – a rape and murder in Haifa on September 25, 2013; and a rape, murder and arson in Tel Aviv on January 10 last year – the investigators have so far been unable to find enough evidence to charge Beshnery.

In the second Haifa murder, which occurred in an apartment a floor up from where Beshnery’s mother lived, there was no fire. In the Tel Aviv murder, the police have been unable to find proof that Beshnery was at the scene of the crime. In that case, the victim was strangled before the location was set ablaze.

The investigation into Beshnery, who has no criminal record, was launched in March when the body of a young woman was found in a burned-out apartment in Ashdod. An autopsy determined that it was murder.

Beshnery’s cell phone was traced to the area of the crime scene. In this case, the police were able to extract a confession from Beshnery, with the aid of an informant.

The police also summoned a person close to Beshnery and staged a confrontation between the two. After the confrontation supposedly ended and the two were being moved to another room, the police continued to record them and Beshnery was heard allegedly threatening the other person if he talked.

Beshnery, 26, lives in Haifa, having moved to Israel five years ago from a former Soviet state. He has a partner and the couple have a 4-month-old daughter.

In a statement following Thursday’s hearing, the police praised the national investigative unit examining the murders, and said evidence had been found linking Beshnery to the two crimes. The statement didn’t mention the other two cases.