Terminally Ill Rehovot Man Bludgeons Wife to Death in Premeditated Murder

Police suspect the man that allegedly beat his wife to death with a hammer planned the killing in advance over an extended period. Menachem Kochavi, 76, from the Marmorek neighborhood of Rehovot, killed his wife Hadassah, 70, Tuesday night. A few hours after the murder Kochavi called two of his children and told them he felt ill, and when they arrived at his home they found their mother's body in the bedroom.

A police investigation has revealed an ongoing conflict between the couple, stemming partly from Menachem Kochavi's wish to receive nursing care for his terminal illness, and his wife's apparent refusal to spend NIS 2,000 on the care.

He told the police that the two fought time after time over the matter. Another such fight broke out between them Tuesday night, and later, around midnight, Hadassah fell asleep in the bedroom. Police suspect Kochavi was waiting for such an opportunity. He allegedly took a hammer from storage and attacked her with it while she was sleeping.

"She woke up from the pain, cried out once, and after that he hit her on the head twice more, and she went quiet," said a Rehovot police officer.

After the murder, Kochavi, who needs oxygen constantly, went into the other room, sat down and even fell asleep for a few hours, said the police.

Around 5 A.M. he woke up, called his children, said he felt ill and asked them to come quickly. He told them "I killed your mother" when they arrived, and they found her body in a pool of blood.

One of the sons called the police and an ambulance, but they could only declare Hadassah dead. When the police arrived, Kochavi said "I was waiting for you." Later, during questioning, he calmly told the police how he murdered his wife - without any contrition.

"She abused me, I wanted to end the nightmare, I decided to end it," he told police. He said he was not sorry, and "had waited a long time to do it." He then reconstructed the murder.

In the court in Rishon Letzion he said he had only six months to a year to live - and did not need a lawyer.

He was sent for a psychiatric evaluation, and his public defender said it was possible his medication had affected his behavior.