The Brutal Jerusalem Ein Karem Murder enters public attention again

The brutal Ein Keren Murder enters public attention again

It’s known in Israel as “the Ein Karem murder” or “the Cohen Family murder”, a brutal murder case of a 14-year-old killed his whole family in 1986 at the family home in Ein Karem, Jerusalem.

The murder that happened 35 years ago once again receives public attention thanks to the The Netflix docuseries “The Motive”.

On February 22, 1986, the 14-year-old Cohen, who first killed his parents Leah and Nissim Cohen who slept on the lower floor of the house, then went upstairs and murdered his two sisters: Anat who was a soldier, and Shira who was a high school student. The murder was carried out using an M-16 rifle owned by his father, who was serving in the reserve at the time. A week before the murder, his father explained to him how to assemble the rifle and use it.

Here’s the link to the newspaper copy of the coverage:

After the murder, the killer came to his neighbor’s house and told them that a burglar had broken into the house and committed the act. However, when police detectives arrived at the murder scene and found no signs of burglary, the boy believed that a “green creature” had ordered him to commit the murder, claiming, among other things, that he was influenced by the 1973 film “The Butterfly” starring Dustin Hoffman .

After being sent to a psychiatric ward for several weeks, the boy was found fit to stand trial. The boy’s trial took place behind closed doors before the Jerusalem District Court , sitting as a juvenile court . Judge Avraham Ben-Hador ruled that the boy was guilty of murder, and sentenced him to 9 years in prison. Before reaching the age of 18, the boy served his sentence at the Mitzpe Yam juvenile detention center in Herzliya , and was later transferred to the Maasiyahu prison . Of the nine years he was sentenced to, he ran a total of six years before being released .

Due to the inability of the prosecution to prove guilt in the murder, the boy was charged with manslaughter, and was therefore able to inherit his family’s inheritance in all its forms, including movables and real estate.

After the Murder

When the killer was released, he inherited his family home and his parents’ pensions from the Jerusalem Municipality and the Ministry of Education . He later studied economics at Tel Aviv University and completed a master ‘s degree in the Faculty of Industrial Engineering and Management of the Technion. He married, had children, and entered a senior financial position at a high-tech company in central Israel.

The event returned to the public consciousness after a documentary series called “The Motive” was broadcast on Yes Documentary in December 2020 , which tells the story of the event. The episode received an extraordinary media response relative to the event that took place in 1986. Following the broadcast on social media, some viewers spread the name of the killer who was banned from publication because he was a minor at the time of the murder. In January 2021, following the publication, the company he worked for announced that “it has been decided to terminate his employment immediately with consent”.

The man, now 49, has continued his life since the murder, starting a family and in a senior position in a company.  But after the broadcast of the documentary film, his name began to spread quickly on social media and WhatsApp groups. Then it was said that he would leave the position.  Ever since he was a teenager, the man has been hiding his secret from his friends and family, enjoying the protection of the law prohibiting the publication of his details, but the company announced that “it has been decided to terminate his employment immediately by consent.”

Below is an episode by Channel 13 about the event. They interviewed people from Ein Karem neighborhood who actually know the family, and friends and family members of the deceased.

PS: the boy you’ll see in the video is an actor in the documentary, including the “home video” style vid.

An Israeli reporter, Amir Shuan, was pretty upset about the attitude of the killer in an interview with him (his voice and face are blurred), called on social media “Murder and also inheritance”.

Reference: Wikipedia הרצח בעין כרם (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Featured image: Ron Almog, Flickr