Lilach with her daughter Roni
Father taken to police investigation
Photo: George Ginsburg
Five-year-old Or with a friend

Triple murder: Mother says has 'nothing left to live for'

Lilach Shem-Tov, whose ex-husband murdered her three children, says 'my goal in life is for him to sit behind bars. Then I'll join the kids'

Lilach Shem-Tov, whose three children were murdered by their father on Saturday says her goal in life is for her ex-husband Itay Ben-Dror "to sit behind bars. After that I will join my children. A mother doesn't abandon her children."


On Saturday, after she learned about the murder, Lilach told her acquaintances: "If you loved me, you'd let me die. I have nothing to live for anymore. I want to die."


The children - 10-year-old Omer, eight-year-old Roni and five-year-old Or – were to be laid to rest in Netanya at 6:30 pm Sunday.


Meanwhile Sunday, Judge Liora Frenkel decided to extend Ben-Dror's remand by 10 days. The judge decided to send Ben-Dror to an initial psychiatric evaluation, despite the police's objection. The examination's results will be received Tuesday.


Judge Frenkel wrote in her ruling that "this is a shocking, painful and terrible case. As I read the investigation material, my heart cries."


'The authorities said he was okay'

"I have nothing left to live for. My life has been stopped at the age of 38," the mother told Ynet on Sunday, recounting the events of the recent months.


"Last July he attacked me and said that the weeds in my house must be removed and laid on my grave. Then there was another incident with a knife, which he tried to bring into my home. I reported it to the authorities, and he promised not to do anything, neither to me nor to the children.


"The authorities said he was back on track, that the children loved him and he loved them, and that I could let him have them. They told me, 'Don't engage in a war in front of the children; leave the war for the court.'"


Father with three dead children (Reproduction photo: Doron Golan)


Lilach is filled with bitterness against those who accused her of being partially responsible for the disaster. "I woke up in the morning and the newspaper said that the writing was on the wall," she said.


"I am tormented as it is. I won't be abased as well. I trusted the authorities and the professionals; they told me he was okay. I wouldn't have helped him murder them. I thought he loved them."


The Welfare and Social Services Ministry said Sunday that it had found no failures in its treatment of Ben-Dror's case. The ministry cited an expert opinion submitted by the treating psychiatrist, who said earlier this year that the father should be allowed to see his kids.


A Kfar Yona welfare official told Ynet that the mother's claims, by which the authorities had threatened her to allow Ben-Dror to see his children unsupervised, were false. "Treatment of the family and the visitation rights were settled according to professional opinions," he said.


Earlier Sunday, Lilach told Army Radio about her ex-husband's mental problems and the tense relations with him since the divorce. She spoke about the battle over alimony and visitation rights and how he had threatened her and the children. Nonetheless, she said, she gave in and let him see them in a bid to prevent an ugly battle in front of them.


"I wanted them to have a father," she cried. "I didn't know I was giving them to a murderer. They took all my… my three flowers. They were such good children. I waited three years with fertility treatments until happiness came to me. Why was it taken away from me on my birthday of all days? How am I supposed to feel?


Responding to claims made by Ben-Dror's relatives, that the murder was the result of insanity, she clarified: "He is not a mental patient, but a manipulative person."


Yoav Zitun contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 07.25.10, 16:44
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