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Entries in Judaism (5)

Monday
Jul182011

Couple Allegedly Kidnaps Man to Force Him to Grant Jewish Divorce

Comstock/Thinkstock(TRENTON, N.J.) -- A middle-aged Jewish couple has been charged with luring an Israeli man to their suburban New Jersey home and allegedly holding him hostage until he agreed to grant his wife a religious divorce.

David and Judy Wax, 49 and 47, were scheduled to appear in federal court in Trenton on Monday, face up to life in prison for kidnapping if convicted.

According to the criminal complaint, the Waxes convinced the victim, known only by his initials, Y.M.B, to come to their Lakewood home in the early morning hours of Oct. 17, 2010 to discuss the Talmud. After he arrived, two unidentified males jumped him in a second-floor bedroom, punching him in the face.

After the attackers allegedly handcuffed, bound and blindfolded the victim, the victim said that he heard them say he had to grant his wife a divorce without receiving custody of the children. The victim said that David Wax then picked the victim's head off the floor, allowing him to see under the blindfold. Wax was wearing a white cowboy hat. "Do you like my hat?" asked Wax, before allegedly kicking the victim in the ribs.

The victim was also allegedly shown a body bag and told "that if he did not comply, he would be buried alive in the Pocono Mountains," according to the complaint. The Poconos are a popular resort area in Eastern Pennsylvania. Wax allegedly laid the body bag on the victim and said, "For you to get used to the size."

The victim and his ex-wife had been engaged in a contested divorce in Rabbinical court in Israel. The victim had moved to the United States, where he continued to refuse to give his wife a "get," a divorce under Orthodox Jewish law. A "get "would permit her to remarry.

According to the alleged victim, he was held hostage for several hours and threatened with harm if he didn't verbally consent to the "get." The victim said that he consented to the divorce within the first half hour of his captivity, but was forced to consent to the divorce again and again in both English and Hebrew. He was also told that his father in Israel had to pay $100,000 to his ex-wife.

At 3:00 a.m., David Wax and the victim allegedly went by taxi to an ATM to attempt to withdraw money.

According to the complaint, the taxi driver told the men that a car was following the taxi. Wax said he was aware of the car. He allegedly told the victim that he had an "Italian team" in the following car who would take victim to the Poconos and bury him alive. Wax also allegedly called the victim's father in Israel and threatened him with a "special gift...called a bullet...in your head" if he didn't cooperate. He also said that others had wanted to give the victim "to mice in the mountains to eat him," but that the son had been spared because he agreed to the divorce.

According to the complaint, Judy Wax then drove the victim to his cousin's house in Brooklyn, New York and dropped him off.

Mitchell Ansell, attorney for David Wax, said that his client is not guilty and has always maintained his innocence. "He has no history of violence or criminal behavior, and he is the father of eight children. We're confident that when all the facts are made public that he will be cleared of these charges and his good and honorable name will be restored."

An attorney for Judy Wax did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Jul132011

Brooklyn Boy Murdered, Dismembered; Man Arrested

Hemera Technologies/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Police have arrested the man whom a missing Brooklyn, N.Y., boy had asked for directions before his dismembered body was found Wednesday in two separate locations, including the man's refrigerator, authorities said.

The two-day search ended today when remains believed to be that of Leibby Kletzky, 8, were found early Wednesday in two Brooklyn locations, two and a half miles from each other. Body parts were found in a black plastic garbage bag inside of a suitcase in a dumpster and in the refrigerator of a third floor attic of the home where 35-year-old Levy Aron lived, police said at a news conference.

"It was a very brutal murder," New York Assemb. Dov Hikind told ABC News New York affiliate WABC. "This is the worst possible conclusion imaginable."

Leibby was reported missing Monday when he did not meet his mother at a pre-arranged location seven blocks from his camp. Police say the boy and the mother had gone to the location Friday and she had showed him the route he was to take.

Police say Leibby left camp at 5:05 p.m. and missed the turn he was to take to meet his mother. He was lost and asked a stranger, Aron, for directions, police said. The suspect was reportedly described as wearing "trappings" of the Orthodox Jewish community.

Security video footage shows Leibby speaking to Aron on a corner by his car, police said. Aron then went across the street and entered a building, while Kletzky waited for seven minutes. When Aron returned, the boy and the man got into his car, police said.

Detectives discovered that the building was a dentist's office where Aron went and paid a bill while Leibby waited. After locating one of the dentists at the practice in New Jersey and a receptionist, the man's identity was determined and police went to his house, a three-story home owned by the suspect's father. Aron's parents live on the first floor, his uncle lives on the second and he had been living in the third floor attic apartment, police said.

Police arrived at Aron's apartment at about 2:40 a.m. and found the door slightly ajar. The suspect was standing shirtless in the middle of the room. When asked where the boy was, he pointed toward the kitchen, police said.

There was blood on the refrigerator handle and police found a cutting board and three carving knives inside along with remains that are believed to be the boy's, police said. Aron also directed them to the dumpster where more remains were found, police said.

There is no indication that Aron was connected to the boy or his family in any way prior to this incident, police said.

Thousands of community members, investigators and detectives participated in the search for Leibby Tuesday. The FBI was involved and a $100,000 reward was offered. Police describe the area as a "very safe neighborhood" and call the situation "every parent's nightmare."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Temple Attack Suspect Boarded Greyhound Bus for New York

Santa Monica Police Department(NEW YORK) -- The man suspected of using a never-before-seen launcher to fire a projectile at a California synagogue boarded a New York-bound Greyhound bus after the attack and police have alerted authorities along the bus route, police said.

Ron Hirsch, who is the subject of a nationwide manhunt, got on the bus the same day he hurled 300 pounds of pipe and concrete into the roof of a building adjacent to the Chabad House and less than a block from the Santa Monica Synagogue, police said.

Investigators confirmed that a man known as J. Fisher, a known alias used by Hirsch, purchased the ticket. He was originally scheduled to arrive in New York on Sunday, but surveillance video shows him getting off the bus in Denver, Colo., investigators said.

Police along the bus' route have been alerted. The bus makes 10 scheduled stops between California and New York.

Hirsch, who is believed to have family in New York, is a transient known in Los Angeles for towing a trailer full of possessions behind a bicycle, police sources said.

The projectile appears to have been fired from an alley, bounced off the center's wall and crashed through the roof. The bang shattered windows, punctured a hole in the synagogue and sent the 300-pound metal pipe into a neighbor's house where a young boy was sleeping. The incident took place shortly before prayer services at the Chabad House Thursday morning and triggered the evacuation of about 100 people from a four-block radius.

Hirsch is also known as Israel Fisher, according to information released by police. He constructed the projectile device using elements including concrete, explosive powder, dry ice and what appears to be an expansion joint sealant, or other expanding plastic or foam.

The oddly constructed mechanical launcher appears to have been highly effective at hurling its material, although it did not seriously damage the Chabad House, which appears to have been its target.

According to the Santa Monica Police Department, Hirsch, a heavyset white male, is being sought on state charges of possession of a destructive device and unrelated local charges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Calif. Police: Transient's Jerry-Rigged Launcher Attacked Synagogue

Santa Monica Police Department(LOS ANGELES) -- The man who constructed a never-before-seen launcher that fired a projectile into the roof of a building adjacent to a Jewish outreach center in Santa Monica, Calif., is a transient known in Los Angeles for towing a trailer full of possessions behind a bicycle, police sources said.

A joint FBI, Santa Monica police and Los Angeles police manhunt remained underway early Monday for Ron Hirsch, a 60-year-old man who has regularly frequented area synagogues and Jewish community centers seeking handouts, law enforcement officials said. Hirsch was last spotted on a bus in Denver and was heading east, police sources said.

According to multiple officials familiar with the case, Hirsch created a mechanical launcher that hurled 300 pounds of pipe and concrete into roof of a building adjacent to a Chabad House and less than a block from the Santa Monica Synagogue. The incident took place shortly before prayer services at the Chabad House Thursday morning and triggered the evacuation of about 100 people from a four block radius.

The projectile appears to have been fired from an alley, bounced of the center's wall and crashed through the roof. The bang shattered windows, punctured a hole in the synagogue and sent the 300-pound metal pipe into a neighbor's house where a young boy was sleeping.

Even as the investigation and manhunt were underway, officials faced a groundswell of concern across the Jewish community, where early speculation included al Qaeda-inspired terror as a motive.

Instead, a transient with an alias and a grudge that may be seated in a personal relationship at one religious institution was the one officials believe triggered a Friday afternoon security alert by the Anti-Defamation League to synagogues and other Jewish organizations in the Los Angeles area.

Hirsch is also known as Israel Fisher, according to information released by police. He constructed the projectile device using elements including concrete, explosive powder, dry ice and what appears to be an expansion joint sealant, or other expanding plastic or foam.

The oddly constructed mechanical launcher appears to have been highly effective at hurling its material, although it did not seriously damage the Chabad House which appears to have been its target.

According to the Santa Monica Police Department, Hirsch, a heavyset white male is being sought on state charges of possession of a destructive device and unrelated local charges. He "is known to frequent synagogues and Jewish community centers seeking charity from patrons," one police official said. He is known to stay in motels from time to time for a night at a time.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr092011

Police Name Suspect in California Synagogue Blast

Santa Monica Police Department(SANTA MONICA, Calif.) -- Police have identified a suspect in a blast outside a synagogue and community center Thursday that was originally believed to have been an industrial accident. Police now say the explosion was caused by an intentionally-placed homemade explosive.

Ron Hirsch, 60, also known as Israel Fisher, is thought to be behind the Thursday morning explosion that sent a metal pipe encased in concrete through the roof of a home next door to Chabad House Lubavitch of Santa Monica. No one was injured in the attack.

Police refer to Hirsch as a transient. He is described as 5 feet, 7 inches tall and 207 pounds with brown hair and green eyes.

Hirsh faces numerous charges including possession of a destructive device.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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