The State Prosecutor’s Office requested on Tuesday an amendment to the indictment against Shimon Cooper, charged with killing his third wife, to now include the charge of murdering his first wife as well.
Cooper has been married three times. His first wife, Orit Cooper, died in 1994 and his third wife, Jenny Mor-Haim in 2009. Both deaths were initially ruled as suicides by overdose of sleeping pills. However, in 2010, the Channel 2 news investigative program “Uvda” (“Fact”) featured the case in a 30-minute segment, highlighting suspicion-provoking similarities in the circumstances of the two women’s deaths.
After the program was aired, Mor-Haim’s daughters requested of attorney Zvika Avnon that he launch an independent investigation into the circumstances of their mother’s death. Avnon’s findings precipitated the reopening of the police investigation.
The investigation heated up after the police received the testimony of Cooper’s second wife, who left Cooper claiming that she felt increasingly ill and that she suspected Cooper of attempting to poison her.
Cooper, a 51-year-old resident of Kibbutz Eyal, is also suspected of killing his mother, but no charges have yet been filed in that investigation. Cooper and his attorney have maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings.
In early November, police remanded Cooper’s then-lover, anesthesiologist Maria Zkotsky, under the suspicion that she provided Cooper with the drugs he used to kill Mor-Haim.
Zkotsky claimed Cooper duped her into believing he was a Mossad agent and that he needed the drugs for a secret assassination mission.
Police suspect that Cooper killed his wives and his mother after convincing them to amend their wills and bequeath their property to him.
Ron Friedman and Philip Podolsky contributed to this report.