The police on Thursday remanded a female anesthesiologist suspected of assisting her lover in the murder of his third wife. The man, Shimon Cooper, is also suspected of killing his first wife and his mother.
The attorney of Maria Zkotsky, 45, denied the allegations against his client, claiming that Cooper, a 51-year-old resident of Kibbutz Eyal, had made Zkotsky an unwitting accomplice in his crimes.
Cooper’s two wives died 15 years apart, and police initially ruled both their deaths to be suicides by an overdose of sleeping pills. However, in 2010, the Channel 2 news investigative program Uvda 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, the daughters of Jenny Mor-Haim, Cooper’s third wife, who died in 2009, turned to attorney Zvika Avnon, requesting 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 testimony of Cooper’s second wife, who left Cooper claiming that she felt increasingly ill, and told police that she suspected Cooper of attempting to poison her.
Zkotsky, Cooper’s anesthesiologist lover, was arrested Monday on suspicion that she had provided her partner with the drugs he allegedly used to fabricate the suicide of his third wife. Cooper was detained the following day, when he arrived at the police station to inquire after his partner.
According to suspicions, Cooper killed his wives and his mother after convincing them to amend their wills and bequeath their belongings to him.
Cooper’s lawyer denied the allegations against his client as “bizarre and far-fetched,” but police were reportedly confident that the evidence was enough to secure a conviction.