Infamous Israeli cult leader linked to two horrific unsolved murders

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A convicted intercourse offender has been accused of being on the centre of two ugly cult murders in Israel.

Eliezer Berland, 83, was arrested in reference to the murders of Nissim Shitrit and Avi Edri in 1986 and 1990 on Monday.

He is presently serving 18 months for fraud, exploitation, tried intimidation, tax offences and money laundering.

The notoriously slippery defrocked Rabbi secured a diminished sentence, regardless of serving 18 months in 2016 for sexual offences — once more on a diminished time period.

Seven of his Hasidic cult followers have been arrested in current weeks for the murders that occurred greater than 30 years in the past. 

Convicted intercourse offender Eliezer Berland (pictured at court docket in Haarlem, Israel, in 2014 earlier than being convicted for sexual offences), 83, has been accused of being on the centre of ugly cult murders in Israel greater than 30 years in the past

Nissim Shitrit (left) went lacking in 1986 days after he filed a police report claiming to have been kidnapped and crushed up by Berland’s Shuvu Banim cult’s ‘modesty squads’ in Jerusalem. Avi Edri (proper) was discovered lifeless in a forest north of the town in 1990 after being pummelled to loss of life

Who is cult leader Eliezer Berland and what’s Shuvu Banim? 

Eliezer Berland is a defrocked rabbi and convicted intercourse offender who led the violent Shuvu Banim cult in Israel for 30 years.

The cult terrorised Jerusalem within the Sixties to Nineteen Nineties, utilizing violence and intimidation to implement Haridi requirements.

They are accused of abduction, assault and now homicide, focusing on those that don’t comply with the strict Orthodox rules. 

Berland, now 83, fled the nation in 2013 after being accused of sexual offences towards feminine members of the cult and violence in direction of their husbands.

He travelled across the US, Italy, Switzerland and Morocco, the place he was exiled by King Mohammed XI.

The former Rabbi — who nonetheless broadcasts prayers on his web site from jail — then hopped from Egypt, to Zimbabwe, then on to South Africa and at last the Netherlands.

Berland returned to Israel in 2016, confessing to rape costs.

He secured a diminished sentence of 18 months for two counts of ‘indecent acts’ and one assault.

Israeli authorities arrested him once more in 2020 and he was convicted of  fraud, exploitation, tried intimidation, tax offences and money laundering.

Berland remains to be serving the 18 months he was charged with for these crimes.

Now he has been implicated within the murders of of Nissim Shitrit and Avi Edri in 1986 and 1990.

He is beneath questioning and a choose stated there’s ‘cheap suspicion that he dedicated offences’.

Judge Elad Lang stated: ‘He implicated himself and offered an in depth model of occasions.’ 

Ultra-Orthodox Jew Shitrit, 17, disappeared days after submitting a police report claiming to have been kidnapped and attacked by Berland’s Shuvu Banim cult’s ‘modesty squads’ in Jerusalem.  

The vigilante teams arrange by Berland have been notorious for utilizing violence and intimidation to police Haredi requirements in public.

They terrorised orthodox neighbourhoods of Jerusalem for greater than 30 years.

Shuvu Banim members have been arrested on the time of the kidnapping however police didn’t have sufficient proof to convict them.

Shitrit stated he was accused by the cult of getting relationships with a number of women whereas a scholar.

His physique was by no means discovered however a former Berland-follower stated he was dismembered and buried in a forest exterior the town, in accordance to Israeli broadcaster Kann News. 

Berland’s son-in-law Zvi Zucker, a capo of one of many ‘modesty squads’, allegedly admitted that he knew in regards to the homicide.

Meanwhile, Edri, 41, an ultra-Orthodox taxi driver, was pummelled to loss of life 4 years later, along with his physique present in Ramot Forest north of Jerusalem. 

Shuvu Banim is believed to have suspected him of a number of relationships with married Haredi girls. 

A documentary in 2020 instructed the group was behind each murders, sparking a contemporary police investigation.

Two males — one in all whom is accused of being the principle kidnapper and assassin — and a lady of their 60s who have been former cult members have been arrested on October 17.

The girl confessed to getting used as ‘honey entice’ in Edri’s homicide and probably Shitrit’s as nicely, in accordance to Israel Hayom.

She stated she ‘enticed’ Shitrit to an residence in Jerusalem the place Berland-followers have been ready.

Three extra suspects have been arrested two days later, adopted by two extra after one other two days. 

Police looked for Shitrit’s stays on Wednesday after new proof got here to gentle following the spate of current arrests.

His brother Meir informed radio community Moreshet that forensics have been making an attempt to discover traces of his DNA in ‘lumps of earth’ in a forrest in Beit Shemesh, 23 miles from Jerusalem. 

And an arrested member of the cult — additionally now of their 60s — reportedly implicated Berland this week.

During questioning, Berland additional buried himself, admitting particulars of each of the instances, in accordance to the Times of Israel.

Judge Elad Lang stated: ‘There [is] cheap suspicion that he dedicated offences. He implicated himself and offered an in depth model of occasions.’ 

Vigilante group Shivu Banim was arrange by Berland and was notorious for utilizing violence and intimidation to police Haredi requirements in public. They terrorised orthodox neighbourhoods of Jerusalem for greater than 30 years

Berland returned to Israel in 2016, confessing to rape costs. He fled in 2013 after feminine members of the cult accused him of sexual offences

Berland fled Israel in 2013 after being accused of sexual offences towards feminine members of the cult and violence in direction of their husbands.

He travelled across the US, Italy, Switzerland and Morocco, the place he was exiled by King Mohammed XI.

The former Rabbi — who nonetheless broadcasts prayers on his web site from jail — then hopped from Egypt, to Zimbabwe, then on to South Africa and at last the Netherlands.

Berland returned to Israel in 2016, confessing to rape costs.

He secured a diminished sentence of 18 months for two counts of ‘indecent acts’ and one assault.

Israeli authorities arrested him once more in 2020 and he was convicted of  fraud, exploitation, tried intimidation, tax offences and money laundering.