A new docuseries has brought back to the surface questions about the murder of 13-year-old Tair Rada a decade ago with testimony by a man who claims his girlfriend was behind the gruesome killing.
Despite rulings made by three different courts, dozens of lengthy hearings and hundreds of hours of investigation, some in the Israeli public including Rada’s family are not convinced that convicted killer Roman Zadorov is in fact to blame for the murder.
The Channel 8 docuseries aired an interview with A., a young man who, six years after the murder, reported to police that his ex-girlfriend was the one who murdered Rada inside a bathroom stall at the Nofey Golan high school in Katzrin.
A.’s testimony was examined at the time by the judges of the Supreme Court, who decided not to accept his claims, while police found his version of events to be baseless.
It was also claimed A.’s testimony derived of his desire to frame his former girlfriend.
On the other hand, the creators of the docuseries claim A. had undergone three different polygraph tests – and found to be speaking the truth in all of them.
“Everything was very planned with her,” A. told the show creators in an interview. “When we were lying in bed in the dark, we started talking in whispers. I started asking her what happened.”
A. said his girlfriend is mentally unstable, loves the sight of blood, and believes there’s a “she-wolf” inside of her that makes her want to cut people and see their internal organs.
“When she entered the school, she wrapped fabric around her chest in an effort to flatten it. She wore a pair of my beige cargo pants and a black sweater. She was wearing a wig that we got for Purim a few years earlier and a cap, and carried a large JanSport bag where she had plain silicon cleaning gloves, a hunting knife she bought in advance and a change of clothes,” A. recounted.
A. said his girlfriend went into the bathroom at the school and waited for almost two hours for the right moment to strike. When she heard someone come into the bathroom alone, the girlfriend allegedly came out of the bathroom stall with the knife drawn, grabbed Rada by the shirt and forced her into the bathroom stall, where she allegedly murdered her.
“She said that when she started undressing Tair, girls came into the bathroom. One of them knocked on that stall door and (my girlfriend) told her it was occupied, while blocking the crack under the door so blood won’t come out,” A. continued.
After hearing no one was in the bathroom, she fled the scene.
A. said that when his girlfriend returned home, “she took a shower. When she was done she called me while I was at work and told me she couldn’t forget the smell of the blood.”
He said his girlfriend showed him the bag she packed for the murder. “She showed me the clothes she wore, the wig, the knife that was there – it was all bloodied. The first thought that went through my head was call the police. To this very day I don’t know why I didn’t do it that day,” he said.
Psychiatric hospitalization and suicides
In 2012, about six years after the murder, the girlfriend was hospitalized at a psychiatric institute. After three years, her roommate, Anat, committed suicide.
Anat’s friend, May Peleg, recounted a story she heard from Anat. “One day Anat came to me and shared with me a story that (her roommate) told her.
She told her she had a frog in her belly that was really thirsty for human blood and that she was willing to murder to quench that thirst. (The roommate) told her of an instance in which she tried to murder a friend but was caught, and said there was a case before that when she wasn’t caught.”
Peleg was asked about the instance in which the woman was not caught. “On the day Tair Radar was murdered, (the roommate) came to the school wearing a school uniform and carrying a school bag so no one would suspect her. Inside the bag she had the knife she used for the murder and a change of clothes. She just went into the girls’ bathroom and waited for someone to come in – no one in particular.
Tair went into the bathroom and (the roommate) stood behind her. She slit her throat while putting a hand on her mouth, and then she went into another stall and changed clothes. She just left the school without anyone being able to tell what had happened,” Peleg said.
“Anat was pretty shocked by it and we were torn about what to do. Anat consulted with me on what to do, who to turn to. Unfortunately while we were still debating it, Anat left us. To me, Anat’s will is an unwritten one she left me – to bring this story to an end,” Peleg continued.
During her interrogation, the girlfriend denied the allegations and claimed her ex-boyfriend was trying to get back at her because of their breakup.
‘Police did everything not to investigate this’
Roman Zadorov’s lawyer, Elkana List, said in response, “When you hear a story like this for the first time, it seems a bit crazy. That things like that don’t happen. On the other hand, I kept thinking about the case of Asaf Steirman, where it was also the girlfriend of the killer Re’i Horev who provided the key to solving the mystery. He confessed the murder to her, and she told police. So there are some similarities.”
Zadorov’s wife, Olga, told Ynet on Sunday that she was “exposed to this testimony two years ago, when that guy approached our attorneys. Since then, unfortunately, the case has been neglected. Meaning, the police did not want to accept his testimony, and then the process was stopped and nothing was checked.”
She claimed police did not want to appear like they caught and convicted the wrong person, so they “just kept making the same claim that he is the murderer and wouldn’t accept any other version. That’s all.”
Olga said she intended to once again demand that the case is reopened. “I’ve been demanding this for many years. Perhaps because of this show, things will actually start moving faster, and perhaps a little public pressure could help us and we could really get to a point where the case is reexamined,” she said.
Show ceator Ari Pines agreed. “In our opinion, A. is credible. The testimony he gave, as crazy and farfetched as it sounds, again and again received reinforcements from many things, all kinds of other testimony police had,” he said.
“You could say police did everything it could not to investigate this case. Because as far as they’re concerned, they have their man and they don’t want to reopen this entire thing now,” he added.