Cult Leader’s Son-In-Law, Follower, Both Named as Suspects in Murder Cases

Eliezer Berland covered with a prayer shawl arrives for a court hearing arrives for a police investigation at a police station in Jerusalem, November 2, 2021 (Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

JERUSALEM (VINnews) — A gag order has been lifted by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s court, and the identities of two suspects in two decades-old murder cases have been released. The suspects are Tzvi Tzucker, son-in-law of Eliezer Berland, and Baruch Sharvit, a follower of Berland’s extremist Shuvu Bonim cult.

Tzucker, who is denying the allegations, led the cult’s “tzniyus patrol”, but abandoned the group several years ago amid the allegations of abuse against his father-in-law.

According to Kan news, several weeks ago Berland instructed Sharvit in the interrogation room to provide information to the police. Sharvit confessed to being present at the kidnapping of Shitrit and said that he had been beaten to death by others but denied any knowledge of Edri’s murder and any physical involvement in Shitrit’s death.

Shitrit was allegedly beaten by the cult’s “tznius patrol” four months before he disappeared in January 1986.

In a documentary broadcast in 2020, a former student claimed that the cult murdered the boy and buried his body near Beit Shemesh, although his remains were never found.

Last week, police told the court that the current mayor of a Charedi city was involved in the murder of Edri. The mayor’s attorney responded to the allegations, saying the mayor “has nothing to do with the grave affair and has no idea how his name was insinuated into it.”

According to reports, police are also preparing to charge the son of a former senior cabinet minister as well. The suspect was allegedly one of those who beat Shitrit to death.

Berland was convicted of fraud in June and is currently in prison, as part of an 18 month plea deal.

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