Obadyah Ben-Yisrayl



The Crimes
October 30, 1990 - insurance agent, Lawrence Mill, was shot to death in his car in front of the American Legion Post 66 in Griffith. No eyewitnesses.

Oktober 30, 1990 - 2,5 hours later - Rhonda L. Hammersley who worked at a gas station in Cedar Lake, was shot on the parking lot. An eyewitness to the murder described the perpetrator as young white man with long stringy hair. 

December 13, 1990 - Harchand Singh Dhaliwal (54) was shot while working at a gas station. $ 327,55 were missing from the cash-register.

December 15, 1990 - Marie Meitzler, working at the reception of a motel in was shot. $ 467 were stolen.

December 15, 1990 - Six minutes later - Ora L. Wildermuth was shot in front of an automated teller machine.

December 15, 1990 - one hour later - Robert S. Kotso survived wounded the shots into a highway toll booth. 

December 18, 1990 - The brothers Eli und George Balovski were shot in a adjoining building to their tailor shop in the late afternoon. They are the last victims.  

All were killed by a shot-gun. 

[Quelle: Post Tribune 30.1.1991]


Searching for the Serial Killer
The eyewitness of the second murder described the perpetrator. That lead to the composite sketch that was used by the police to find the "shot-gun-killer".



In the evening of January 28, 1991 Antwion McGee was arrested after a robbery-shooting. He stated that Obadyah was with him - that's true. Later he told police that Obadayh Ben-Yisrayl would be the shot-gun-killer the police searched for. Ben-Yisrayl was arrested in the same night.

At the police station Obadyah got interrogated over hours without end and finally he said what the police wanted to hear: "I did it, fuck it, I did it all." He was shattered and besides this he believed the truth would come to light very soon, because the police searched the whole time for a white man.


The Trials
1st Trial for the two murders on October 30, 1990
An eyewitness testified that Ben-Yisrayl wasn't the perpetrator. Despite using of the "confession" through the state, Ben-Yisrayl got acquitted by the jury.

2nd Trial for murder and attempted murder on December 15, 1990
An eyewitness stated that a white man was on the place of crime with something looking like a shot-gun. Despite the "confession" Obadyah Ben-Yisrayl was acquitted a second time.

3rd Trial for the murder of December 13, 1990 and onf of the murders of December 15, 1990
That time Ben-Yisrayl faced an all white jury. A witness testified that a white man was seen at the gas station. Despite of this Obadyah Ben-Yisrayl got convicted that time and sentenced to death.

4th Trial for the murder of December 18, 1990
There was no connection between Ben-Yisrayl and the place of crime, but he got convicted a second time. The jury decided against the death penalty, but against the recommendation of the jury the judge sentenced Obadyah to death.
A witness, who saw a white man in front of the tailor shop before the shooting occurred - similar to the composite sketch - did not testify at the trial. 


Further Facts
* Obadyah passed a lie detector test

* Expert says the the "confession" is not true.
Endless interrogations end often with the arrested saying exactly what the police wants to hear to end the torture.


Obadyah Ben-Yisrayl

# 922005
P.O. Box 41
Michigan City, IN 46361


The killer was caught and confessed to all of the murders but only imprisoned on the cases Obadyah was acquitted on. He is still in prison on the ones he was convicted for even though they know he is innocent. The court system protects bad judges, prosecutors and cops. Appeals are hard to win even with proof of innocence.

Further Updates 


29th of June 2009
The US Supreme Court denied Obadyah's case even though there are many evidences for his innocense. With this only the point "incompetent defense" is still there, meaning that his attorney did not meet the required standards. 
December 2005 
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decided in favor or Obadyah. With this the new trial is secured.
24th of August 2003
The state gets time to file an appeal.
A federal judge gave the state Indiana more time to think about appealing against the recent reversal of the death sentence.
23rd of July 2003
The judge in charge reverses death sentence and conviction of the Porter County trial. - see above: 3. trial -
This means that a new trial is granted. However, the state can appeal this decision.
June 2002
End of June the US Supreme Court ruled in the case of "Ring vs. Arizona" that the jury and not the judge has to decide about the punishment. 
In Obadyah's fourth trial the jury recommended a life sentence and the judge overruled this by sentencing Obadyah to death. This death sentence should get vacated in the appeals after the Ring-decision.

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