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The Motive: Who Is The Killer And Why Did He Do It?

Laura Sanders

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The Motive: Who Is The Killer And Why Did He Do It?

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

True crime fans have been hooked on the latest series from Netflix. It's called The Motive and various theories have now developed about the killer and why he did what he did.

What is The Motive about?

If you haven't had a chance to watch it yet, The Motive explores the case of a 14-year-old boy who shot his family at point-blank range in 1986 in Israel. The four-part series is made up from archival footage from the investigation at the time.

In 1986, police were called to a home in Ein Karem, just south of Jerusalem, where they found the bodies of Nissim Cohen and his wife Leah. They were both shot at point-blank range while they were sleeping in their beds.

Their teenage daughters, Anat and Shira were also killed by gunshot wounds upstairs.

The only other member of the family in the house was the 14-year-old boy, who admitted to shooting his family dead shortly after.

Describing the fascinating new series, Netflix said: "In Jerusalem 1986, a 14-year-old boy shoots his family point-blank in their beds. Yet questions persist. In this docuseries, insiders come forward."

Who is the killer?

This is usually where we'd write *spoiler alert*, but no need as the identity of the boy, who quickly confessed to killing his family members, was never revealed.

When Avi Samuel, the youth investigator at the Jerusalem Police Department, interviewed the 14-year-old boy, he quickly confessed, although a motive has never been established - hence, the name of the documentary.

Why did he do it?

According to the boy's lawyer, Yossi Arnon, the boy claimed to have shot his family after a green monster appeared in his head and told him to do it. However, his lawyer didn't buy that story and neither did some of the fans of the series.

A psychiatrist who did a session with the boy said he was "too calm" for somebody who had just murdered his family and he didn't show any kind of remorse, which confused even the experts. The case was a first for the country and it continues to bemuse people today.

One theory suggests the boy's lawyer either didn't dig deep enough or knew more than he was letting on because he knew it would help his client's case if there wasn't a motive.

But one fan, going by the Twitter username @sosospeaks, said that the motive is "obvious" to her. She said: "He was the youngest so would inherit the least. He eliminated the family because he knew he'd inherit all the money and be out of prison early enough to enjoy it. That's probably what he was calculating on the calculator. #TheMotive"

"At 14 one is thinking of their inheritance? And then admits to the crime guaranteeing nothing? Neah," one viewer replied.

"He's literally the one that told the lawyer that he wanted to be charged with manslaughter in order to inherit. And did you miss the part where he's literally a genius," said @sosospeaks.

Plenty agreed with her theory that the boy was after money all along. "Life begins at 20," another joked.

"My take is that there is no justification, no reason, no motive. He's a psychopath and did it simply because the idea came into his head," said Twitter user @DrBrandhouse. "Unsatisfying though this may seem, it makes perfect sense with his behavior post-murders."

"I think he got a motive: he didn't want to go to the army (In Israel you are kind of forced to join it after school); he was thinking about his future: avoid the army and find a fast way to get money. 'My life will begin in my 20s,' he said. He calculated all #themotive," said another Twitter user, @JulietaArroquy.

Others suspect the lawyer knew more than he was letting on, especially as he's still in touch with the murderer today, according to the documentary.

The Motive

Topics: True Crime, TV and Film, Netflix

Laura Sanders
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