15th April 2001
him but he clung to the steering wheel. Amna told her interrogators that
Al-Qaddi then fired two shots into the boy's leg.
To Ophir Rahum, a lonely 16-year-old Jewish schoolboy, internet romance was the stuff of Ophir Rahum fantasy. But after long evenings of surfing chat rooms from his computer, he found a woman of 24 who said she was falling in love with him.
They exchanged affectionate e-mails for three months before the woman, calling herself Sally, a Moroccan Jew, lured him from his home near Tel Aviv with the question: "Do you want sex with me?" Ophir, a virgin, agreed to meet her.
It was a fatal mistake. "Sally" was not Jewish. She was Mona Amna, a Palestinian photographer who had been so enraged watching Israeli soldiers shoot young militants during the intifada, or uprising, that she had decided to take revenge.
A few minutes after they embraced, an accomplice killed Ophir with two bursts of automatic fire from a Kalashnikov.
Israelis struggled to comprehend the murder in January, but transcripts of the e-mails have provided chilling insights into the relationship between the temptress and the teenager. Their exchanges embody the hatred and ruthlessness of the conflict and the innocence of many of its victims.
Ophir, a computer enthusiast, had built his own website and spent most of his spare time in chat rooms, often talking to older women despite warnings from his father.
Amna, a psychology graduate, had a plan. She has told her interrogators that she set out to entice an Israeli boy to the West Bank, kidnap him and exploit the ensuing outcry to publicise the Palestinian cause.
She approached several young Israelis before meeting Ophir in a chat room in October. In January, the records show, Amna logged on at an internet cafe in the West Bank town of Ramallah and asked some personal questions.
"Do you have a girlfriend?" she asked.
"Not any more," Ophir replied.
"It's a long story."
"Did you ever have sex with a lady?"
"I'm only 16?. How many times do you think I had sex?"
"Do you want sex with me?"
"You really want to? Remember, I'm older than you." Ophir did not hesitate. "You tell me where to be, and I'll be there," he said.
They agreed to meet in Jerusalem at a flat belonging to a friend of Amna. Their plan was delayed because Ophir was worried about what his mother would say if he came home too late.
"I won't let you go home late, darling. Can't you tell your mom you're going to visit a friend?" Amna asked.
"Yes, maybe, then I can be as late as 8.30pm.
Otherwise my mom will be worried." "Is it true? I'm so happy. We'll have sex?" "If you want," Ophir said.
Two days later Ophir tried to persuade Amna to come to Tel Aviv instead. "It's difficult - I've got work to do," she said. "But please, Ophir, I want to kiss you so much." "Really?"
"Yes, come here and we'll kiss . . . Please come here as you promised." "Okay, I'll be there."
"You must keep your word, Ophir. I love you, Ophir."
"I love you too, Sally."
The day before the rendezvous, Amna said she had prepared her girlfriend's flat. "But tell me, what do you look like?" she asked. "I'm 5ft 6in, pale skin, blue eyes," he answered.
She described herself as "5ft 2in tall, with short dark hair and dark brown eyes".
Ophir boasted that he would play truant. "If I'm not in school tomorrow, be happy for me," he told a friend.
On January 17 he gelled his hair and left at the usual time but took a bus to Jerusalem.
Amna collected him in a taxi from the bus station and took him to Ramallah, where they transferred to a car with Israeli numberplates. She drove.
Shortly afterwards, she told police, they were approached by Hassan Al-Qaddi, 25, a Ramallah student and a member of Palestinian group Fatah, with whom she claims to have planned a kidnapping. He had a Kalashnikov machinegun.
Al-Qaddi ordered Ophir out of the car. When he refused, Al-Qaddi grabbed him but he clung to the steering wheel. Amna told her interrogators that Al-Qaddi then fired two shots into the boy's leg.
"A second Palestinian accomplice now approached the car from the other side. Ophir was screaming and pushed himself deeper in the car," Amna said.
"I left my seat, but then I heard a barrage of fire. There was a smell of blood and fire."
Amna said Al-Qaddi and the second man hid the boy's body in the boot of another car and told her to drive after them.
She put Ophir's red satchel on the bloodstained seat.
"I was shocked," Amna said. "I told Hassan I couldn't drive but he said we had no time, the army was around and if we didn't leave soon all of us would be dead. The car was splattered with blood. There was a very strong smell of blood everywhere."
She nevertheless managed to have lunch with a friend at her office, then visited her sister and took a driving lesson.
Desperate over Ophir's failure to return home, his mother Shula and sister Louisa logged on to the chat room where he had met "Sally".
"Are you there," his mother typed, just after 11.30pm. "Is anyone there?" There was no reply. At 12.21am she gave up.
Ophir's body was discovered after several days and Amna was arrested later. She denied all knowledge of the incident at first, but confessed after she was confronted with the text of the e-mail exchange.
Charged with voluntary manslaughter, she told a military court: "I am proud of myself."
-The Sunday Times, London
The testimony came on the first day of David Parker Ray's retrial on charges that arose from a headline-grabbing sex-torture case that drew a hundred federal agents to southern New Mexico in 1999.
"I was naked and I was tied to the table," the woman told the jury. "I didn't know if he was going to kill me. I didn't know how somebody could do something like that to somebody else and not kill them ... let them live to tell about it."
Ray, a 61-year-old former state park employee, is accused of torturing and sexually assaulting at least three women in his desert mobile home in Elephant Butte, New Mexico. His first trial last year ended in a hung jury and a second was called off when the presiding judge died.
His attorney, Lee McMillian, said in opening arguments on Monday that the Colorado woman was a troubled person who took part in Ray's sex games because she wanted to.
He said she was a "willing participant" who may have "enjoyed the experience." Investigators raided Ray's place after a naked woman came running out of it in March 1999. They found sex tapes, bondage instruments, a full medical examination room and numerous sex toys inside.
Two women, including the one from Colorado, came forward after the 1999 incident to tell police Ray had assaulted them.
The Colorado woman said she had been out drinking with Ray's daughter, Glenda Jean Ray, on a Thursday night and had agreed to go home with her to sober up.
When she got there, the two Rays held a knife to her throat, bound her with duct tape and put a dog collar around her neck, she testified.
She said she was held captive and repeatedly assaulted with dildos and other items until Ray drove her home the following Sunday.
"I just kept telling him no, I kept telling him I wanted to go home," she said. "I hate him." Glenda Jean Ray is also facing charges in connection with allegedly luring the Colorado woman to her father's home, but she said she was not guilty.
Ray's girlfriend, Cindy Hendy, and a friend, Dennis Yancy, have pleaded guilty to helping him and are serving prison terms.
Return to News/Comment Contents
Please send your comments and suggestions on this web site to