Elias Abuelazam, also known as Elias Abullazam, has been arrested and is believed to be a Palestinian Arab, perhaps previously residing in Israel...after first being reported to be White...and then Jewish. It is possible he is a Palestinian Christian..., and then again, maybe not. While he has not been charged, he is believed to be a serial killer of Blacks, suspected of some 20 stabbings. Antwoine Marshall, the first victim, identified an FBI photo in the early morning hours today. Five of the 20 did not survive. Police believe the attacks are racially motivated, and it is important to note that law enforcement authorities have not formally charged Elias Abuelazam/Abullazam.
One Ramle resident said Abuelazam left Israel at age 19 or 20 after finishing high school.
Another resident said Abuelazam was orphaned by his father at a young age.
The resident added that Abuelazam was allegedly involved with criminals and had a violent streak, which led his mother to send him abroad.
However, other neighbors who studied with Abuelazam in high school said he avoided violence, despite his physical build. They added, however, that Abuelazam seemed to have undergone significant changes during his recent visit to Israel.
A., a former neighbor and classmate, said Abuelazam was pleasant during the time they studied together, but that lately he would picks fights with "anyone who looked him in the eye."
He added when Abuelazam got angry, it took three people to restrain him.
"In recent years he experienced something that changed him entirely. He started using drugs, so his family sent him abroad."
Other rumors in Ramle alleged that Abuelazam engaged in relationships with older women in the U.S. who then supported him financially.Elias Abuelazam married American Jessica Hirth in mid-2004. They were married for three years and divorced in 2007. His former mother-in-law, Kimberly Hirth said Abuelazam "was just the sweetest guy." At the time of the marriage, he worked at the Piedmont Behavioral Health Center (now Northridge Behaviorial Healthcare). Jessica Hirth has remarried and is now Jessica Nimitz. Abuelazam has a sister living in Leesburg, Virginia.
The attacker has consistently been described as a tall, muscular white man who often wears a baseball cap. He often gets close to victims by asking for directions or for help with his car; other times he says nothing at all while he approaches his targets from behind. All of the victims were alone when they were attacked.Abuelazam, 33, was arrested at the Atlanta airport as he tried to board a Delta Flight 152 to Tel Aviv, Israel. He left a wake of victims in Michigan, Virginia, and Ohio. The first stabbing victim survived the attack and was visited by the FBI this morning, shown a photo of Elias Abuelazam and was able to identify him as his attacker. In this report, posted at 2:23 PM CDT, he is still identified as an Israeli.
The attacks began surfacing in late spring, and picked up the pace as the stabber traversed the country.
Police have said they usually follow a pattern: The suspect approaches black men late at night on lonely urban roads and asks for directions or help with a broken-down car. Then, without warning, he pulls out a knife and strikes. Then, he speeds away in his vehicle, leaving them for dead.
The brazen nature and the frequency of the attacks -- the assailant has struck an average of about once every four days since the first stabbing in May -- has terrified some of those in cities he's already targeted.
The youngest victim was 17; the oldest was 60. They ranged in size from 5-foot-4 inches and 120 pounds to 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds.Sixteen stabbings of the 20 attacks happened in Flint, Michigan, where Abuelazam worked in a convenience store. He was stopped for a traffic violation in Arlington, Virginia last week. He was "wanted on a simple assault warrant in Leesburg," Virginia but was released on his own recognizance. He has a string of mishaps with the law, including an arrest in December 2007 for felony gun possession. Those charges were dropped in 2008.
Once a Green Chevy Blazer became the focus of the hunt, Abuelazam's time as a free man and a killer shortened considerably.
Abuelazam asked his first known victim, Antwoine Marshall, to help him with his green SUV. He was stabbed twice as he opened the hood of the car. The stabbing cut three of his organs. He has a long scar from his chest to his pelvic area.
On August 3rd a Leesburg, Virginia teenager was stabbed in the back while jogging. A few days later a 67-year-old man in the same area was stabbed while sitting on the steps of his apartment. On August 6th Abuelazam again asked a man to help fix his green SUV. He hit the helper in the head with a hammer. That attack was recorded by a nearby security camera.
A Flint, Michigan neighbor said she noticed the green Chevy Blazer in the driveway of a house, but did not call the police because he was "a dark Middle Eastern man," and descriptions always said the man wanted was White.
Other than the articles linked herein, there is not a lot of confirmation about who Elias Abuelazam is, if he indeed lived in Israel as an Arab citizen, and certainly little confirming that he is Christian. Updates coming as available.
by Maggie @ Maggie's Notebook