|Other names Elias Abullazam|
Name Elias Abuelazam
|Weight 280 lb (127 kg)|
Height 6 ft 5 in (196 cm)
Date apprehended August 11, 2010
|Born August 29, 1976Ramla, Israel|
Criminal penalty Life imprisonment without the possibility of parole
Victims 1 (convicted)Suspected in 17 further attacks, resulting in another 4 deaths.
Conviction(s) First degree murder
Elias Abuelazam Documentary
Elias Abuelazam (Arabic: الياس أبو عزام, Hebrew: אליאס אבו אל עזאם, born August 29, 1976) is an Israeli-Arab convicted murderer, and suspect of racial serial killing and multiple stabbings. He is suspected in a string of 18 stabbing attacks in the spring and summer of 2010 which resulted in five deaths. Most of the alleged attacks occurred in Genesee County, Michigan (particularly in and around Flint). Five stabbings occurred outside of Michigan: three in Leesburg, Virginia and another in Toledo, Ohio, and one in his native home in Ramla, Israel. All of Abuelazam's alleged victims were described as "small framed" (e.g. short, thin, non-muscular) men, most of them African Americans. During the investigation, Michigan media dubbed him "The Genesee County Serial Slasher" (or alternately "The Genesee County Serial Stabber"). Abuelazam was 6 feet 5 inches (1.96 m) and weighed 280 pounds (130 kg) at the time of his booking. Abuelazam has been convicted in one of the murders, that of 49-year-old Arnold Minor in Flint, Michigan which occurred on August 2, 2010. He is currently serving a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for that crime. As a result, Genesee County prosecutors have announced Abuelazam will not stand trial for the other crimes in their jurisdiction, nor will authorities in Toledo or Leesburg try him. He is currently incarcerated at Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility in Ionia, Michigan as Michigan Department of Corrections inmate number 842658.
- Elias Abuelazam Documentary
- Elias abuelazam flint s serial stabber getting booked at county jail raw footage
- Personal life
- First arrest
- Second arrest and extradition
- Arnold Minor murder trial
- Dismissed charges
- Deportation lawsuit
- In popular culture
On May 2, 2017, Abuelazam confessed to a 2009 Leesburg, Virginia murder.
Elias abuelazam flint s serial stabber getting booked at county jail raw footage
Abuelazam was born in Ramla, in central Israel, to a well-to-do Christian Arab family. As a child, he moved to the United States with his family after his mother remarried, and acquired a Green Card, but never gained US citizenship. According to the US State Department, Elias Abuelazam changed his name to Elias Abullazam in March 1995.
Until 2008, Abuelazam worked at Piedmont Behavioral Health Center, LLC, a psychiatric facility in Leesburg, Virginia (now called North Spring Behavioral Healthcare) as a mental health technician.
He worked as a clerk at Kingwater Market in Beecher, Michigan from July 5 to August 1, 2010. Most customers knew him as “Eli.” He was cited for giving alcohol to a minor July 29, the same day a 59-year-old man was stabbed in Flint, Michigan. Abuelazam’s legal address is in Bradenton, Florida, according to the warrant. He previously lived in Grand Blanc, Michigan, according to Michigan Secretary of State records. Abuelazam most recently lived in a house that his uncle owns located on Maryland Avenue near Riegle Avenue on the east side of Flint, Michigan.
Abuelazam married Jessica Hirth (also known as Jessica Nimitz and Jessica Abuelazam) on July 30, 2004. His former mother-in-law, Kimberley Hirth, said her daughter and Abuelazam met in Texas while he was visiting cousins there. Kimberley said she was shocked and that Abuelazam was a "nice" person. His former father-in-law Jim Hirth said he was shocked, too. In an August 2010 interview, Jim Hirth said that Abuelazam verbally abused his daughter. Abuelazam and Jessica divorced in 2007. In total, he was married twice. His ex-wife Jessica of Arlington, Texas, said that she was "shocked" at the news of his crimes.
Police and prosecutors claim that between May and August 2010, Abuelazam would drive around late at night, approach small framed men who were walking alone, ask for directions or help fixing his vehicle, a green-colored Chevrolet TrailBlazer, and then stab them, usually in the chest or stomach. Abuelazam's alleged victims have been mostly black, and police in Leesburg suspect the attacks may have been racially motivated, since the population there is mostly white. Genesee County prosecutors, however, have declined to speculate on his motive, while noting the population of Flint is mostly black.
Abuelazam is also suspected of having stabbed a friend in the face with a screwdriver while on a visit to his family in Ramla in early 2010. Police did not pursue the case because the friend refused to press charges.
Leesburg Police have said Abuelazam is also a suspect in an unsolved homicide from March 2009.
In Genesee County on August 4, 2010, it was announced that a string of stabbings that date back to May 2010 was the work of one man and a multi-jurisdictional task force was set up to investigate. The next week on August 9, 2010 police in Leesburg connected three hammer attacks against black men there via their victims' descriptions of the suspect, video surveillance footage of the attacks that matches his description and vehicle, and the similar mode of operation. The next day Toledo Police claimed a stabbing of a black man there also matched the suspect.
He was arrested August 5, 2010 in Arlington, Virginia, during a traffic stop. He was taken into custody because he had a warrant out for his arrest for simple assault and later released on personal bond.
Second arrest and extradition
Abuelazam was arrested by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers on August 11, 2010 at 10:00 p.m. ET in Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, while preparing to board a Delta Air Lines flight bound for Tel Aviv. On August 13, 2010 he waived his right to fight extradition to Michigan. Abuelazam's family hired Lansing based attorneys Brian Morley and Edwar Zeineh. He was flown to Flint on August 26, 2010 and lodged in the Genesee County Jail. Abuelazam was held in solitary confinement, likely for his safety and because he is suspected of extremely violent crimes against black men in a city whose population is 56% black. At his arraignment, he was ordered held without bond by the judge, even after the prosecutor asked for $10 million bail.
Arnold Minor murder trial
During the evidentiary hearing for the Arnold Minor murder case, the judge ruled that evidence of the other Genesee County attacks could be used in the trial. The trial began on May 8, 2012. The prosecution's key piece of evidence was a drop of Minor's blood on a pair of pants found in Abeulezam's luggage. On May 15, the prosecution rested after calling 50 witnesses, including other victims and their relatives, several forensic experts, as well as Abuelazam's uncle who assisted police in his capture. Two days later on May 17, Abuelazam's attorneys presented an insanity defense. Their sole expert witness was a psychiatrist hired by his attorneys who diagnosed him with paranoid schizophrenia and said Abuelazam told him he committed the crimes because of "evil spirits." The doctor also said Abuelazam told him he attempted suicide in 1997 and was diagnosed as psychotic by an Israeli psychologist in 2009. The prosecution responded by attacking the psychiatrist's credibility, noting that his field of expertise was addiction medicine. The next day, the prosecution refuted the psychiatrist's diagnosis with two of their own mental health experts. Two psychologists who testified on behalf of the prosecution agreed that although Abuelazam has an unspecified personality disorder and he lacked empathy, his attacks were too planned out and organized for him to be considered legally insane. On May 22, 2012, after only an hour of deliberation, the jury found Abuelazam guilty of Minor's murder. On June 25, 2012, Abuelazam was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
On August 26, 2010 the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office charged him with one count of assault with intent to commit murder for an attack on July 27, 2010. On September 20, 2010 he was charged with four additional counts of assault to commit murder. The victims in those crimes are: Bill Fisher, who was attacked June 26, 2010; Richard Booker, who was attacked July 19, 2010 in Genesee Township, Michigan; Etwan Wilson, who was attacked August 1, 2010 near Pierson Road in northern Flint; and Da'Von Rawls of Flint.
On October 8, 2010 an Ohio grand jury indicted Abuelazam and charged him with felonious assault in the stabbing of church janitor Tony Leno in Toledo, Ohio.
On October 21, 2010 he was charged with murder in the stabbing deaths of Frank Kellybrew and Darwin Marshall of Flint, Michigan.
On November 4, 2010 he was charged with two counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer causing injury and three counts of resisting and obstructing a police officer after he attempted to punch a deputy and had to be tasered with the help of four other officers on October 27, 2010.
On November 12, 2010 he was charged with malicious destruction of property for smashing out the windows of a car belonging to James Augsberger, boyfriend of witness Lucinda Mann.
On November 23, 2010 he was charged with assault with intent to murder in the stabbing of Antoine Jackson on July 12, 2010 in Burton, Michigan.
Abuelazam hired a new attorney, Christopher M. Smith, who filed an appeal based on the original trial judge's rejection of a motion for a change of venue due to the extensive media coverage of the case which, they claimed, wrongly called him a serial killer, and refuted the judge's decision to allow evidence of the other attacks or testimony of his other alleged victims. On June 10, 2014, the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld Abuelazam's conviction. Smith then appealed that decision to the Michigan Supreme Court, who declined to hear it on November 25, 2014.
On August 1, 2014 Abuelazam filed a case in federal court against the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the United States Attorney General asking to be deported to Israel to face charges of an attempted murder that happened on October 1, 2009. Michigan authorities think the lawsuit is frivolous and expect it to be dismissed, noting that it is legally impossible because of Abuelazam's life without parole status, since convicts can not be deported until their full sentence is served.
In popular culture
The Abuelezam case was profiled on a July 8, 2013 episode of the Investigation Discovery show Blood, Lies & Alibis titled "Serial Slasher." It featured re-enactments of some of his attacks, the investigation and his arrest, actual footage of some of his attacks and his arrest and trial, as well as testimony by Genesee County law enforcement officials, local media, surviving victims, and Arnold Minor's relatives.