Continuous media attention of both Yitzhak Rabin’s murderer, Yigal Amir and his wife, Larissa Trimbobler, has made some people to wonder just who is this woman who became so interested in this man who has become Israel’s number one local villain, even twelve years after this terrible act took place. Along with this, why has she jeopardized not only her own personal life, as well as that of her children, but her career as well for a man with such a taint on his personal character.
Many may not be aware that Larissa’s acquaintance with Yigal Amir goes back much further than the aftermath of that fateful night on November 4, 1995. Larissa first met Amir when he was (would you believe) working as a teacher in Russia for the Israeli government. Following Rabin’s Assassination, she began to correspond with Amir as she shared many ideological views with him as they are both ultra orthodox in their religious practice. Larissa was married at the time to a man named Benjamin (last name not published by the media for the sake her children) and had four children from him, the eldest being age 15. Following her immigration to Israel, she continued to correspond with Yigal Amir and also began contact by telephone. Amir is normally allowed only one visit by a family member per week, plus one daily fifteen minute phone call. When their relationship became more intense, Larissa managed to convince prison authorities to allow her more contact with Yigal on the grounds that she was making a study of his behavior. She has a PHD in Medieval Jewish and Islamic History and a MA in Biology, but not a formal background in either psychology or sociology.
Following her divorce from Benjamin in 2003, Larissa Trembobler’s relationship with Amir became even more intense, and in 2004, announced that she and Amir planned to get married by proxy (they were not allowed a formal wedding ceremony). They were married by proxy later that year, with a friend of Yigal standing in for him.
The rest of the story has become more well known to the public due to the intense coverage it has received by the media, both in and outside of Israel. Following legal efforts to have herself inseminated artificially by Amir’s sperm, which they even tried to smuggle out of Ayalon Prison where he is incarcerated, they were finally allowed a 10 hour co-nuptial visit in January, 2007. Larissa has continually campaigned to have more visits with her husband, and her pregnancy with Amir’s child has been followed intensely by the press, including international news agencies like CNN. Since announcing her engagement and subsequent marriage to Yigal Amir, she lost her employment position at Open University, and has had to support herself and her children by undertaking editing and translation work. She also published a book in Russian with her ex-husband entitled: A Mirror for a Prince. She has a web-blog in Russian which is said to be gaining in readership.
At the time of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Yigal Amir was a third year law student at Bar Ilan University. He had a girl friend, Maraglit Har-Sheffi who had similar right winged views as he did. Following Rabin’s murder, Har-Sheffi was tried and convicted of conspiracy, due to her alleged knowledge of Amir’s intentions to murder the prime minister. Although she proclaimed her innocence of this crime, she was convicted and served several months in prison. She still claims that she is innocent, and many believed she was framed.
As for Amir himself, a growing movement of right-winged and religious supporters have been waging a campaign to free him from prison. While some of these supporters are saying that he has “suffered enough for his crime” others are saying that he is innocent and did not actually kill Rabin. Larissa would naturally like to see her husband gain his freedom, especially since she is about to give birth to his child – and a son at that. Prison authorities are not planning to grant him any special consideration to attend the ritual circumcision of his son; and both judicial and government authorities alike agree that Yigal Amir will never gain his freedom.
So, why did Larissa do what she did, especially in light of her own children, whose lives will be greatly affected forever by her actions? What’s more, what about the child about to be born? What will his future be, and how will this affect him? Only time will answer these questions, and many will agree that time is often a cruel mistress.