Wendy Lea Weiker-Gordon
31 Years Old

May 24, 1961 to September 8, 1992

The first of four children, Wendy was born in Colorado on May 24, 1961 and moved with her parents to Southern California the following year.

She excelled in school, graduating at the top of her class at Palos Verdes High School in 1979. She grew up in Young Judea, Hadassah's Zionist youth movement, first as a member, then as an activist and finally as a counselor. She visited Israel and even met her husband, Lee, in the movement, when she began her university studies at UC Berkeley in 1980.

Lee and Wendy were married in 1983, shortly after she graduated from Berkeley with a degree in psychology. Barely a month after they were married, the couple moved to Israel where Wendy earned a master's degree in clinical psychology from Hebrew University of Jerusalem and began field work at a residential home for handicapped adults, a shelter for children, a geriatric hospital and finally, the neighborhood out-patient clinic in Jerusalem where she blossomed as a psychologist and where she was randomly murdered on her husband's 35th birthday, September 8, 1992.

She had been active in Israel's feminist movement, and joined her husband in political action groups. She was an activist in Peace Now, Women in Black and a variety of groups promoting Arab-Israeli dialogue. She volunteered to work nights at a rape crisis center, manning the hotline, and helped develop an educational program on sexual child abuse. In 1987, when Wendy finished graduate school, she and Lee traveled for a year in Central and South America and completed a study program in Nicaragua where they learned Spanish and lived with local families.

Their son, Amit was born on September 25, 1990, and Wendy was five months pregnant with their second child at the time of her murder. She is survived by her parents, Marilyn and John Weiker of Rancho Palos Verdes, California; her husband, Lee Gordon; her son, Amit; her sisters, Lisa Obligenarz of Tel Aviv and Rebecca Weiker-Hecht of Los Angeles; and her brother, Aric, of Seattle, Washington.

Shortly after 2:00 pm on Tuesday, September 8, 1992, Wendy Lea Weiker-Gordon was one of four persons shot and killed without warning at the mental health clinic in Jerusalem's Kiryat Hayovel neighborhood by one of her patients, Eitan Mor, 25.

The gunman, armed with a 9 mm Berretta automatic pistol and an Uzi submachine gun, killed Wendy and three other women inside the clinic and wounded two others before fleeing into the street where he climbed on the roof of a one-story building and started shooting at police. Police negotiators climbed to the roof of an adjacent building in an attempt to persuade Mor to surrender, but he then began shooting wildly and police shot him. Mor died shortly afterward at a nearby hospital.

Mor had been a patient of Wendy's at the outpatient clinic and had phoned her an hour before the murders to discuss his anger at having been denied a license to drive trucks by the transportation Ministry. He blamed Wendy and the clinic although they actually had nothing to do with the denial of his license. Mor was denied the license based on information about his mental profile, which the Israeli Army had provided to the Transportation Ministry. He had been discharged from the army after serving only 11 months instead of the normal 36 months on psychiatric grounds as he was described as a danger to himself and to others. At the time he was discharged, he threatened to kill one of his commanding officers.

Sometime after his discharge, Mor applied for a job as a security guard with a private security company but was judged to be unfit for the job and was not hired. However, in July, 1992, Mor was hired by another security company and due to incompetence and gross negligence of the Israeli government, managed to slip through the bureaucratic cracks. The second security company applied to the Interior Ministry for a gun license on Mor's behalf. The Interior Ministry routinely forwards such requests to the police and the Health Ministry for their approval. Both rubber-stamped the request. The army provides the Health Ministry with a list of soldiers discharged from the army on psychiatric grounds if the soldiers have been hospitalized as a result of their illness. While Mor was receiving counseling at the mental health station in Kiryat Hayovel, he had never been hospitalized. Thus, the ministry did not have a record of his medical history and automatically approved the gun license request.

 

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Wendy Welker