Hypnosis reveals backpacker's killer

A retired Israeli army officer confessed yesterday to the murder of British backpacker Max Hunter, as the law graduate's seriously injured girlfriend prepared for an emotional meeting with his parents.

Daniel Okev, a 45-year-old retired major, shot Mr Hunter, 22, and wounded Charlotte Gibb, 20, after giving them a lift from the Red Sea resort of Eilat 10 nights ago. He was arrested at his home near Tel Aviv early yesterday after an intensive manhunt by a team of about 100 detectives, undercover officers and forensic scientists.

Mr Okev, who is married with two children, was remanded in custody for 15 days by a Beersheba magistrate. When the police picked him up, he said: "I was expecting you."

A police spokesman said Mr Okev, who works for a private transport company, could not explain why he had shot Mr Hunter. Police praised Miss Gibb for her courage, after she was hypnotised to provide details of the murderer.

News of his arrest came as she prepared for a visit from Mr Hunter's parents - their first meeting since the attack - at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, where she is recovering.

"She is quite prepared for the meeting," said David Adlam, an oral and maxillofacial consultant. "I think if anything she is more concerned for them than she is for herself."

Mr Adlam talked in detail yesterday for the first time about Miss Gibb's injuries and her "million-to-one" escape. He said the bullet which went through her face had amazingly done very little damage.

"I think it's fair to say it's a miracle really. The bullet managed to miss every vital nerve in her face," he said. "Had the trajectory been altered by millimetres it would have gone straight into her brain and killed her. I think it must be a million-to-one chance."

Her parents had been with her constantly in shifts, Mr Adlam said.

"Psychologically she is just starting to come to terms with it ... she is in excellent spirits, but it is only a week or so after the event and she is only really starting to come to terms with the whole thing," he said.

Before returning to England, Miss Gibb was interviewed under hypnosis, and gave the investigators information about a grey-haired man in his forties, which helped the police to build up a profile of the killer.

The police chief for southern Israel, Commander Danny Brinker, commended Miss Gibb for her courage.

The breakthrough came when a policeman at a checkpoint, set up after the murder was discovered, remembered a red Peugeot 309 crossing the border back from Eilat to the twin Egyptian resort of Taba. The driver had slipped through while the policeman was questioning another motorist.

Police believe that Mr Okev had been to the casino at the Taba Hilton and was returning to his home, 300 miles north of Eilat, when he picked up the British couple at a petrol station around midnight on 13 August. He suddenly shot them after stopping for a cigarette on the Negev desert road. According to the police, he drove back to Taba and slept the night in the hotel.

Detectives traced the car to Mr Okev's home in the commuter village of Even Yehuda, north-east of Tel Aviv. The car and its owner were kept under surveillance. Police secretly searched the car and found Mr Hunter's fingerprints inside. Ballistics experts identified a licensed gun owned by Mr Okev as the murder weapon.

Suggested Topics
Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
techApple has just launched its latest mobile operating software – so what should you do first?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of Jane Austen classic - with a twist

News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
newsThe 'extremely dangerous' attempt to avoid being impounded has been heavily criticised
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Sport
Cesc Fabregas celebrates his first Chelsea goal
footballChelsea vs Schalke match report
Arts and Entertainment
Toby Jones (left) and Mackenzie Crook in BBC4’s new comedy The Detectorists
tvMackenzie Crook's 'Detectorists' makes hobby look 'dysfunctional'
Life and Style
fashion

Olympic diver has made his modelling debut for Adidas

News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 1 Teachers needed for day to day roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Primary General Cover Teachers needed

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Year 2 Teachers needed for day to day roles

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Ye...

PPA Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + Competitive rates of pay: Randstad Education Reading: Pr...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week