Rita Gluzman had put in a lot of effort to achieve her American dream. She and her husband had fought for years to get out of the Soviet Union, and they found a fresh start in the United States. Her spouse had made a name for himself as a cancer researcher. Rita owned her own business and lived in a large home in Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.
A man was captured tossing rubbish bags into the Passaic River by a police officer. The severed fragments of Yakov Gluzman’s body were placed in the bags. Vladimir Zelenin, Rita’s cousin, was apprehended and recognised. Rita forced him to kill Yakov so she could keep control of their company, ECI Technologies, he said to authorities. However, authorities were unable to discover any evidence to support Vladimir’s story, making a murder conviction improbable.
Prosecutors turned to a new domestic violence statute, which allowed them to charge Rita with abusing her husband across state lines. Her conviction was based on Vladimir’s vivid testimony. She was given a life sentence in jail.
Twisted Desires – Deadly Women
Season 12 Episode 5
During the 1970s, Rita Gluzman was regarded as the wife who did everything she could to persuade her husband to escape the Soviet Union. She did, however, become famous for killing him later on. This terrible case is included as one of three instances covered in Investigation Discovery’s ‘Deadly Women: Twisted Desires.’
Rita enlisted the help of her cousin, Vladimir Zelenin, to murder her husband in April 1996. So, if you’re curious about what happened next, we’ve got you covered.
Rita Gluzman and Vladimir Zelenin: Who Are They?
Rita Shapiro was born in the Soviet Union in 1948. She had a tough life, having grown up in poverty. Rita was raped by a police officer when she was just ten years old. Rita was 11 years old when her mother abandoned them for two years, leaving her to care for her sister alone. Rita emigrated to Israel from the Soviet Union in 1970, shortly after marrying Yakov Gluzman.
Her husband, on the other hand, was not permitted to visit Israel at the time. Rita later gave birth to their son and fought tooth and nail for Yakov’s release. She even travelled to the United Nations and staged a two-week-long hunger strike. Yakov eventually gained permission, and the Gluzman family immigrated to America in 1977. In the years that followed, Yakov became a well-known molecular biologist, and Rita co-founded an electronics company with her husband.
However, the marriage began to fall apart over time, and Yakov was accused of physically abusing her and their kid. He had moved out of their New Jersey house and into an apartment in Pearl River, New York, by 1995. Yakov had began dating an Israeli woman at the time, and in December of that year, he filed for divorce from Rita. He complained about her exorbitant spending habits in the filing.
Rita told her relative, Vladimir Zelenin, of a plot to kill Yakov in 1996. Vladimir was granted political asylum at the time, but he was not yet a legal resident. She promised to assist him with immigration and secured him a position in an electronics firm, as well as a car and a home. Rita and Vladimir went to Yakov’s apartment in New York on April 6, 1996, and waited for him.
When Yakov arrived home from work about 11:30 p.m., they attacked him. Both proceeded to attack him with axes and other weapons until he died. Then, as Vladimir chopped Yakov’s body into 65 pieces using axes, a knife, and a hacksaw, Rita cleaned the apartment to remove any trace. Rita then requested that Vladimir dispose of the parts in a nearby river. Authorities discovered Vladimir emptying rubbish bags into the river on April 7, 1996, and saw blood on his hands.
Vladimir confessed to the plot and accused Rita after he was apprehended. She was discovered hiding in a deserted cottage at the laboratory where Yakov had worked in Long Island, New York, a few days later. Rita had her passport and international flight details, as well as phone records indicating she had phoned various airlines. Vladimir soon reached an agreement with Rita in exchange for a reduced sentence and agreed to testify against her.
What Has Happened to Rita Gluzman and Vladimir Zelenin?
Vladimir, then 40, claimed that Rita had purchased the murder weapons and rubbish bags from a local store before to the murder, which was corroborated by security footage. Vladimir pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and death by interstate domestic violence. He was sentenced to 22 and a half years in jail in May 1997. Vladimir was released in 2015, and he has kept a low profile since then, as far as we can tell. New Jersey is still his final known location.
In January 1997, Rita, aged 47, went on trial and was found guilty by a jury; she was the first woman to be convicted under the 1994 Federal Domestic Violence Act. Rita was sentenced to life in prison in May 1997. She suffered with a variety of health issues over the years, including strokes, their consequences, and Parkinson’s disease.
She was given compassionate release in July 2020. Rita moved to New Jersey to live with her sister in Hackensack after being released from FMC Carswell in Texas. Rita was only allowed to leave the house for doctor’s visits, court, education, or other approved activities under the terms of her parole. Aside from that, she was required to wear a GPS tracker.