I Loved the Rabbi Enough to Kill for Him

Len Jenoff now says he was always a hired hit man for Rabbi Fred Neulander

By Harry Hairston and Karen Araiza
|  Tuesday, Apr 17, 2012  |  Updated 11:54 AM EDT
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Len Jenoff changes his story again about killing Carol Neulander in 1994.

NBCPhiladelphia.com - Harry Hairston

Len Jenoff changes his story again about killing Carol Neulander in 1994.

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Rabbi Fred Neulander: I Am Not a Killer

Rabbi Fred Neulander is serving a 30 year sentence for the 1994 murder of his wife. NBC10's investigative reporter Harry Hairston went behind the prison walls for an exclusive one-on-one as the Rabbi proclaims his innocence.This story was published on February 5, 2012
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Len Jenoff murdered Carol Neulander, fingered her husband, Rabbi Fred Neulander, as the mastermind, changed his story and now says he has more to say, after seeing our exclusive interview with the rabbi.

"The truth is Fred Neulander hired me to kill his wife," Jenoff told us this week from behind prison walls. "I will say that every day until the day I die." But he hasn't been saying that every day. Jenoff initially helped prosecutors convict Neulander by testifying that Neulander hired him to kill his wife so that the rabbi could carry on an affair he was having with a local socialite. The rabbi’s first murder trial ended with a hung jury, but he was found guilty during the second trial in 2002 and sentenced to at least 30 years in prison.

Then in 2009, Jenoff recanted his testimony, saying in a sworn affidavit that in 1994, when he beat Carol Neulander to death with a pipe in the entry way of her Cherry Hill home, it was a robbery gone bad, not a hired hit. "Every day I pray to God and ask for forgiveness of why I took that lady's life." Jenoff is spending a minimum of 20 years in prison and has now flipped back to his original story.

"That is the truth. I'll take a polygraph and truth serums," Jenoff said. The convicted killer said he recanted his story three years ago because, acting on some bad advice, he thought it would help him get out of prison sooner and because he felt sorry for Neulander.

"He changed my life. I felt bad for him," Jenoff said. "As much as I love him and loathe the man."

Jenoff said what he did when he recanted in 2009 was wrong and that now, he is telling only the truth -- that he was hired by the rabbi and loved him enough to kill for him.

"I said it then and I say it now he changed my life forever."

Neulander has filed an appeal asking for a new trial, based on Jenoff’s 2009 recantation. That is one of the reasons Neulander agreed, for the first time since his conviction, to talk to a local reporter. During our exclusive interview earlier this month, the rabbi said he is innocent and expects to be exonerated.

"I was an embarrassment to myself and others, absolutely!" Neulander said. "Did I kill my wife? Absolutely not! Period."

Both the prosecutor and the defense say they are unaware of any written statement by Jenoff going back to his original story. And Neulander's defense says it still plans to fight to get Neulander a new trial.

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