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Former Rabbi Convicted of Wife’s Murder, Fred Neulander, Dies in Prison

Fred Neulander, the former rabbi involved in a notorious Cherry Hill murder case, passed away while serving a life sentence in prison at the age of 82. The news of Neulander’s death was confirmed by the state Department of Corrections website, although details regarding the time and location of his demise were not disclosed.

Neulander, a charismatic leader of one of South Jersey’s largest Jewish congregations, had been incarcerated since January 2003 for orchestrating the contract killing of his wife, Carol. The tragic incident occurred in November 1994 when Carol, a mother of three, was brutally beaten to death in the entryway of their Cherry Hill residence.

The investigation into the murder spanned several years, unveiling Neulander’s clandestine romantic affairs and culminating in the prosecution of Neulander and his two accomplices, Len Jenoff and Paul Daniels. Both Jenoff and Daniels testified against Neulander in highly publicized trials held in 2001 and 2002, revealing that they carried out the murder at the behest of the rabbi.

Neulander’s family members have chosen not to comment on his passing at this time.

Former defense attorney Dennis Wixted, who represented Neulander during his initial trial alongside attorney Jeff Zucker, emphasized that Neulander consistently maintained his innocence. Wixted commended Neulander for conducting himself with dignity in prison, providing religious guidance to fellow inmates without complaint.

Authorities alleged that Carol Neulander, a respected businesswoman, was viciously attacked with a metal pipe during a staged robbery orchestrated by Fred Neulander to facilitate his extramarital affairs.

In 1974, Neulander founded Congregation M’kor Shalom, which later merged with Temple Emanuel to form Congregation Kol Ami. The merged congregation acknowledged Neulander’s past contributions while underscoring their commitment to focusing on the future and upholding their cherished values.

The circumstances surrounding Carol Neulander’s murder unfolded slowly, with no charges filed until September 1998 when Fred Neulander was accused of conspiracy to commit murder and being an accessory to the crime. The breakthrough in the case came when Len Jenoff confessed to his involvement in April 2000, leading to further revelations and convictions for Jenoff and Paul Daniels.

Despite the passage of time, the impact of Carol Neulander’s tragic death continues to reverberate through the lives of those connected to the case. The intricate web of deceit, betrayal, and violence orchestrated by Fred Neulander serves as a stark reminder of the darkness that can lurk beneath the facade of respectability.