by Rahel Jaskow
It seemed like such a simple request: to photograph a grave in a nearby cemetery.
“She is buried in the American Cemetery in Jerusalem,” Robert Avrech wrote in July 2011 at the end of his post about Joan Winters, an American actress who was found murdered at the foot of the Mount of Olives in late 1933. “If any of my readers in Israel are so inclined, I’d greatly appreciate it if you’d visit Joan’s grave, make sure it’s properly maintained and perhaps send me a picture.”
The double murder of Joan Winters (which was her stage name; she was born Carol Vesta von Niedergesaess) and her companion, Mohamed Karamini of India, remains unsolved. They may have been random victims of the Arab riots that gripped pre-state Israel at the time. Another possibility is that they were victims of a love triangle: they had been traveling with a third companion, a man from India named Mohammed Ikram, who was detained and questioned about the murders and released for lack of evidence.