‘Barbara was part of the family’ – Local Jewish organizations cover lodging expenses in murder investigation


ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The two high-profile, deadly weekend shootings in the St. Louis area were random – but for some local Jewish organizations, the tragedies hit close to home. One of the murder victims, Barbara Goodkin, was an active volunteer at the St. Louis Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum.

“Barbara was a docent at the Holocaust Museum, which is part of the (Jewish) Federation. And part of the museum family. So the museum is taking it hard,” Acting Director Don Hannon said Thursday.

Goodkin, 71, was among the nearly 75 docents at the Kaplan Feldman Holocaust Museum. Hannon said she was in the most recent class in 2019, after completing an intense, four-month training.

“She really didn’t have as much as an opportunity to do some of the tours before we shut down for COVID. But she was excited for the new museum. She really took it on with passion,” he said.

Goodkin and Dr. Sergei Zacharev, 58, were both killed in separate locations Saturday, just three miles apart.

Goodkin was shot while driving with her husband in University City. Zacharev was shot less than an hour later outside a Brentwood restaurant.

Police identified two suspects, who were located in South Carolina Wednesday night. One of them, a woman, was arrested. The other, a man, remains at large. Their connection to St. Louis is unclear.

Hannon said the Community Security Director for the Jewish Federation of St. Louis inquired whether the organization would be willing to help fund some of the lodging costs for Major Case Squad detectives.

Hannon said the response was immediate.

“We’re happy to help. Both the Federation and the Holocaust Museum are going to be sharing in that,” he said. “Shootings like this are a tragedy. They don’t happen often in the community. Not in this community. And we just felt like this is the best way we could be supportive. And the attempt to bring the suspects to justice.”

The Major Case Squad thanked the Jewish Federation of St. Louis during a Thursday morning press conference.

“To the people out there, that [donation] might not seem like a big thing. But for us, going down there, it takes a worry off our plate. We greatly appreciate that,” Lt. Jack Abell, deputy commander of the Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis, said.

Hannon emphasized that the Jewish Federation of St. Louis is among a few organizations that are helping with the Major Case Squad’s travel expenses.

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