Why don't they run pictures of the murder victims? Take it from someone who follows these terrible murders, pictures are rare. In the case of Amina and Sarah Said, they seemed know the fate that awaited them. They almost appear to be posing for their eventual end.
The devout murderers hatched their plan in May.
Canwest News Service Left to right: Mohammed Shafii, Hamid Mohammed Shafii and Tooba Mohammad Yahya have been charged with four counts of first-degree murder and four counts of conspiracy to commit murder, Kingston police said at a news conference Thursday.
Family problems evident before Kingston killings National Post (hat tip Jane)
Kingston police said Thursday they are pursuing allegations the murders were carried out as so-called honour killings, a homicide where the victim is killed by their own kin for a perceived violation of a religious code.
In an interview with the Kingston Whig Standard, Diba Masoomi - a woman described as Mohammad's sister - said that Mr. Shafia "believed his daughter had dishonoured him and the family by having a romance with a young Pakistani man in Montreal."
Joyce Gilbert, a St. Leonard, Que., resident and neighbour of the Shafia family, said Zainab ran away from home for a couple of weeks a few months ago. At issue with her parents was her relationship with a young man they did not approve of, Ms. Gilbert said.
"It was during the spring," Ms. Gilbert said. "I don't know where she went. Her parents could not accept it. But she eventually came home."
Ms. Masoomi, a resident of France, could not be reached for comment. But she is believed to be the author of an e-mail sent out to various media outlets and the Kingston police a week after the submerged vehicle was discovered.
The author of the e-mail obviously possessed intimate knowledge of the Shafia family, including the fact that Shafia first married Mohammad in either 1979 or 1980, and then married Yahya in the late 1980s. Both marriages took place in Afghanistan, where it is legal for a man to have more than one wife.
The author of the e-mail alleged Yahya "was the privileged one" because she could have children.
"The girls were not allowed to go out alone, for example, neither to the
cinema nor to meet friends and they were not able to dress freely. [Mr. Shafia]
often criticized the influence of the Western culture on his family since they
were not living in an Islamic country anymore," the e-mail read.
Photo: This photo is said to show Rona Amir Mohammed, second from left, and Mohammad Shafia, centre, at their engagement ceremony in Afghanistan circa 1980. It was emailed to the media by a purported family member. (Canadian Press)
On Friday, Quebec's Youth Protection Services confirmed reports that the organization was involved with the family in the months preceding the murders.
"We can say that Youth Protection Services did intervene with the family," said Jocelyne Boudreault, a spokeswoman for the government organization that is now taking care of Shafia and Yahya's three surviving children, besides their son Hamed.
Ms. Boudreault said Youth Protection Services was required to intervene in a family matter months ago, but could not elaborate, citing privacy issues.
Whose privacy? The dead girls? Or the cover your ass cretins at Protection Services?
UPDATE: Despite the outward appearance of being a quiet family, there were signs of conflict within Mohammad Shafia's Montreal-area home in the weeks leading up to the murders of three of his daughters and his first wife.
Three dead Muslim girls
When allegations of a sinister plot of inter-family homicide reached the tree-lined street where Mohammad Shafia lived with two wives and his seven children this week, the Montreal suburb of St. Léonard found itself dragged into a convoluted narrative involving the death of three daughters and their father's first wife, and accusations it was triggered by the disapproval of the eldest daughter's love life and the refusal to end an unhappy marriage.
In St. Léonard, the family's cramped seven-bedroom home, in one of a series of identical square triplexes running through the prominently Italian neighbourhood, sat empty on Friday.
The stories that have begun to emerge in the aftermath of this week's murder charges have been filled with shocking revelations about the residents.
Montreal businessman Mohammad Shafia, 56, his wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya, 39, and their 18-year-old son, Hamed, were charged for the June 30 deaths of his three teenaged daughters -- Zainab Shafia, 19, her sisters Sahari, 17, and Geeti, 13 -- and a woman originally believed to be their aunt, Rona Amir Mohammad, 50.
All were found in the family's Nissa Sentra, submerged at the bottom of a Rideau Canal lock near Kingston, Ont.
On Thursday, police confirmed the woman found dead with the three girls was Mr. Shafia's first wife. Her family members told CBC Radio's As It Happens on Friday how she was caught in loveless, abusive marriage with Mr. Shafia, but unable to convince her husband to allow a divorce.
Wali Abdali and Diba Masoomi, who live in France, said Mohammad and Mr. Shafia were married nearly 30 years ago in Afghanistan but she was unable to bear children. About 10 years later, he took a second wife and had seven kids, but would still not give Mohammad a divorce.
Abdali said he had urged his sister to go to the police, but her
husband kept her passport, wouldn't let her use the phone inside the [sic]
Montreal home and threatened her with beatings.
"We wouldn't be grieving today if our sister had accepted, to go see the police," Mr. Abdali said through a translator from France.
Friction was also reportedly growing in St. Léonard over a romantic relationship 19-year-old Zainab had developed with a young Pakistani man, of whom her father disapproved. According to reports, Zainab ran away for a couple of weeks during the spring and upset her parents.
Ms. Masoomi has said her sister overheard Mr. Shafia talking to his wife about the idea of killing Zainab some weeks ago, and was convinced the deaths of her sister and the three children were the result of an honour killing.
In an email to police, she told authorities Zainab had been beaten by her father and older brother and had received death threats. She also broached the topic of Ms. Mohammad's desire for a divorce.
"In Afghan tradition, only the husbands are allowed to divorce their wives, which [Mr. Shafia] had refused to do for my sister for 20 years," she wrote.
On Friday, Quebec's Youth Protection Services confirmed reports that the organization was involved with the family in the months preceding the murders. The family's three other children, a 15-year-old boy and two young girls, are being cared for by Quebec's youth protection services.
Originally from Afghanistan, the Shafia family lived in Dubai for more than a decade before moving to Montreal about three years ago. A spokeswoman with the federal Immigration Department could not provide information about the family's Canadian citizenship records, citing privacy concerns.
While not much is known about Mr. Shafia's business dealings, he appears to have been a successful businessman overseas and in Canada.
While the family continues to rent their modest home in St. Léonard, he has said he is having a house built in Brossard, Que., which will reportedly be worth $900,000.
According to land registry records, he has purchased a commercial mall in Laval, Que., for $2-million since moving to Montreal three years ago, paying $1.6-million of the cost in cash.
He owns a real-estate management company and another, La Gestion Amanat Inc., which imports, distributes and sells clothing and household accessories and construction material.
In an email sent to Kingston police and leaked to the Kingston Whig-Standard, Ms. Masoomi alleged Mr. Shafia was planning to travel to Dubai and Afghanistan to sell some land he owned.
It is believed that Mr. Shafia married Ms. Mohammad in either 1979 or 1980 and then married Ms. Yahya in 1988. Both marriages took place in Afghanistan, where it is legal for a man to have more than one wife.
Tooba Mohammad Yahya's aunt, Zarmina Fazel, has denied the four deaths were the result of an honour killing. She publicly aired her belief that Zainab was abnormal and had intentionally driven the car into the canal. She denied the parents had anything to do with it, calling them kind and honest.
The three co-accused have been charged with four counts each of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder and are being detained in a Kingston prison. No charges have been proven in court.