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Instead, he climbed back behind the wheel of the Lexus at two o’clock in the morning and continued toward Montreal, more than 300 km away. He was home for only a few minutes, he said, when his dad phoned to tell him the girls were missing. Mother, father, and eldest son—motivated by an ancient, barbaric “honour” code—used their Lexus to smash that Nissan over the lip of the Rideau Canal, watching with perverted satisfaction as all four females vanished into the water.“I am happy and my conscience is clear,”Shafia proclaimed the night before his arrest, unaware that a police wiretap was recording his every word.“I had the monopoly on importing those.” Like many in Afghanistan, Shafia‘s first marriage was an arranged one.It was his mother who first spotted young Rona Amir, the pretty daughter of a retired army colonel.“They haven’t done good and God punished them.” Today, a different punishment looms: life behind bars.After four months, 58 witnesses, and too many lies to count, a jury found Shafia, Tooba and their beloved Hamed guilty of quadruple murder in the first degree.Rona, it turns out, was simply a convenient throw-in, the infertile first wife who died as she lived. “They committed treason from beginning to end,” Shafia declared, during another one of his intercepted rants.“They betrayed kindness, they betrayed Islam, they betrayed our religion and creed, they betrayed our tradition, they betrayed everything.” His daughters died because they were defiant and beautiful and had dreams of their own. But the two words at the heart of this sensational case—“honour killing”—do not tell the whole twisted tale. And it’s a story about a custom-built courtroom, where father, mother—but not son—took the stand to proclaim their innocence.
Their initial stories, videotaped for accuracy, were essentially the same. Shafia, Tooba and Hamed all told the detective that they had stopped at a Kingston, Ont., motel on the way home to Montreal, and that Zainab grabbed the car keys to retrieve some clothes.
The next morning, the Nissan—and nearly half the family—were gone. “I don’t know anything else.” But that was hardly it, as the detective soon realized.
The more questions Dempster asked, the stranger their story sounded.
His specialties were Panasonic radios and Peacock brand thermoses, shipped in from Japan.
“It was only me,” Shafia told the jury, the pride still evident in his raspy voice.It took just 15 hours of deliberation for the jurors to reach their verdict.