'Honor Killing' Conviction in Canada Evokes Memories of Horrific Local Case

News out of Canada a few days ago about the first-degree murder convictions and life sentences of a man, his wife, and their 21-year-old son: 

Their victims were the parents' three daughters, ages 19, 17, and 13, and the husband's first wife. 

Authorities found the bodies of the four females submerged in a car in an Ontario canal. Police later pieced together a vile plot orchestrated by the family patriarch, an Afghan expatriate named Mohammad Shafia.

What caught our eye was how prosecutors portrayed the closely watched case to jurors:

They called it an "honor killing,"  meaning that the murderers were outraged by the alleged "disrespect" that the victims had inflicted on the rest of the family by embracing the "evil" ways of the West. 

That sounded terribly familiar to us, having extensively covered the October 2009 murder of 20-year-old Glendale woman Noor Almaleki,  and the subsequent jury trial, conviction and long prison sentence of her homicidal father, Faleh.

Here's our original, in-depth story on the high-profile local case, which we called "Honor Thy Father."

We have answered literally hundreds of E-mails from around the world about our take on Mr. Almaleki, which wasn't pretty. 

The Canada murders actually happened a few months before Faleh Almaleki intentionally ran down his oldest child and a former family friend with his Jeep Cherokee in a Peoria parking lot. 

Here's one account of that equally horrific case, which, like the Almaleki case, has been reported on around the world.

And another, with its own interested links attached.

The Ontario Superior Court Judge said in sentencing the trio, "It is difficult to conceive of a more heinous, more despicable, more honorless crime. The apparent reason behind these cold-blooded, shameless murders was taht the four completely innocent victims offended your completely twisted concept of honor...That has absolutely no place in any civilized society.."

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle said much the same thing in sentencing Almalek, now 51, to prison last April, including telling the Iraqi-born truck driver (who had escaped with his family to the United States to escape Saddam Hussein's oppressive regime), "To me, [you] became Saddam Hussein in Phoenix.

Absolutely frightening and tragic stuff.

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin