Still wondering if you should read Without Honour, my true crime book documenting the Shafia honour killings? Reviews of the book continue to roll in and, I’m proud to say, they are positive. Lawyer Damian Penny says the book is “a detailed, damning, and thought-provoking chronicle of one of the saddest criminal cases in recent Canadian history.” Penny’s new review has just been published online by Canadian Lawyer Magazine. Montreal resident, former journalist and psychotherapist Elaine Zimbel, calls it “a very good book,” in a new review posted online. Penny’s detailed and thoughtful review says the story is “well told, well documented.” For more reviews, visit Goodreads and Amazon. For the latest news on the Shafia case, which is still winding through the appeal process, check in regularly here at Cancrime. The Without Honour page is a clearinghouse of background and news on the case.
Imprisoned killer Daljit Singh Dulay (inset), who gunned down his sister, her husband and another man 22 years ago in the name of family honour, is viewed as a “hero” by some members of his Sikh community, a Parole Board of Canada document reveals (read it in full after jump). Concern that family and community members still condone Dulay’s actions and strongly endorse the concept of honour killings was cited by the board in a decision last month to deny him unescorted passes or day parole, though Dulay has been out of prison previously on escorted passes.
Imprisoned honour killer Mohammad Shafia (inset) might finally have the cash he needs to pay his outstanding legal bills. Shafia, who was convicted in January 2012 of murdering four family members has finally sold a commercial strip mall he owned in Montreal, according to a Quebec-based business newspaper. Les Affaires says Shafia sold the mall to businessman Bao Hua Xiang for $2.4 million. The deal follows a disputed agreement to sell the property to another businessman for $2.25 million.
In an unequivocal, unanimous decision, three judges of Ontario’s top court dismissed an appeal by a convicted honour killer, a decision that could have implications for appeals in the infamous Shafia mass honour killing case. The Court of Appeal for Ontario refused to overturn the conviction of Hasibullah Sadiqi (inset), who shot to death his sister and her fiance in Ottawa, Ontario in 2006. Sadiqi is serving life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years after he was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder. He acknowledged that he pulled the trigger and had intended to kill both victims, but he claimed that the murders were not planned but were the result of provocation. The prosecution established that Sadiqi, like the Shafias, carried out the murders because he believed his Afghan family’s honour had been tarnished and he believed the slayings would cleanse the shame. In its decision, the Court of Appeal concluded that the Sadiqi case was built on a “strong web of circumstantial evidence,” it relied on “straightforward and powerful logic” presented by a Crown prosecutor and the testimony of an expert on honour killings was “necessary,” “relevant,” and “balanced.”
An imprisoned cop killer will get the $9,500 he was awarded by a human rights tribunal, after he complained that he was being forced to stand up in prison during head counts, an act that he said was difficult and painful because of chronic and severe back pain he suffers. A new decision by the Federal Court of Appeal blocks an attempt by Ottawa to stop the payout to Peter Collins (inset), who murdered an Ottawa policeman in 1983. Collins was awarded the money by the Canadian Human Rights Commission after a hearing into his complaints about how he was being treated in prison.
Many surveillance images are fuzzy, dark or lacking detail, but not these. Police have a trove of high-quality video and still images of a bandit who has been terrorizing banks across Canada. The images, including video of some of the holdups, have been compiled (see it after the jump) and released by police. The robber has been dubbed the “Vaulter” (inset) because he leaps over bank counters during the robberies (like infamous bandit Edwin Alonzo Boyd). A Canada-wide warrant has been issued and a reward of $20,000 offered for information leading to his arrest. It’s hard to imagine that another low-life won’t soon turn him in, in order to get that cash.
Ten years after ex-NHLer Rob Ramage (inset) killed one person and seriously injured another while driving drunk, he has his Ontario driver’s licence back and has been given the go-ahead by the Parole Board of Canada to drive again, though he remains on parole. Ramage, a steady defenceman and onetime captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs, was convicted of impaired driving causing death and three other charges after a crash in 2003 near Toronto that killed his good friend, former NHL star Keith Magnuson, and seriously injured a 39-year-old woman, Michelle Pacheco. Ramage was sentenced to four years in prison but he was paroled after serving just 10 months. The parole board recently agreed to lift the driving ban it had imposed, following a “rare” request from Corrections Canada, a written record of the parole board decision reveals (read it in full after the jump). The board says it lifted the ban because Ramage is assessed as a low risk to reoffend, his “reintegration and motivation levels continue to be high” and, this measure will “further your gradual reintegration into the community as a law-abiding citizen.”
I’m honoured to announce that I’ll be speaking at an event in Montreal in May, sponsored by the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership and the Rona Amir Foundation. The event, Honour Crimes in Canada: Tackling Some Difficult Questions, is free and open to all, though registration is required. It’s an important debate that must continue in Canada, four years after Zainab Shafia, 19, her sisters Sahar, 17, and Geeti, 13, and Rona Amir Mohammad (inset), 50, were found dead in a submerged car in a shallow canal in eastern Ontario.
Montreal’s youth protection agency (DPJ) says, according to a recent report by Journal de Montreal, that it has intervened in the cases of 13 adolescents who were at risk of honour killing since the murders nearly four years ago of four members of the Shafia family. It’s a stark reminder that the conviction and imprisonment of three members of the Shafia family has not deterred others. Zainab Shafia, 19, her sisters Sahar, 17 and Geeti, 13, and Rona Amir Mohammad, 50, were found dead on June 30, 2009, inside a submerged car discovered in a shallow canal in Kingston, Ontario. The victims are buried together in a small Islamic cemetery in Laval, just north of Montreal, Quebec. (see video of the gravesite after the jump).
Tom Flanagan’s outrageous public comments about child pornography have mostly stopped attracting mainstream media coverage, but the horrifying truth about child pornography persists. It is everywhere around us, every day. Today, a 54-year-old woman from suburban Houston, Texas was sentenced to 25 years in prison on child pornography charges. The evidence in her case is heartbreaking. Investigators found photos of a naked, nine-year-old girl who is “related” to the woman, who was sexually abused and tortured.