Police revisit scene of canal killings

Have police investigating the murder of four people found dead in a car in a canal in Kingston, Ontario, reconsidered some of their physical evidence? The photos above that I shot recently reveal that investigators may be taking a closer look at the scene where the victims were found.

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Police keep canal killing evidence under wraps

The Montreal mother and father accused of killing three of their children convinced a court today that they should be allowed to communicate with their three other children. Mohammed Shafia and Tooba Mohammed Yahya appeared in a Kingston courtroom, by video, from the detention centres where they’re being held. Their son Hamed, 18, also appeared today.

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First legal drama unfolding in canal killing case

Lawyers on both sides of the remarkably complex canal murder case already are reconnoitring a labyrithine legal landscape. Strategy is crucial in any murder, but in a case with three accused, four victims, complications of language, culture, international publicity and allegations of a barbaric motive of “honour,” issues are magnified a hundredfold. The first legal drama is unfolding now.

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A diabolical crime deserves the best defence

By the age of six or seven, I had learned, and had embraced, the notion that it’s always better to win after a fair fight. During daylong road hockey tournaments, there was no greater thrill than beating a favoured team that sought victory through rule-bending. So I was delighted today to learn, and to reveal publicly first at the Whig-Standard, that some of Kingston’s most experienced criminal defence lawyers are taking over the cases of the accused canal killers.

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Police hunt canal killing leads online

Kingston Police are trolling facebook looking for leads in their ongoing investigation into the murder of four women who were found dead in a submerged car in Kingston, Ontario.

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A child sketches death at the canal


Paul Schliesmann photo

Stick figures, a car, water – a childish sketch that would not matter much, but for its apparent origins. The remarkable drawing above was done by an eight-year-old girl, one of four surviving children of Mohammad Shafia and his second wife Tooba Mohammad Yahya. She drew the picture after three of her sisters and ‘Mother Rona,’ the 50-year-old woman who lived with them, were found dead in a submerged car at Kingston Mills. Mother, father and the oldest brother of the girls, Hamed, are charged with murdering the four women found in the car. The full story of this astonishing drawing was unearthed by my colleague at the Kingston Whig-Standard, Paul Schliesmann, as we have investigated the Kingston Mills murder case. His story is here, and is reproduced in full after the jump.

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Canal victim wed, then planned another

One of the three teenage sisters found dead in a submerged car in Kingston June 30 was about to announce her engagement when she was killed. Zainab Shafia hastily wed a Pakistani boyfriend in Montreal several months ago but she was planning another wedding at the time of her death. Those are some of the revelations you’ll read in the latest Whig story, also available in full after the jump, about the Kingston Mills canal murder case. The inset photo shows, from left to right, Geeti, Sahar and Zainab Shafia.

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Kingston canal death scene by night – a video tour

The short video above gives you another idea of why police likely were very suspicious from the very start that the Kingston canal case was not an accident, as the Shafia family immediately suggested. I shot the video exactly two weeks after the car went into the water on June 30, 2009, using a decent 3-CCD Panasonic camera and under conditions similar to those of that night. What you’ll see is that it is remarkably dark at the Kingston Mills locks at night – so dark that it is hard to imagine that someone unfamiliar with the area could possibly have accidentally put a car into the water at that spot, without bashing into some or all of the many obstacles that block a car’s path to the water. If you haven’t yet watched my daytime walkthrough of the location, you’ll find it embedded again after the jump. It makes an interesting side-by-side comparison with the night video.

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