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Zainab Shafia: ‘Forbidden’ Boyfriend, Ammar Wahid, Motive In Murder Of Daughter

Zainab Shafia and three other members of her family were found dead in a canal in Canada in what some are calling an honor killing. According to tonight’s Investigation Discovery crime program, Forbidden Dying For Love, Mohammad Shafia became enraged after his daughter Zainab began dating a boy. Believing that she was becoming too westernized, he concocted a plan to murder her, along with several other members of his family. It was supposed to look like an accident. However, the plan unraveled after authorities realized that the Shafia family’s car was deliberated rammed into the canal. Forbidden Dying For Love‘s episode tonight is called “Love And Dishonor.”

Bodies Found Submerged In Canal

In June 2009, a black Nissan Sentra was found plunged into a Kingston canal in Ontario, Canada. The case rocked both Canada and the United States. It was a story of a love gone horribly wrong, ended permanently by a controlling Afghan father who refused to let his daughters live normal lives.

When investigators arrived at the location, divers found the bodies of four people inside of the car: 50-year-old Rona Amir Mohammed, 19-year-old Zainab Shafia, 17-year-old Sahar Shafia, and 13-year-old Geeti Shafia.

The family had been reported missing. But when detectives discovered that an accident report had been filed for one of the Shafia family’s vehicle, an evil plot came into focus.

Authorities say that the killings all stemmed from the forbidden love affair between Zainab Shafia and Ammar Wahid, a Pakistani boy whom Mohammad Shafia deemed unfit to date his daughter. Zainab, who was deeply in love with Ammar Wahid, had to sneak to see him and hide phone calls and texts with the boy.

Those who knew the Shafia family say that Mohammad was like a raging maniac who wanted to maintain complete control of his daughters, along with his first wife, Rona, who everyone believed was the girls’ aunt.

In a bizarre twist of events, Mohammad Shafia, his son Hamed, along with his wife Rona, lured the women to the Kingston Mills Locks for the sole purpose of drowning them and making it look like an accident.

He Became Wealthy

Mohammad Shafia made his money in the lucrative Dubai real estate market. He left Afghanistan in 1992, before finally settling in Canada. What should have been a better life for the Shafia girls turned into as much of a nightmare as living in Afghanistan would have been for such progressive and modern girls.

They wanted to be normal girls. They wanted to use their cell phones in peace, wear makeup, and have boyfriends — a way of life that their controlling Muslim father could never permit.

Mohammad Shafia was a polygamist with two wives. His first wife Rona was barren and could not provide him with children so he married Tooba, a much younger woman who ended up bearing seven children. Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti were Tooba’s natural children. But she had no problem setting them up to be killed.

The press tried to describe the Shafia family murders as honor killings, sometimes spelled honour killings, although, many didn’t think that this particular crime fit the criteria.

Mohammad, Tooba, and Hamed Shafia were all convicted and sentenced to life in prison. Mohammad Shafia was not sorry for killing his daughters. According to the Daily Mail, Mohammad called his daughters whores, stating that he hoped the devil defecated on their graves.

The video below was captured by police divers. Macleans describes what investigators found.

“Zainab Shafia is in the front passenger seat, her face slumped forward. Her black cardigan, drenched after hours underwater, was on backwards. Sahar, her younger sister, was in the rear of the sunken Nissan Sentra, dressed in a pair of tight jeans and a sleeveless top. Geeti’s lifeless body was floating over the driver’s seat, one arm wrapped around the headrest, the window beside her wide open. Rona Amir Mohammad was slouched in the middle back seat, her soaked black hair rubbing against Sahar’s”

The Daily Mail provides a few more disturbing details, which can be observed in the video at around 11:11.

“A pair of legs can be seen in the murky water. One of the victims’ heads can be seen facing down with hair obscuring her face, according to the Canadian Press, while blankets, a yellow bag, a body and victim’s hand are visible on the passenger side. Shaifa’s first wife Rona and Sahar were seen on the back seat, their heads touching. One of the windows was open on the car, but it appears that no attempts had been made by any of the victims to escape from the vehicle.”

Learn about the death of Zainab and the forbidden love that she could never have with Ammar Wahid tonight by tuning into Investigation Discovery’s Forbidden Dying For Love, which airs at 10/9 p.m. The Shafia story is very similar to the story below, which was also profiled on ID last year.

[Featured Image by Julio Cortez/AP Images]