Ariet Girgis, the Egyptian-American wife who was killed in her California home at the request of her husband, Magdi Girgis, is the featured case for tonight’s Dateline NBC. The episode is entitled, “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” which aired in 2015. The Saturday night mystery will once again tell the tragic story of a wife and mother who arrived in this country to live the American dream, only to be killed in her own home after her husband hired someone to do it. On the show, you’ll hear from Ariet Girgis’ sons, Ryan and Richard, as well as the police detectives who investigated the case. Magdi Girgis was found guilty in 2014.
Ariet Girgis was killed in her Westminster home in September 2004. Her son, 17-year old Ryan Girgis, was home at the time of the attack. The young man told police that he was attacked and tied up in his bedroom by two black men, whom he later saw dragging his mother into the master bedroom. He was able to escape and contact authorities. But, when they arrived in the 14600 block of Plum Street, they found the 55-year old victim dead. An autopsy report for Ariet Girgis stated that she suffered multiple stab wounds and her throat was cut, according to the Daily Mail.
It appeared that the attack was part of a home invasion robbery, but the investigation concluded that this was not the case, since nothing of value was missing from the home. There was also a lack of blood evidence that pointed to outside killers. For a while, Ryan Girgis seemed like a likely suspect but was eventually ruled out. Both Richard and Ryan Girgis believed that their father had something to do with their mother’s murder. They told police that for years, their mother lived in fear and unhappiness because she felt neglected and was often beaten by Magdi.
Once detectives looked further into the couple’s background, they found that Magdi had been arrested for domestic violence and Ariet was ready to divorce him and move on with her life. This would have ruined Magdi by jeopardizing his job and his gated community home.
The case eventually went cold, and the boys moved away, losing contact with their father for the next eight years. During those eight years, Magdi Girgis moved back into his home and moved in a new lover. But, Ryan and Richard kept contacting police, so they wouldn’t forget about the case. By 2010, a new detective looked into the murder and had a shoestring tested for DNA evidence. That evidence came back a match to Anthony Edward Bridget—a gang member, who was incarcerated for another crime. Detectives set up a sting operation to capture Magdi admitting to the killing of his wife. The sting was successful and Magdi Girgis was finally arrested for hiring a hitman to kill his wife.
Ryan and Richard Girgis finally got the justice they deserved. The only thing they wanted to hear was how and why their father did it. The OC Register sums up the courtroom scene this way.
“Sobbing uncontrollably and looking at his dad, Richard Girgis, 32, asked again, ‘Why did you do it?’ as jurors filed out of Superior Court Judge Patrick Donahue’s courtroom. Moments later, one of the jurors also fought back tears as Richard Girgis gave them a thumbs-up and mouthed ‘Thank you.”‘
The OC Register continues that Richard Girgis stated the following.
“I am really happy that my mom got justice and our whole family got justice, but I still feel bad for him. I mean, he’s still our dad. But he did it, though, and everything that happened, he brought upon himself … and brought it all upon us.”
Watch this riveting case unfold tonight on Dateline NBC, which airs at 8/7 p.m. central. Yesterday, Dateline NBC debuted the case of Julie Griffith.
[Image via Domestic Violence Crime Watch/Facebook]