Were Shamima and Golamrabbi murdered because they didn’t approve of the sexual orientation of their oldest son, Hasib Bin Golamrabbi? It seems so senseless, yet friends of the victims say that it’s the motive. They described Hasib as “soft and gentle.” It is a shock to those who knew the Rabbis, a California couple who lived a good life on a quiet cul-de-sac. Golam Rabbi, 59, was an engineer. He was shot 12 times. Shamima Rabbi, 57, was an accountant. She was shot once in the head.
According to the family, Hasib called relatives at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, April 24, to say that he and his brother were away at a convention and had not been able to reach their parents. The family went to the home but they wouldn’t respond. They went inside and found the bodies of Shamima and Golam Rabbi. After that, the brothers did not answer their phones. Later that day, Omar, Hasib’s brother, finally returned phone calls and was interviewed by police. He said his brother had dropped him off near their home and then left. Originally, Omar was not considered a suspect. They finally caught up with Hasib on Wednesday and both brothers were arrested that day.
Hasib, 22, had told authorities that a stranger had forced him to shoot his father. When authorities interviewed Hasib’s younger brother, Omar, 17, there was no mention of a stranger. Omar said that after Hasib killed their father in the garage, he closed the curtains and Hasib killed their mother. He said that Hasib told him to go to the garage to make sure there was no blood seeping out. The brothers then went to an anime convention in Oakland for the weekend.
According to police, Hasib admitted later that he had killed his father but not his mother. Now Hasib takes blame for both murders, insisting his brother had nothing to do with it, according to CBS News. He told a news reporter from jail that he wanted to tell everything.
“I want everyone to know what happened, but I can’t say anything without a lawyer.”
The Rabbis had moved to America from Bangladesh 30 years ago. They were active in the Bangladeshi community and supported other Bangladeshis who had emigrated to the U.S. “They not only brought us here, they also brought us food and shelter, at least until we found our means to survive,” said Rabbi’s 37-year-old nephew, Golam Mustakim.
Messages in black marker were scrawled on the walls and floors of the Golam Rabbi home near their bodies. Investigators found that the writing was consistent with that of Omar when they compared them to one of his notebooks. The messages appear to be an attempt to throw off police.
“Sorry, my first kill was clumsy.”
“Take care of your brother or he’s next.”
Both brothers have been charged with murder and each have entered pleas of not guilty, according to Santa Clara County district attorney’s office spokesman Sean Webby. Omar Golam Rabbi, 17, has been charged as an adult. On Friday, as the brothers were being arraigned, family and friends of the Rabbis attended their funeral to honor their loved ones.
According to NBC News, there is no mention of Hasib’s sexual orientation in the court documents, but another message at the scene may have been too transparent. It leads to speculation that the motivation was indeed related to Hasib’s sexual orientation.
“I can’t be like you, telling a lie. I can’t love someone without telling them.”
The brothers are being held without bail. They will be in court again on May 9.
[Photo via San Jose Police Dept]