Yaser Abdel Said Egyptian dad goes on trial in Texas for murdering teen daughters, 16 & 17 in honor killing for being too American and dating a non Muslim.
Yaser Abdel Said, 65, an Egyptian-born cab driver lived with his family just north of Dallas, Texas, before allegedly shooting his daughters dead on New Years day in 2008.
The prosecution is not seeking death penalty against the Egyptian father but he would automatically receive a life sentence if convicted.
Yaser Abdel Said according to prosecutors shot dead 17-year-old Sarah and 18-year-old Amina, in his taxi after telling their father they were going out to eat on New Years Day 14 years ago.
‘Help, my dad shot me! I’m dying,’ Sarah could be heard in a 911 call she managed to make after she was shot. Investigators said Amina was killed instantly.
The teen girls sought to live the American Dream
It is widely speculated Said committed the honor killing – a practice where individuals are murdered for bringing perceived shame on their family – after he discovered Amina had a non-Muslim boyfriend and because he thought they were becoming ‘too American.’
Said immediately became the prime suspect, and when authorities raided the family’s home the next day he was nowhere to be found.
Said vanished after the murders and spent six years on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list according to the dailymail. The father was eventually found hiding out in Justin, Texas – barely 30 miles from the scene of the murder – where he had been being harbored by his son, Islam, who, at the time of the killings, was aged 19, and brother Yassein, who was approximately 45. Both relatives were arrested after the capture and are serving sentences in federal prison.
Speaking with The Dallas Morning News after the capture, Said’s former wife and the mother of the girls, Patricia Owens, said she thought it was possible her girls had been killed over in an honor killing but that she ultimately did not know the motivation.
‘My daughters were loving, caring, smart, loved everybody, would help anybody,’ Owens said, ‘They were two of the most awesome kids in the world, and they did not deserve what happened to them.’
Owens said her daughters had aspired to go to college and live the American Dream.
Prior to the fatal shootings, Said is alleged to have threatened to shoot Amina in the head when he found out about her boyfriend. Sarah reportedly told a friend her father had gone as far as to hold a gun to her Amina’s head while he threatened her.
Alleged ongoing abuse
The father is alleged to have abused his family as far back as 1998, when Owens and the girls signed an affidavit alleging he had sexually abused his daughters. Those charges were later dropped after the girls recanted their story because they said they didn’t want to be forced to relocate.
In the years following those allegations, friends of the girls reported they often saw them wit bruises on their bodies or witnessed Said being physically violent to his family.
The girls reportedly confided in friends that their father was obsessively controlling, and that they often feared he was surveilling them wherever they went.
In a home video recorded by Said, the girls are filmed in their bedroom while Said can be heard suggestively saying ‘Sarah sleeps with her pants? Mmm, very nice,’ and ‘Wow, look at those eyes. I got my eye on you.’
Owens divorced Said in 2009. She said she feared her ex-husband would turn up and kill her one day.
In 2011, while Said was still at large, Owens told The Dallas Morning News that she thought the killings could have been because of her ex-husband’s belief that the girls were shaming the family with their western ways.
‘He would say things like, ‘They’re becoming too American,” she said.