Tinley Park father Maher Kassem shot and killed his wife and three daughters in the basement of their home during a furious argument over finances, telling police afterwards ‘the money hungry b***h pushed me to do it.’
Kassem, 63, told police he had recently retired after working ‘his whole life’ to give his family a ‘better home’. He said he felt unappreciated by his wife Majeda and daughters Halema and Zahia, 25, and Hanan, 24.
He told police his wife was ‘worried about money and where she could take it’, and complained: ’45 years, 45 years… I worked 45 years and she treated me like a f*****g dog.’
The family is believed to have owned a liquor store in the neighborhood.
On Sunday morning, his 19-year-old son heard the argument and his father stomping up and down the stairs from the basement.
Maher Kassem has been charged with three counts of murder for killing wife Majeda and daughters Zahia and Halema, 25, and Hanan, 24
Halema and Zahia Kassem, 25, were killed yesterday in their home in Tinley Park along with their mother and younger sister
After hearing the first gunshots, the son rushed down to the basement where he saw his sisters’ bodies lying on the ground.
He then watched his father shoot his mother seven times.
All three daughters were shot in the head. One was also shot in the back, with the bullet exiting her body through her chin.
Maher then phoned 911, telling them has wife ‘had been shot’, but not admitting to carrying out the killings himself.
Once police were at the scene, he gave more details, telling them: ‘I am the only one… I am going to jail.’
Thirteen shell casings were found at the scene along with two weapons – a .38mm revolver and a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.
The pistol was found under the living room coffee table lying next to an empty magazine.
The .38mm revolver was found behind a couch pillow, with four spent shell casings in the cylinder and two live rounds.
According to prosecutors, the argument was initially between Maher and one of his 25-year-old daughters.
Kassem told police he worked his ‘whole life’ to give his family a better home but was treated ‘like a dog’ by them
The other daughters and wife later became involved and had been telling him to ‘calm down’ when he exploded.
The devout Muslim family is now being mourned by the community.
Maher Kassem, 63, has been charged with the murders of his wife and three daughters
A friend and former colleague of Zahia told DailyMail..com she had confided in her in the past about her ‘mentally ill’ father.
Friends say the family were devout Muslims who and Palestinian activists. Zahia, who also went by Zee, had recently visited Mecca.
Their mother Majeda devoted her life to ‘family and religion’, according to a fundraising site dedicated to completing a mosque in Mali in the family’s memory.
Hanan, 24, was a speech pathology student, according to her friends.
‘She was always a helping hand and had her special way of making people feel like they belong. She was always so thoughtful and considerate with her supportive words.
‘Her heart held a special place for her family, and she will be deeply missed,’ a friend said in the mosque fundraising effort.
Friends of Halema, Zahia, Hannan and Majeda Kassem who were killed on Sunday, bring flowers and candles to the side of Kassem’s house, on Monday January 22, 2024
Flowers left outside the home in Tinley Park on January 22nd