Was the Death of Fatimah Abdallah an Honor Killing?
Did an honor killing occur on August 17, 2009, in Tampa? Could there have been a cover up by authorities?
These are the kinds of questions people in Tampa are asking about the death of Fatimah Abdallah, a 48 year-old woman, who was divorced by her husband, because she did not bear him children.
Tampa Police seem to have bought the story relatives tell that Fatima Abdallah killed herself by “repeatedly slamming her head onto a coffee table and the tile floor”.
However, Tampa Rescue said she looked like someone beat her up and disagree that she could have killed herself in that manner. In addition to head, face and lip injuries, she had several fractured lower ribs and hemorrhaging in that area, which is consistent with cases of blunt trauma to the rib cage.
Moreover, the victim died in the home of her brother, Muhammad Abdullah Hmeid. According to Private Investigator Bill Warner, her brother has "aggravated battery, deadly weapon priors", which should have raised some alarm bells.
Finally, family members waited nearly 2 ½ hours before calling 911. (Why wouldn't they contact authorities immediately?)
Despite these contradictions, the Hillsborough Medical Examiner ruled that Fatimah Abdallah's death in August of 2009 was an accident. The ME ruled that during an argument with her mother, Fatimah Abdallah threw herself to the floor, smashed her face into a coffee table, and died from the resulting brain hemorrhage.
The case would probably have quickly disappeared if it has not been for the Florida Family Association and its director, David Caton, who hired a Private Investigator. As a result, according to its website, the organization uncovered the following errors in the police investigation:
- The Tampa Police Department:
- Did not catch the fact that Muhammad called 911 dispatch and not his brother Ali as the TPD report states.
- Did not catch the fact that Muhammad told 911 dispatch a different version of what happened to Fatima than he told detectives on the scene.
- Relied upon a family member instead of an independent translator to translate the account of the only alleged witness to Fatima’s death. That witness left the country just days after Fatima died.
- Did not verify the travel of one of Fatima’s brothers from Ft. Myers to Tampa, which was the assumed reason for the 2 ½ hour delay before anyone in the family called 911.
- Did not properly account or resolve how Fatima’s lower right ribs 4 thru 9 were broken and other injuries were sustained to her face and mouth.
- Did not fully investigate or identify blood evidence on a large shirt, floor and stairs.
- Did not interview neighbors.
- General Offense report completed by various police personnel qualified the Cause of Death as “Homicide” and “Undetermined” and “Unexplained” but was reclassified to “Accident” by Medical Examiner.
- The Medical Examiner:
- Final determination of Cause of Death that the “Decedent fell and struck her head” is inconsistent with the Tampa Police Department General Offense Report and 911 dispatch detail descriptions of the death.
- Determined the fracture of right ribs 4 thru 9 was due to CPR even though these ribs do not come into play during CPR and even though Tampa Rescue states that they did not perform CPR.
The following news story gives more information on the case:
Muslim woman's death questioned by conservative activist
By Warren Elly, FOX 13 News
TAMPA - The police evidence photo shows Fatima Abdallah's lifeless body on her brother's new Tampa living room floor. She lived there in a gated subdivision, a private investigator says, with three other Muslim families, shunned and divorced because she could not produce children.
Conservative activist David Caton says he knows what it was.
"This was what you would call an honor killing," he said.
Acting on neighbor tips and the private eye's work, Caton, of the Florida Families Association is pushing police to reopen the case, insisting Abdallah died because her family believed she had dishonored them under Islamic law.
"She was divorced," Caton says, "because she could not have children and was shunned and kept private into the family, was not allowed to leave or go places."
You can visit the Florida Families Association website to learn more about the case. If you go there, you can read the letter asking for the case to be revisited that has been sent to Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, State Attorney Mark Ober, and the Tampa City Council: http://floridafamily.org/full_article.php?article_no=49
You can also go to Private Investigator Bill Warner’s website to learn about the case from his point-of-view: http://pibillwarner.wordpress.com/2011/05/21/tampa-muslim-fatima-abdallah-kills-herself-by-smashing-face-on-tile-floor-she-lived-with-brother-muhammed-hmeid-he-has-priors-aggravated-battery-deadly-weapon-wth/