Four Identified In Chicago Suburb Mass Murder

A suburban Chicago man was arraigned on four counts of first-degree murder last week after allegedly killing his wife and three grown daughters after a family argument in their Tinley Park home on Sunday, January 21, the Associated Press reported.

Maher Kassem, 63, made his first appearance in court on January 23 where the judge ordered him detained without bail until his February 16 hearing.

According to police, Kassem fatally shot his wife Majeda Kassem, 53, and his three daughters, 25-year-old twins Zahia and Helema, and 24-year-old Hanan. The Kassems also had two adult sons.

Prosecutors told the court last Tuesday that the family dispute was about money. The Kassem’s 19-year-old son was home at the time and witnessed some of the events.

According to prosecutors, Maher Kassem shot each of his three daughters in the head. His wife Majeda had been shot multiple times.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Kasem’s public defender Daniel Johnson had requested that his client be released on house arrest under electronic monitoring.

However, in ordering Kassem’s remand, Cook County Judge Linzey Jones described him as a risk to public safety and to the 19-year-old son who still lived at home, suggesting that if he obtained a firearm again, “there’s no telling who he might shoot.”

According to prosecutors, Kassem allegedly called the police to report that someone had been shot at his home. When officers arrived at the residence, they found the bodies of the four women on the lower level.

Kassem was taken into custody and the firearm believed to be used in the killings was later recovered.

Kassem allegedly made multiple comments implicating himself to police, including telling officers, “I’m going to jail,” according to prosecutors.

In a January 23 statement, Tinley Park Mayor Michael Glotz expressed deep sadness over the tragedy, describing the murders as “an act of senseless domestic violence.”

Funeral services for the four were held last Tuesday in a local mosque. The Kassem family were Muslims of Palestinian descent.