'My Son Killed My Wife And Daughter': Father Of Ħal-Għaxaq Killer Testifies In Court
The father opened up about the mother's relationship with her son and daughter
The father of the alleged killer behind the shocking double homicide in Ħal-Għaxaq has opened up about his relationship with the family, as well as the moment he realised something terrible had happened to his wife and daugter.
Last month, Joseph Bonnici was charged with the double homicide of his mother Marija Lourdes and his sister Angele, allegedly shooting them in the head, hitting them with a mallet, and burying their bodies in a nearby field. He is pleading not guilty to the charges.
Paul Bonnici, Joseph's father, himself in prison for murder, was given the right not to testify in the case of his son today. Bonnici refused, and said he wanted to testify.
When asked if he knew why he was being asked to testify, Bonnici said he was there "because of the case (my son) did". When prosecutors asked him what the case was, Bonnici replied: "according to what I heard in the news, that he killed my wife and daughter".
He went on to say that at 8:30am on Wednesday he had tried to call his wife on both her homeline as well as her mobile number. He also tried to call his daughter, though neither picked up.
He then called his own sister, to ask her to go and check up on them in their home; he said he thought they might have a damaged line or something.
Eventually, his son Joseph answered the phone, and he told him to go check his mother and sister at home. However, Joseph told him he was unable to enter their home, and Paul directed him to a door he could break to enter the home and see if anything happened.
Paul then told his son to go to the police to file a report. When asked by prosecutors as to why he would tell his son to go to police, Paul explained that he was afraid that "something happened to them and it was doing his head in".
When asked abut the relationship between the children, Paul said that Angele and Joseph got along well with each other. He also mentioned a time when his daughter Angele was dating someone and brought him home when she was just 13, before fighting with him, whereupon she began dating a man who was separated.
Joseph then began dating a woman who was separated who was also a friend of Angele's, and he recounted a time when he saw the woman nude at home as she was going for a shower.
Paul said he had warned Joseph about the woman being seperated, and Joseph eventually broke up with her for this reason. Eventually, this woman committed suicide, leading to extra emotional pressure on Joseph and the family.
He also said that Angele had once claimed that Joseph had raped her when she was young, with Paul saying he was surprised and asked her why she had never told him before.
Angele said she would report Joseph, and once said that she was going to get three hunters to beat up Joseph in a field one day.
When asked about the relationship between Joseph and Marija Lourdes, he said that Lourdes didn't like the seperated woman, and explained that Lourdes had said that the woman had stolen some items from their home.
He also noted that visits from his wife had diminished to about three times a year.
The shocking double murder made headlines around the island.
On 26th March at around 9pm, Bonnici tripped a circuit breaker, instantly switching off CCTV footage of the house. He then called his sister to help him fix the electric fault and shot her twice in the back of the head, with a gun he had manufactured himself, as she approached the garden door. When he realised she was still breathing, he smashed her head in with a mallet.
Bonnici then called his mother, using the short circuit excuse again, shot her once in the head and again used the mallet to finish her off.
Police believe he then placed his victims’ heads in garbage bags to prevent blood from trickling out and dragged them into the boot of his van. He then went to bed and pretended to be asleep as he waited for his girlfriend to return from work. When he was sure she was asleep, he loaded the bodies onto a cart he had built himself, drove them to a field in Gudja and buried them there, covering their bodies with lime to try and neutralise the smell.
When police found the bodies a few days later, the garbage bags were still tied around their heads, Angele’s legs were tied and Marija Lourdes had a small pouch containing €4,500 near her chest.