GINTA – Stories of heartbreak: why domestic violence is an urgent issue

TO THE OUTSIDE WORLD, Elana Fric and Mohammed Shamji were a couple in love, married for over a decade, children and all, each with a great career.

But the truth of their relationship was marred by darkness, the kind that makes people shudder when they look closely. Unfortunately, few could, given that their carefully curated (by Shamji) social media profiles displaying a happy-go-lucky family and couple life.

On November 30, 2016, Dr. Fric was brutally attacked and killed by her husband of 12 years, two days after serving him divorce papers. Their three children were just meters away in the house, but that did not stop him. Nor did the crime prevent him from going to work the next day and performing surgeries — or lying about his wife’s whereabouts (whose remains he put in a suitcase and dumped near a river 35 km away from Toronto).

Shamji was arrested the next day and, in April of this year, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, with a sentence to be delivered in the next month.


Daniela Ginta is a mother, scientist, writer and blogger. She can be reached at, or through her blog at

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