New Documentary Offers Fresh Look At Chapel Hill Triple Murder

Mar 3, 2020

File photo of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu Salha and Razan Abu Salha.
Credit Our Three Winners

What is the definition of a hate crime? The new documentary “Anatomy of Hate,” explores that question through the events of the horrific triple murder in Chapel Hill on Feb. 10, 2015.

Craig Hicks, a white man, murdered three of his neighbors, all Muslim, in their Chapel Hill area condominium community. While the Chapel Hill police initially characterized the motive behind the shootings as a parking dispute, the victims’ families demanded it be called an Islamaphobic hate crime, and the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter trended nationally on social media.

In June 2019, Craig Hicks was sentenced to life without parole for the murder of Razan Abu-Salha, her sister Yusor Abu-Salha, and Yusor’s husband, Deah Barakat. The murders failed to reach the legal standard of a federal hate crime. Host Frank Stasio speaks with the documentary’s director, Emily Kassie, about the film, the case and and the lessons learned from this tragedy. Plus, Farris Barakat, Deah’s brother and executive director of The Light House Project, a nonprofit launched by the Barakat family, discusses the film’s resonance in the local Islamic community and the ways in which the victims’ legacies are carried on today. The Light House Project’s annual fundraiser is Sunday, March 8 at N.C. State’s Stewart Theater.