The murder of a mother and her daughter in Għaxaq last week is the third instance of bloodshed within the ill-fated family.

Joseph Bonnici, 38, of Għaxaq, was on Sunday charged with murdering his mother, Marie-Lourdes Bonnici, 70, and his sister, Angele, 29.

The prosecution said in court during his arraignment he had confessed to the double killing when being interrogated by the police and later also agreed to take investigators to the Gudja field where he had buried the two bodies. 

The grim discoveries were made early on Saturday.

The two had been reported missing the Wednesday before, having last been seen 24 hours earlier.

Paul Bonnici, the father of the accused, is serving a 31-year prison sentence after having been convicted of killing two neighbours 19 years ago.

Joseph Bonnici’s own grandfather had been shot dead in October 1978.

The 2000 double murder was the culmination of a long-standing dispute between the Bonnici family and their neighbours. 

Their regular arguments came to a head one day in May when Mr Bonnici Sr shot Joseph and Carmela Dalli outside their home. He then reloaded the gun and shot the two at point-blank range in the head, his trial had been told.

The grandfather’s murder occurred in the village of Kirkop, which was rocked by the mysterious shooting of father-of-nine Ġużeppi Callus, 57.

He was fatally shot in the chest while at his field. Hearing a gunshot, the victim’s wife, Antonia, rushed to his aid. 

Mr Callus, who was bleeding profusely, reportedly died in her arms.

The murder remains unsolved to this day and all investigators had been able to establish was that the murderer was likely to have hid among the trees and then shot Mr Callus from behind a tree. Antonia Callus had insisted her husband did not have any enemies and believed it was a heated political issue that had led to the murder.

Murder weapons found

TVM reported yesterday that the murder weapons used in last week's murder - a gun and a sledge hammer- had been found by the police. They were found in the civic amenity site in Ħal Far, which was temporarily closed while the search was carried out.

Both victims suffered gunshots and a blow to the head with the sledge hammer.

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