'I hate life,' slain wife wrote in diary
Diary entries and letters dating back several years before Manjit Panghali was murdered paint a picture of a depressed wife and a woman struggling to keep her relationship from falling apart.
CTV News was allowed to examine the slain teacher's diary, pages that were introduced by Crown Counsel as evidence used in the case against her husband during her murder trial.
Her husband, Mukhtiar Panghali, is accused of strangling her to death and burning her body in 2006. He sits in jail as he waits for a judge to return her verdict next month.
The personal narrative reveals that Manjit was besieged with depression after the birth of her first child.
"I am writing today because I thought that I would never let myself get to this point. I am clinically depressed and on medication. I am so scared," she wrote. "My husband does not give me the support I need."
Manjit said her depression left her listless and lacking energy.
"I feel shattered, destroyed, crumbled. I want to drink, do drugs – do something that will lift me up."
The nervousness and fear isn't just about her mental health – she also describes these feelings when talking about the state of her marriage.
"We need to do some work on our marriage. We need to plan it in order that our relationship doesn't disintegrate. We need to do some work on this relationship."
An entry dated May 15, 2005, said Manjit would plan an event every Friday so she wouldn't be "waiting around for him."
"Go for dinner, walk on beach," she wrote.
But while some writings showed Manjit struggling to become more independent, others highlighted her desire to make her marriage work.
"I need to stay connected to him. Make him love me again," another entry said.
In videotaped interviews with police, Mukhtiar Panghali told officers his wife was upset that his brother Sukvhinder was staying in their home. His parents were planning on moving in too.
"I feel helpless," she writes. "I hate life. It's so hard to live in two cultures. He makes me feel so powerless, so hopeless, so scared."
Manjit wrote several letters to her husband and suggested he had a drinking problem.
"I once had no doubts about our lives together, my role in your life and our future, but now I am very scared about what the future holds for us," she wrote.
In a letter dated Feb. 15, she went on to say "We have struggled with many issues – sex, drugs, alcohol, colleagues, family."
Manjit also expressed her hesitation to have another child.
"I definitely don't want to bring another child in this chaos. The chaos can [simply] be you drink and I don't know how to cope. You let us down by not being around. You get upset and mean."
Calling him "dearest" a day later, she wrote "when you are ready and want to get some help you need to call AA by yourself."
In August 2006, Manjit detailed a relaxing trip to a Vancouver Island spa she took to celebrate her 31st birthday. Her only disappointment was the pregnancy test she brought with her that came back negative.
Test results a day after a camping trip to Cultus Lake with her husband came back with a positive result. She said the couple had been trying to conceive for nine months.
"I could not stop crying because I was so thrilled. I had bought [Mukhtiar] a card – he was very excited. We went for breakfast to celebrate."
Just two months after that entry, her badly burned body was found in Delta. Mukhtiar Panghali was charged with her murder five months later.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lisa Rossington