Murder of a football star

(Note: According to AP story linked below, Sahel Kazemi was not Muslim but Bahai.)

On July 5, Roland D. sent a story from the July 4 New York Daily News, “Former NFL quarterback Steve McNair found shot dead in Nashville,” and added:

Just the facts—nothing remarkable, happens all the time.

I replied:

We don’t know what happened yet. I read it in the NY Post earlier today. They said murder-suicide was one possibility. But interestingly the News story says police are not looking for another suspect at this time, which suggests they believe it’s murder-suicide.

Meaning his 20 year old girl friend killed him then killed herself? Why? He was about to dump her?

I read in Post about his long drive in the 2000 Superbowl falling just a yard short of tying the game.

Roland replied:

“Meaning his 20 year old girl friend killed him then killed herself? Why? He was about to dump her?”

That seems to be the implication. I was rather more struck by the matter-of-fact reporting that he was married with four children, yet was “dating” this Miss Kazemi, and was “a great leader,” etc.

This morning the New York Times had this story:

Police Say Woman Found With McNair Bought Gun

The Nashville police confirmed Monday night that the handgun found in the apartment where Steve McNair was found shot to death Saturday was purchased Thursday by Sahel Kazemi, the 20-year-old woman who was found dead alongside him.

The police spokesman Don Aaron said that Kazemi bought the gun Thursday night from someone he did not name.

So it certainly look as though Kazemi murdered McNair, who was black, and then killed herself. What other reason could there be except that she feared he was about to end the relationship and she couldn’t stand that?

The story is unusual in that here, for once, a Caucasian murdered a Negro instead of the other way around. But Kazemi was Iranian, and presumably Muslim. So the moral seems to be that while blacks commit many times more murder than other races, even blacks had better beware of treating Muslims lightly.

Joking aside, in relationship murders, race is less of a factor than in stranger murders. From watching such cable TV shows as Snapped and Forensic Files, which are all about relationship murders, mainly those done out of motives of the most cold-blooded selfishness (a typical scenario is: woman or man gets tired of her or his husband or wife, and kills him or her to get his or her life insurance), I’ve learned that in this country, middle class white men and women are killing each other with impressive frequency.

* * *

Here’s a white idiot named Tim Worstall, writing at a New York oriented website called, who, even though he assumes that Sahel murdered McNair, nevertheless calls her a “victim.” But look at the photo of her, which Worstall has copied from her MySpace page, meaning that it’s a photo that she chose to express what she’s like. And all of 20 years old. Yep. It looks as though the 36 year old football great met his match.

Sahel Kazemi, victim?

Even in a more mild and perhaps pretty photo of Sahel, there is a glint in her eye and a set, remorseless expression about her mouth and her entire face that, to my mind, makes her look dangerous and capable of murder.


In fact, there is something in the unyielding expression of Sahel’s face that reminds me of Mazoltuv Borukhova, the Jewish internist from the former Soviet Union who had her husband shot dead in front of their daughter at a Queens playground:

Mazoltuv Borukhova

And here’s a discussion webpage called Puggal News with this. It’s poorly written but has a lot of information on Sahel:

Sahel Kazemi, who was found dead on Saturday with Steve McNair, have Iranian descent. In an interview, her sister Soheyla Kazemi said, Sahel expected McNair to leave his wife in the next two or three weeks and eventually marry her. Soheyla also said that, Sahel lived in Jacksonville for three years. Sahel attended Orange Park High School and then moved to Nashville, Tenn, after dropping out from the school. Soheyla said, her sister moved to Nashville with her former boyfriend, Keith Norfleet.

Soheyla said she raised Sahel since their mom’s death in Iran 10 years ago. She said, their family left Iran and moved to Turkey. She said they were moved to Jacksonville in 2002 from Turkey.

According to Sehal’s 23-year-old niece, Sepide Salmani, Sehal was a self-determined girl and did things in her own way. She also said that, Soheyla is not willing to move to the US but Sehal didn’t ask for permission. About Sahel’s move to Nashville, Salmani said,

“We didn’t know until she had her things packed and said she was leaving,”

Her relatives known her as a party girl and so friendly. About Sahel, Soheyla said,

“She was scared to be alone and she always wanted people around.”

Soheyla said, she used to chat with Sahel through Facebook. Sahel worked as a waitress in Dave & Busters for two years. She also said, Sahel told her about her affair with a married ex-football player and she is going to marry him very soon.

Soheyla said she met McNair in Nashville, a month ago in Sahel’s 20th birthday party. About McNair, Soheyla said,

“He was nice and he did everything for my daughter.” [LA replies: Maybe because Soheyla was much older and raised Sahel she refers to her as her daughter.]

Soheyla said she got aware of their deaths while checking her Yahoo mail on Saturday. She said it was stated that McNair was found dead with an unidentified woman and she knew that it was Sehal and soon police contacted her.

The discussion on the page is a stand-off between those who blame Sahel:

well, she was a whore home wrecker someone in her family should have talked to her about dating a married man and foolishly thinking he would leave his WIFE

and those who blame McNair:

Why are you solely blaming her? If he kept to his wife he wouldn’t be dead. Takes two to have a relationship. Plus this girl was 20, a child, not even old enough to drink legally. McNair was a grown man. If anyone is to blame it is him.

And then, reliably, there are the non-judgmental ones who call the murder-suicide a “tragedy” and a “mistake”:

You people are heartless. I can’t believe how judgemental some of you are. You better hope God doesn’t judge you that harshly when you come before him. People make mistakes. 2 HUMAN BEINGS are DEAD and you sit on your high horse and call that little girl a whore, loser, home-wrecker?!? Get a hold of yourselves. This is tragic and I pray not only for the victims and their famalies, but for you cruel judgemental people out there.

The liberal idiocy of the commenter speaks for itself. But now look at the photo of Sahel on the page, at the edgy attitude expressed in her posture, the tilt of her head. That is no child. That is a formidable woman who means business.

Sahel Kazemi

- end of initial entry -

David B. writes:

I have been following the McNair-Kazemi murder case. Steve McNair lived near my brother and was very popular in the Nashville area. I agree with your analysis.

The woman in question obviously thought McNair was going to divorce his wife and marry her. He may have led Kazemi to believe this. The lesson is that it can be fatal for a man to trifle with a Muslim woman. The result was Kazemi shooting Steve McNair four times and then shooting herself in the head, a murder-suicide.

Nicole Brown was murdered because she got involved with, and stayed with, the wrong kind of man. Steve McNair was murdered by consorting with a potentially dangerous woman he should not have been with. Both would have lived if they had conducted themselves in a “Traditional” manner.

Stephen T. writes:

What strikes me most about the details of this case is the somewhat separate universe these famous athletes—and their entourage of male groupies/hangers-on—occupy from that of most people. And I’m not talking about the statistical odds that the average 36-yr old married working stiff would be able to walk into a bar and pull a 20-yr old hot-but-deadly like Sahel. Consider that McNair and his Trophy Girl were found dead in a blood-spattered condo by one of McNair’s friends, who shared the lease on the condo with McNair. (But don’t ALL us middle-aged guys keep an expensive condo that we don’t live in, leased with another middle-aged guy friend of ours who also doesn’t live there? I know I certainly do!) Now … if you walked into that condo and found this friend of yours and a young woman dead on the floor with a gun lying between them, not being a law enforcement pro accustomed to such startling sights, or an emergency paramedic who could determine their actual medical state at that moment, wouldn’t your first instinct be (if not to run screaming into the street) to hit 9-1-1 on the cellphone and summon the police and/or an ambulance? If so, you’re not a well-trained, rich & famous NFL “friend”/hanger-on! McNair’s buddy instead spent some time alone in the condo without informing anyone, gathering his thoughts, I guess. (“Stay cool, focus, let’s not overreact, what was the name of that attorney downtown I’m always supposed to call if anything like this happens?”) After some yet undetermined interval, he ultimately picked up the phone and called—no, still not the cops or the paramedics—but yet another friend/hanger-on of McNair’s! (“Yeah, that was some party wasn’t it? Did you see that blonde? Listen, dude, don’t freak out, but…”) Then he sat down, perhaps in the same room with the bodies, and bided his time until the other friend drove across town to the condo. Then the two of them spent the better part of three quarters of an hour in the condo with two murder victims, STILL not informing anyone, perhaps busying themselves, with, who knows, straightening things up, removing evidence that might make Mr Big look bad, whatever. (“Move the gun a little closer to the b#*ch, man.”) Then, at long last, when all other imperatives had been taken care of (per the Al Cowlings Home Study Course) they finally called 9-1-1 and in some degree of understatement reported: “an injured person.”

David B. writes:

Mike Lupica blames Steve McNair’s death on the “American Gun Culture.”

LA replies:

I was going to say something, but it wasn’t appropriate for the host of such an elevated blog as this, so I must refrain.

James N. writes:

David B said, “the lesson is that it can be fatal for a man to trifle with a Muslim woman.”

Murders, suicides, and violent assaults arising out of the sexual behavior of “consenting adults” are very, very common. This is a particular interest of mine, since the actual motivations for these crimes (adultery, alienation of affection, fornication, and obtaining sexual favors under false pretenses) are usually not mentioned in contemporary news articles.

That is because the “consenting adults” rationale is supposed to be all that is required to justify any behavior. Young people growing up are acculturated to suppress their entirely normal feelings of sexual jealousy and the rage of betrayal, because those feelings are uncool and unhip. “Breaking up” is supposed to be normal, “getting over it” is supposed to be what grownups do.

Of course, it is not normal to the human person to have the sexual bond, one of the strongest to our species, unilaterally dissolved without experiencing strong feelings, sometimes overwhelming feelings. No healthy society looks on these matters as trivial, In most normal cultures, adultery and alienation of affection are crimes, and obtaining sexual favors by promise of marriage is rape.

The suppression and denial of these healthy, normal, human feelings leads to much mischief. I wonder how much “domestic violence” results from provocation of sexual jealousy.

In any event, David, it’s not really a Muslim story, or a black story. It’s a human story, and one which we ignore at our peril.

LA writes:

There is a lot in James N.’s comment. I’m still trying to take it all in.

Robert C. writes:

Regarding the “Murder of a football star” post, you and your commenters have been assuming that Miss Kazemi was Muslim. However, according to this AP story, she was not:

“Kazemi was born in Iran but left in 2000, fleeing religious persecution for their Baha’i faith, Abdi said. They spent 2 1/2 years in Turkey before moving to Florida.”

LA replies:

Thanks for this information. So, thanks to U.S. immigration policy, we have what’s most likely another diversity first: a Bahai-on-black murder-suicide.

Kristor writes:

Have been struck by the McNair story, vis-a-vis the Michael Jackson hoopla. And Sanford, of course. The thing that keeps running through my mind about all these events is, “The wages of sin is death.” I mean, we all die. But the more whacked our morals, the sooner we are likely to buy the farm.

I thought James N.’s comment in the thread on McNair was spot on. Laura Wood might have written it. Made me realize I know nothing about the old laws covering sex. “Alienation of affection?” “Obtaining sexual favors by promise of marriage?” What are those? Such a child of the ’60s I am. I wish that I could see James N. and Laura Wood exploring those old laws in a dialogue. I bet I’d learn a lot. I would like to hear more from James N. If this is a special interest of his, no doubt he has had some interesting thoughts on the subject.

Thanks, Lawrence, for being the pipeline feeding a ton of new and unexpected and useful stuff directly into my head. What a commentariat has VFR! Truly extraordinary.

July 8

James N. writes:

Wow! Props from Kristor! I’m really making (intellectual) progress!

I’m afraid I’m not really in Kristor’s league, and Laura W. is my teacher, not my peer. I wish I had more time to think and to write about this stuff, but between work and family, there’s very little time available.

I was born in 1950, so I grew up part of the way in the Lost World, where divorce was very difficult, adultery was illegal (and had consequences), and there were a whole range of laws about various aspects of sexual behavior. The one I remember best was the New York statutory rape law (I went to an all men’s college in farm country, surrounded by farmer’s daughters). The young man’s way of describing the law was “Fifteen (years old) will get you twenty (years in jail)”, and yes, 18 and 19 year old men really DID go to State Prison for stealing the virtue of 15 year old girls,

All the sex laws were swept away in the chaos of “the sixties”, although most of the legislating and judicial lawmaking actually took place after 1970. The most famous Supreme Court case in 1973 was Roe v. Wade, but the same Court in the same year (in Gomez v. Perez) overturned 1000 years of common law tradition by ruling that the principle “bastards have no fathers” was so irrational as to be a violation of the Constitution.

It would take days to dissect all the laws which arose through the accretion of human folly and human wisdom regarding matters sexual. The point is, of course, that liberal rational calculation and the use of law as a positive instrument to remake humanity may change behavior (and boy, has behavior changed), but it cannot change the human heart.

The result, in our sexual Stalingrad, is carnage, and that’s what took the life of Steve McNair.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at July 07, 2009 08:45 AM | Send

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