Obviously, the details will end up shaking themselves out in the coming days and weeks, but the past 24 hours have seen a confusing mess of conflicting details regarding the murder of Steve McNair and the as-yet-unclassified death of Sahel Kazemi.
Many high profile murder-suicides (if that’s what this is) tend to feature troubled, unhappy relationships and disturbed individuals (think Chris Benoit or Phil & Brynn Hartman). But if Sahel Kazemi’s family is to be believed, nothing could be further from that profile. That leaves one possibility, in the family’s mind: there must have been a third person involved.
Sahel Kazemi’s niece/sister (technically niece, but they were raised as sisters), Sepideh Salmani, spoke to the TENNESSEAN to defend her family member:
The sister of Sahel Kazemi says she was a young woman who wanted to have fun and couldn’t have hurt anyone - not herself, nor anyone else. Kazemi was actually the aunt of Sepideh Salmani, but they were raised as sisters. Salmani’s mother adopted her when she was 9, after Kazemi’s mother was killed in their native Iran. Salmani talked to her sister every day, and said she was very happy in her relationship with Steve McNair. She doesn’t believe her sister killed McNair, or herself.
“She was one, young girl who had so many dreams that they never came true,” Salmani said. “She would never kill anyone, ever. Or anything. Not even a little bug. I want people to know that.”
“All she was trying to do was have fun,” Salmani said. “Nothing else. I believe there is a third person involved.”
On the face of it, this is hardly the picture of a woman who would kill her boyfriend (and potential ticket to fame and fortune). But until we know more details, it’s unfair to come to any sort of conclusion either way. It would be unfortunate to convict Kazemi in the court of public opinion before the details emerge. But if the family believes there was another party involved in this tragedy, it might be a good idea for the Nashville Police to start asking the questions instead of the newspaper.