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Thursday
Jul092009

Supersports star Succumbs to Murder-Suicide By Mistress

While star football player Steve McNair lay on the couch presumably asleep, his 20-year- old lover, Sahel Kazemi, shot him in the head and chest. She then unloaded a bullet into his temple again –and then into her own.

Why would she do it? Kazemi’s psychological state seems clear to me: she suspects the already-married man of having an affair with another woman and reneging on his promise to marry her, thereby deflating her dream of being rescued financially and emotionally. So, the distraught and threatened mistress decides, “If I can’t have him, no woman can.”

As she positions herself next to his dead body on the couch, and proceeds to shoot herself, she can assert, “You’re mine forever” and “We’re together happily ever ever.”

The Police Chief on the case – making quite a psychological analysis – said that Sahel Kazemi felt her life was “spinning out of control” in the face of mounting debts and the threat of rejection.

Indeed, psychologically the young waitress – having met the superstar sportsman only six months before – must have convinced herself that the father-of-four was going to leave his 12 year marriage for her.

She did have something to go on: The quarterback had gone to dinner with her family – an act often culturally considered a significant sign of commitment. He’d also taken her to his family farm in Mississippi, and on trips as far away as Las Vegas, California, and even (romantic) Hawaii. Further, he had given her a Cadillac Escalade sports utility vehicle for her birthday. Between the romantic trips and the fancy gifts, Kazemi could have seen her lover as her savior. Snaring a wealthy star and powerful man, she could have anticipated that all her problems would be solved. Big mistake; after all, she was apparently responsible to make the car payments.

Even if a man leads a woman on, a mistress who believes such promises is often deluding herself, unless she has proof. Kazemi was already making plans to move in with her paramour -- too presumptuous.

Four shots are overkill – a sign of anger. The more shots in the more places, the more the anger.

Estimates are that murder suicides constitute between1,000 to1,500 deaths per year in the US, mostly between spouses or intimate partners with an overwhelming number of cases being male-on-female. Over 90% involve guns. Murder-suicide perpetrators differ from those who just murder in that the former are more males. Predictors are : access to a gun, a male partner older than the female partner, a break-up or pending break-up, financial problems, depression and suicidal ideation by the perpetrator, and a history of substance abuse and battering,

McNair’s mistress fits the first five criteria, and possibly indulged in the sixth. .

Alcohol may also have played a role. After all, Kazemi had been arrested for a DUI. Perhaps drugs were even involved, as Kazemi even told an officer in that DUI arrest that she was not drunk, she was high.

Murder-suicide by a female reminds me of the tragic case of the “Saturday Night Live” alum, Phil Hartman, whose wife shot him (possibly in a drug-fueled fit of anger) and then shot herself. Hartman was found shot in a similarly restful pose, on the bed.

McNair, the NFL 2003 MVP, was called “indestructible and tough,” but his slaying by his distraught girlfriend supports the saying, “never underestimate the power of a woman scorned.”

Catching him asleep shows the spurned mistress just might shoot you when you are defenseless. What a tragic way for a quarterback to get sacked.

Sadly, while the football hero might have shown good judgment about to whom to throw his passes on the field, he did not show the same good judgment in his love life by hooking up with a so-much younger, and evidently emotionally fragile, female. Perhaps he needed to feel that much more powerful than his partners. Reportedly, Kazemi had been open about threats of suicide previous to her dramatic acting out.

The Police Chief said that the dejected woman, an Iranian immigrant, had told a friend on Friday that "My life is a ball of s--- and I should end it."

Where a person shoots another is also indicative. Kazemi first shot her lover in the head – a sure shot to kill. Then she shot twice again, this time in his heart – possibly because that’s the place (the heart) where she’s hurting, and also symbolic of how heartless she feels he is towards her.

Then she shoots him in the temple again, symbolic of how her own mind is blown over all this. And then she really blows her own mind.

Before shooting herself, according to the Police Chief report, Kazemi sat next to her lover’s body trying to “stage it so she would fall in his lap" – a sign of her fantasy of a cozy scene, and of being taken care of.

But her body slid to the floor and ended up at McNair's feet -- ironic, and consistent with idolization of the man she couldn’t have.

Another tragic part of this story: apparently McNair’s widow did not know about the affair. How sad that wives are left in the dark when their husbands carry on, buy extravagant gifts for a mistress, and have a separate apartment where they can meet a lover. This tragedy provides lessons: Be careful with whom you hook up; evaluate their emotional state if you break up to be sure they won’t be so shaken up they would fall apart at the least or be violent at the worst. For those in relationships: look for signs of infidelity and trust your suspicions unless proven otherwise.

I can only hope that McNair’s widow is getting a great deal of support and love from family and friends as it will likely take a very long time to recover from this trauma, to reconcile thoughts like “How could I not have known?” and to calm her fury at her husband for shaming and betraying her.

 

Rescources:

http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=4313821

http://www.oxfordjournals.org/our_journals/btcint/

http://hsx.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/13/2/99

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder-suicide

Image:

Steve McNair and Mechelle Cartwright McNair at their 1997 wedding (AP Photo/The Vicksburg Post, Barry Beard)

 

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