Sahel Kazemi / The Lover Who Murdered NFL’S “Air” McNair

Sahel Kazemi | Stephen LaTreal McNair 

sahel kazemi
Sahel Kazemi

Sahel Kazemi

Mariticide / Suicide

The Murder of Steve “Air” McNair

Crime Spree

July 4, 2009

Sahal Kazemi
Sahel Kazemi

Sahel Kazemi, known simply as Jenny to her friends, was an Iranian refuge. She had escaped Iran, at the age of nine, after her mother was murdered during a home invasion. Her documents reveal that she left Iran for Turkey, staying only a few years there, before arriving in the United States on August 29, 2002. She was just 13 years old at the time.

Sahel and her older sister Soheyla, who was now Sahel’s legal guardian, settled in Jacksonville, Florida. Sahel quickly acclimated herself to the life of a typical American teenager but, according to friends, Sahel got picked on in school and never really fit in.

By age 16, she ran off to Nashville Tennessee with a boyfriend in search of fortune and fame. She promised those she left behind that “she would be famous one day”. And, in certain circles, she is.

Who Was Sahal Kazemi

sahel kazemi
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In 2009, Dave & Buster’s restaurant was a very popular spot in Somewhere Tennessee. It was also the spot where Sahel Kazemi had found employment, new friends and met retired Tennisse Titan Steve “air” McNair.

bubbling pot of youthful hope and aspirations covered in black polos and name tags. They were in their teens and early 20s. They served food, jockeyed for tips and occasionally frequented the bars together when their shifts ended. emi

To this crew, Sahel Kazemi was known simply as “Jenni,” the pretty girl who smiled and joked around enough to melt an eight-hour shift into something far more bearable but who also spent a good amount of work time jabbering.

“She didn’t want to have any down time, time to be bored,” says Courtney Carter, a former co-worker and friend. “Even if she went out the previous night and had very little sleep, she came in with all this energy.

“She got on some people’s nerves because she was always joking about something. Sometimes, when you’re not having a good day, the last thing you want to hear is somebody super bubbly. [But] this was the first job I wanted to stay at because I really felt like the people I worked with were family. Everybody was so close. Jenni … I was probably closest to her.”

The place had its perks, too. There was a different energy when a local athlete or celebrity dropped by. Every waiter and waitress wanted to help because it always meant bigger tips, especially if it was a Tennessee Titan.

And Steve McNair had a definite generous streak in him. According to credit card receipts obtained through probate documents, McNair’s transactions often involved large tabs and tips that well exceeded 50 percent. One day in December 2008, before Christmas, the retired Titans quarterback plopped down in Kazemi’s area.

He never really left.

Stephen LaTreal McNair was an American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for 13 seasons. He retired in 2007.

Steve “Air” McNair led the Ravens to the playoffs. He took the Titans there too! Four times! He was the Titans’ all-time leading passer. He was selected to the Pro Bowl three times, he was All-Pro and Co-MVP as a Titan. By age 34, “Air” had lived the NFL dream all players strive for. Now, he was retired and he seemed to have it all.

On July 4, 2009, McNair was fatally shot to death by one of his lovers

Sahel Kazemi

Before the floods raged through Nashville this spring and the exit to the Opry Mills Mall was cordoned off by trucks and security in orange-and-yellow vests, Dave & Buster’s restaurant was a bubbling pot of youthful hope and aspirations covered in black polos and name tags. They were in their teens and early 20s. They served food, jockeyed for tips and occasionally frequented the bars together when their shifts ended.

Maybe it was somewhat endearing that Kazemi and her young crew weren’t awestruck by McNair. “We would be at lunch,” ex-roommate Emily Andrews says, “and they would come up [and say], ‘Thank you so much, we love you, Steve.’ I always thought it was over the top. But he was always that big of a deal.”

Before McNair, Kazemi prided herself on her independence, that she would work two jobs to pay her bills, that she left Jacksonville and never looked back. But by May 2009, it was clear that attitude had shifted. She was working less, and depending more on McNair. He put a down payment on a Cadillac Escalade for her. She got swallowed up in the massive payments.

Andrews sat her friend down, said she was worried, told her she was creating a lifestyle that wasn’t secure. Jenni didn’t want to hear it. Andrews asked her what she wanted to do with her life. Kazemi didn’t know.

Long before July 4, Kazemi was skeptical that McNair would be part of her future. She spotted another woman leaving the condo in June and followed her. She told her friends she felt foolish and embarrassed.

But it was clear Kazemi couldn’t get McNair out of her head. In late June, she poured her heart out to a customer at Dave & Busters, telling a complete stranger about her affair.

She began to see other men that summer, but her heart always led her back to McNair. She called her sister Azadeh in Australia. You know that Britney Spears song “Womanizer”? she asked. That song reminded her of Steve.

“She was cheating, too,” Azadeh says. “She said, ‘I was faithful to him. If he’s going to do that, I’m going to do the same.'”

The Final Day

The last hours of Kazemi’s life are well-documented with the help of more than 200 pages of interviews, search warrants and text messages provided by the Nashville Police Department. Baby I might have a break down Im so stressed, she texted McNair at 10:05 on the morning of July 3.

Eight hours earlier, she was far more cryptic. Im gonna have all of u soon.

She called a handful of friends that day, making Fourth of July plans that wouldn’t be kept. She tried to sell some furniture on craigslist, went to work and clocked out early, and texted McNair that she had to be with him that night.

One of her final calls was to Lakresia Polite, a friend she had planned on going out with that night. Polite said that she was in Memphis and that she couldn’t go out.

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Sources: Wikipedia | |

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