The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


October 10, 2000

What happened to Behrooz Nejad?

I have an interesting tale and a request for your assistance. My name is David McDonnell, I am a 35-year-old web developer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I have a story of one of my first martial arts instructors. An Iranian named Behrooz Nejad. He was living here in this area from 1979 til approx 1986(?).

The story is a sad one, but interesting nonetheless. You see, Behrooz came over with the Shah in 1979 after the revolution. He was a member of the Shah's elite guard, tasked with the Shah's protection. After arriving here, not needed in his former capacity, Behrooz settled in the St. Clairsville, Ohio.

He opened a karate school there, and in nearby Washington, PA, where I met him in the summer of 1981. I learned a great deal from him, and was overjoyed to see his story featured on a local TV news magazine show. That is shortly before things fell apart.

Behrooz often complained about his life being very easy and boring, lacking the excitement it once had. That was all about to change.

After a while, he stayed primarily in his local area teaching at the main school, and the Washington school was given to his top student in the Washington, PA area, a close friend of mine that I went to school with. We kept in close touch with our teacher Behrooz.

Things took a terrible turn. While on a business trip to Saudi Arabia, Behrooz was arrested for murder. You see, in addition to the schools and consulting work with the local sheriff's dept, Behrooz was also an arms dealer. I never bothered to ask whether this business of his was legitimate or not, quite frankly it did not matter to me. It was his life and he could do as he wished. I guess the man owed him a large sum of money.

We have often wondered what happened to Behrooz. Saudi Arabia has very strict laws regarding murder, usually beheading or firing squad.

Here's where my need for information comes in. I have often wondered what fate befell him, whether he was executed or if he was released, or serving a life sentence, etc. The murdered man's name was Shabani, he was approximately 47-years-old at the time of his murder.

Would you be able to help? I am trying to find the answer to these questions.

David McDonnell


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