NASHVILLE -- They gathered in a parking lot long past nightfall, after the last karaoke singer stumbled over the final note and the signs flipped to CLOSED. It was fitting, that Sahel Kazemi's candlelight vigil would be held in the backdrop of Opryland, where the stars gravitate. Kazemi always said that someday she'd be famous.
The moon was full; the Tennessee air hung thick. Roughly 30 people formed a circle last summer and, one-by-one, told stories of the girl they knew as Jenni.
She shopped at Bebe -- her closet was full of the youth-hip clubbing clothes -- listened to R&B and goofed off too much at work. She had dreams, which, depending on whom you talked to, ranged from flight attendant to interpreter to wife and mother.
She wore pink shorts and white-metal earrings the night of July 3, 2009, made plans to watch fireworks, and checked to make sure a friend got to her vacation safely. That was Jenni, friends say. Always looking out for the ones she loved. And a few hours later, police say, she took a 9-mm semi-automatic pistol and pumped four bullets into former Tennessee Titans great Steve McNair, then turned the gun on herself.
A year has passed, an investigation has closed, and about 239,000 accounts have been published about the events of July 4, 2009. But nobody, really, is any closer to knowing who Sahel Kazemi was, or how a 20-year-old waitress could, in a matter of seconds, shake an entire community.>>>
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