Alcoholic - Lesbian love triangle - To collect insurance money
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 15, 2007
Date of arrest:
2 days later
Date of birth:
Rebecca "Becky" Klein, 32 (her lesbian lover)
Method of murder: Suffocation
with a plastic bag
Location: Villa Park, DuPage County, Illinois, USA
Sentenced to 50 years in prison without parole on July 27, 2009
The Appellate Court of
The People of the State of Illinois v. Nicole M. Abusharif
Nicole Abusharif is an
American woman who was convicted of the 2007 Villa Park, Illinois
murder of her lesbian lover, Rebecca "Becky" Klein. After being found
guilty of first-degree murder in May 2009, Abusharif was sentenced to
50 years in prison at the Dwight Correctional Center in Nevada
Township, Illinois. The case made national news due to the intrigue of
a "lesbian love triangle" murder.
Murder and Investigation
On March 17, 2007, the body of Rebecca Klein was
discovered in the trunk of her 1966 Ford Mustang after Klein's
domestic partner of seven years, Nicole Abusharif, reported her
missing. Klein was found bound with duct tape, gagged with a bandana,
blindfolded, and suffocated with a plastic bag over her head. Four
days later, Abusharif was charged with first-degree murder and
concealing of a homicide.
Villa Park police officers believe Abusharif killed
Klein on March 15, 2007, two days before her body was found. After
Abusharif allegedly suffocated Klein to death, she went out with
another woman, 19 year-old Rose Sodaro, whom she met on the social
networking site MySpace. That night, Abusharif and Sodaro went bowling
in Tinley Park, then returned to Abusharif's home where they engaged
in sexual intercourse. Sodaro believed that Klein was Abusharif's
roommate, not her life partner.
In addition to her relationship with Sodaro, police
also believe that Abusharif was motivated to kill Klein due to a
$400,000 insurance payout. Forensic scientists found fingerprints on
the duct tape and plastic bag belonging to Abusharif, as well as her
DNA on the bandana. Prosecutors also uncovered a slew of lies
Abusharif allegedly told including stating to Sodaro that she had been
a New York City firefighter during the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Abusharif, who was also an alcoholic, claimed to have liver cancer and
told Sodaro that her alcoholism would lead to her death. Abusharif
also brought Sodaro to a funeral home, where she dramatically selected
her own casket.
During the police's investigation into the murder
of Klein, Abusharif's co-worker at a Des Plaines security company,
Robert L. Edwards, was charged with five counts of obstructing justice
for allegedly lying about his whereabouts when Klein was believed to
have been murdered. Police focused on Edwards during their initial
investigation because he was at Abusharif and Klein's residence on
March 16, 2007 during the search for Klein. He later admitted to
police that he and Abusharif were "drug buddies who shared wild sex
fantasies". Initially Edwards was on a $1 million bail which was later
reduced to $500,000.
After being indicted on first-degree murder
charges, Abusharif was held at the DuPage County Jail on $3 million
bond, later lowered to $1 million. After bonding out of jail,
Abusharif was put on home confinement in her Oak Lawn apartment.
However, on April 25, 2008, Abusharif violated her bail by leaving her
apartment to visit a family member's home next door.
Although Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Ruggiero
applied to have Abusharif's bail revoked, her bail was only increased
by $100,000. She returned to county jail, but was back out on bail
before her trial began.
In November 2008, Robert L. Edwards went to trial
on charges of obstructing justice. Villa Park police still believed he
was not involved in Becky Klein's murder, but he was convicted of the
obstruction charges and sentenced to 75 days at the DuPage County,
Illinois work camp.
Nicole Abusharif's jury trial commenced on April
20, 2009. Though Robert Edwards did not testify for the prosecution,
Rose Sodaro did, as well as many members of Klein's family. Abusharif
also testified in her own defense. When confronted with the evidence
against her, she admitted lying during the police investigation. The
defense hinged on whether Abusharif would have been physically able to
Abusharif's defense attorneys, Bob Parchem and
Dennis Sopata, maintained that Abusharif had a bad back, and would not
have been able to subdue Klein, who weighed 40 pounds more than her.
While Abusharif's attorneys were skeptical of gaining an acquittal,
they were able to prove that Klein's murder was not "cold, calculated
and premeditated", as the prosecution requested. That eliminated the
possibility for a sentence of life in prison without parole.
Verdict and Aftermath
On May 5, 2009, Abusharif was convicted of
first-degree murder in the death of Becky Klein after thirteen hours
of jury deliberation. She faced up to 60 years in prison, but Judge
John Kinsella sentenced Abusharif to 50 years incarceration. She will
have to serve 100 percent of her sentence before being eligible for
parole, at the age of 76.
Abusharif's conviction was affirmed by the Second
District of the Illinois Appellate Court on March 4, 2011.
Nicole Abusharif Sentenced to Fifty Years for Murder of Rebecca
July 28, 2009
WHEATON – DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe
Birkett announced today that twenty-eight year-old Nicole Abusharif
(d.o.b. 9/14/1980) formerly of Villa Park, was sentenced to fifty
years in the Illinois Department of Corrections for the 2007 murder of
her former roommate thirty-two year-old Rebecca Klein. On May 5, 2009,
a jury found Abusharif guilty of First Degree Murder after a two-week
long trial and approximately thirteen hours of deliberations. Judge
John Kinsella, who presided over the trial handed down today’s
On March 17, 2007, Villa Park Police officers
discovered Rebecca’s body inside the trunk of a 1966 Ford Mustang the
couple owned. She had been bound, gagged, blindfolded and suffocated
with a plastic bag. The police were at the residence in response to a
missing person’s report filed by Abusharif the day before. Abusharif
filed the missing person’s report after Rebecca’s employer phoned the
couple’s home when Rebecca failed to show up for work that morning.
“For the murder of Rebecca Klein, Nicole Abusharif
will spend the next fifty years behind bars,” remarked Birkett. “I
would like to thank all those involved in seeking justice in the
memory of Rebecca Klein, particularly Assistant State’s Attorneys Joe
Ruggiero and Tim Diamond, the Villa Park Police Department, the Major
Crimes Task Force, the U.S. Marshall’s Office and the DuPage County
Sheriff’s Office. At only thirty-two years-old, Rebecca Klein was
taken from her loved ones at far too young an age. Our prayers
continue to go out to her family. While Rebecca is gone from their
lives, perhaps today’s sentencing and the knowledge that Nicole
Abusharif will likely never again see a single day of freedom, will
bring some measure of closure to this horrible chapter in their
Abusharif will be required to serve 100% of her
sentence before she is eligible for parole.
Woman denies killing lover in Villa Park murder
By Christy Gutowski - DailyHerald.com
May 2, 2009
Nicole Abusharif admits she is a liar.
But she denied being a killer Friday
while insisting to a DuPage County jury she had nothing to do with her
lesbian partner's violent death.
Abusharif took the witness stand for
about four hours as the arduous trial - which included eight days of
testimony from about 30 witnesses and 150 pieces of physical evidence
- drew near its end.
DuPage Circuit Judge John Kinsella
told jurors to expect to begin deliberating Monday after listening to
lawyers' closing arguments.
Abusharif is accused of suffocating
32-year-old Becky Klein March 15, 2007.
Police investigating Klein's
disappearance discovered her body two days later in the trunk of the
couple's 1966 Ford Mustang in the detached garage of their home on
Harvard Avenue in Villa Park. A plastic garbage bag was taped around
Klein's head. Her hands and feet were bound with duct tape.
Prosecutors Tim Diamond and Joseph
Ruggiero argue Abusharif killed Klein to pursue a romantic
relationship with another woman and also to collect about $400,000 in
life and mortgage insurance. Forensic experts testified they found
Abusharif's finger and palm prints on the duct tape and garbage bag,
as well as her DNA on bandannas used to gag and blindfold Klein.
The night of the murder, the other
woman stayed with Abusharif in the Villa Park house after the two
partied and bowled together in the south suburbs. The woman, Rose
Sodaro, testified earlier in the trial that Abusharif gave her a key
to the Mustang that night as a present. Sodaro said Abusharif led her
to believe Klein was just a roommate, not lover.
Abusharif testified Friday she loved
Klein. She said they had an open relationship and that Klein didn't
object to Sodaro as long as certain rules were followed.
The defendant admitted repeatedly
lying to police, family and friends about the fact she spent that
night with Sodaro but said she did so only to avoid having to expose
intimate details about her open sex life.
"I was protecting Becky, even though
she's dead," Abusharif testified. "I wanted to protect her name. It's
nobody's business what we did behind bedroom doors."
Upon Ruggiero's cross examination,
Abusharif admitted profiting in eight earlier insurance claims ranging
from auto accidents to workers' compensation. She also admitted
several other lies and inconsistencies. For example, to explain online
chats with Sodaro in which Abusharif said she was a hero New York
firefighter during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, or that she had
cancer, she said it was just a fantasy game they played.
The defense team, Bob Parchem and
Dennis Sopata, argued it would have been physically impossible for
Abusharif to overpower Klein and load her body into a trunk. They said
it isn't surprising that Abusharif's fingerprints were found all over
the crime scene since the couple was in the midst of repacking holiday
decorations. The defense noted it was Abusharif who called 911 to
report Klein's disappearance.
Prosecutors are not seeking the death
penalty. Abusharif, 28, is free on a $1 million bond. The defendant is
living with her father in Oak Lawn and said Friday she never returned
to the Villa Park house after her arrest.
Klein, a college graduate who worked
with disabled adults, grew up in a close-knit family in Streamwood.
Her parents, Jeff and Marilyn Klein, and an older sister, Melanie, and
many other relatives and friends have attended the lengthy trial.
Villa Park slaying was over a 3rd
woman, prosecutors say
Nicole Abusharif goes on trial in
slaying of 'life partner' Rebecca Klein
By Art Barnum - ChicagoTribune.com
April 23, 2009
The evening that
Rebecca Klein was slain, Nicole Abusharif, her "life partner, the love
of her life," had gone bowling and was at a bar drinking shots before
inviting a third woman to spend the night at the couple's Villa Park
home, a prosecutor said Wednesday.
County State's Atty. Joseph Ruggiero told a jury that Abusharif had
been dating the third woman for about a year, and that when she had
invited her to spend the night of March 15, 2007, her "significant
other" already was "hogtied and suffocated in the trunk of their
classic 1966 Ford Mustang parked in the garage [of their home] in the
200 block of Harvard Avenue."
comments came during his opening statements in a trial in which
Abusharif faces charges of murder.
Robert Parchem, in his opening remarks, said Abusharif and Klein had
"a good relationship, but an unconventional one. They allowed a third
party into their relationship, with certain rules, as long as their
relationship remained a priority. This was not your normal
relationship and normal faithfulness."
Klein knew about the third woman and had met her several times.
Klein, 32, had
been missing for two days when she was found dead March 17, 2007, in
the trunk of the Mustang with a plastic bag over her head, her mouth
duct-taped and her hands and feet bound.
prosecutors said they will "introduce evidence that the defendant
killed the victim after their romantic relationship deteriorated and
had a desire to start a new life with [a different woman]."
who has been on home confinement at her parent's Oak Lawn home on a $1
million bond since several weeks after her arrest, denies the charges.
Two days after a
missing person's report was filed, and after Abusharif reportedly told
police she didn't have the keys to the Mustang in the garage, police
found the victim's body.
Klein cared for
adults with disabilities at a Winfield business, and Abusharif worked
for a company that sold security cameras.
charged with murder and concealment of a homicide. If convicted, she
faces up to 60 years in prison.
Money, other woman possible motive in murder
April 22, 2009
Rebecca Klein's body was found inside the trunk
of a car.
The murder trial of her domestic partner, Nicole
Abusharif, began on Wednesday and prosecutors said money and another
woman were the reasons for the murder.
Nicole Abusharif, who is out on bond, took a
smoking break on day one of her murder trial.
The 28-year-old pleaded not guilty to first degree
murder and concealment of a homicide. She is accused of killing her
long-time domestic partner, 32-year-old Rebecca Klein in 2007. The two
lived together in Villa Park.
In opening statements on Wednesday, assistant
state's attorney Joe Ruggiero described how Abusharif used a plastic
bag to suffocate Klein, then dumped her body in the trunk of the
couple's 1966 Ford Mustang, parked in the garage of the home. Ruggiero
said evidence - including finger prints on garbage bags and duct tape
used to bind Klein and DNA on bandanas used to gag and blindfold her -
linked Abusharif to the crime.
For the first time, prosecutors suggested a motive,
saying Abusharif had another lover and spentthe night of the murder
with her. Also, they said, Abusharif stood to gain up to $400,000 in
insurance and savings if Klein was gone.
"Was it money? The love for another woman? Probably
both," Ruggiero told the jury. "If you get rid of Becky, you can have
the money and the girl you love can move in."
The prosecutor promised jurors, "you will meet the
other woman." Her name is Rose.
The defense argued that the couple had an open
relationship and that Klein knew her.
Defense attorney Bob Parchem said, "Abusharif lied
and covered up for Rose because she didn't believe people would
understand the nature of their relationship." That was a fear, he
said, that was confirmed when the first officer to arrive after Klein
was reported missing asked, "What is this? The 'Jerry Springer Show'?"
Rebecca Klein's sister, Melanie Baldridge, was
first to take the witness stand. She broke down while describing how
she found her sister's cell phone in the basement while police were
still looking to her. And Abusharif had told her she didn't have a key
to the trunk of the Mustang where the body was eventually found.
The trial is expected to continue into next week.
If convicted, Abusharif could be sentenced to life in prison.
Girlfriend charged in Villa Park slaying
Woman was suffocated with bag
By James Kimberly - ChicagoTribune.com
March 22, 2007
A Villa Park
woman who had reported her live-in girlfriend missing was charged
Wednesday with murdering her and hiding the body.
State's Atty. Joseph Birkett said Nicole M. Abusharif, 26, of the 200
block of North Harvard Avenue, suffocated Rebecca Klein, 32, with a
plastic garbage bag Thursday night. Abusharif hid Klein's body in the
trunk of a 1966 Ford Mustang parked in the garage and told police that
she did not have a key to it, Birkett said at a news conference.
technician discovered Klein's body and the plastic garbage bag
Saturday afternoon after removing the back seat of the car. Police
later discovered a key to the trunk on a key ring.
has been in custody since Saturday, was charged with first-degree
murder and concealment of a homicide. She is scheduled to appear in
court Thursday morning, where bond will be set.
know what prompted Abusharif to attack her partner, they weren't
"We are asking
anyone with information about the facts and circumstances of the
homicide or a potential motive to please call us," Birkett said.
Police had not
been called to home for previous domestic disturbances, he said.
the couple said they did not see signs of strife.
very nice girls," said Cathy Watters of Joliet, whose adult daughter,
Erika, once lived with the couple. "I've known Becky and Nicole since
Erika lived with them. We were all shocked. I've never ever seen Becky
and Nicole argue. Erika said the same thing."
Klein recently bought the Villa Park home and planned to renovate it.
Klein cared for
adults with disabilities at Range of Motion in Winfield. Abusharif
worked for a company that sells and installs security cameras and
volunteered at Range of Motion, said Jeff Klein, Rebecca Klein's
In an interview
Saturday, Jeff Klein said the couple had been together for five years.
They did not appear to have financial trouble, he said.
Klein could not
be reached for comment Wednesday.
Park police and the state's attorney let the public wonder about
Rebecca Klein's whereabouts for two days after her body was
discovered, Birkett stood by that decision.
"The citizens of
this community were well protected, well served," Birkett said. "When
there is a debate over the dissemination of information and the search
for the truth, the search for the truth takes precedence."
Birkett said he
believes the public supports the decision to withhold information even
though Abusharif was in police custody.
"Patience is a
virtue," Birkett said. "We understand the public's need to know, but
we also need to pursue the truth and at the same time protect the
public and both interests were served here properly."
Murder in Villa Park: Love and lies
By Lori Weiner -
May 13, 2009
Lovers begin as strangers, and as time erodes the
edifice of unfamiliarity, the partners are often confronted by
surprises. If the new information affirms our faith in her suitability
for us, the relationship continues and endures. If, however, it
reveals duplicity, treachery and betrayal, typically the relationship
ends. Usually this process follows a predictable template:
accusations, followed by tears, protestations, and denials. But in the
dissolution of the partnership of Nicole Abusharif and Rebecca Klein,
little was typical.
Nicole Abusharif was convicted of the first-degree
murder of Becky Klein on May 5, 2009. It was not an easy decision for
the jury. They deliberated for 11 hours over two days before agreeing
with the prosecution that Abusharif, now 28, was responsible for
killing her partner of eight years. Her alleged motives were as
ancient as the human race: greed and lust. Abusharif held a combined
$400,000 in insurance policies on Klein, and during the year
immediately preceding the murder, had fallen deeply in love with a
19-year-old bisexual woman, Rose Sodaro, whom she'd met on MySpace.
Sodaro was the prosecution's star witness. Now 22
years old, with a brown pageboy haircut and pert, turned-up nose,
Sodaro described, in a marked Chicago accent, her relationship with
the defendant. It began with e-mails, then progressed to telephone
conversations and finally, to meeting each other. A sexual
relationship ensued, with Abusharif inventing numerous false
identities for herself to nourish Sodaro's interest. She claimed to be
both a Villa Park and New York firefighter, told her younger lover
that she was decorated for her service at Ground Zero after the 9/11
tragedy, and toward the end of the relationship, bragged about being
accepted into an elite corps of Villa Park firefighters—the rescue
squad. None of Abusharif's claims was true. She worked at a security
company in Des Plaines and had a substantial nest egg, prosecutors
claimed, composed of monies received from eight successful automobile
and workman's comp insurance claims.
Abusharif wasn't above trolling for sympathy to
maintain her girlfriend's attention. She claimed to have been
successfully treated, via transplant, for liver cancer. She told
Sodaro that she was a heavy drinker, that her inability to control her
alcoholism would inevitably cause her body to reject the new liver.
She even dragged Sodaro to a funeral home, where Abusharif
dramatically selected the casket she wanted to be buried in. At the
memory of Abusharif instructing her to ensure that a firefighting logo
was inscribed on the coffin, Sodaro broke down in tears on the witness
On the night Klein disappeared, Sodaro and
Abusharif had a date. They went bowling in Tinley Park with Sodaro's
friends, and at 3 a.m on March 16, they returned together to the
Harvard Avenue home in Villa Park shared by Abusharif and Klein.
Sodaro testified that she was aware of Becky Klein. She knew her as
her lover's roommate and had no idea the two were actually life
partners, complete with matching commitment rings.
Two days later, after an admittedly bungled missing
persons investigation by Villa Park police, a violent crimes task
force discovered Becky Klein's corpse in the trunk of Abusharif's
"baby," her 1966 Mustang, a car which Nicole named "________" and
whose appellation she used as her MySpace password. The car was parked
in the detached garage of the Villa Park house. Klein's hands and feet
were bound with duct tape, her mouth was gagged, her eyes covered with
a blindfold, and around her head was a plastic garbage bag secured,
once again, with duct tape.
It was a horrific crime, and Abusharif quickly
became the prime suspect. Although she had no documented history of
violence, although the Klein-Abusharif union was regarded by friends
and family alike as an ideal one, the revelations of Abusharif's
titillating secret life cast a long shadow of suspicion. Her actions
during the search for Klein did little to dispel that impression: she
displayed no obvious distress or concern for Becky's welfare, instead
focusing on Sodaro. Abusharif told the teenager to lie to the police
if they contacted her, to claim they didn't know each other. Abusharif
tried desperately to keep Sodaro out of the whole mess, lying to the
police that she didn't know the girl's surname, cell phone number, or
Her lies were suspicious enough, but the physical
evidence against Abusharif was overwhelming. The Mustang had two trunk
keys, and both were found in her possession. Twenty-five finger and
palm prints belonging to Abusharif were found on the garbage bag used
to suffocate Klein. Abusharif's DNA was found on the bandanas used to
gag Klein's mouth and blind her eyes. And more DNA belonging to
Abusharif was found on the duct tape used to bind Klein's feet and
hands, and to securely fasten the garbage bag over her head.
Abusharif's defense attorneys, Bob Parchem and
Dennis Sopata, had little chance of an acquittal given the tsunami of
evidence against their client. So they resorted to innuendo and
accusation to deflect attention from Abusharif's actions. And
shamefully, one of their tactics was to discredit the very nature of
lesbian relationships. Parchem claimed in his opening arguments that
gay relationships are "different" from straight ones, that infidelity
is generally accepted as normal, that Abusharif's desperate wooing of
a third party was a typical component of a lesbian union. With his
folksy manner and quizzical tone, Parchem seemed to be saying, "Those
wacky gay girls. Who can figure 'em out? This is just what they do." (
To their credit, the prosecution quickly rebutted this contention,
reminding the jurors that Becky Klein believed her relationship to be
monogamous, that Becky Klein wasn't engaging in similar behavior, that
Becky Klein considered herself to be married to the defendant in the
same way Klein's sister was married to her husband ) .
The defense also offered an alternate explanation,
albeit a flimsy one, for what really happened to Becky Klein. They
claimed that Klein and Abusharif argued about Sodaro, that when
Abusharif decided to meet Sodaro in Tinley Park against her partner's
wishes, Klein angrily declared her intention to go to her sister
Melanie's house. With that, both women left Harvard Avenue, and
according to the defense, Abusharif never saw Klein again. An unknown
assailant, the defense posited, murdered Becky after Abusharif left
The most plausible of the defense's arguments
concerned Abusharif's physical limitations. With a bad back and
weighing 40 pounds less than her partner, they argued there was no way
Abusharif could have subdued and bound Klein, let alone stowed her in
the trunk of the Mustang, all while leaving no marks on the body or
bearing any signs of a struggle herself. But sitting in the courtroom
and walking to and from the proceedings, Abusharif, who has gained
weight since the murder, looked neither infirm nor waifish.
The defense did manage to score one victory. The
jury declined to add to its guilty verdict a key aggravating
factor—that the murder was cold, calculated and premeditated, as the
prosecution requested. Had they done this, Abusharif would have been
eligible for a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of
parole. As it stands, she will serve a minimum of twenty years and
could serve as many as sixty. She will be at least 48 years old before
she has her first opportunity for parole.
After she is sentenced by Judge John Kinsella in
early June, her most likely destination will be Dwight Correctional
Facility in Dwight, Ill., the state's only maximum security prison for
adult female offenders. Among the women Abusharif will meet there is
Marilyn Lemak, a Naperville homemaker and former surgical nurse
convicted in 2002 of slaying her three children. Ironically, Lemak, 44
years old at the time of her sentencing, was also a DuPage county
resident who suffocated her victims.
Though the jury found Abusharif to be responsible
for the murder of her partner, unanswered questions remain. The most
pressing is whether or not Abusharif acted alone. According to
published reports, even at the time of her arrest in 2007, authorities
expressed doubt that Abusharif had the physical capacity to subdue,
restrain, murder and hide her 160-pound partner by herself.
In November 2008, Robert Edwards, who worked with
Abusharif at the security company in Des Plaines, was convicted of
obstruction of justice in the murder investigation of Becky Klein.
Edwards—who did not testify at Abusharif's trial—lied to police about
his whereabouts the night of the murder—he was videotaped by Villa
Park police admitting to being present at the Harvard address on March
15—and about the nature of his relationship to Abusharif. After
initially claiming he only knew her casually from work, Edwards later
admitted that he and Abusharif used drugs together and discussed
having a three-way sexual encounter, presumably with the bisexual Rose
Sodaro and not Becky Klein—though the intended third party was never
Edwards has not been charged in connection with
Klein's murder. He was sentenced on December 30, 2008 to 75 days at
the DuPage County work camp on the obstruction charge. However,
Edwards' legal problems continue—he is also facing charges in Cook
County for child pornography, discovered on his computer during the
Klein murder investigation.
For the family of the victim, the conviction of
Abusharif brings, perhaps, the closest thing to closure they will ever
have, though nothing will ever mitigate the pain of their loss. But
for the family of the convicted, the guilty verdict is the beginning
of a very private ordeal understood only by the unfortunate few who
have also given birth to, raised, and loved a criminal. Though
Nicole's parents and brother were never charged with any wrongdoing in
the death of Becky Klein, the guilty woman's actions have tainted them
with the brush of accountability.
But throughout the trial, the Abusharifs were far
from cavalier. Rather, they appeared shaken, confused, and painfully
aware of the seriousness of the charges facing their daughter.
Her father paced the courthouse hallways nervously,
telling an observer that Becky Klein was "like another daughter" to
him and that he never in his life imagined that he, and his family,
would be in such a terrible situation. Her mother sat on a bench,
blinking back tears, explaining that she wanted to extend her
condolences and sympathy to the Kleins but was advised not to do so by
her daughter's lawyer.
Though the Abusharifs' pain is private, it is real.
Though the public has little empathy, they are, themselves, innocent.
And their betrayal is one of Shakespearean magnitude: their daughter
is a convicted killer. What parent would ever believe this to be true
of their baby? Yet the accusations have been proven, and somehow they
must face it.
The losses engendered by the murder of Becky Klein
cannot be overstated. Most importantly, there is the loss of Klein
herself, a woman described as the most generous and giving person one
can imagine, a woman beloved by her family and friends, a woman who
devoted herself to helping people with disabilities find meaning in
their lives. Her family and friends are now forever deprived of her.
And the family of Nicole Abusharif is left to grapple with the fact
that their only daughter is now a convicted murderer.
Clearly, the word "tragedy" was invented for just