The decade's most triggering comedy
Amina and Sarah Said were teenagers on New Year’s Eve 2007. Amina, 18, and Sarah, 17, had been allegedly abused by the father for years, both physically and sexually. Their father, Yaser Said, a devout Muslim, would monitor their communications and spy on them when they left the house. He even spied on Sarah at her after-school job and grew angry because she was apparently smiling at customers too much.
When Amina began dating a young man who was not Muslim, Said moved his family miles away. Amina and her boyfriend, Joseph Moreno, made plans to run away together, fearing Said would kill Amina over their relationship.
Shortly after Christmas 2007, the girls fled Said with their mother, Patricia. Said managed to convince Patricia to bring the girls back. Sarah agreed to return, but Amina sought refuge at a friend’s house and refused to leave.
On January 1, 2008, Said managed to convince the girls to get into his taxi cab, saying he was going to take them out to eat. Instead, he drove them to Irving, Texas, where he allegedly shot the girls and abandoned them to die in his car. Amina died instantly due to her wounds, but Sarah held on long enough to call 911 and tell them that her father had shot her and that she was dying.
The sisters’ great-aunt, Gail Gattrell, described the deaths as an “honor killing,” CBS News reported. Honor killings refer to the murder of a woman by a relative in an effort to protect the family honor, the outlet noted.
Said fled and became a fugitive for 12 years, getting placed on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list in 2014.
In 2017, a maintenance worker called in a tip that put the FBI on Said’s trail, CBS reported at the time. The maintenance worker had tried to open an apartment, belonging to Islam Yaser-Abdel Said, the 32-year-old son of Yaser Said and a brother to Sarah and Amina. A middle-aged Middle Eastern man allowed the maintenance worker into the apartment to repair a water leak, whom the worker later identified to his boss as Said. The two contacted the FBI and searched the apartment, but Islam fled. He was found 12 days later.
But it wasn’t until three years later that everyone involved was arrested. Islam and Yassein Said, Yaser’s brother, were arrested for concealing a person from arrest.
“For years, Islam and Yassein Said — Sarah and Amina’s own brother and uncle – allegedly harbored the girls’ killer,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said at the time. “In concealing Yaser Said from arrest, not only did these men waste countless law enforcement hours in the hunt for a brutal fugitive, they also delayed justice for Sarah and Amina. Thankfully, their day of reckoning has finally arrived. We are hopeful all three arrests will bring a measure of comfort to the girls’ mother, relatives, and friends.”
They were staying at a home purchased in Yassein’s daughter’s name. The home was under surveillance and authorities watched Yassein and Israel leave trash bags in shopping center garbage cans. Agents seized the bags and sent them to the FBI Field Office, which allowed them to obtain a search warrant for the home. There they found Yaser Said and arrested him. Yassein and Islam were arrested soon after.
A pre-trial hearing was supposed to take place on June 30, but Judge Chika Anyiam announced that it would be postponed, CBS reported. Said then asked if he could read from prepared remarks, but after consulting with his attorneys, said nothing. He was then escorted out of the courtroom. It is unclear why the hearing was postponed.