Listen to this article Podcast Host Killed By Stalker Harbored A “Deep-Seated Fear” For Her Safety
Last week, Ramin Khodakaramrezaei, a man fixated on Zohreh Sadeghi, a podcast host from Washington state, killed her after she had previously expressed her fear for her safety in a request for a protection order. Khodakaramrezaei had tormented and harassed Sadeghi and her husband, Mohammad Milad Naseri, for months leading up to the tragedy.
The Protection Order Request
In a request for a protection order, Sadeghi detailed the extent of Khodakaramrezaei’s harassment, stating that he had shown “no indication that he will stop his frightening and dangerous behavior after one year.” She requested that the order last “99 years” because Khodakaramrezaei had threatened her and her husband’s lives, saying that “nothing short of his own death would make him leave me alone.”
Sadeghi described how Khodakaramrezaei would persistently send her messages, even though she had blocked him on her phone and social media accounts. He resorted to using fake accounts and different numbers to evade being blocked, in order to continue contacting her. She stated that he would send her up to 82 messages in a day through an app, and would leave voicemails in which he cried and begged for her to pick up or threatened to burn himself or a tree in front of her house. He also made demands for her to delete her Instagram account or make it public so he could see her content.
Sadeghi believed that Khodakaramrezaei’s persistent harassment worsened her anxiety and insomnia, causing further complications in her recovery from back surgery in December. According to her, Khodakaramrezaei’s delusions and sudden outbursts of anger intensified her sense of fear and made her concerned for the safety of both herself and her loved ones.
The protection order request also alleged that Khodakaramrezaei would contact Sadeghi’s husband, friends, and neighbors, and would stay at inns in her neighborhood and park on her street in hopes of seeing her.
Khodakaramrezaei broke into Sadeghi’s home in Redmond, which is located about 15 miles northeast of Seattle, despite the filing of the protection order a week prior.He fatally shot Sadeghi and her husband, while her mother managed to escape and call 911 from a neighbor’s house. Khodakaramrezaei died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Background on the Relationship
Khodakaramrezaei apparently got to know Sadeghi through a podcast she was doing, and the two “struck up kind of a friendship,” according to Redmond police spokesperson Jill Green. However, Sadeghi cut off contact when Khodakaramrezaei began sending her numerous messages.
Authorities charged Khodakaramrezaei with one count of misdemeanor stalking and two counts of telephone harassment on March 2, the same day a bench warrant was issued for his arrest. The next day, a judge granted a temporary protection order against him and scheduled a hearing for a full order.
Redmond police stated that they never served Khodakaramrezaei with the protection order because he lived out of state, even though the order required him to surrender his weapons.
Reaction from Police
Redmond Police Chief Darrell Lowe called the killings “the absolute worst outcome for a stalking case.” He expressed sympathy for Sadeghi’s family and friends, and emphasized that police take stalking cases seriously.
“This is every victim’s, every detective’s, every police chief’s worst nightmare,” Lowe said at a news conference.
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