Beheaded: Aasiya Zubair Hassan Tells Her Story

Contributed By: Ms Behaved

I have no words to add to this story, I will let the victim speak for herself! We owe her that! ~BJ

Aasiya Zubair Hassan’s tortured, manipulated life

Beheaded woman left statement detailing years of torment, tragedy

By Sandra Tan
Updated: March 14, 2010, 3:17 pm

When Aasiya Zubair Hassan was finally ready to leave her husband, she prepared herself. She gathered copies of her police reports, photos of her beaten face, images of her ransacked house, scripts her husband made her memorize.

Then she painstakingly chronicled her years of torment in a 21-page court statement that painted her husband as not just a batterer, but a cruel, manipulative monster.

She detailed how he deprived her of sleep to “improve her personality,” made her sign memos authorizing him to punish her if she talked with the police and Child Protective Services, and threatened her with the loss of her children whenever she tried to break free.

Toward the end of her statement appealing for divorce in February 2009, she reflected on how furious her husband would be when he saw the document: “I am afraid of what he might do.”

One week later, she was dead. Her husband, Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan, led police to her stabbed and decapitated body in the Bridges TV studio they founded in Orchard Park.

None of this has apparently stopped Hassan from continuing — in letters to reporters and in his defense in court — to try to paint himself as the victim and his wife as the abuser.

“He was the abuser. He was the perpetrator. Now, he’s the manipulator,” said Afshan Qureshi, an advocate of domestic violence victims who knew both Aasiya Zubair Hassan, Hassan’s third wife, and Sadia Hassan, his second wife. “Those who are good at emotional abuse are good manipulators.”

From the Erie County jail, Hassan has sent handwritten letters to The Buffalo News and others portraying himself as an abused and battered spouse. In each case, he signed his mother’s name to the documents.

“If you are a mother like me, would you like to see your son being abused and cannot even turn to the system for help?” stated one letter.

It is clear that he wrote the letters, not his mother. Hassan, 45, has neat and distinctive penmanship. The News found the handwriting in all these letters match that of other documents signed under his own name. The postmarks are from Buffalo; his mother lives in Texas.

Hassan seems to have no reservations about manipulating people by assuming other identities. In numerous cases, he appeared to have secretly authored documents that re-created reality and/or portrayed his wife as a dominating, mentally unstable woman.

Among the examples:

• Zubair Hassan stated that her husband forced her to give him the password to her e-mail account and subsequently logged into her account and sent e-mails to his attorney and his court-appointed psychologist pretending to be her.

One e-mail sent to psychologist Kenneth Condrell opens by stating, “I have been reading the Dale Carnegie book on “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” There is a chapter about admitting mistakes quickly and apologizing profusely and repeatedly. It struck me as a thuderbolt [sic] that I had difficulty admitting a mistake to Mo and struggled to apologize.”

It goes on to state, “I honestly do not believe he belongs in the Domestic Violence class. He has so much insights [sic] into human behavior and self-awareness.”

• While preparing to defend himself in a child neglect case, Hassan scripted the responses he wanted his wife to give when his defense lawyer questioned her in court. He made her stay home for two days to memorize her answers, she said.

In response to a question by defense lawyer David Siegel, “Do you think you are a battered woman?” Zubair Hassan was to respond as stated in the script: “What nonsense. Complete hogwash. I have always been a strong woman and a high achiever and no one violates my boundaries … My husband cannot tell me what I can and cannot do. I am my own person.”

• Hassan apparently drafted a letter for psychologist Condrell to sign describing his wife as a dominating and aggressive woman and further stating that “this personality profile test further indicates that Mrs. Hassan does not have the personality of a typical abused wife.”

The draft letter goes on to state “that there is no safety need that requires keeping Mr. and Mrs. Hassan apart over the next 6 months.”

A copy of the actual letter signed by Condrell and obtained by The News is much shorter. In it, Condrell states the personality test taken by Zubair Hassan as part of her master’s program in business “shows her to be a dominant, strong willed, aggressive woman.”

But he does not suggest that she wasn’t abused and does not state that her husband posed no safety threat. Further, it omits all references from the draft letter describing the husband as being “a persuasive, poised, influential, convincing, demonstrative and trusting person.”

In Hassan’s handwritten letter to The News, he states that Condrell testified in court that “Aasiya was aggressive, controlling and arrogant, while Mo was humble, kind and polite.”

Condrell declined to comment on the matter, citing his professional ethics, but Hassan’s statements are not supported by Condrell’s letter to the court.

• Hassan wrote two letters to The News under his mother’s name. The second letter included annotated copies of e-mails purportedly between Hassan and his wife.

“Inaccurate image’

The letters describe Hassan as part of an “epidemic” of battered men and cite authors and experts who have addressed the issue. They also describe his wife as an abuser who “needed proper medical help.”

“Many news stories have presented an inaccurate image of my son … The main reason for his difficulties is that he is too much of a people pleaser who avoids conflict. For years he kept appeasing a demanding wife. The more he appeased her, the more demanding she became,” one letter stated.

These actions are attributed to a man described as “manipulative” and “sick” by those who knew him and/or Zubair Hassan.

“She’s gone, and now the only thing he can destroy is her reputation,” said Faizan Haq, who once worked with both husband and wife. “He has nothing else in his control except her name. In a way, he’s still abusing her. He hasn’t stopped.”

In January, defense lawyer Frank M. Bogulski stated in court that Hassan was a “battered spouse” and promised “a revolutionary defense” that would get Hassan acquitted, using both psychiatric elements and legal justification.

Both defense lawyers, Bogulski and Julie Atti Rogers, state they are not committed to a specific defense and have not seen the divorce affidavit by Zubair Hassan.

“An affidavit is only one person’s side,” Bogulski cautioned. “Just because it was put in an affidavit doesn’t mean it was true.”

District Attorney Frank Sedita laughed when he heard of Hassan’s self-portrayal as a victim last week.

“What do any of these claims have to do with the issue that is before the court and the issue that will be before the jury?” he said. “Is there sufficient evidence to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant murdered his wife? That is the only issue to this point.”

In Zubair Hassan’s divorce appeal to the court, she attached 16 exhibits attesting to her husband’s abusive and controlling nature.

One exhibit, dated March 7, 2008, is a formally written, “confidential” memorandum of understanding that Hassan made his wife sign.

In it, both spouses “agree” that under threat of punishment, Zubair Hassan will not call, cooperate with, or threaten to call law enforcement. She also “agrees” not to threaten to leave him.

Physical abuse

The sworn statement signed by Zubair Hassan a week before she died brings to light many other details of a terrifying reality.

Contrary to Hassan’s assertions to The News that he never used his physical size to overpower his wife, Zubair Hassan’s sworn statement is full of instances where she claims he used his size and strength to imprison or physically hurt her.

Most of those claims are supported by police reports, photographs and witnesses. Among the worst incidents described by Zubair Hassan that were previously unknown to The News:

• When Zubair Hassan unexpectedly became pregnant in early summer of 2006, her husband, who is a stocky 6-foot-2, imprisoned her in the bedroom and sat on her until she admitted she needed psychiatric help.

In two separate incidents later that month, he punched her in the face, and dragged her down the driveway and sat on her after trying to convince her to have an abortion. She subsequently miscarried.

• The family’s four children — two older ones from a previous marriage, and two very young children born to Zubair Hassan — were also victims.

Child Protective Services investigated several complaints lodged by school personnel against Hassan for physical abuse of the children and his wife, ransacking the house and otherwise posing a threat to their safety.

Jennifer Greer, who baby-sat for the Hassan children from 2002 to 2008, said the young daughter would talk about hearing thunder on nights when there was no storm, and the young son spent much of his life living in an imaginary world where everyone was a superhero and they all cared for each other.

“It was heartbreaking to watch him go through that,” she said.

• In October 2007, Zubair Hassan tried to fly to New York for a few days, but while Greer was driving her to the airport along Route 219 with the two young children in the back seat, Hassan ran their car off the road.

Greer cried as she recalled the terrified children in the car.

“Raising them, they were like my own kids,” she said. “All of us could have died on that day.”

• Hassan repeatedly punched his wife in the face until blood was pouring out her nose in April 2008. His wife recalled the oldest daughter screaming to her father, “I’m taking her to the hospital. I don’t care what you say. I’m not going to let her die here.”

Hassan did not let her seek medical treatment and refused to let her leave the house for a week because of her bruises, Zubair Hassan stated.

Two previous wives

Zubair Hassan was not the only woman who charged Hassan with abuse. So did his two previous wives.

Qureshi, president of Saathi of Rochester, a domestic violence program for South Asian women, said Hassan once pushed his second wife, Sadia, out of a moving car.

After the Muslim community intervened on her behalf, he told her she could have a divorce and get her green card only if she let him claim he was the abused victim.

“She was very scared,” Qureshi said. “She didn’t know what to do, where to go.”

Zubair Hassan asked for an order of protection as part of her divorce appeal, allowing her husband to be near her only at the Bridges TV studio, where she was later found dead.

“I am fearful for my children’s safety as well as my own,” she stated.

Hassan’s lawyers said their client shouldn’t be convicted by the media before his murder trial begins in September.

“We don’t in any way want to disparage Aasiya or her memory,” Bogulski said. “This is a horrible tragedy. But at the same time, we have to keep in mind that there is a presumption of innocence in regard to my client, and we ask the public to keep an open mind.”


9 Responses

  1. My mind is open — open to what kind of laws will we now have to pass to deal with these Islamic bullies who believe they can behead their wives in this country and get away with it!

  2. I’m wondering if this bastard was keeping an open mind while murdering his wife? I’m wondering if this bastard was keeping an open mind while he abused and terrorized his three wives and four children all these years? That he has a female attorney is beyond appalling to me. Why is it that women are so often participants in protecting the male abusers and disparaging the victims who are abused and terrorized wives and children? Why is it that women are so often so cruel and abusive to each other, when it comes to the interests of some man? As I read this story, I was asking myself what logic do these abusers employ to excuse their actions in their own minds?

    I was just thinking about BJ’s Louisa and I am totally appalled and disgusted and feel nausea rising in my throat. I think of the suffering of so many women and children who live in terror night and day that they will one day be murdered. Louisa wasn’t even the wife and yet look what her attacker did to her. I know what the devastating effects abuse does to your mind. Been there, done that. I was a very strong and beautiful young woman and it happened to me. You don’t even see it creeping up until you’re married to them and then all HELL breaks loose when they think they OWN you and you are their property.

    I find it so appalling that Hillary Clinton was verbally insulted and emotionally abused by the male dominated cruel media and then forced to support the boy’s team after OUR nomination of her was stolen and awarded to a vain and inexperienced man, just because of his gender. I can’t reconcile myself to that fact especially when I investigated and learned he is not even legally eligible to be POTUS. It is sickening when these people insult us with accusations of being racists; when we’re really feminists who supported a female POTUS! I find I cannot begin to separate these two events: stealing her victory (and ours) in winning and then the stealing of her nomination and forcing her to deny the abuses and even support the one they elected by whatever means, just as long as it wasn’t HRC. I blame this theft on Pelosi’s egomanical ambitions and hatred of the Clinton’s.

    I believe if HRC had become POTUS, as she surely would have, this country would be on far better financial footing. We’d already have universal, single payer healthcare when the Dems had the filibuster proof Congress. Women and children would have better laws protecting us from abusive men and greater resources to protect us. I know women and children would have fared much better under HRC as POTUS, but we’re accused of being racists for not liking/accepting this creepy Muslim guy. We have all seen and heard the countless stories, much like this one, where Muslim women are victims and targets of unspeakable abuses and tortures, deaths, with the endless violence of the mind, heart and body. Then this guy is ignoring his cousin Odinga promising hard core Muslims to allow Sharia Law to control Kenya, knowing how brutally abusive their practices are to women and children. How they order clitorectomies on all females as they reach puberty so they never even enjoy their own bodies. I don’t understand how he can say their chants and prayers are the most beautiful sounds in the world? How can any reasonable woman support this Muslim? It baffles me and defies every bit of logic I can muster. Have I gone mad, or has the world gone crazy?

  3. I am far from a racist or prejudiced however, clearly Islamic men and now too many men of any faith simply have no respect for women. In fact so few men have respect for women it is now an epidemic worldwide.
    We cannot tolerate Islamic fundamentalism to rear its head in America whilst we have not even be able to rid ourselves of the inhumanity our own Judea Christian societal inequality as it is.
    We have a long long way to go and bringing in religious fanatics that dishonor women can only drive us deeper into trouble. That our female children are unsafe in their own beds from strangers is bad enough but now they are endangered from their own fathers as well and the courts are unwilling to help.
    It is up to women themselves now to stand and make it happen, even against those of us who work against our own!

  4. I find this especially disturbing because this story minus the beheading is not unlike that of a young woman that went to school with one of my daughters. She was college educated and non-Muslim. How can a young woman raised in this country allow her boyfriend to monitor her e-mail, not let her sleep and have her take baths in ice water? Is there some world wide website that teaches men to behave this way? Who knows what would have happened if her parents were not made aware of her strange behavior because a friend of hers cared enough to get and stay involved. I urge anyone who has a friend that starts isolating herself or behaving strangely to not be easily scared away. You may save her life.

    • Wow Ms. I have heard of girls getting boyfriends and isolating themselves but everyone always thinks it is because they are so in love.
      I found out after Louisa was shot that all those years Louisa was with Frank- she was really isolated more than enjoying being home.
      Funny how they tell you that they are having fun and just want to stay home instead of telling friends and family what is really going on.
      We should be teaching them – you are right – and we are teaching them! have you seen the ads I run ? Sexualizing America is what is teaching them!
      that is where they get these ideas- there and in church or from their mothers – if their mothers are the conservatives who preach walk ten steps behind.

      what else do they have but the far right and the far left.?
      What they need is US – TMU to teach them dignity and self respect– neither right nor left but centered feet on the ground!
      Thank you for your post! Thanks for your comments and thanks for being my right hand and lately my left one too!

  5. “Alienation, deprivation and isolation” is used by these abusers to indoctrinate and control their victims.

    They demand total obedience and adherence from their victims.

    It starts with “alienation and isolation” from their family support and their old friends.

    The excuses that “Your family and friends don’t respect me, so I don’t want you to have further contact with them or I will consider this as a betrayal to our relationship!”

    All excuses, to isolate their victims of violence and abuse.

    They know how to deceive, manipulate and deprive their victims of the support of family and friends.

    It then progresses to verbal assault and physical abuse, which in many cases leads to dire consequences!

    Through loving intervention and patience, there is always hope and the road to recovery in time!

    In the case of Aasiya Zubair Hassan, her death was tragic and she will never have the opportunity to rectify the “horrific life” in which she lived with Hassan.

    If there was ever someone who deserved “An eye for an eye”, Hassan deserves the “literal meaning” of this phrase for the horrific crime that he committed and in some Muslim countries, it is still stringently adhered to as Islamic law!

  6. You are right about step 1- that is the incideous step where the gal thinks she is in love and no one quite understand what a PRIZE she has found.

  7. a petition that we might want to sign.

  8. “It was heartbreaking to watch him go through that,” she said.

    You know what is even more heartbreaking for the kids and other family members: The fact the their father killed his wife (their mother).

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