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Crimes of the Father. Aired 9-10p ET

Aired July 13, 2015 - 21:00   ET


[21:00:12] JOHN WALSH, CNN HOST: Back in 1981, I had the American dream, the beautiful wife, the house in the suburbs and a beautiful 6- year-old son. One day I went to work, kissed my son good-bye and never saw him again. In two weeks, I became the parent of a murdered child. And I will always be the parent of a murdered child. I still have the heartache. I still have the rage. I waited years for justice. I know what it's like to be there waiting for some answers.

And over those years, I learned to do something well and that's how to catch these bastards and bring them back to justice. I've become a man hunter. I'm out there looking for bad guys.



911 OPERATOR: 911. What's your emergency?


911 OPERATOR: What's your address, ma'am?

All I've got is she's dying.

Are you there, ma'am? Ma'am, are you still there? Ma'am? Ma'am? Are you still there?




YASER ABDEL SAID, WANTED FOR MURDER: You have beautiful eyes.


Now Amina is jealous. She needs to be recorded.

YASER: I'll record.


Look at me. Ooh. That's nice.


OWENS: Just kidding.


OWENS: My name is Patricia. Amina was my girls.




OWENS: They were beautiful inside and out. I was really blessed when I had them. I never dreamed I would get married at 15 and have my first baby at 16. Which I would never change having my babies, but if I had to do it over, I would have waited until I got older.

CONNIE MOGGIO, SISTER OF PATRICIA: We didn't know much about Yaser. None of the family did because Tissie only knew him for a couple of weeks before they got married so you really don't know anyone in two weeks' time.

GLENNA WHITLEY, STAFF WRITER, DALLAS OBSERVER & AUTHOR: Yaser and his three brothers had come to America in 1983. They had been raised in Egypt. But they left Egypt for a new life. He worked at a convenience store. And that's where he met Patricia Owens. He was 30. She was 15.

OWENS: We had went out to eat. We came home and Yaser told my mom, I want to marry your daughter. My mom was like, you have only known her a couple of weeks. He said, yeah, I know, I want to marry her.

MOGGIO: He convinced my mom and dad that his family had money. I think there was a sense of my mom and dad feeling like, well, she'll be taken care of.

WHITLEY: She was very naive and very trusting. And didn't really understand how radically her life was going to change.

[21:05:00] WALSH: He convinced this family that if you give me your 15-year-old daughter, she'll be in a better place. This guy preyed upon that naivety.

OWENS: It was three or four times a week he would hit me or kick me or kick or -- I know the things that would set him off and I would have to not do those things. Like if he was home, I wasn't allowed to talk to my family on the phone unless he was there and it was on the speaker phone. As time went by, he would threaten me, like if I said anything to anybody that he would hurt them.

WALSH: It's the classic-control freak, domestic-abuse scenario. Make the woman so dependent upon the man that she's not only afraid, she's convinced that this is the norm, this is the way she has to live.

OWENS: Yaser always had a gun on him. He would go to the gun range to practice shooting.

He had threatened before to kill my mom and to kill my dad.

WHITLEY: I think slowly Patricia became very isolated.

MOGGIO: When Tissie got pregnant with Islam, she was happy she was going to be a mom even though she was young.

Then came Amina. And then came Sarah.

By the time Patricia was 18, she had three children and virtually no money.

OWENS: I worked all the time because he would hardly work. He worked at 7-Eleven, for a couple of months, Walmart for I think four months, and then he drove a taxi every now and then.

WALSH: He had the perfect part-time job. Taxi driving is cash business. You work when you feel like it, when you want to. You have plenty of free time. And that allowed him to make cash and, if he needed to or wanted to, to follow her around.

WHITLEY: I think one reason Yaser was isolating and protected was he didn't want the girls to tell people what was really going on.


[21:11:21] WHITLEY: I think Yaser controlled everything that Patricia did. This happened from the very beginning of their marriage and escalated as they had kids and the kids grew older.

I think one reason Yaser was so isolating and protective is that he didn't want the girls to tell people what was really going on.

GAIL GARTRELL, PATRICIA'S AUNT: Amina had gone to my sister, her grandmother, and told her, you know, that her dad was touching her in private places.

I got a phone call from my sister and she said, can you watch Tissie's children? I said, we are eating. Amina reached out and grabbed my arm and she said, do you know what daddy did? I said, Amina, I have heard that your daddy did something that no daddy should do. I started to walk away because I felt the tears coming. My eyes were stinging, my heart was breaking. And Amina and Sarah were sitting across the table. And as Yaser was rounding the table, Sarah reached out, grabbed my arm and she said, "It felt, it hurt."

WALSH: I have a daughter. My whole life I have spent trying to protect her. I can't even conceive that the first sexual encounter that your daughter has is with the man who was supposed to be her loving protector, her savior.

OWENS: When Amina told me, I left the same day. We moved in and we stayed at my mom's.

WHITLEY: On December 17, 1998, Yaser was indicted for sexual penetration of the girls. He threatened to kill Patricia and take the girls and just disappear.

The sheriff's department was going forward with this complaint when Amina and Sarah recanted saying they just made that up because they didn't like their school and they wanted to not go to school there anymore.

OWENS: I think Yaser called my mom's house and that the kids -- one of the girls answered and that I think that he convinced them to say that it didn't happen. Because after that, not even an hour later, they said, oh, mom, it didn't happen, we were just saying it I happened because we didn't want to go back to Covington. I'm like, are you sure it didn't happen? Are you just telling me that? They said, no, it didn't happen, it didn't happen.

MOGGIO: I think Yaser are told Tissie, nothing will happen again. I'm going to be good. I'm going to work. I'm never going to do this. I want my family to be together. And, of course, Tissie wanted to believe that.

WHITLEY: Without the kids, without the girls being willing and able to testify, the sheriff's department didn't have a case. So it was dropped.

[21:15:18] MOGGIO: Amina wrote me a letter saying she had to tell Child Protective Services that never happened, and she said, but, Aunt Connie, it did. She said, I don't want to go back. Please don't make me go back.

GARTRELL: Why would you take your girls back? Especially if you have been a victim yourself? I don't understand that. I'm never going to understand that.

MOGGIO: I hated her. I hated her for going back. Telling her, how could you? This is ridiculous. You know, you're going to take the kids and let them get sexually abused. I could tell right then when I started with her she didn't want to hear it, she wasn't going to hear it, and there was nothing I could say would change her mind.

WALSH: They all knew he was a bad guy. Yet, nobody could stop this train. Nobody could stop this guy from the huge amount of control, the Svengali-like control he had of the family. He had them by the necks.

WHITLEY: It is a horrible lesson they have learned in that you tell the truth and no one does anything. You tell the truth, but no one protects you. Not even your mother.

OWENS: It was stupid on my behalf is what it was. I can't give you a good reason why I went back because there is no good reason why I went back. I mean, I know that I have to believe my kids before I believe anybody. And I failed them that day. When I took them back, I failed my kids.

WHITLEY: Yaser's big ambition was marry them off, get the dowry. They were a means to an end for him.



[21:20:] UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I know how to use these.

SAID: You do?




UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Keep your hand off the trigger.


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Just kidding. I don't know how -- actually, I do know how to pull it back.

SAID: No, no, no. Don't do that.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I won't. Don't worry.

I know you're scared.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Don't point that at me.


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Let's go to the land and shoot it.

OK, I'll put it back this thing.


OWENS: Amina was the type of person, she could make you her friend in the first two or three minutes you meet her. Amina was more of a girly girl. Sarah was more of a tomboy. Tennis and soccer, any sport she could possibly play, Sarah was if it.

WHITLEY: They were also just developing into beautiful young women. They had this beautiful black hair and creamy skin, beautiful eyes. They loved taking pictures of each other.

Yaser had big plans for what he was going to do when the girls came of age, when Islam and the girls came of age and were ready to marry.


WHITLEY: In Egypt, I think there is an expectation if you have made it in America, you're really rich. So you've got to create a certain kind of a wedding to uphold your family's good name. In Amina and Sarah, he had gold. They would bring him money in a traditional dowry. But they also had to make financial sacrifices.

OWENS: He drove the taxi every now and then because he was making money to send to Egypt to buy houses.

WHITLEY: He was saving every penny to build a house for each of his children so that when the time was right they could make a good marriage in Egypt.

OWENS: Every time he went to Egypt he went to Egypt with at least $10,000.

WALSH: He looked at them as a source of income, that he could arrange those marriages and hopefully get a dowry. They were his Egyptian 401K.

GARTRELL: I think he viewed them as objects of not fatherly affection, but his property. They were his property, very much so.

GARTRELL: We took my cousins out to eat. One of my cousins invited Tissie along. Tissie said the kids and Yaser are in Egypt. She said, I got a phone call from Amina. She was all upset. Yaser wanted to introduce her to a 45-year-old man. But he wanted her to marry. And Amina said she didn't want to be married to some fat, old 45-year-old man.

[21:25:19] WHITLEY: It was one thing to talk about you're going to marry an Egyptian one day. It's another to see your dad has been planning this and here is this house he's bought for you. And Amina at 16 was old to understand this is not some talk. This is really happening. And she was not going along with her father's plans.

OWENS: He always carried his camera everywhere.




WHITLEY: When they started rebelling, he could not figure out how to keep them on track without the terrible collision that would come.



[21:30:04] UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Good bye.

SAID: Where are you going?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: I'm going to the bus.

SAID: OK, take Amina with you.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: All right. Wait, wait.


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Bye, Daddy. SAID: Bye, Amina.


SAID: See you.


Take video to remember me.



PATRICIA "TISSIE" OWENS, WIFE OF YASER: He always carried his camera everywhere.

Yaser was videoing them to see who they was talking to and make sure they get on the bus.

When they were at school, he would be taping them to see what they were doing. All the way until they got to the house, he was videoing them.

JOHN WALSH, CNN HOST: He was the consummate stalker so he could confront them and say, don't do anything that I don't tell you you can do.

CONNIE MOGGIO, SISTER OF PATRICIA: Yaser did try to control those girls and he did it to the best of his ability, mainly, to make sure they wasn't seeing other boys.

OWENS: Yaser did tell them, you are Muslim girls, you have to marry a Muslim guy.


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: It's on. I can tell.

SAID: No, it's not.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Yea, I see the red light.


SAID: She has pretty eyes. Like her daddy.


Can you please turn that off? Would you turn it off so I can talk to you? Let me tape you.

SAID: Hmm?

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Let me tape you.


SAID: Coffee, coffee.


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: Are you going to kill somebody?

SAID: Cut it.


OWENS: He put a recorder in Amina's car. He would check her mileage. That was just the way that he controlled us.

GAIL GARTRELL, PATRICIA'S AUNT: I think there was fear instilled within them, constant warnings that they better walk the line. It was a mind game.

You follow the rules. You follow the rules or you die.

MOGGIO: I mean, those girls lived in hell every day. Could you imagine waking up to that every day?






OWENS: Me, Amina and Sarah, we had a very open relationship. I knew she had a boyfriend.

CHUCK, HUSBAND OF AMINA: When I married Amina, I figured she had given up on her life. She had given up on her life because of all the threats, all the violence that was going in her house. One of the things Amina told me is I gave her hope. I gave her a reason to leave. I gave her love.

GLENNA WHITLEY, STAFF WRITER, DALLAS OBSERVER & AUTHOR: Yaser, he knew they were seeing boys, they were talking to boys, but not how serious it was that they both had boyfriends.

CHUCK: Around November, the threats to her from Yaser started getting more serious.

MOGGIO: Yaser told Sarah don't get used to Amina being around very long, you're not going to have are a sister for much longer.

WHITLEY: And it all came to a head on Christmas Eve, 2007. Patricia was at work and Amina and Sarah ran in, crying and screaming. Yaser had started waving a gun around at them, threatening to kill them because he found out that they had boyfriends and he was furious. MOGGIO: Yaser pulled a gun, told Amina that he was going to kill her.

WALSH: I think these two girls said, you know what, we are not going to suffer the same fate as our mom. They figured out that they needed to run, that they needed a way to get out of his clutches.


[21:35:22] CHUCK: I had family in Tulsa, Oklahoma, so I offered the opportunity to go to Tulsa so we could all live there and have a new life.


OWENS: Her and Sarah said they were leaving with or without me. I said, no, I'm not letting you go out in this the world by yourself, and I went with them.

MOGGIO: Amina called me and said, I'm never going back there. I would rather die first than to ever go back there.



[21:40:26] WHITLEY: On December 27, everybody piled in the car, Patricia, her two daughters, their two boyfriends. They go to Tulsa where one of the boyfriends has a relative.

OWENS: After we got out of Texas and we got to Oklahoma, it was just like a big old weight lifted off of my shoulders.

CHUCK: Amina felt very happy. I remember a big smile. She was on to her new life. She wanted her freedom. She was very brave.

WHITLEY: They rent an apartment. Patricia and one of the boyfriends are able to get jobs very quickly. They buy a few furnishings. And, for a day or two, they have decided, OK, yeah, this is going to work, Tulsa is fine.

WALSH: The only problem with that run to Oklahoma, the only hole in their plan was they took mom.


MOGGIO: I was talking to Tissie. She was pretty shaken up. You could tell she was scared when I talked to her every day.

CHUCK: Connie had told Patricia that Yaser had called her and gave her this story that he was going to change for the girls but he wanted the girls to come back that he would allow the girls to have boyfriends. All he wanted was his family together.

WALSH: I think he was a master manipulator. He counted on one thing, that mom was the weakest link in the chain. CHUCK: It was around this time that I got a call from her parents and

they really wanted to talk to me about my whole situation, my decision. I left Oklahoma on Saturday. I thought they were safe. I thought when I came back we would continue on with our lives. And Patricia agreed they would stay there and there was no reason to come back.

I got back to Dallas and, the next morning, I get a call from Amina and says that we're coming back. I was confused because Patricia agreed that we were staying in Oklahoma.

OWENS: We all talked about it, Amina, Sarah and myself, and we all agreed to come back, for Amina to finish school and Sarah to finish her year out. Then when school was over, we were going to go back to the apartment in Oklahoma.

GARTRELL: I do not believe for a moment that Amina would have ever come back to Texas had she not been fooled, lied to, manipulated.

OWENS: I know a lot of people speculate saying that I forced the girls to go back home. If you knew my girls, you could not have forced them to do anything they didn't want to do.

GARTRELL: I don't care what my niece says, in fact, that people knew she was coming back, that is a lie, straight from the pit of fricking hell.

OWENS: Amina wanted to go to a new year's party. She went there. Me and Sarah, we was going to the grave site, to my mom's, because the grave site is, just from where we live, like an hour away. So the next morning, we were going to get up and go there. Well, we changed our plans. We went and ate and then we went to the Grapevine Mills Mall. And then we went back to the house. So the kids was not tricked. They made the decision they wanted to come back to Louisville.

CHUCK: Patricia and Sarah's plan was to go visit Patricia's mom's grave. There was no plan to visit Yaser.

[21:45:08] MOGGIO: To be honest, I don't know why -- why they'd come back. Tissie wasn't answering the phone. It was going straight to voicemail. I couldn't get anybody to answer the phone. And then, Amina called me. She was very are upset, very, like, kind of yelling at me almost. Aunt Connie, did you know my mom went back to my dad? In her voice, it was a little frantic. I said, I didn't know. She said, well, I'm never going back there. I would rather die first than to ever go back there.

CHUCK: I was upset, confused and hopeless. I didn't know what to do. I had no money. We had nowhere to run. I remember Amina walking outside and telling me that I gave up on her, that I'm letting her go. She said, this is it, you will never see me again.


OWENS: I admit I made a mistake. I came back here. But I thought I was doing the right thing for Amina, for her schooling. I didn't know I was coming back for my daughters to be murdered. I didn't know that.

CHUCK: Me and my dad were driving down the road. I noticed Yaser with the girls in the car.



[21:51:00] CHUCK: Amina posted on her Facebook, you know, she was afraid to become a memory because she knew that Yaser's threats were real. And Amina knew that her going with Yaser was a one-way road, there was no way coming back. She was afraid to die. And I would be, too, you know.

OWENS: I never, the 20 years I was married to Yaser, saw any tears in his eyes and he had a tear running down his eye -- his cheek. And he kissed her on the forehead and said, I'm glad you're home.

He said, we're going to go eat and we'll be back in a little bit. They didn't.

CHUCK: Later on that night, me and my dad were driving down the road. I noticed Yaser with the girls in the car. Yaser was driving and Amina was in the passenger seat, Sarah was in the back seat. I can remember Amina's face. She was scared. She was afraid.

I had Sarah's number and I called her, I knew Amina didn't have her phone. Said hello, hello, and I hung up because I was afraid I could probably jeopardize their lives, you know, if he was trying to work things out.

We followed Yaser down the road for a few miles, but we had to go on our way, and we stopped following them and they looked OK.



911 OPERATOR: 911, what is your emergency?


911 OPERATOR: What's going on, ma'am?


911 OPERATOR: Ma'am, are you still there?

All I get is she's telling me she's dying.

Are you still with me, ma'am. Ma'am, what is your address? Ma'am?

(END AUDIO FEED) JOE HENNING, DETECTIVE, IRVING, TEXAS, POLICE DEPARTMENT: We tried to triangulate where she was from the cell phone towers and things like that and we were able to get a general area, but not narrow enough to find her.

OWENS: The officer come knocking on the door, and he asked if everything was OK. And I said, yeah, why? He said, I just got a call from a number that is registered to this address, 911, that her sister has been shot and she's been shot and she's dying. And I fell to my knees.

They put me in the back of a car, me and Islam, and took us to Irving. I had to go identify the voice on the 911 call. My baby was begging for her life.



[21:55:06] 911 OPERATOR: Irving 911, what is your emergency?

CALLER: There's a cab in our cab stand. It doesn't appear there is a driver. And there are two people inside the cab, one in the passenger seat and one in the rear of the vehicle. One of the people in the passenger seat, she is hunched over and there is blood coming from her ear. And there's no cab driver to be found.


OWENS: Why did he do it? How could he do it? Those was his kids. How could you look one of them in the face and put bullets in them?

HENNIG: They were shot there in their seats. They were both shot multiple times. It appeared that they had been shot sitting where they are. We didn't believe they had been moved or anything like that.

WALSH: According to the coroner, Amina died almost instantly. Sarah, he shoots in a pattern all around her body, her limbs, to drag out her death. What kind of creature is that? What kind of evil, psychotic devil is that?


HENNIG: We went there and we immediately had a lot of officers out in on foot and in cars driving around, searching parking garages and different areas, looking for Yaser Said.

WHITLEY: This was on New Year's Day, 2008, and he's never been seen since.

WALSH: There isn't a place in hell deep enough for this guy. It is so appalling. I know what it is like. You're not supposed to bury your children. They're your immortality. They're your legacy. How could you possibly kill your own children? OWENS: He took all the money he had saved. He left his -- he always

carried his camera everywhere, he left his camera. He took all his money and his gun with him.


UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: This is me and my beautiful mommy.


MOGGIO: This was two young women that didn't do anything, I mean, except for trying to be happy. They were never happy. In their pictures, they looked happy. These kids were never happy.

CHUCK: In back of my head, I knew that this whole time they were running, it was in vain, you know. Patricia just -- they did what Yaser told them to do. And Yaser's promise of one day killing Amina had come through.

WALSH (voice-over): Yaser Said has been placed on the FBI's 10 most- wanted list. He has birth marks on both sides of his neck and a scar on his left eyebrow. He frequently wears dark sunglasses, even indoors. He smokes Marlborough Light cigarettes and enjoys smoking a hookah. If you've seen Yaser Said or know his whereabouts, remember, he may be armed and dangerous, so please call 1-866-the-hunt, or go to our website at You can remain anonymous. We'll pass your tip on to the proper authorities and, if requested, will not reveal your name.

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: My heart, an open wound. I can only cry. Don't try to understand. Make me a bird. Let me fly. I hate you. I hate your land. You froze in my heart. Let me die.

You never knew me. Don't start. Make me an angel. Let me fly.

Endless tyranny round and round. Let me go, where I can be found. My pain you will never know. Make me a leaf. Let me fly. Blow, wind, blow. You hang on.

You think you want me. You don't want to know. You don't know me. And here I don't want to be.