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No murder case in the past decade has riveted Western New York like the one against Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan, who was convicted of stabbing and beheading his wife, Aasiya Hassan. The husband and wife first made news when they co-founded Bridges TV cable station in Orchard Park. They shared their homespun ambition and idealistic goals of creating bridges of understanding be…

Erie County

Most people remember Aasiya Zubair Hassan for her death – how her manipulative and vengeful husband stabbed and beheaded her in February 2009 in an Orchard Park television studio. They remember the riveting, two-week murder trial that exposed Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan as a deluded and narcissistic killer. But to her stepchildren, Aasiya Hassan shouldn't just be remembered f…

Crime

When Orchard Park resident and cable TV station owner Muzzammil 'Mo' Hassan was convicted on murder charges in 2011 after slashing and stabbing his wife more than 40 times before finally beheading her, then District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III predicted Hassan would spend the next decade appealing his case. This past week – seven years after his conviction and nine yea…

Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan simply wasn't the same man Wednesday.He appeared in court disheveled and subdued at his sentencing. Though he occasionally whispered to his lawyer, he was mostly silent and lacked the alertness and energy of his previous court appearances.He objected to the presence of cameras in the courtroom for the first time but -- for once -- had little t…

She wanted to break through stereotypes. She wanted to create tolerance. She wanted to promote understanding.That's how we should remember Aasiya Zubair Hassan.Not for the gruesome autopsy photos. Or the bizarre trial. Or the fact that her husband dragged her name through the mud in an attempt to get away with murder.She wanted to change the American image of Muslims…

Aasiya Hassan would have loved the quaint, white house on South Buffalo Street in Orchard Park.The walls are painted warm colors, the couches are soft and cushy and there are toys for the little ones.It is home to the new Southtowns satellite office for the Family Justice Center of Erie County, where victims of domestic violence and their children can come to get h…

For the family of Aasiya Zubair Hassan, following the murder trial of their sister was like reliving the day of her death exactly two years ago today, except with horrific details they previously knew nothing about."I called my father and mother," said Asma Firfirey, Aasiya's sister. "My mother cried so much."Until the prosecution's case began, they didn't know exa…

There are survivors. There are women who get away. There are women who -- one day -- have had enough of living a private hell. Of being a prisoner in their own homes. Of paying a price in black eyes and broken bones for the sickness of the person whom they once -- and maybe still -- love.They reach out. They get help. They leave -- before it's too late.Aasiya Hassan …

Prosecutor Colleen Curtin Gable aggressively cross-examined Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan on the witness stand Wednesday. But it was the testimony of his daughter -- whom Hassan recalled to the stand as a defense witness -- that was truly devastating to his case.Sonia Hassan, 20, refused to even look at her father or address him by name as he asked her more than 30 questio…

Michael Shazad Hassan remembered sitting in the back of the locked police car after being abandoned in the family's minivan at the Bridges TV studio the day of his stepmother's death."I was freaking out," he told the jury in the murder trial of his father, Muzzammil "Mo" Hassan on Wednesday.There was snow on the ground, and it had been incredibly cold in the miniva…

The contrast is so striking.The last hour of Aasiya Zubair Hassan's life started out as ordinary as any other -- haircuts for the kids and a promise to take them to dinner.But it ended in a horrific, blood-soaked death marked by more than 40 separate slash and stab wounds, and ultimately, a beheading. The attack was so vicious that it allegedly took her husband, Mu…

Muzzammil Hassan had another woman in his life, and he wanted his wife to know.Whether the relationship was intimate is unknown, but he went out of his way to humiliate his wife with the possibility, Aasiya Zubair Hassan's sister said. For months, he forced his wife to listen in on his friendly and flirtatious phone banter with the woman, said Asma Firfirey, Aasi…

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…

They know what it's like to be bruised and beaten. They know what it's like to be choked, shoved around, threatened. They know terror and helplessness.Some area women -- survivors of domestic violence -- know a lot about what Aasiya Hassan and the pop singer Rihanna went through recently."It's a trip to hell and back," Mary Ellen Gabor of Amherst said of the abusive marita…