It didn't take long for police to conclude that McNair was shot and killed by his girlfriend, Sahel Kazemi, before she committed suicide. But the police created the impression that there was a rush to judgment in the case by getting certain details wrong, including major details about when Kazemi got the gun she supposedly used to kill McNair and herself, and the relationship she had with the man who sold her the gun.
CBS News launched an investigation shortly after McNair's death that conclusively demonstrated that the police were wrong when they said Kazemi barely knew the man she bought the gun from. Police acknowledged they got that detail wrong, but they said it didn't affect their larger conclusion that the deaths of Kazemi and McNair were a murder-suicide.
And maybe getting that detail wrong doen't mean the police got the conclusion wrong. But the former Nashville cop, Vincent Hill, insists that there were numerous errors in the department's work, and he told ESPN.com that he'll present his own investigation to a grand jury in an attempt to get the case re-opened. Hill is peddling a book about the case, called Playbook to a Murder, and on his website he says the following:
As tragic as the events of July 4th were, they pale in comparison to the flawed and careless investigation of the Nashville Police Department. Playbook to a Murder gives readers an inside look at all aspects of the case from the faulty "murder weapon", the connection between the alleged "killer" and the "gun seller", problems in Steve McNair's inner circle, unaccounted whereabouts and a lack of evidence. This book is sure to give readers a different conclusion than the murder-suicide conclusion given by police.Is Hill just a disgruntled former cop who wants to make his old department look bad, or does he genuinely have important information to share? I don't know.
But I do know that the Nashville police acted at every stop as if they were rushing to reach as neat and tidy a conclusion as they could find in the death of McNair. Because they did that, their actions are still being scrutinized, even at a time when all of us wish we could just let McNair rest in peace.