When three men escaped from the Orange County jail, officials quickly decided only one of the escapees possessed the cunning and resourcefulness to mastermind it: Hossein Nayeri, a 37-year-old ex-Marine who faced charges in a grisly kidnapping and torture plot.
Around Nayeri's former wife, 29-year-old Cortney Shegerian, the anxiety was extreme. She was rushed into hiding. She assumed a fake name. During the eight days Nayeri was on the run — from his escape on Jan. 22 to his capture Saturday morning — the people around her feared for her life.
As the manhunt dragged on, authorities were convinced that if Nayeri remained in California, it was to stalk and kill her. Her lawyers, and the district attorney's office, implored the media not to mention her name, for fear of inflaming him.
The source of Nayeri's rage? Shegerian had played a central role in putting him behind bars in the first place, participating in an elaborate law-enforcement scheme to lure him out of Iran — and into an extradition-friendly country — in November 2013.