LOCAL > Footage of Sierra’s final moments before murder emerges

ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency

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Sierra is seen walking by a surburban railway in the recently released footage. DHA capture

Sierra is seen walking by a surburban railway in the recently released footage. DHA capture

Security footage showing Sarai Sierra, an American woman who was murdered in January while in Istanbul as a tourist, has emerged, Doğan News Agency revealed, March 22.

The brief footage was recorded on Jan. 21, the day on which Sierra went missing, by the security cameras of the suburban train line connecting the Sirkeci railway terminus, in the Eminönü neighborhood near the ancient city walls, to Halkalı. 

The footage, taken from two different angles, shows a person in pink dress thought to be Sierra, walking next to the railroad.

The confessed murderer, Ziya Tasalı, captured last week at the Turkish-Syrian border, reportedly told police during an interrogation that he saw Sierra walking by the railroad.

Sierra is thought to have encountered Tasalı a few minutes after the footage was recorded. “I saw her near the railroad. I wanted to kiss her; she hit me with her phone. I hit her back and she rolled towards the [ancient] city walls,” Tasalı had reportedly said during the interrogation last week. Tasalı, who faces a life sentence, has been transferred to an Istanbul prison.

Sierra’s body was found by police Feb. 2 near the Sarayburnu district after two weeks of intensive searching. She was laid to rest in her hometown of New York, on Feb. 15. 


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C B Mays

3/26/2013 4:15:23 PM

For those who do not like the Police, have you thought about what it would be like if they were not there to protect you from the predators?

Çılgın Kanarya

3/25/2013 8:44:11 PM

Why are some people so reluctant to accept that Ziya is the killer? Are you forgetting that a witness saw him with fresh scratches on his face just after hearing a woman screaming in that very area? That his DNA was found under her fingernails? That he's on CCTV selling her jacket shortly afterwards? That he fled Istanbul on the day it was revealed her body was found? Plus of course his full confession! I'm no great fan of the police either, but on this occasion they've done their job properly.

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

3/25/2013 6:09:11 PM

"Sierra is seen walking by a surburban railway". Yeah, right very clear.


3/25/2013 2:19:26 PM

Michele, the police have stated that she was just a tourist. She was into taking photographs. She took photos of railways before, some of them quite striking. This was her first trip abroad and she was able to take some time off for herself, which clearly meant a great deal to her and she wanted to get as much from this trip as possible. Turkey, being so different to her home, must have seemed fascinating to her. She assumed she was safe, got careless and unfortunately ran into a scumbag. Sad.

michele suzanne

3/25/2013 7:36:25 AM

This is definitely NOT to put blame on Sarai, however WHAT ON EARTH WAS SHE DOING walking along a railway track? The video is very poor and no-one could possibly identify any figures in it - why then does the article say it is the murderer and the victim? I really think that the man who has "confessed" to the murder has been "forced" to. This all seems very suspect to me. Again, why oh why would ANYONE be walking along this railway line - especially a tourist who is not familiar with the area?

Çılgın Kanarya

3/24/2013 10:16:09 PM

Murderer Ziya needs locking up until he draws his last breath, in the absence of the proper punishment that he deserves, which I won't bother elaborating on as it won't get published. No matter how drunk he was, how high he was on paint thinner or glue, as a fully grown adult, he bears 100% responsibility for the tragic & fatal consequences of his disgraceful & inhumane behaviour. I still can't understand why Sarai was exploring alone in such an unsafe area, but in a way, that's irrelevant now.

KuriouserN Kuriouser

3/24/2013 9:48:29 PM

Interpretation of Zia T's account for Joe Maddin: I tried to rape her. She resisted, so I killed her. Is that simple enough for you to understand Joe? Do you still think we're being to hard on this murderer? That it wasn't his fault?

lara ulusoy

3/24/2013 7:53:34 PM

The other possibility is that it was all a matter of a very naive and bad plan on Sarai's side and she should have known better than to wander alone in isolated areas and so she could have avoided being chased by a drunk and eventually killed. In all cased, it's a very sad story and I really hope it will never happen again.

lara ulusoy

3/24/2013 6:39:58 PM

The whole story is not very convincing.I think they were under a lot of pressure to 'find' the killer and they had to come up with somebody very soon, so they did. He was told to say what he said and promised freedom after a while. Besides, I couldn't tell who those figures were in the footage! It could have been anybody. It seems that the man was drunk (9am to 2pm non stop alcohol) and just happened to be there at the time. What was she doing near the rail at that time anyway?we'll never know!

joe Maddin

3/24/2013 5:39:12 PM

@Baris I am surprised that you seem satisfied with these flimsy proofs to condemn a "poor" and unstable guy to life jail. Maybe one can't expect more from the Turkish police when they are under heavy pressure to find a culprit and show hat Turkey is safe even for single adventurous american women.
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