Bijan Manuel Nassirdaftari
17 Years Old

October 9, 1987 to July 17, 2005


Bijan was a young man full of happiness with a life of promise ahead of him. He had a personality that he could walk into a room of strangers, and leave with a room full of friends. Bijan was 6’2’, he had a huge welcoming smile and rosy red cheeks. He had a contagious laugh, making everyone in a room know he was there. As a child he had silky jet back hair, though, in high school he chose to wear it very cropped, much to his mother’s dislike.

As a child Bijan loved to fish, play with ninja turtles and legos. As a young man he enjoyed soccer, basketball, golf, and collecting Michael Jordan shoes. Yet, the last six months of his life were devoted to spending time with his first true girlfriend.

Bijan has two sisters that adored him, Alina and Laila. They built forts, played hide-n-seek, watched videos and teased each other. Bijan loved Mami’s mashed potatoes, in fact, mashed potatoes and steak were the last meal request the night before he was murdered.

Bijan and his father had a special relationship. From soccer games, to ski trips, and buying Bijan his first car, a 1994 Volvo; guiding him through the college application process and encouraging Bijan to aim high in life for success.

Bijan was raised with strong Catholic values that shone through in his actions with family, friends and the less fortunate of this world. In my son there was integrity, compassion, sensitivity, kindness, and a wonderful sense of humor.

I was close with my son though we went through some turbulent years. I took measures not many parents would take, I was not in denial. Through the years we had “confrontations”, but, he was always loved unconditionally. In the senior yearbook, he wrote, “a special thanks to my mother and family for always being there for me no matter what”. The yearbook arrived for his 18th birthday, he had been dead for 10 weeks.

Bijan wrote me a two page handwritten Mother’s Day Card weeks before his death. The words that ring out today and forever are, “you are such a strong woman and I am so proud to be your son..”

I was proud to have had my son on a loan from God for 17 years. Everyday as I awake I realize that I am one day closer to seeing him again. I long to see his smile, hear his laughter, feel his hug, and embrace him in my arms. As I often said to him each morning:

Be Strong… Make Me Proud… Be A Man of God!

We will forever hold Bijan in our hearts and souls,

Maria, Saied, Alina and Laila


Bijan was murdered in a well orchestrated crime in Bethesda, Maryland, on July 17, 2005. Bijan and his friends were out to purchase marijuana. A group of three, Ardele Monkkonen, Michael Manaugh, and Ricardo Thomas set it up as if to sell the drug, but it was a conspired robbery, there was NO marijuana. Bijan got in the back seat of a car, where Michael, a trusted friend of Bijan was the driver. Ardele sat in the front seat and Ricardo in the back seat. Ardele had purchased a 44 magnum for Ricardo for such robberies. Ricardo demanded the money and Bijan did not comply, much of that money belonged to his friends waiting in a nearby car.

Bijan was punched, beaten, strangled, and had his small finger bitten off. As he tried to escape the driver would relock the electric car locks. Bijan finally broke free, no more than 3 feet from the car, Ricardo shot Bijan execution style on side of the head. Bijan’s brain exploded. As he lay dead, Ricardo came and removed the money from Bijan’s pocket. They sped away.

All three were arrested within 24 hours of the crime. The State’s attorney, against our wishes, pled a deal with Ardele Monkkonen and Michael Manaugh.

Ardele served 9 months of prison time, and on September 17th of this year, 2 years and 2 months to the date of Bijan’s murder, she will appear before a judge to have her convictions removed, as if nothing happened. Due to her representation we feel she will be successful.

Ricardo Thomas was sentenced to two life sentences without parole. At this time he is filing an appeal. Michael Maunaugh received a 10 year term, and has a parole date of March 2010.

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Bijan Nassirdaftari