On the evening of November 8, 2001, Ana Melina Kilic was at her job in a hair-accessory shop in Harbor place, Baltimore’s showpiece downtown tourist and shopping area.

At about 7 p.m., her ex-husband, Imamali Kilic, appeared in the shop with a butcher knife. Ana Kilic fl ed, screaming into the corridor. Imamali Kilic overtook her, grabbed her, and according to more than 20 horrifi ed witnesses, stabbed her again and again. He kept stabbing even when about a dozen onlookers, one of them wielding a baseball bat from a nearby sports store, rushed to Ana Kilic’s rescue. They eventually subdued him, but not in time to save his victim’s life. An autopsy later determined that the 28-year-old Ana Kilic had been stabbed or slashed 29 separate times. Imamali Kilic was arrested at the scene and charged with murder.

Not quite four months later, he hung himself in his cell at the Baltimore City Jail where he was awaiting trial. After surviving for a few days on a respirator, he died on March 1, 2002.

The killing of Ana Kilic did not come unexpectedly out of the blue or without any efforts to prevent it. Quite the opposite. In August 2001, a day after an earlier confrontation in her shop, she went to court to ask for a restraining order against her husband, whose own workplace was in the same Harbor place pavilion, one fl oor below. Her petition alleged that he had raped her on two occasions and, in their encounter the previous day, had threatened her with violence. The court granted a week-long restraining order, but then dismissed the case when Ana Kilic did not come back to ask for its extension.

About that time, the couple’s divorce became final.

A little more than a month later, Ana Kilic complained to Baltimore police that her ex-husband had abducted her, taken her to New Jersey, and raped her again. Subsequently, according to police and court records, he made threatening calls to her home, warning that he would kill her and “cut off her arms and legs.” When he came to the shop and repeated the threats to her face, Ana Kilic told police. Arrested on charges of harassment and telephone misuse, Imamali Kilic spent a month in jail awaiting trial, then pleaded guilty to both offenses. Judge Paul A. Smith of the Baltimore Circuit Court sentenced him to three years of probation. The judge also ordered him to attend a program at a battered women’s shelter and to have no contact with his ex-wife. With that, Imamali Kilic was released from jail. One day later, Ana Kilic was murdered.