Nailah Franklin, the missing African-American pharmaceutical sales rep whose naked body was found decomposed in a forest preserve in Chicago, will have her tragic story played out on the next Dateline NBC. In the episode entitled, “Smoke and Mirrors,” Dateline viewers will listen as family members and detectives reveal how a beautiful and intelligent woman with everything to live for ended up dead — a casualty of her former lover, Reginald Potts, a handsome, but dangerous real estate and hedge-fund investor. Also, expect to hear from Nailah Franklin’s boyfriend, Andre Wright, who last sent a text message to Nailah, asking, “Are You Alive?” For killing Nailah Franklin, ex-lover Reginald Potts was convicted and sentenced to life in an Illinois correctional facility.
Nailah Franklin was absolutely gorgeous. In fact, that was one of the reasons that her case made so many headlines back in September, 2007, when she was first reported missing. Her gorgeous smile made an impact on the community, and everyone wanted to find the missing woman and bring her home to safety.
Unfortunately, the story would end in a gruesome way. Police officers on patrol in the 200 block of River Oaks in Calumet City, found the nude remains of Nailah Franklin in a wooded area in the Chicago suburbs. Everyone had been looking for the missing pharmaceutical rep for the past nine days and had held out hope that she’d be okay.
By all accounts, Nailah Franklin was not just a pretty face, but a real go-getter who wasn’t afraid to go after what she wanted in life. What she wanted was to be happy and successful. And nothing represented that more than her posh South Sangamon loft in University Village and her elite job with Eli Lilly & Company. Yes, she was a woman on her way to the top. She couldn’t have known that the man in her life would be the person responsible for destroying it all.
Reginald Potts was handsome and rich. They say he had two homes and drove a beautiful Bentley and a Mercedes. Making his money in real estate and running his own hedge-fund company, Reginald Potts seemed like the type of guy any girl would have wanted, except for the fact that he was a man with a criminal past — one that included the battery of a police officer and his former wife and girlfriends. Obviously, all of his cash and flash, hid a deeper problem — he was an extremely dangerous and violent man who was afraid of no one. Just ask the cop who received a disturbing phone call to his home, where Potts threatened him and his family.
Detectives reviewed video surveillance that showed that Reginald Potts was the last person seen with Nailah Franklin on the night she went missing. Potts’ incriminating phone message, where he threatened Nailah had been erased from her phone. Her computers had also disappeared. There was no real DNA evidence linking Potts to the murder, and Nailah’s car appeared to have been wiped clean. It seemed that Reginald Potts had done a good job covering his tracks. But, he forgot about the role technology would play in the police investigation. His cell phone records put him in the area where the body was dumped.
Of course, he denied having anything to do with her death. And at a court appearance in 2008, Reginald Potts was so mean-spirited and disrespectful that he had to wear a mouth guard to keep him from spitting on other people. His cockiness didn’t end there. At his 2015 trial, he planned on representing himself before he finally agreed to a lawyer. But, he did address the court, stating that he was not a violent person, according to ABC-7.
“I did not have any anger toward Nailah Franklin. I was not angry with her. I was not stalking her. I did not stalk Nailah. I did not murder Nailah. Period.
“I am a very outspoken person. I speak my mind. I’m not a violent person.”
Prosecutors alleged that Nailah discovered his criminal past and wanted nothing to do with him, leading Reginald Potts to begin sending profanity-laced emails, threatening to expose some sort of sex tape of an encounter between them. She fought back by telling him that she was not going to let him bully her, and that she was getting the police involved, according to Kalimao.
“I have filed a police report, I will be getting an order of protection tomorrow. You will not threaten me with those videos, I will have you locked up for taking them from my house. If you come anywhere near me you will be back in jail, I promise. You are crazy, you disrespect women, you are a bully, you are a extremely hateful, but you are not going to bully me. You are messing with the wrong chick this time. I will have you locked up where you belong for good!”
In an effort to prove his innocence, Reginald Potts constructed a letter, which contained partial email exchanges with Nailah. It is believed that most of these were removed from the internet years ago, perhaps based on the advice from his attorneys. But, there were three sites that still have the contents of the emails and his statement.
Tune in to Friday’s Dateline episode, to see how police were able to track down the killer and give the Franklin family some justice. Be sure to check your local listings for exact times. Inquisitr also covered the case of a prominent black attorney named Chiquita Tate who was found dead in her law office.
[Image via Dateline NBC/Facebook]