Nailah Franklin: ‘Fatal Attraction’ Smoke And Mirrors Episode Covers Tragic Chicago Case

Nailah Franklin, the Chicago woman who was murdered by her ex-boyfriend, Reginald Potts, is making her way back to TV this Monday night in the new episode of Fatal Attraction. The title of the Fatal Attraction episode airing Nailah Franklin’s tragic case is “Smoke and Mirrors,” which tells the story of a beautiful and highly successful woman black woman who disappears in the city of Chicago and is later found dead in a forest preserve.

If the story sounds familiar, Inquisitr brought you Nailah Franklin’s story earlier this year when it aired on Dateline NBC. On TV One’s Fatal Attraction, expect to see riveting dramatization and hear commentary from Chicago detectives and family members who fought for justice in the case.

Black Pharmaceutical Sales Rep Missing

In 2007, Nailah Franklin had everything to live for. She was not only beautiful and striking, but also intelligent and successful. As a pharmaceutical sales rep, Nailah Franklin was able to enjoy the finer things in life. She lived in a beautiful loft and loved beautiful clothing. With her success, she naturally attracted other successful people. However, not everyone had good intentions.

Police say the day Nailah Franklin hooked up with Reginald Potts, a wealthy real estate investor, she was marked for death. On the outside, Reginald Potts was a handsome and rich black man who drove fancy cars, dined in elegant restaurants, and dressed in expensive suits. But underneath that sheen of glamour, they say Potts was a self-centered and violent man who had a shady and criminal past, which included battering and threatening a police officer. Here is a glimpse of some of his arrests, which occurred after Nailah Franklin disappeared, according to Kalimao.

  • October 5, misdemeanor battery for allegedly threatening a gas station attendant;

  • October 30, violation of restraining order (he apparently faxed the mother of his child notifying her of the court date);

  • October 30, resisting arrest, assaulting an officer (when sheriff’s deputies attempted to arrest him for the restraining order violation, he elbowed one of them);

  • November 8, violating another restraining order filed by his ex-wife (apparently, Potts wrote her an email which he forwarded to his own family and friends, and his sister “inadvertently” sent it to the ex-wife);

  • Nov 9, no-show at a court-ordered hearing on the first violation of restraining order (this seems somewhat unfair, since the reason he didn’t show is he was sitting in jail).

People who knew Reginald Potts painted him as a cocky tough guy who struck fear in people. He used the same intimidation tactics to scare Nailah after she broke it off with him once she learned about his infidelity and troubling past. Instead of letting her go, he followed her, harassed her, and threatened to have Nailah Franklin erased.

Authorities say that Reginald Potts not only erased her, he killed her. Her body was found naked and decomposing in a remote forest preserve in a Chicago suburb.

At trial, prosecutors say that Reginald Potts was a ruthless and coldblooded killer who couldn’t handle it after Nailah Franklin dumped him and later stood up to him. The day she went missing, video surveillance in her loft building captured her in the hallway with Potts. Later, they say he followed her out to the car, overpowered her, and then strangled her before dumping the body.


After the murder, prosecutors say that he posed as Nailah through text messages to make her family and friends believe that she was still alive. Also in the prosecution’s favor were the slew of witnesses who testified about Reginald Potts’ violent behavior. Defense attorneys for Potts say police only had circumstantial evidence against him. However, a jury still found him guilty and sentenced him to life in prison, the Chicago Sun Times stated.

Watch how Fatal Attraction pulls the Nailah Franklin case together by tuning in this Monday at 10/9 p.m. Central on TV One. Before the show, you can read up on a few true-story details in the Franklin case here.

[Featured Image by M. Spencer Green/AP Images]