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Neb. woman accused of trying to extort $25K from prison nurse

The aspiring true-crime author is alleged to have helped Aubrey Trail, a convicted killer, in a murder-for-hire scheme to extort money from a prison nurse who had smuggled contraband into the prison


By Lori Pilger
Lincoln Journal Star, Neb.

LINCOLN, Neb. — A 55-year-old Lincoln woman went to jail Sunday for allegedly helping convicted killer Aubrey Trail in a murder-for-hire scheme to extort money from a prison nurse who had smuggled contraband into the prison for him, including a cell phone.

Trail even allegedly tried to pressure the nurse into smuggling a firearm into the prison in 2021, about six months before he was sentenced to death for the murder and dismemberment of Sydney Loofe, according to court records filed Friday.

In an affidavit for Samantha Al-Rekabi’s arrest filed Friday, Nebraska State Patrol Trooper Neal Trantham said the investigation began in March 2021, when an intelligence captain got information from an inmate alleging that Trail had compromised a female medical staff member at the Nebraska Diagnostic & Evaluation Center, now known as the Reception and Treatment Center.

He said Al-Rekabi was planning to write a true-crime book about Trail and his crimes and allegedly befriended the nurse at Trail’s direction, allowing her to stay at her apartment and giving her gifts of money and a computer.

Trantham said that in an interview in 2021, Al-Rekabi denied she was communicating with prison staff members for Trail.

But, he said, the investigation turned up recordings believed to be the two of them talking about the compromised nurse bringing in tobacco and a cell phone for him to use in the past.

“Trail also mentioned his intent to have a firearm smuggled into the prison,” the investigator wrote. “They also discussed the compromised staff member and her desire to have her husband killed in order to prevent him from obtaining her pension (through divorce).”

The nurse, who isn’t being named because she hasn’t been charged, abruptly quit her job without notice three days earlier, on March 15, 2021.

Soon after, Trantham said the State Patrol was informed of the allegations and investigators contacted the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services to request recorded prison calls, emails, financial information (commissary funds), and intelligence materials, as well as job application information for the nurse and began to research Al-Rekabi.

Trantham detailed recordings of three calls believed to have been between Trail and Al-Rekabi in early 2021.

In one, the female voice says: “It’s crazy that she’s gonna get her pension out just (to) give it to us.”

Then, the male responds: “She don’t have a choice.”

The woman said she made a mistake “when she sent you that phone.” And the male responded that she had made a lot of mistakes, like bringing in chewing tobacco and food.

In another excerpt of the call, she said the other woman talked “about bringing you a (gun).”

He said she would bring him anything he wants because she wants the phone she gave him back “and she wants us to go away so badly.”

He said he told her to "... bring me a gun so I can just kill everybody.”

Trantham said that in an FBI interview in late 2021, the nurse admitted she had confided details with Trail about her troubled relationship with her husband, and Trail later told her he had hired a hitman and made a $2,400 downpayment on her behalf to have her husband killed.

In order for her to stop the murder, Trail told her she needed to give him $25,000, which she said she did through Al-Rekabi.

“Through training and experience, investigators believe that there was never a legitimate plan to actually pay to have (the nurse)'s relatives killed. lnmate Aubrey Trail, with the assistance of Samantha Al-Rekabi, manipulated (the nurse) into the belief that these things would happen if she did not provide the funds that Inmate Trail requested,” Trantham said.

He said that in an interview this spring, Al-Rekabi alleged she was pulled into Trail’s manipulations. At first, she acted as an intermediary between him and his co-defendant, Boswell, and she later feared Trail would turn her in for it or have her and her son killed.

Prosecutors have charged Al-Rekabi with extortion.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7237 or

On Twitter @LJSpilger


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