No one else will ever again hear Paul Weinstein's wife plead in vain for her life. And for that he's deeply grateful.
The very private New Jersey man has been fighting for more than a decade to keep a secretly recorded tape of the last minutes of his murdered wife's life from being released to the media.
It was 1996, when Kathleen Stanfield Weinstein was carjacked in a southern New Jersey parking lot. She managed to activate a tape recorder she was carrying and recorded 46 excruciating minutes of her pleas for her life before her attacker bound her hands and feet and smothered her.
Last week a judge ruled that the much-sought-after recording of the slain schoolteacher trying to talk her killer out of murdering her would not "under any circumstances'' be released to the media.
The judge made the ruling after several news organizations, including The Associated Press, went to court to fight for the tape's release. The judge did release a transcript of the recording.
Michael LeSane, 27, was convicted Wednesday of murder, kidnapping, robbery and carjacking. He could be sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole before 60 years.
Closing arguments in the murder trial of his wife's alleged killer begin this morning.
In his first-ever interview, Weinstein told ABC News' Law & Justice Unit about the extraordinary measures he took to protect his son from hearing the tape.
""Let's face it. It's a sensational story just the way it is. You can't write a better script,'' he said. "If there's not enough for a regular story there, the media will go for the tape, and that is too much for me. I didn't think anyone had the right to listen to what my poor wife went through in the last moments of her life,'' he said. "How much more sacred could something be?"
On March 14, 1996, Weinstein, a special education teacher, was on her way to take a test in southern New Jersey to become a school administrator. She'd been studying hard and recording notes on a microcassette recorder.
"She stopped to get a bite to eat,'' her husband said.
That's when police said LeSane abducted her from a Toms River, N.J., shopping center parking lot and forced her to drive to a wooded area nearby. He was to turn 17 the next day and later said he wanted her car as a birthday present to himself.
For most of the heartbreaking 46-minute tape, the schoolteacher appears calm and seeks repeatedly to reassure her captor that there is a way out.
"You sound like a person who could go somewhere and really make something of himself,'' Weinstein said, according to a transcript of the tape.
Later, she appealed to her abductor as a mother.
"I'm thinking about my little 6-year-old, and I want to go home to him,'' she said.
"I've spent my whole life to have my little boy,'' she said tearfully. "Don't break your mother's heart. I have a son, and I know what it's like."
Police say she was so composed during the ordeal she was able to flip the tape and reinsert it into the recorder without her captor's knowledge. The tape was found in her pocket when her body was discovered.
With the same determination his wife showed in the car that day, Paul Weinstein went to extraordinary lengths to keep the tape from the media.
In a move that legal experts said is virtually unprecedented, Weinstein and New Jersey attorney Carmine Villani copyrighted the recording.