California mom who watched rich and powerful 'narcissist' mow down her two sons makes promise to killer

The mother of two California boys who were killed by a rich and powerful socialite who blew through a crosswalk in a speeding Mercedes has vowed to confront the convicted murderer in prison in the hope that she will someday show remorse after what critics call a lenient sentence of 15 years to life in prison.

"My plan is to give her a visit in prison, in a few months or maybe a year, and I will ask her that question directly," said Nancy Iskander, the mother of 8-year-old Jacob and 11-year-old Mark. "I will say, ‘Are you able to say, "I am sorry I killed them?"’ This will allow me to forgive, because I need to get through what she's done."

Iskander was forced to dive to safety with her youngest son, Zachary, who was 5 at the time, when Rebecca Grossman, a 60-year-old co-founder of a prominent burn center and a wealthy Los Angeles philanthropist, sped toward them at more than 80 mph. 

The mother and surviving son watched in horror as Grossman slammed into Mark and Jacob at an estimated 81 mph. Then she fled the scene.

Mark and Jacob Iskander were both killed when Rebecca Grossman sped through a crosswalk while racing home from a boozy date in 2020. (Nancy and Karim Iskander)

Grossman, who prosecutors described as a "completely self-serving" narcissist, was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and fleeing the scene of an accident for the Sept. 29, 2020, crash, but not without a number of dramatic curveballs in the case.

"She has lived a life of privilege and clearly felt that her wealth and notoriety would buy her freedom," prosecutors wrote to the court while requesting the maximum allowable sentence of 34 years to life in prison.

Karim Iskander, right, and wife Nancy arrive for Rebecca Grossman's sentencing on June 10, 2024, in Van Nuys, California. (Photo by Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

According to prosecutors, even after her conviction she refused to take responsibility for the deaths, which jurors found were murders and not a "tragic accident."


On Friday, Judge Joseph Brandolino sentenced her to two concurrent terms of 15 years to life in prison plus another three years for fleeing the scene that will also run concurrently. California legal experts tell Fox News Digital she could be eligible for parole in just eight years.

One glaring issue with the sentencing, in Iskander's view, is that Grossman's sentences were not imposed to run consecutively, which the mother says reduces the murders of two boys as if they were one person and completely erases Grossman's attempt to flee the scene and avoid justice altogether.

Court sketch of Rebecca Grossman sentencing 

"I don't think I'll ever be able to accept that … or even understand the judge's point of view," she told Fox News Digital. 

The concurrent sentences for a suspect who prosecutors said showed no remorse is unusually lenient, according to Garrett Dameron, a supervisor in the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office who oversaw the line prosecutors on the case.

In contrast, a man in nearby Ventura County received a sentence of 30 years to life in prison for the deaths of a woman and her granddaughter who were riding together on a motorcycle when he smashed into them head-on while driving high.

"She basically showed no regard for the way our justice system works, and he rewards her with basically the lightest sentence he can give her," Dameron told Fox News Digital. "It's deeply offensive."

While behind bars, Grossman was accused of attempted juror tampering and repeatedly violating court orders. Prosecutors say she also tried to release sealed evidence to the public and to contact witnesses.

"The defendant's actions from September 29, 2020, through today show a complete lack of remorse and narcissistic superiority that leads to only one conclusion, that she is undeserving of any leniency," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memo.

Iskander said Grossman even made an anonymous donation of $25,000 toward the boys' funeral costs, which the mother argues violated her right to refuse the killer's money.

"She essentially attempted to buy her way out of this," Dameron said. "Never has she once shown a modicum of remorse or sympathy or never has she even hinted at taking responsibility for this. And my issue with the judge is he had made comments throughout the trial that he didn’t like the murder charges in this case. Instead of objectively pronouncing [the] sentence as he should’ve, I think he's attempting to legislate from the bench."

Grossman's lawyer, James Spertus, said the judge gave a thoughtful and detailed explanation for the sentence, adding that Grossman is a first-time criminal offender who had a decades-old reputation for humanitarian work.

"This case involves a tragic accident that resulted in incalculable loss to the Iskanders, so it is understandable they would be disappointed in any sentence short of the death penalty," he told Fox News Digital. "However, I expected more maturity and professionalism from the prosecutors."

Grossman was speeding, had alcohol and drugs in her system, and plowed through the boys as they made their way through a crosswalk with their mother and younger brother. Court documents show she had a series of traffic citations going back to at least 2000.

Rebecca Grossman, left, and daughter head to Van Nuys Courthouse in West Van Nuys, California. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Then, according to Iskander, she tormented the family for years with her legal maneuvering and alleged attempts to tamper with witnesses and the jury.

She explained that she constantly has flashbacks to the day of the crime, the sight of Mark and Jacob on the road.

"I keep living it every day, every minute of every day," she said. "How can he just ignore something like that?"

Following the horror, the boys' parents and younger brother have devoted themselves to helping others, kicking off a charitable foundation in honor of Mark and Jacob and launching a foster care project that will soon be licensed in Los Angeles.

Zachary, now 8, is preparing to go on his first mission overseas to help build houses in memory of his brothers, Iskander said.

"I had always wanted them to wait until their teen years, but he wants to do something to honor his brothers," she said.

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She is hoping to raise money for The Mark & Jacob Foundation at an Oct. 20 event and for the forthcoming Mark & Jacob Foster Care Ministry.

Iskander also said she is willing to help other parents suffering through the trauma of losing their children.

"I just want to say to anyone listening, if they have a tragedy, if they are broken, to keep their faith," she said.