Iran hangs woman serial killer
December 20, 2010
IRAN has hanged a woman serial killer, convicted of
murdering five middle-aged women, in a prison in the central city of
Qazvin, the official IRNA news agency reported.
The report identified the woman sent to the gallows
as Mahin Qadiri, whom it said went on a killing spree between February
2008 and May 2009.
It said, without giving further details, that
Qadiri murdered her victims by rendering them unconscious and then
The hanging brings the number of executions in Iran
to at least 151 so far this year, according to an AFP count based on
media reports. At least 270 people were executed in 2009.
Along with China, Saudi Arabia and the United
States, Iran has one of the highest numbers of executions each year.
The Islamic republic says the death penalty is
essential to maintain law and order and is applied only after
exhaustive judicial proceedings.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and
adultery are all punishable by death in Iran.
Iran arrests 'Agatha Christie serial killer'
Woman accused of drugging, suffocating and robbing
her victims was inspired by classic crime novels, police claim
By Robert Tait - Theguardian.com
Thursday 21 May 2009
Police in Iran believe they have caught the
country's first female serial killer and are claiming she has
disclosed a literary inspiration behind her attempts to evade
detection: the crime novels of Agatha Christie.
The 32-year-old suspect, named only as Mahin,
stands accused of killing at least six people, including five women,
according to officials in the city of Qazvin, about 100 miles
north-west of Tehran.
"Mahin in her confessions has said that she has
been taking patterns from Agatha Christie books and has been trying
not to leave any trace of herself," Mohammad Baqer Olfat, the Qazvin
prosecutor, told Iranian journalists.
Mahin, who it is claimed also admitted the earlier
murders of her former landlord and an aunt, is said to have carefully
chosen her victims, targeting elderly and middle-aged women and
offering them lifts home after picking them up at shrines in the city
where they had been praying.
Police said she confessed in custody to killing
four such women in Qazvin since January, claiming to have been driven
by a desperate need for money after chalking up debts of more than
£16,000. After offering her victims a lift, Mahin allegedly gave them
fruit juice which she had spiked with an anaesthetic to knock them
out. She would then suffocate them before stealing their jewellery and
other possessions and dumping the bodies in secluded spots. One victim
was beaten to death with an iron bar after regaining consciousness.
Which Christie novels Mahin studied has not yet
been revealed, though many of the books describe killers using drugs.
Christie's novels, some of which depict unsolved murders, are highly
popular among Iranians. The writer, who died in 1976, visited Iran
several times and used it as the setting for one of her stories, The
House at Shiraz.
Qazvin's police chief, Ali Akbar Hedayati, said
Mahin was afflicted by a mental disorder triggered by having been
deprived of her mother's love. She would draw her chosen victims into
conversation by telling them they reminded her of her mother, the
police chief said.
After apparently being so careful to stay ahead of
the police, it seems that the most mundane of transgressions, a road
traffic offence, alerted detectives and led to her arrest.
Officers first suspected the killer may have been a
woman after studying a footprint found near one of the bodies. They
were only led to Mahin after a 60-year-old woman, having read about
the murders, told them she had escaped from a light-coloured Renault
car after becoming suspicious of the female driver.
After checking cars matching that description,
their attention was drawn to Mahin by records showing she had been
fined following a recent road accident.