Iran police 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 woman identified only by her first name as Mahin, age 32, has confessed to the murders which were committed between February and May.
The 32-year-old suspect, stands accused of killing at least six people, including five women, according to officials in the city of Qazvin, near Tehran. Mahin’s modus operandi would be to approach her victims, who were mostly females, aged between 50 and 70 years old, and offer to give them a ride in her yellow Renault. Mahin is said to have carefully chosen her victims, targeting elderly and middle-aged women, picking them up at shrines where they had been praying. After offering her victims a lift, Mahin allegedly gave them fruit juice, which she had spiked with an anesthetic to knock them out. She would then suffocate them before stealing their jewelery and other possessions and dumping the bodies in secluded spots. One victim was beaten to death with an iron bar.
A local police chief in Qazvin said psychologists believed Mahin’s motives could be traced to her troubled relation with her parents in childhood.
“It is likely that the murderer took revenge on women who resembled her mother and were of the same age because of her intense hatred of her own mother,” the police chief, Akbar Hedayati said.
He said, Mahin, a heavy-built track and field athlete and mother of two, had been arrested after her last prey – a 60-year-old woman – managed to get away from her car on May 11 and provided the police with major leads. 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 $24,000 (€17,300).
“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.
Murder is punishable by death in Iran, which hangs hundreds of people every year.
-article by Robert Tait from Irish Times rewritten and adapted by admin-