While they might not be as well known in the United States, there are plenty of Middle Eastern serial killers that terrified countries like Iran, Iraq, Egypt, and Turkey over the years. While these foreign killers may feel unfamiliar to you, they're certainly familiar in other parts of the globe, showing that human evil is not bound to a specific place or region. These murderers from the Middle East come with some bone chilling tales.
Why are serial killers so fascinating? Part of the reason is their seemingly compulsive desire for violence, often coupled with a complete lack of clear motivation. Notable serial killers make people ponder the nature of humanity and whether some people are simply born evil. These Iraqi, Egyptian, Iranian, and Turkish serial killers will leave you chilled at just how uncaring some people can be. To learn more, browse this Middle Eastern serial killer list.
Louay Omar Mohammed al-Taei
Years Active: 2005 - 2006
Location: Kirkuk, Iraq
Method: Drug injection
Louay Omar Mohammed al-Taei killed wounded soldiers and policemen while pretending to treat them during the Iraq War. He would inject these pro-coalition forces with a mixture of drugs that killed them within hours. He was captured after another member of his insurgent cell confessed to the crimes. He claimed his motivation was hatred for Americans and anger over how the United States invasion affected Iraq.
Years Active: 1994 - 2000
Victims: Between 18 and 40
Nicknamed "The Screwdriver Killer," Yavuk Yapıcıoğlu was a notorious Turkish serial killer known to murder people with seemingly no motivation. His murders started in 1994 when a group of three passed him on the street. When one member of the group wished Yapıcıoğlu a good morning, he stabbed all three to death before killing a nearby driver and stealing his car. During a stint at a psychiatric hospital, he attacked his roommates and nurses before setting the ward on fire.
Yapıcıoğlu was in and out of prisons and hospitals throughout his killing sprees, which continued in a random pattern. At one point, he killed several people with a screwdriver, earning him his nickname. He also frequently burned down his victims' homes. At his final trial, Yapıcıoğlu claimed he experienced dissociative states when he committed murders. While 18 murders are officially linked to him, Yapıcıoğlu's brother stated he believes Yapıcıoğlu may have killed 40 people.
Years Active: 2000 - 2001
Location: Mashad, Iran
Saeed Hanaei was a serial killer who targeted sex workers in Iran from 2000 to 2001. He killed 16 women by luring them home while his wife and kids were away and strangling them. He claimed he was attempting to cleanse sin from the city. When the murders first began occurring, residents feared extremist religious groups were behind the actions. Eventually, however, one of Hanaei's would-be victims escaped after punching him in the stomach and fleeing. This led police to Hanaei, who confessed.
In 2002, he was executed by hanging in Mashhad Prison. He expressed no remorse the day before his execution, saying his victims were worth no more than cockroaches to him.
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Years Active: 2004 - 2006
Victims: Over 30
Ramadan Abdel Rehim Mansour was an Egyptian serial killer and street gang leader. Mansour joined a gang at a young age and began a reign of terror as he rose through the ranks. Mansour traveled throughout Egypt targeting boys between the ages of 10 and 14, usually picking up street children. Mansour and his gang would lure the boys onto the roofs of trains late at night. Mansour and other gang members would sexually assault the boys before torturing them and then throwing their bodies, dead or nearly dead, onto the sides of the tracks.
After two of his gang members were arrested, police apprehended Mansour as well. Mansour claimed during his confession he had been possessed during the times he committed the crimes. He was eventually convicted and sentenced to death. It is unclear how many boys he killed although the number is likely over 30.