Public Trial Scheduled for Iran’s Alleged Spider Killer

Published July 28th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

A man suspected of murdering 19 prostitutes in Iran's holy city of Mashhad will be tried in public, an Iranian justice official told state radio Saturday, quoted by AFP. 

Saeed Hanayi, 39, a brick layer, married and father of three, confessed to the murders and will be tried in public in roughly ten days, the official said. 

A government-run newspaper on Saturday published photos of 16 victims of "spider killings" as well as a photo of and an interview with the accused. 

Hanayi said he wanted to "clean his neighborhood" and showed no remorse, adding: "I would have killed 150 if I hadn't been arrested.” 

"After every single murder, I went back to the scene of the crime and helped the police to remove the body," he said. 

He said he was arrested after one of his victims managed to flee his home, where he strangled the prostitutes to death. "She hurt my hands, punched me in the abdomen before fleeing." 

"I killed them in my own residence after getting them on my motorbike under the pretext of sex," he told the newspaper. 

"All of them were drug addicts and were killed easily," Hanayi added. 

"He did not abuse his victims and apparently was seeking revenge," said Iran's police chief, Mohammad-Baqer Ghalibaf, after announcing Hanayi's arrest Thursday. 

Meanwhile, the only woman representative to Iran's Parliament termed as "convincing" the information released by relevant bodies on the suspected murderer. 

Fatemeh Khatami told the official Iranian news agency, IRNA, that the confessions proved that initial results of investigations by law enforcement experts, the interior ministry and the information ministry pointed to a single murderer behind the killings.  

Police arrested the serial killer on Wednesday after a long and intensive investigation. Sunday's discovery by police of the body of a 22-year-old girl choked to death with a headscarf and wrapped in a black gown, presumably part of her own attire as with previous victims, could be the last in his trail.  

The medical record of the arrested culprit shows that he had consulted physicians several times for mental problems and was physically impotent, Qalibaf said, adding he had never abused his victims.  

Khatami had earlier warned that Parliament would have to intervene if officials in the interior ministry and the information ministry "continued to show the same laxness in finding the killer." 

Information Minister Ali Younessi earlier insisted, amidst varying opinions, that "only one killer is behind the many murders," according to IRNA –  

© 2001 Al Bawaba (

© 2000 - 2021 Al Bawaba (

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