An insight into the motives behind the biggest middle eastern serial killers

People have been killing each other since the dawn of time. However, serial killers are new. Well, to be exact, a killer with a long victim list is nothing new, but the term serial killer was officially used in 1981. The term was popularly coined in the ’80s, at a time when the FBI was studying murderers who chose specific victims and killed methodically.

But what is the origin for this term?

“Serial Killer”

Studies and research on these kinds of criminals had begun way before the term was actually coined. Instead, they were referred to as mass murders. However, this didn’t align with their own unique form of brutality. Brutality in the sense that they have patterns, they pre-plan viciously, and their purpose is lost in translation.

The origin of the term has been debated. In a book about serial killers, it was mentioned that the term was created by Robert Ressler, an FBI agent who was researching the phenomena. However, a document found entailed that the phrase was coined in the ’30s in Berlin, according to refinery29. A German police director was working on serial crimes and in his documentations, he used the word “serienmörder,” which translates to “series-murderer” in English.

Who’s a serial killer?

Defining the term serial killer hasn’t been easy, as researchers debated on what makes them one. A serial killer is a criminal who has killed three or more people, with a cooling-off period between the murders. According to the FBI, serial murders are separated by a period of time. It’s “described as separate occasions, a cooling-off period, and emotional cooling-off period.” What’s important however, is that the murders must have common factors or follow the same pattern.

A serial killer has habits, a pattern, and operates based on a personalized ritual. Serial killers have an MO (Modus Operandi), a Latin phrase that means the distinct pattern of working. To identify the crimes carried out by a serial killer, the murders must have common characteristics. The common characteristics could be similarities between the victims or the way the killing was done. It could also be done in the same location, as the murder could be luring in victims to his/her lair.

Arab serial killers with different MOs

"أشهر 30 مجرم فى رمضان".. "التوربينى" من مجنى عليه لجانى اغتصب 32 طفلا
Al Tourbini, via Youm7.

Egyptian serial killer, Al Tourbini, raped, tortured, and killed more than 30 kids on carriage roofs of trains.

An Iranian serial killer, Mohammed Bijeh aka the Tehran Desert Vampire, lured young boys into the desert, then poisoned, raped, and buried them.

Another Iranian serial killer, Saeed Hanaei, would take prostitutes or drug addicts into his house, strangle them, wrap their bodies in large pieces of clothing, then leave them out in the streets.

Female serial killer, Mahin Qadri, is an Iraqi woman who was inspired by Agatha Christie’s novels. She would befriend older women, get them to ride in her car using friendly and charismatic conversation, then drug, suffocate, and rob her victims.

Each of these serial killers had their own MOs. Each followed a particular manner in luring in their victims, murdered them, and disposed the bodies in their own way. Although each one has a personal ritual, they also have a personal motive.

The motive

The serial killers mentioned above were either pedophiles, believed they were involved in a supposedly “righteous” cause, or wanted to live out their fantasy, whatever it may be. However, studies conclude that the main motive for serial killing is the need to be in control. Exercising control over others during the kill is what ties serial killers together, and is often done in different ways and for different reasons. It may be due to discrimination against a certain group of people, to satisfy a sexual need, or sadistic desires including dismembering, stalking, or kidnapping people, which all boil down to one factor, a desire for control.

Myths about serial killers debunked

شاهد.. ريا وسكينة بالأبيض والأسود والألوان.. حكاية جريمة هزت الإسكندرية -  اليوم السابع
Raya and Sakina, via Youm7.

With so much data to study, many theories about serial killers were formulated, only to be disproven. Not all serial killers are actually dysfunctional misfits, and don’t necessarily fit the “monster” appearance many would expect. They could be your coworker, or your childhood friend. They’re normal people on the outside, harboring dark secrets. In addition, it’s not always about sex for serial killers, as we can tell from Raya and Sakina for example, who killed 17 young women just to steal their jewelry.

There isn’t a specific gene that makes a serial killer. And not all serial killers had a traumatizing childhood. Many people have suffered traumatizing childhoods and yet, don’t end up as serial killers later on in their lives. Although serial killers are rare amongst the population, at the end of the day, they’re everyday people like you and me.

WE SAID THIS: Don’t miss…Serial Killers Who’ve Terrorized The Middle East