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Iranian murderer publicly whipped and hanged

August 13, 1997
Web posted at: 4:45 p.m. EDT (2045 GMT)
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TEHRAN, Iran (CNN) -- A serial killer convicted of raping and killing nine girls and women was hanged from a construction crane Wednesday after being publicly whipped by several of the victims' male relatives.

Ali Reza Khoshruy Kuran Kordiyeh, known as the "Tehran Vampire," was whipped more than 200 times with a thick leather belt, then tied to a yellow crane and lifted, legs kicking, high into the air with a rope around his neck. The execution took place in front of victims' families and a crowd of 10,000 to 20,000 spectators.

His whipping began on Monday and the lashes were completed before he was hanged.

"Innocent blood will always be avenged... This is punishment for the criminal but for us witnesses it is a lesson to be learned...We are responsible for our actions," a robed cleric told the crowd before the sentence was carried out.

Kordiyeh was condemned to 214 lashes and 10 death sentences this month after confessing on television to the kidnap, rape and murder of nine girls and women aged 10 to 47, including a mother and her daughter, in four months this year.

Relatives of the victims had called for Kordiyeh to be stoned to death. They had also called for his hands to be cut off before execution because he had also been accused of theft.

"I have no life or future left ahead of me, but I'm still not satisfied with the punishment this killer is getting for killing my daughter," sobbed Nasser Parchami, father of 25-year-old Parvand who was among the victims

Kordiyeh, 28, earned his nickname for stalking his victims. He was accused of killing the women in a spree that struck terror in women in Tehran, where such killings are rare. Kordiyeh carried out his crimes by posing as a freelance taxi driver in the streets close to the site of his hanging.

Newspapers have reported that Kordiyeh burned his victims so that they could not be identified.

"I borrowed money from no one, and I owe none to anyone. I ask God for forgiveness for what I did," were his last words.

Verses from the Koran, were relayed through loudspeakers to onlookers who had fought through three kilometers (two miles) of traffic jams to get to the scene.

About 1,000 police in full riot gear were positioned around the execution site in western Tehran, and police closed off streets to traffic for several kilometers. Photos were not allowed.

The location of the hanging -- a construction site -- had not been announced beforehand, but word had spread since the crimes and Kordiyeh's sentence were the talk of Tehran. Many of the people who gathered for the early morning execution spent the night at the site

"It's a sweet death for him. He deserves worse," said Maryam Bakhti who believes she was very nearly one of Kordiyeh's victims.

Bakhti, a 29-year-old graduate, said she got into Kordiyeh's car one evening in 1994 and had to fight her way out of the car after he drove down a dark side street.

She now carries a knife in her handbag.

"When I saw him on the television I just shivered...The police were very slow in telling us there was a murderer among us," she said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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