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Iran hangs serial killer dubbed ‘Tehran Vampire’ amid public relief

August 13, 1997

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) _ By night, he stalked, kidnapped, raped, stabbed and burned. The taxi driver dubbed ``The Vampire″ took Tehran on a three-month terror ride that ended at dawn Wednesday when he was flogged by relatives of his victims, then hanged from a yellow crane.

Public hangings and floggings are rare in Tehran _ but then, so were the brutal crimes of Ali Reza Khoshruy Kuran Kordiyeh.

In an unusual breach of policy, Iranian authorities, apparently seeking to assure a terrified public that the spate of murders had ended, leaked the time and venue of Kordiyeh’s execution to the press.

The crowds began to swell at midnight, and by dawn the life and crimes of the serial killer came to an end to the cheers and wails of some 10,000 onlookers.

But for some, the final, brutal hours of Ali Reza Khoshruy Kuran Kordiyeh weren’t punishment enough.

``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.

The killer had been brought, handcuffed, in an unmarked police car _ an old Volkswagen _ to a construction storage site in the western Tehran neighborhood where he had cruised for the fares who became his victims.

``Do you see finally that God is greater, you son of a dog?″ a man shouted.

``He is not a human,″ said Marzieh Davani, a 38-year-old woman.

``I really cannot understand a human can do what he did. He deserves to die surrounded by the hatred of people,″ said Amir Ezati, who had taken his place in the crowd at 3 a.m.

About 1,000 riot policemen kept guard. Hundreds of people had shinnied up and electricity poles and clung on to get a better view.

Kordiyeh was tied to a metal bed set up on the roof of a small brick shed, and whipped by one male relative of each of his victims wielding a thick leather belt, in full view of the spectators.

He had also been whipped by prison officials on Monday and Tuesday as part of his 214-lash sentence.

``Damn you, you killer,″ somebody shouted. The chant was taken up by the others as Kordiyeh, wearing a dark green prison uniform and staring ahead impassively, was led underneath the crane where a noose was tightened around his neck.

As the crane smoothly lifted Kordiyeh high up in the air, his legs kicked. Then he became still.

``I borrowed money from no one, and I owe none to anyone. I ask God for forgiveness for what I did,″ were Kordiyeh’s last words before he was hanged, a judicial official said.

Kordiyeh, 28, called the ``Tehran Vampire″ because he operated at night and stalked his victims, was sentenced to death _ nine times over _ earlier this month after he was convicted of killing nine women, including a mother and her 10-year-old daughter.

To hide his crimes during the spree, which began in March, Kordiyeh burned the bodies. Some were not destroyed completely and police found up to 30 stab wounds on them.

His trial was broadcast live to fascinated Iranians by state-run television, but cameras were barred from the hanging.

He was caught by chance.

Picked up for suspicious behavior at a mall, he was identified through a police sketch provided by two women who had escaped him. Faced with evidence, including blood stains on his car, Kordiyeh confessed but provided no motive for his acts.

``He received what he deserved,″ Tehran’s ``Resalat″ evening newspaper concluded.

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