Iranian Police Arrest the Agatha Christie Serial Killer

Posted on May 21, 2009

Iranian police have arrested the country's first female serial killer, a woman they are calling the Agatha Christie Serial Killer. The 32 year old woman committed her crimes using the plots of Agatha Christie mysteries, which are very popular in Iran.
The 32-year-old suspect, named only as Mahin, stands accused of killing at least six people, including five women, according to officials in the city of Qazvin, about 100 miles north-west of Tehran. "Mahin in her confessions has said that she has been taking patterns from Agatha Christie books and has been trying not to leave any trace of herself," Mohammad Baqer Olfat, the Qazvin prosecutor, told Iranian journalists.

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Police said she confessed in custody to killing four such women in Qazvin since January, claiming to have been driven by a desperate need for money after chalking up debts of more than 16,000 [pounds sterling]. After offering her victims a lift, Mahin allegedly gave them fruit juice which she had spiked with an anaesthetic to knock them out. She would then suffocate them before stealing their jewellery and other possessions and dumping the bodies in secluded spots. One victim was beaten to death with an iron bar after regaining consciousness.

Which Christie novels Mahin studied has not yet been revealed, though many of the books describe killers using drugs. Christie's novels, some of which depict unsolved murders, are highly popular among Iranians. The writer, who died in 1976, visited Iran several times and used it as the setting for one of her stories, The House at Shiraz.
She was caught after being stopped for a minor traffic offense. After apparently being so careful to stay ahead of the police, it seems that the most mundane of transgressions, a road traffic offence, alerted detectives and led to her arrest. One of her victims who got away helped the police identify her. The whole thing is just unbelievably creepy.
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