Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Serial Killers Who Surrender

Mission Accomplished

Javed Iqbal
Javed Iqbal

When Pakistani police dismissed a criminal complaint filed by Javed Iqbal against two servant boys whom he claimed had beaten him, Iqbal decided to get his own brand of revenge. He was angry at both the street boys and the police. Since he was wealthy, with time and resources, Iqbal set to work to acquire the supplies and accomplices that he needed. He'd grown to hate the world with a vengeance, and it fueled his plan for quite some time. He proposed to murder exactly one hundred children.

In 1999, over a period of six months, the 37-year-old merchant enticed street children to his apartment in Lahore with the promise of a meal and a place to sleep. Akin to the witch who imprisoned Hansel and Gretel in the fairy tale, Iqbal knew all along that these children were not going to be leaving. For pay, three accomplices assisted him. Once a targeted child was vulnerable, Iqbal would asphyxiate him with cyanide. Then he would dissolve the body in a vat of acid and dump the liquid paste into a local sewer. He kept a detailed journal of each "project," including its cost. He also took photographs of each victim and saved his clothing and personal effects, so he could prove what he had done. He knew each of the names and ages of the dead adolescents, and he would regularly count up his tally. Then he reached one hundred.

Map of Pakistan with Lahore locator
Map of Pakistan with Lahore locator

At this point, Iqbal turned himself in to the Pakistani authorities. In a letter, he explained, "I wanted one hundred mothers to cry for their children." He later said that he could easily have killed five hundred without anyone being the wiser, but he had made a pact with himself as to exactly how many he would kill. The police lost no time in arresting this dangerous and demented predator.

On March 16, 2000, the court in Lahore, Pakistan, sentenced Iqbal to be strangled in front of the families of his victims and cut into 100 pieces for the 100 victims, which would be dissolved in acid — an eye for an eye. His accomplices received sentences from 42 years in prison to execution. Iqbal appealed his death sentence, and the highest Islamic court had agreed to hear it, but four days later, on October 25, 2001, Iqbal used poison to commit suicide in his cell.

In another case, it was the accomplice — also a participant — who called the police to confess.


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