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A.K.A.: "Asghar the Murderer"
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Homosexual rapist
Number of victims: 33
Date of murder: 1908 - 1934
Date of arrest: January 1934
Date of birth: 1893
Victim profile: Adolescent boys
Method of murder: ????
Location: Baghdad, Iraq / Tehran, Iran
Status: Executed by hanging in front of an immense crowd in Tehran's Sepah Square on June 26, 1934

Ali Asghar Borujerdi (Persian:علی اصغر بروجردی) known in Iran as اصغر قاتل (Asghar-e Ghatel or Asghar Qatel: Asghar the Murderer) (1893 - June 26, 1934) is the first Iranian serial killer and rapist reported in 20th century.

Moving to Iraq as a child with his family, he started assaulting, raping and later murdering adolescent boys in Baghdad since he was fourteen years old. Escaped back to Iran in 1933, he continued his murders in Tehran where he was eventually arrested and executed. Asghar Qatel was convicted for raping and killing 33 young adults eight in Tehran and the rest in Baghdad.

Murders in Iraq

Six years later, when Ali Asghar was fourteen, he moved on to Baghdad, where he started to sexually abuse adolescent boys. He learned to kill them in order to get rid of police who were observing him for assaulting and raping young adults. According to his testimony, he killed 25 people in Iraq before escaping back to Iran. In 1933, Ali Asghar was about to be reported to police after he was watched by another boy while he was raping and killing the last Iraqi teenager. Soon he found out that it was insecure to stay in Baghdad. As a result he immediately escaped back to Iran.

Murders in Iran

Asghar did not go back to his hometown Borujerd. Instead he started his new life in the capital city of Tehran, where soon he found it easy to trace and hunt new victims.


"Serial Murder in Tehran: Crime, Science, and the Formation of Modern State and Society in Interwar Iran". History Comparative Studies in Society and History, 47(4) October 2005, pp 836-862.


Ali Asghar Borujerdi

Tehran, 1934. Introducing his newest book, Mental Diseases, Dr. Muhammad-Ali Tutiya hits a raw nerve. Iran's capital is abuzz with news about Ali Asghar Borujerdi. Earlier on that year, the man soon dubbed Asghar Qatel (the murderer) confessed to having had sexual intercourse and subsequently killed thirty-three adolescent boys.

Born in 1893 in the Western Iranian town of Borujerd, at the age of eight he left with his mother and siblings for Karbala, Iraq. Six years later, he moved on to Baghdad, and began to sexually abuse adolescents. Eventually, he began to murder them, according to his initial testimony in order to trick the police that were observing him.

In 1933, after having taken twenty-five lives, he only escaped Baghdad and arrest by the skin of his teeth. Arriving in Tehran, he worked as porter and vegetable-seller, and took up residence in Bagh-e Ferdous, a neighborhood in Tehran's poor popular south.

He carried on with his deeds, killing eight boys, most of them homeless vagrants. The first bodies, heads severed, were found on 31 December 1933. Borujerdi was arrested once and released for lack of evidence, but in early March of 1934, the police detained him again, and this time he confessed. He was tried, convicted, and, after an unsuccessful appeal, was hung in front of an immense crowd in Tehran's Sepah Square on 26 June.

Cyrus Schayegh (2005). Serial Murder in Tehran: Crime, Science, and the Formation of Modern State and Society in Interwar Iran. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 47, pp 836-862. doi:10.1017/S001041750500037X.



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