Serial Killer Javed Iqbal Wanted to Kill Exactly 100 Children
Speculating on the sick, sadistic math of Pakistan's notorious child murderer
"You will be strangled to death in front of the parents whose children you killed. Your body will then be cut into 100 pieces and put in acid, the same way you killed the children." — Judge Allah Bukhsh Ranjha, dealing out the sentence to serial child murderer Javed Iqbal Umayr
There's a chance you'e never heard of Pakistani serial killer Javed Iqbal. Much like Colombia's Luis Garavito and Pedro López, Iqbal has an especially high kill count. Like the other two, his victims were also children, which no doubt wins him additional infamy. Also, somewhat like the notorious Jeffrey Epstein, Iqbal was a rich, well-connected guy who either committed suicide or was murdered while in custody. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, there were also signs of "foul play" in Iqbal's death.
However Javed Iqbal "passed away," most people are sure glad that he did. While the conversation about him could (and some would say should) end there, this nevertheless remains an interesting case. For one thing, Iqbal may have had more of a conscious, calculated revenge intention than certain other serial killers. The killer, sometimes called "Kukri" — a specialized knife — said he specifically wanted "100 mothers to cry," boasting that he could have taken more victims if he had wanted.
As he explained, "I could have killed 500, this was not a problem...But the pledge I had taken was of 100 children, and I never wanted to violate this." He had also turned himself in, making no attempt to conceal his murders. In fact, when he surrendered in the office of a newspaper building, he even handed over his detailed diaries, as if it was his plan all along.
More to the Motive and The 100 Number
Other than his lust for murder, there's reason to wonder if he was genuinely motivated by revenge. Iqbal claimed he had been falsely imprisoned for rape. Some believe that, because he was abused in prison and because his mother died during his term, he plotted this frightening and fiendish revenge. Listverse (and other places) have already written about how Javed Iqbal used his money/business background to acquire victims.
However, one of the most interesting question is why he stopped at 100. It's a weird question to ask, and not one we'd need to ponder in a saner world. Still, how did he arrive at that number? Why not half that? Also, why not just specifically target a handful of people who wronged him? Or, conversely, why not the 500 number he alluded to? Think about this, too: Had he decided on a smaller number, more lives may very well have been saved.
It seems the motive may have been revenge, whether he was guilty of the rape he was charged with or not. However, the 100 number perhaps just sounded better to him, while still giving him the infamy he sought. He can legitimately be remembered as worse than certain other serial killers, at least in terms of sheer body count. At the same time, he had a chance to brag about not taking as many victims as he could have. What exactly does that mean?
There is possibly some profound meaning in his decision to spare people, too. Or the 100 number could simply be something that sounded right to him, which is just as strange. Either way, one's brain could explode thinking about it, if they don't get too depressed and fatigued first. Serial killers and mass murderers, in general, do provide food for thought, even if it's not the stuff we'd like to digest.
Strange Punishment? (The Hundred: Part II)
As with any true crime story, there are countless ways to interpret things. Obviously some will think Javed Iqbal deserved to be imprisoned, tortured and ultimately killed. Some will say he only deserved incarceration. Others still will have their own ideas, with harshness and leniency according to taste. However, Judge Allah Bukhsh Ranjha's opinion was more important than the average man in the street, especially at the time. He told the court, "Javed Iqbal has been found guilty of 100 murders. The sentence is that he should be strangled 100 times."
This is the definition of the old "Eye for an eye" adage, and it adds yet another dimension to this bizarre story. As sick as the story is, there's a trace amount of extremely dark humor to it, on behalf of both Iqbal and the Judge. For whatever reason, these two will forever be linked to the number 100, and that figure will ultimately outshine the specific murderer, the victims, and the sense of justice administered.
The world will be safer with Javed Iqbal Umayr gone, no doubt about it, but the conditions which create such people are still out there. This one is just a particular mutation on a theme, oddly hung up on a specific number of victims. Thankfully, most murderers stop (or are stopped) at a lower number than that.