On August 12, 1997, Ali Reza Khoshruy Kuran Kordiyeh -- known as the "Teheran Vampire" -- was hanged from a yellow construction crane near the scene of his crimes before a cheering crowd of 20,000 onlookers who chanting "Allahu Akbar" (God is greatest). Gholom, 28, was found guilty of kidnapping, raping and murdering at least 9 women who he picked up at night while impersonating a taxi driver. To hide his crime he reportedly poured gas on several of his victims and set them on fire. Some of the bodies were not destroyed completely and police found up to 30 stab wounds on them.
Before hanging the Vampire received 214 lashes from relatives of his victims. As part of the punishment he was also flogged by prison authorities. His last words as he was hoisted up to the crane were: "I borrowed money from no one and I owe none to anyone. I ask God for forgiveness for what I did."
Kordiyeh was first arrested in 1993 for rape and kidnapping, but managed to escape during a transport to court. He was picked up again for suspicious behavior at a mall, and was later identified through a police sketch provided by two women who had escaped him. Faced with evidence, including blood stains on his car, Kordiyeh confessed. His trial became a was broadcast live to fascinated Iranians by state-run television, but cameras were barred from the hanging. However, amateur video footage of the execution did make it to western news broadcasts.
The Vampire committed his bloody rampage between February and June of 1997. Authorities fear that the publicity generated by Gholom's reign of terror could provoke copy-cat killings. Already another taxi driver was arrested after attempting to assault a woman passenger. According to press reports, he boasted: "I'm going to be the next Teheran Vampire."