Amir Qayyum


Amir Qayyum

A.K.A.: "The brick killer"

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Wanted to take revenge from society - Drug addict
Number of victims: 14
Date of murders: June-July 2005
Date of arrest: July 18, 2005
Date of birth: 1981
Victims profile: Homeless men (including labourers, beggars and drug addicts)
Method of murder: Hitting with rocks or bricks when the victims were sleeping
Location: Lahore, Pakistan
Status: Sentenced to death May 2006

Suspected serial killer arrested

* Police say accused psychopathic drug addict
* Suspect wanted ‘revenge from society’ for uncle’s murder

Staff Report

July 19, 2005

LAHORE: People living in the Walled City have with Lahore Police’s cooperation caught the alleged killer of 14 homeless people early Tuesday morning from Azam Cloth Market.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) (Operation) Aamir Zulfiqar told reporters that 24-year-old Aamir was a psychopathic drug addict who wanted to take revenge from society. The SSP said Aamir had a history of violence and his family members including a brother and five sisters confirmed his psychopathic behaviour.

He said Aamir’s family abandoned him when he was a child, after which he (Aamir) lived with his maternal uncle Dr Shahid. Unidentified people murdered his uncle and a friend, Punjab Police Inspector Khwaja Rizwan, on September 25, 2003, the SSP added.

Aamir said he was taking revenge of his uncle’s murder from society because, according to him (Aamir), his family got scattered, the SSP said, adding that Aamir admitted being behind 16 incidents in which 14 people were killed while two were seriously injured.

The SSP said Aamir’s father, Qayyum, was blind and that he (Aamir) was thrown out of school for his violent behaviour. The SSP also said Aamir’s brother and sisters threw him out of the house because he would beat them up.

The SSP said that when Aamir was asked why he attacked his victims with stones, he said, “When there are weapons available on the road, why spend money?”

The SSP also said investigators found stones weighing 10 kilogrammes to 35 kilogrammes from every crime spot. He said Aamir acted alone and psychiatrists were helping police sketch Aamir’s state of mind.

Superintendent of Police (SP) (City Division) Dr Usman Anwar said Aamir used to wash vehicles in Liberty Market. He said the accused walked towards United Christian Hospital (UCH) at about 11:00pm on Monday (July 18) and saw a person sleeping on the footpath. Aamir tried lifting a large stone, but it was chained, so he left the man alone, the SP said, adding that he (Aamir) walked to Kalma Chowk where he had dinner at a roadside hotel.

After eating, Aamir walked towards Nasserabad where he saw another person sleeping on the footpath, the SP said, adding that Aamir picked up a large stone and killed the man at about 2:30am. Later, Aamir boarded a wagon and got to the Rang Mahal area, he added.

Meanwhile, Aamir saw another man, Ishtiaq, sleeping on the footpath and picked up a stone and hit the sleeping man with it, the SP said. While all this was going on, private security guard Abdul Wakeel Khan saw Aamir, started screaming for help and tried to catch him, but Aamir managed to escape, the SP added.

Wakeel said, “I was on routine patrol when I saw a man pick up a stone and hit a sleeping man on the head. I immediately caught the culprit from his arm and shouted ‘killer, killer’, but the culprit managed to escape my grip and fled. I screamed again and started chasing him when plainclothes policemen joined me.”

Ahsan Khan, who lived close by, came out of his house and grabbed Aamir, the SP said.

Ahsan said, “I heard the guard screaming and immediately came out of my house with my brother. I saw a man was running at me with the guard and other people chasing and screaming ‘he is a killer, catch him’. I caught the culprit and the guard and others came and helped me.”

Policemen patrolling the area also got to the spot and immediately informed senior police officials of the catch. Ishtiaq was taken to hospital in serious condition. The SSP and SP immediately got to the area and took Aamir to an unknown location for investigation. The SP said Aamir appeared mentally deranged and killed for the sake of revenge. The accused took out everything that could identify his victims to make investigations more difficult, the SP added.

Aamir lived a very simple life and before killing the unidentified person in Nasserabad he earned Rs 130 by washing cars at Liberty Market and spent Rs 15 on dinner, the SP said. Aamir was a drug addict and was arrested a year ago by Gujjarpura Police, the SP said, adding that Aamir used to live in a rented room in the Shadbagh area.

Pakistan police arrest suspected serial killer

July 19, 2005

Police have arrested a man accused of killing 14 homeless people in the past three weeks by bludgeoning them to death with bricks.

The killings since June 28 in Lahore spread fear and panic among the 200,000 homeless people in Pakistan’s second-largest city.

A senior police officer told Reuters that the suspect, who he identified only as Aamir, was arrested on Monday night and had confessed to the killings.

He said the 24-year-old man appeared mentally deranged.

The victims of the killing spree were all homeless men, including labourers, beggars and drug addicts, and were bludgeoned to death with bricks while sleeping.

“We caught him last night while he was trying to escape after hitting a homeless man, who was sleeping, with a brick,” Superintendent of Police Dr Usman Anwar said of the suspect.

“He has a history of violence and is the only brother of five sisters who claim he is also frequently violent with them and is a psychopath,” Anwar said.

Last year, 15 homeless people were killed in Lahore by being bludgeoned with bricks before police arrested three men.

One suspect confessed to killing 11 people and was sentenced to death. The other two were released due to lack of evidence.

Usman said Aamir had been asked why he used bricks to kill his victims and had replied: “When such free weapons are available on the road, why spend money?” Usman said the man Aamir had attacked when he was caught survived.

Pakistan’s worst modern-day serial killer was Javed Iqbal, who in 1999 confessed to murdering 100 children and dissolving their remains in acid to avenge having been beaten by police.

Police won’t get shrink to evaluate ‘serial killer’

* Psychiatrists say analysis important to ascertain motive
* Can help in future investigations

Thursday, July 21, 2005

LAHORE: City police have refused to get a psychologist to evaluate suspected serial killer Amir Qayyum, even though senior police officers have described him as a psychopath.

SSP (Operations) Aamir Zulfiqar said that the suspect, believed to have killed 14 homeless men in Lahore since June 20, showed no symptoms of madness and so did not need a psychological evaluation, though he later contradicted himself by calling Qayyum a “psycho”.

SSP (Investigations) Chaudhry Shafqat Ahmad said that a psychoanalysis might work out in favour of the suspect as he could then plead insanity in his trial.

According to psychiatrists, the psychological assessment of suspected serial killers is important to finding the roots of such crimes and can be helpful in investigating and curbing such murders in future.

“A psychological assessment of this serial killer is very important to finding the reasons for his killings,” said Prof Dr Haroon Rasheed, head of the psychiatric department of Fatima Jinnah Medical College.

“Psychoanalysis of serial killers can help police in future investigations of serial murders,” said Dr Saima Niaz, FJMC assistant professor and a member of the World Psychiatrists Association (WPA). “It is also important to assess whether he has done it or whether the police have forced him to confess,” she said.

SSP Zulfiqar said Qayyum was a “cold blooded killer” who had no guilt about his crimes. “He would play cricket after murdering a person. He confessed to all the killings. We found his clothes stained with blood and some other evidence from his house that we have sent for DNA tests,” he said.

Police investigators say Qayyum bashed his victims’ heads in with large stones weighing up to 35 kilograms. Asked how a man could lift a 35 kilogram stone, SSP Zulfiqar said: “He is a psycho and he could do it in a fit of rage.”

Police also claimed that Qayyum had stated the motive for his murders to be “revenge from society” for the murder of his maternal uncle Dr Shahid on September 25, 2003. Asked why he thought Qayyum waited almost two years to get his revenge, SSP Zulfiqar said “because he is a psycho and can do anything”.

The police arrested a suspect for the murder of Dr Shahid on February 28, 2004, but he died in custody in suspicious circumstances. The police claimed Hafiz Abid shot himself in a police van by taking a gun from a constable who was asleep, even though the suspect’s hands were cuffed behind his back at the time. His death was officially put down as suicide.

Death for Lahore 'brick killer'

Wednesday, 10 May 2006

An anti-terrorism court in the Pakistani city of Lahore has sentenced to death an alleged serial killer who has been convicted of murder.

Aamir Qayum is also charged with bludgeoning to death 12 other people - verdicts are expected next week.

The victims, mostly labourers who slept rough on the streets, were hit with rocks or bricks as they slept. Qayum, 25, was arrested in July last year.

Media called the attacker the "brick killer" because of the manner of death.

The murders, which took place at almost regular intervals in 2005, shocked Lahore.

Police say Aamir Qayum is "a violence-prone person" who killed to avenge his uncle's murder nearly three years ago.

The case of a 14th suspected murder was not considered by the court, because officials say the body is "untraceable".