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The Lahore John Does were several young boys who were sexually assaulted and killed by Pakistani serial killer Javed Iqbal. Iqbal confessed to killing approximately 100 young boys, with only an estimated 80 or more being identified. The true number of victims that remain unidentified is unknown, though it is known that not all have been identified and returned to their families.

According to Iqbal, most of his victims were runaways or orphans who lived on the streets of Lahore.

Case

Sometime during the 1990s, Javed Iqbal was arrested for the sodomy of a young runaway boy and soon released due to charges being dropped against him. Due to his mother having watched his decline into inhumane actions, with his family even witnessing bringing young boys home during the 1980s, and suffering a fatal heart attack afterward in 1998, Iqbal vowed to kill 100 boys to make their mothers cry for their deaths, just as his mother had cried for his decline. He explored several methods of luring young boys to his home in Lahore, though he favored a method requiring him to become pen pals with boys through applications to children's magazines. While he wrote to the boys, Iqbal would obtain photos of the boys, make a list of the most attractive boys to himself, and send them lavish gifts to earn their trust.

After maintaining a friendship with them, Iqbal would lure the boys to his home where he would rape, strangle, and dismember them before dissolving their bodies in vats of hydrochloric acid. Only their clothes would be left, which were kept along with photos he took of his victims shortly before their deaths. These acts continued until December of 1999 when he sent a letter to local authorities and Khawar Naeem Hashmi, a chief news editor at a Lahore newspaper, confessing to his crimes, detailing how he killed the boys and claiming to have dumped their remains in a river. At the end of his letter, Iqbal claimed he was going to drown himself in the Ravi River, though authorities found no evidence of his presence after dragging the river. Thus, Pakistani police launched a manhunt that has been claimed to be the largest in Pakistan's history.

Shortly after the manhunt began. Iqbal's four teenage accomplices were arrested in Sohawa, though only 3 remained alive until their trial. Allegedly, the fourth had jumped from a window in the days following his arrest, though his autopsy suggested force had been used against him. Iqbal would enter the office of the Daily Jang newspaper several days later, surrendering to the newspaper and requesting for them to allow him to write a confession, as he was afraid the police would kill him. He was soon detained and put on trial alongside his accomplices whilst his home was searched, in which police found neatly folded pamphlets in plastic bags with photos of the victims and notes, alongside two bodies in the remaining acid vats that were purposely left for the authorities. While his accomplices were sentenced to several years in prison, Iqbal was sentenced to death with a controversial method being ordered for his death. The judge sentencing him ordered that he would be strangled to death in front of the parents whose children he murdered, cut into 100 pieces, and then dumped in acid in the same way he did his child victims. Though, this sentence was later contradicted by the Interior Minister, saying that it would violate their human rights commission.

In 2001, while waiting for his sentence to be carried out, Iqbal was found hanged in his cell alongside one of his teenage accomplices in another cell. While an estimated more than 80 victims of his were identified through their clothing by their mothers, several of the boys remain unidentified.

Sources

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