CAIRO: Between December 2006 and January 2007, many women living in Maadi preferred to stay home. Some of those who did go out preferred to have a male companion. At that time, everyone was fretting over what the media dubbed the “Maadi Serial Killer.
Fear spread along with the news, until officials publicly announced that it was all a rumor, but on yesterday’s front page of state-owned Al-Ahram daily, the headline read: “The fall of the Maadi Serial Killer after more than a year-long escape.
The article lauded Egyptian police forces, headed by General Adly Fayed, the minister’s assistant for general security, for their efforts in finally putting the man behind bars.
According to the report, the minister of interior himself had been following up on the case.
The serial killer was reportedly arrested as he was attacking a woman in Shubra. He confessed to all the crimes and even said that some murders happened outside of Maadi as well.
No one incited him to commit these killings and he had no accomplices, he added.
In January 2007, people were terrified as news spread about a man who repeatedly attacks females on the quiet side streets of Maadi, stabbing them with a knife in their back after drugging them.
Similar incidents were allegedly reported in neighboring areas such as New Maadi, Sakr Quraish and Basateen.
However, at the time, General Adly Fayed told the media that news of the Maadi Serial Killer was mere rumor.
“Maadi Serial Killer is nothing but a rumor until now, read a headline in Al-Ahram on January 13, 2007.
In the article, Fayed was quoted as saying that they’d even tracked down the source of the rumor. A number of separate incidents that occurred in Maadi and neighboring areas were merely linked, even though they were unconnected, officials said.
One of those incidents saw two schoolgirls attacked in Sakr Quraish. Parents were afraid to send their children to school and girls were hardly allowed to go out at night.
Now, it seems, their fears can be laid to rest.
However, Maadi residents are furious that in 2007, the police led them to believe that the case was closed when, in fact, according to most recent reports, ongoing investigations led to the killer’s arrest.
“We were kept on our toes back then. I live behind Maadi Club, which is a really quiet area, so at the time I always made sure that if I was alone, I would go home before dark, said Heba Abdel Aziz, 27.
“During the first three months of the serial killer [saga], police presence increased, until it was announced that there was no such thing as a serial killer, she explained.
Another resident, Eman Nabil, a medical student at Cairo University, said she does not know who to believe from now on. “Something happens and then it’s all over. The news makes everyone terrified then an official comes out and says that it’s all some psycho on the internet. Why can’t we just be straight forward? she asked.