Sakina and RayaIn the music video I posted about earlier, Egyptian singer Shams' song Ahlan Ezayek, Shams in one scene plays the part of Sakina and Raya. Concidered to be some of the 20th centuries most ruthless criminals and have inspired the makings of both movies and theatrical plays in their name.
In the year 1919 in a poor district of Alexandria called Al-Labban, the two sisters began their murder spree. They had opened several brothel like houses which they ran together. Raya would often be the one going to markets eyeing out the women with the most jewelry on them (in order to steal it) and striking up conversation using some excuse to lure them to their brothels. There both the sisters husbands would help them kill the victims through suffocation and bury them in the back yard.
One day in 1920 a man noted the authorities, he had found a skull in the grounds of his house (previously owned by Sakina). Police began sniffing a trail that literally led them to her sister Raya who was burning unusual amounts of incense in her house. Raya had 2 bodies in her grounds while 15 other bodies were found at Sakinas house. The victims were all women, mostly married, in the ages 17-50.
The death sentence, at that time hanging, had never been given to females previously. However Raya and Sakina broke that trend and were hanged in 1921, along with their husbands and two other helpers.
What I find particulary noteworthy about this piece of fascinating and disturbing history is the motivation for previously not issuing the death sentence to women as stated by the Public Prosecutor of that time, Suleiman Ezzat; "...women's crimes generally demand an element of mercy and compassion, such as crimes in which women are driven to kill their husbands' second wives or in which they poison someone who has brought them harm."