Egypt

? - 1921

Rayya and Sakina

*Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons

Two lower-class sister murderesses who were originally from Upper Egypt. Suffering from extreme poverty, the two women moved to Alexandria; and over the time span of two years, they planned and executed the murder of seventeen women of various ages with the assistance of their husbands. Women who wore gold and jewelry were particularly targeted, abducted, drugged, robbed, and later killed. Rayya and Sakeena’s female identity prolonged the search for them. Because of the strangling method of murder, and because all victims were women, police investigators assumed that the killers would be men. On May 16, 1921, Rayya and Sakeena became the first Egyptian women to be formally executed by the modern Egyptian State for their offences.

Boyle, Stephanie. 2017. “Gender and Calamity in the British Empire: The Murderous Duo of
Raya and Sakina of Alexandria”. In Gender and the Representation of Evil, 1st ed. New
York: Routledge. (86-100)