Abboud and Khajawa: Iraqi Cannibals who killed 100 children

Abboud and Khajawa

Abboud and Khajawa: Iraqi Cannibals who killed 100 children

Iraqi couple Abboud and his wife Khajawa have a terrifying story that lurked in the heart of Baghdad. The bustling streets of the old city whispered tales of their cruel history. Their lives started with ordinary beginnings but ended with harsh fates.

Abboud hid a terrifying secret beneath his captivating charm and disturbingly calm attitude. Khajawa, on the other hand, showed a sharp mind while hiding her evil aspirations behind a facade of normality.

Their twisted relationship grew from a shared, dark fascination, and an absurd curiosity that turned into a horrible reality. Their victims were ordinary children from all walks of life who fell victim to their cruel desires. The troubling silence of their disappearance remained unnoticed through the bustled city for a long time.

Abboud and Khajawa kidnapped and murdered 100 children

Early Life

There is little information available regarding Abboud and Khajawa’s lives before their crimes, such as when they were born when they met, and when they married. According to some stories, the couple were Christians. Abboud was a cook and Khajawa was a tour guide.

According to some sources, Abboud and Khajawa were Christians

Bizarre Era of Abboud and Khajawa

The events of the story took place in 1916 when the rains stopped while crops and livestock died. A catastrophic famine occurred which forced people to eat street dogs, cats, feces, and vomit. Wheat prices increased and people exchanged wealthy silver utensils for wheat. That year is referred to as “the year of the high value of the lira”.

The high rise of the lira currency extended to every part of Iraq due to the famine. Abboud and his spouse experienced “child cannibalism”. It is a symbol for killing abducted children. The bizarre couple used to fry their flesh and make a dish “a few” which is a well-known dish in Mosul.

Abboud and Khajawa went for child murder and cooking to satisfy their hunger

Click here to read the horrific story of Luis Garavito: A Colombian serial killer who killed 189 children

Murders and Cannibalism

The initially reported murder by Iraqi cannibals occurred in or before 1917 when they strangled an old female neighbor who had come to visit them. They then cannibalized her remains but they spent the night puking because her meat was too rough and had too much fat.

The next day, Khajawa advised that they just target children because she expected them to taste much better. Abboud agreed quickly and the couple began planning how to kidnap possible victims without being noticed.

The Iraqi couple kidnapped and murdered the children in their home

Their strategy was to encourage their young son to lure children off the street to play together. Abboud and Khajawa would beat the victim with a rock while they were alone in their home. The pair then skinned, dissected, and cooked the remains of the child which they ate. They dumped the skulls down a well in their backyard.

The terrible couple did this for an estimated several months consistently. They murdered hundreds of children mostly from the same household. Because of the ongoing famine, their disappearances went unnoticed by the general people and the Iraqi government overlooked it.

It allows the couple to get away with it for a long time. They also opened a small restaurant where they sold some of the meat as “Qaliya” which is a spiced mutton dish in Iraq.

Abboud and Khajawa used children’s flesh in a famous Iraqi dish “Qaliya” in their restaurant

Arrest and Confession

A customer who had purchased some Qaliya from the cannibalized couple in 1917. He recognized that he was biting on a solid bone. He was a butcher by trade, and he quickly recognized it as a tiny child’s finger and reported it to the police. A search of their residence revealed the well which had been filled with about a hundred child skulls.

Abboud and Khajawa
Police found many human skulls in the backyard of the cannibalized couple

The couple were arrested and escorted to the police station. Khajawa sobbed and confessed to all of their misdeeds. Parts of her confession were printed in modern newspapers and publications which stunned the public.

Trial and Execution

Abboud and Khajawa were convicted and sentenced to death after a brief trial. The couple rode two donkeys to Bab Al-Tob Square where a temporary hanging had been built on the morning of their execution. Many people walking by assaulted the couple by yelling and spitting at them on the way.

One woman bit off one of Khajawa’s toes as she alleged the couple that killed her three children. Khajawa was allegedly horrified and apologized strongly. However, Abboud remained remorseless and criticized the audience. He yelled back at the public saying the government’s handling of the famine had driven them to cannibalism. Shortly after, they were both publicly hanged in front of a large crowd of onlookers.

Abboud and Khajawa
A massive crowd witnessed the hanging of Abboud and Khajawa


The story of Iraqi serial killers Abboud and Khajawa ends with a disturbing echo of the horror that resides inside the depths of humanity. Their horrific crimes revealed the terrifying tendency for evil that may exist in ordinary people.

As justice prevailed and their reign of terror ended, the story served as an alarming reminder of the fragility of innocence and the far-reaching consequences of human evil. May the execution of the horrible couple bring comfort to the mourners and serve as a testimony of the recovery of those affected.

Nonetheless, their narrative is a tragic monument to the complexities of the human brain and the ongoing necessity for vigilance in the face of such evil.

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