Ramadan Abdel Rehim Mansour (Arabic: رمضان عبدالرحيم منصور; c. 1980 – 2010), also known as “al-Tourbini” (التوربيني), was a street gang leader and serial killer who raped and murdered at least 32 children in the course of seven years, throughout several locations in Egypt including Cairo, Alexandria, Qalyoubeya and Beni Sueif. All of his victims were 10 to 14 years old, most of them boys. Mansour was arrested in 2006 along with his six accomplices, and subsequently sentenced to death.
Mansour left his home in Tanta, a town north of Cairo, and joined a street gang at an early age. Gang leaders taught him skills of survival, allegedly cutting him with razors when he made any mistakes. According to his confession, Mansour soon learned the method of getting back at those who crossed him by raping them, and murdered anyone who threatened to go to the police afterwards. One of the victims, 12-year-old boy Ahmed Nagui, had been a member of Mansour’s gang. When Mansour tried to sexually assault him, Nagui reported him to the police, and Mansour was arrested but was released for lack of evidence. Soon after Mansour raped and murdered Nagui in retaliation, according to the prosecutors.
Mansour frequently traveled between Cairo and Alexandria by train. He felt safer in Alexandria because it had fewer police officers. The Vice Department of Borg El-Arab police station in Alexandria started keeping a profile on him during this time. Mansour and his gang members lured street children onto the carriage roof of the trains, where they then raped and tortured them, and tossed them onto the trackside, dead or barely alive. Some of the children were dumped into the Nile, or buried alive. Mansour and his gang’s crimes came to light in 2006 when two of his gang members were arrested, and Mansour acquired the nickname “al-Tourbini” meaning “Express Train”, from his favorite location for the crimes. After the arrest, Mansour reportedly told prosecutors that he was possessed by a female jinn who commanded him to commit the crimes. Mansour, along with his accomplice Farag Samir Mahmoud, also known as “Hanata”, were convicted and sentenced to death by the criminal court in Tanta in 2007. He was executed in 2010.
Commercialization of the name
Soon after the arrest, al-Ahram, a widely circulated Egyptian newspaper, reported that some products in Egypt were being named after Mansour’s nickname, “al-Tourbini”. Several restaurants in Mansour’s hometown, Tanta, started selling a so-called “al-Tourbini sandwich”, allegedly in demand by young locals. Sheep merchants gave the name “al-Tourbini” to the large-size lamb priced at more than 2,000 Egyptian pound. Some tuk-tuk drivers named their vehicles “al-Tourbini” to attract customers. According to al-Ahram, the “strangest such marketing ploy” was that of owners of supermarkets and communications centers in Tanta were renaming their businesses “al-Tourbini: The Butcher of Gharbia”. Author and journalist John R. Bradley commented in his book Inside Egypt: The Land of the Pharaohs on the Brink of a Revolution that “this reaction borders on the incomprehensible, but what it clearly indicates is that something has gone terribly wrong with contemporary Egyptian society.”