I'm from a Muslim country, but practise no religion myself.

I have killed over eighty people.

I've never been convicted, not once even been to court.

They would have no case against me, as I never lifted a finger.

You might think I'm the most ruthless there is, but I'm not even number one!

Who am I?

  • I encourage you not to use the word "savage" in the context of killing; it has a substantially racist history that still causes injustice today. nytimes.com/2018/06/17/opinion/roseanne-racism-blacks-apes.html – Greg Martin Nov 22 at 23:35
  • 1
    @GregMartin I'll keep that in mind, thanks! – jafe Nov 23 at 1:02
  • May I suggest editing to "I have killed over seventy people.", to make it more accurate? – DhDd Nov 23 at 9:58
  • @DhDd I believe it is over 80, at least according to (note: spoilers) this article. – jafe Nov 23 at 10:02
up vote 18 down vote accepted

You are

K2.

I'm from a Muslim country, but practise no religion myself.

Pakistan, but mountains don't practise religion (as far as we know).

I have killed over eighty people.

From Wikipedia: "K2 is known as the Savage Mountain due to the extreme difficulty of ascent. It has the second-highest fatality rate among the eight thousanders, with around 300 successful summits and 77 fatalities; about one person dies on the mountain for every four who reach the summit."

I've never been convicted, not once even been to court.

It wouldn't fit in a court.

They would have no case against me, as I never lifted a finger.

Not a finger, only a rock.

You might think I'm the most ruthless there is, but I'm not even number one!

It's not the highest mountain in the world (second highest), nor apparently the most lethal to climb.


Feedback section

The tags were key here. Obviously the first impression (that it referred to a murderous person) was going to be incorrect, but the geography tag cued me into thinking of physical geographical features, and the last line made me think of rankings (largest, tallest, longest, etc.) Once I knew I was looking for a near-record-breaking geographical feature which is known for causing a lot of people's deaths, the answer became easy.

  • Nice job! I actually added that tag at the last minute, after rereading the question once more and wondering whether it turned out too difficult... Guess not! – jafe Nov 22 at 13:04
  • You've got a typo in your response to the line I've never been convicted, not once even been to court. I think you meant to write court, not count. – Hugh Nov 22 at 15:54
  • @Hugh Technically the same sentence is true with "count" instead of "court" :-P But thanks - fixed. – Rand al'Thor Nov 22 at 16:16
  • Just one nitpick: you say "77 fatalities" , but the riddle says "killed over 80 people" – DhDd Nov 23 at 9:56
  • @DhDd Hmm, good point, but that's an issue with the original riddle, since OP said this answer is the intended one. – Rand al'Thor Nov 23 at 9:57

You could also be:

MERS CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus)

I'm from a Muslim country, but practise no religion myself.

The virus was first described in Saudi Arabia and mainly causes disease in travellers to the middle east. A virus is not even a living entity, and obviously would have no religion.

I have killed over eighty people.

Fatalities are way over eighty, currently about an order of magnitude higher.

I've never been convicted, not once even been to court.

You can't prosecute a virus.

They would have no case against me, as I never lifted a finger.

As above, and viruses don't have fingers. They have receptors for cell attachment, though.

You might think I'm the most ruthless there is, but I'm not even number one!

Though MERS CoV is certainly considered a dangerous virus, it is nowhere near close to being the most deadly that has been discovered. Certain haemorrhagic fever viruses like Ebola can have case fatality rates that are over 80%, depending on the strain. MERS Cov "merely" averages about 35% by current data.

  • Not the intended answer, but this does fit all the clues. There are possiby other candidates that could be found in the same topic area as well. – jafe Nov 22 at 14:18

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