Number of victims: 10+
Date of murders: 1975 - 1976
Method of murder: Poisoning / Drowning / Strangulation
Location: Thailand / Nepal / India / Malaysia
A serial killer and conman known variously as “The Serpent” and “The Bikini Killer,” Charles Sobhraj preyed on western tourists throughout Southeast Asia during the 1970s, claiming as many as 12 victims.
Born to Indian and Vietnamese parents, Sobhraj was raised in Paris, France where he began his lengthy criminal career. His motives differed somewhat from that of other serial killers in that he was primarily motivated by money, in order to maintain his lavish lifestyle. To this extent, Sobhraj assembled a criminal gang that included two former police officers. Unfortunately for him, it was these two former officers who turned him in.
Prosecuted in India, Sobhraj was sent to one of the country’s toughest prisons. But even there the silver-tongued killer used his influence and money to live a life of luxury. Eventually released after 12 years, he returned to Paris, where he became a media darling and made a small fortune selling book and movie rights to his life story.
But then Sobhraj did something inexplicable. He returned to Nepal, where there was a warrant out for his arrest for the murder of two Canadian tourists. Arrested, tried and found guilty he was sentenced to life imprisonment on August 12, 2004.