Serial killer? What comes to your mind? A creepy man lurking in the darkness and waiting for a chance to grab his victims I suppose? Well, while it applies for many murders, it’s not always the case. Behind most homicides, there is usually some sort of motive but when we are talking about serial killers, motive gets replaced by a psychological urge to kill which is most often devoid of any logical reason or personal vendetta. India too has had its share of serial killers. Besides committing the most brutal and sickening murders in modern times, there is no common link between them that gives away why they’ve become such beasts.
We have listed down the most dangerous serial killers and we guarantee they will send shivers down your spine.
Moninder Singh Pandher and Surinder Koli are the infamous Nithari Killers who shocked the nation to the core. The former was a businessman from Noida while the latter was his domestic help. Both were arrested back in 2006 in connection with the discovery of skulls of missing children in Nithari village, on the outskirts of Noida. The case created a huge media furor over the killings and it gripped every Indian household with fear. The duo were accused of rape, cannibalism, pedophilia, sodomy and even organ trafficking. Accused of 16 murders, both Pandher and Koli have been found guilty and is on death row.
Considered India’s first female serial killer, Mallika is serving a life sentence after being convicted of 6 accounts of murder. Her way of getting onto her game was that she would pretend to be a well-versed religious person and befriend women in temples. Mallika would later call them to another temple in an isolated location and ask the women to show them their fineries. After seeing them, she would ask her victims to consume cyanide-laced holy water or Prasad.
If there would have been a superstar amongst law breakers, it will be Charles Sobhraj. Popularly known as the ‘Bikini Killer’ Charles Sobhraj, he is also called the ‘Serpent’ due to his cunningness and skill at deceiving people. A French serial killer of Vietnamese and Indian origin, Sobhraj preyed on Western tourists throughout Southeast Asia and killed at least a dozen people in 1970s. Though he was convicted and jailed in India from 1976-77, he retired as a celebrity in Paris after his release. Upon his return to Nepal, Sobhraj was arrested and tried again where he received a life imprisonment. The ‘Bikini Killer’ who has been quite a celebrity in his own terms enjoy media attention and charge large amount of money for interviews and film rights. The 72 year old who is currently serving his sentence in Kathmandu’s largest prison has also been the subject of four books and three documentaries.
Born as Gowri Shankar, he quickly earned himself a reputation as a transporter of illegal arrack (coconut liquor). But what got him into limelight was killing spree in the ‘80s. Auto Shankar abducted and murdered 9 teenage girls from Chennai in a period of six months in 1988. Though he called it Indian cinema’s influence initially, he, before a month of his execution confessed to committing the murders for some politicians who apparently had raped the abducted teenage girls. Auto Shankar even managed to escape from Chennai Central Prison but was later apprehended in Rourkela, Odisha. He was finally hanged to death in Salem Prison in 1995.
Also known as the Cyanide Mohan, Mohan Kumar earned himself the reputation of luring woman, who were unable to pay dowry or look for suitable husbands and give them cyanide pills claiming them to be contraceptives. After killing them, he would rob them of their jewellery. He was also involved in bank loan frauds and forgeries. A physical education teacher by profession, Cyanide Mohan was tried and convicted for the murder of 20 women and later sentenced to death.
An ex-army man, Darbara Singh’s style was slitting the throats! An ex-army man, he murdered the children of migrants in Jalandhar, Punjab. He even claimed to have had sex with their dead bodies so that ‘there would be no shrieks of victims’. And it didn’t end there for Darbara Singh who also celebrated the murders by drinking alcohol and eating good food. The reason behind his heinous crime was simply his hatred for the migrants. Singh died in 2018 while serving a life sentence after which his family refused to claim his body, calling his crimes unforgivable.
Well! This killer looked like someone right out of a movie. Popularly known as the ‘Beer Man’, this serial killer murdered 6 people in South Mumbai between October 2006 and January 2007. He earned the name ‘Beer Man’ as he left beer bottles besides the body of each of his victims. A man named Ravindra Kantrole was charged with the next three murders, but was cleared on any involvement and acquitted due to lack of evidence. The identity of the real killer remains a mystery even today.