This article is written by Nishka Kamath, a graduate of Nalanda Law College, University of Mumbai. It gives an overview of the most notorious serial killers in India. Further, an attempt is made to shed light on their trials and their whereabouts and/or present conditions. Moreover, the most important sections of Indian criminal laws under which these infamous serial killers were charged are discussed at the end of this article. 

It has been published by Rachit Garg.

Table of Contents


I am sure you must have watched at least one episode of Crime Patrol, wherein Anup Soni, at the end of the show, always quotes, “savdhaan rahe, satark rahe.” The meaning of this quote is “stay alert, stay cautious.” Mentioned below is a list of several serial killers in the history of India who will not only send chills down your spine but also make you both, savdhaan and satark. Let’s begin! 

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Notorious serial killers in India

In a country where people take pride in having influential scientists, doctors, lawyers, engineers, mathematicians, etc., one tends to overlook the nation’s serial killers. This article is an attempt to bring the list of all the most notorious serial killers in India under one umbrella. 

Before we begin, let us consider why some killers are known as serial killers. Serial killers are those killers who commit murders of three or more than three victims, often people who are not personally known to him/her. Serial killing is said to be one of the most irregular forms of homicide. Further, serial killers are said to kill victims without any individual motive. It is believed that they derive pleasure from performing such activities. Whatever the reason may be, it is beyond any reasonable justification. Let’s have a look at the list of serial killers in India!

Gowri Shankar a.k.a. Auto Shankar 

Who is Gowri Shankar

Gowri Shanka, known by the nickname “Auto Shankar,” was one of the top Indian criminals, serial killers, and gangsters. He hailed from Tamil Nadu and was quite active in Chennai in the 1970s and 1980s. He has been often times tagged as the “auto driver”, “dreaded murderer”, “conspirator”, “womaniser”, inter alia.

Birth, rise and history of Gowri Shankar 

Gowri Shankar was born on January 21, 1954, in Kangeyanallur, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, to a Malayalee father and a Tamil mother. While he was still pursuing his education as a pre-university course student, his family split up and his father left for Orissa. It is said that he took up habits like smoking, and consuming drugs during his school days. 

When he was seventeen, he shifted to Madras and started living in Mylapore. He later moved to Thiruvanmiyur. There, he earned his bread and butter by pedalling a cycle rickshaw and later an auto rickshaw. This is where his nickname “Auto Shankar” emanated from. At the time, Thiruvanmiyur became a criminal hotbed. Shankar started transporting illegal liquor but later moved on to prostitution, considering it to be a more yielding way to have an income. He had ties with politically influential people, which made it easier to keep the police in check. He and his gang, which included Shivaji and Eldin, handled rivals either through the police force or by killing them. He and his associates ran a sex racket as a business. 

Crimes committed by Gowri Shankar

Gowri Shankar is known to have been involved in two wrongs: the smuggling of track and human trafficking.  His reign of crime and terror began at a time when the East Coast Road was still being constructed. At that time, even Madras City was seen as a less bustling metropolis, let alone Thiruvanmiyur, which was said to be a remote suburb and was outside the jurisdiction of the city police. All these places were hidden places for illegal liquor brewing. Shankar would smuggle these liquors, carrying them and supplying them in the interior lanes of Madras in his autorickshaw. While doing so, he was introduced to sex work and prostitution, which were flourishing then in Mahabalipuram. Women or sex workers had to travel between the city and the coastal tourist town, where his auto came in handy; he would help them transport from place to place. Soon he set up his own business and ran brothels in the Thiruvanmiyur area. He gained massive success there and also expanded his client base, which included police officials and politicians. Not only this, but in order to blackmail influential customers, he kept videotapes of them.

He, while performing all such activities, fell in love with a performer named Lalitha, which is said to have ultimately been the cause of his downfall and, ultimately, his death. She eloped with Shankar’s friend Sudalaimuthu, which is where it all began. Shankar, in his rage of anger, killed both of them and buried Lalitha’s body in a plot in Periyar Nagar, whereas Sudalaimuthu was burned, and his ashes were disposed of into the Bay of Bengal. After that, he also murdered Sudalaimuthu’s friend Ravi when he confronted Shankar regarding his whereabouts. He adopted this method for all the young girls who suddenly went missing from their houses. 

By the 1980s, he had reached the infamous status of a gangster. In 1987, one of his victims’ bodies was discovered. Between 1988 and 1989, he, along with his associates Shivaji and Eldin, murdered several individuals, including teenagers. He was later found guilty of murdering no less than six girls in Chennai. When Gowri Shankar was interrogated for his wrongdoings, he said he was pushed into the world of crime by the influence of cinema.

In 1988, he led a luxurious life, having a multi-story house, cars, bikes, and contacts that would help him with anything. In May 1988, he and his gang members had a tussle with 3 rival gang members, namely, Sampath, Mohan, and Govindraj, who disagreed to pay for using his women. Shankar, seeking revenge, invited them to his place, killed them, and buried them. By the end of June, Sampath’s wife, Vijaya, lodged a missing person complaint with the local police station, but she was redirected to another police station, which later arrested Shankar on the grounds of causing nuisance. However, he was acquitted later. Looking at the injustice, Vijaya then reached out to the governor, who  commanded that this case be investigated. The police even then asked her not to bother them with such complaints. Having no other option, Vijaya sought help from her journalist neighbour, who assisted in publishing an article stating her husband might have been murdered. 

Arrest, conviction, and trial of Gowri Shankar

A special inquiry was ordered by the Inspector General after the discovery of the deaths of three men (discussed above) came to light. When confronted about the same, he confessed to the aforementioned murders and those of the other three individuals. He escaped from police custody in August 1990 along with five of his allies. Auto Shankar’s trial, along with those of his allies Eldin and Shivaji, took place at the Chengalpattu Sessions Court, and all of them were sentenced to death for their wrongdoings on May 31, 1991. Shankar, when held in police custody, made a daring escape with the assistance of a woman but was tracked down by Orissa and brought back. Subsequently, Shankar was hanged to death on April 27, 1995, at Salem Central Prison. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Gowri Shankar 

Gowri Shankar was sentenced to death under Section 300 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 1860, by the  Sessions Judge, Chenglepat, for all the murders thus committed on May 31, 1991, which was confirmed by the Madras High Court on July 17, 1992.

Thug Behram

Who is Thug Behram

Thug Behram is stated to be one of the most prolific serial killers in the history of India. He is also nicknamedBuram,” “Buhram Jemedar,”  and the “King of the Thugs.” He is said to have been the leader of the Thuggee cult active in Oudh and central India. He is famous as one of the most notorious thuggees of the 18th century. 

He used to strangle people to death with a yellow handkerchief, known as “rumaal” and a coin. Today, the infamous rumaal is preserved in a private museum by an unknown collector and can be seen online

Birth, rise, and history of Thug Behram

Thug Behram was born in 1765 in Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. As a child, he was extremely shy and would avoid social situations. Later on, he became friends with one of the notorious thugs, Syed Ameer Ali, who was 25 years older than him. Syed Ameer Ali introduced him to the world of thuggees. At the young age of 10, Behram started killing and scaring individuals with his crimes. He started to rob at the age of 25. Initially, it is said that Behram was accompanied by a female thug named Dolly, but they parted ways later. 

Behram used to keep a yellow handkerchief with himself, and he used to put a coin in it to strangle the victims to death for looting them. He had a group of around 200 thugs, which is why the central states of India were in such terror to the extent that people would rather change their ways than walk the way where the gang was placed. Behram, with his group, communicated in code language; for instance, “Ramos” was a word used by them before assaulting them. 

He had a pact with his gang that they would not kill women, fakirs, musicians, lepers, or Europeans. Generally, they would attack traders, tourists, and pilgrims in a manner that was quite mysterious. 

Crimes committed by Thug Behram

As stated above, Thug Behram was one of the most dangerous thugs. He was the leader of the notorious thuggee cult, which travelled across central India, and his gang was known to latch onto travelling groups. 

It is said that Thug Behram killed 931 people between 1790 and 1840. His only murder technique was using a handkerchief to suffocate and strangulate innocent victims before robbing their belongings. Even though it is stated that he killed 931 people, he has confessed to killing only 125 people, whereas for the rest, he was not explicitly a part of these killings. 

Arrest, conviction, and trial of Thug Behram

The popularity of Behram was so widespread that the British sent five of their investigating teams. However, Behram killed all of them. Later on, the British government sent a soldier named William Henry Sleeman to India to investigate further. Sleeman travelled from city to city to get information on the activities of Behram, but he was not very successful. In the midst of Sleeman’s investigations, Lord William Bentinck was appointed Governor General of India, giving investigators complete freedom to reveal any leads on Behram. Further, the team was also provided with security.

However, Sleeman received an intimation of the location of Behram’s senior, Syed Ameer Ali, but by the time the British officers reached that place, Syed had already absconded. The British arrested his family members, which is why he surrendered and gave all the information he had on the whereabouts of Behram, which led to Behram’s arrest in 1838. 

The scenario after Behram’s arrest

After Behram’s arrest, during his interrogation, he revealed that he and his group members had caused the deaths of around 931 victims with the help of yellow-coloured handkerchiefs and coins. Out of these 931 killings, 125–150 were conducted by Behram himself. After narrating all such incidents, the British also arrested the other team members. 

Moreover, in 1840, Behram and his gang were given the death penalty, and the punishment was executed by hanging them from a tree in Jabalpur district. The new gang members were given concessions by Sleeman, and they were sent to a reformatory home in Jabalpur. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Thug Behram 

During the British era, Thug Behram was executed by hanging from a tree for all the crimes he committed. 


Who is Stoneman

Stoneman is a name given to one of the most popular serial killers in India, whose identity, to date, is unidentified and who is said to be one of India’s most elusive serial killers. He is known to have murdered at least 13 sleeping homeless people in Calcutta in 1989 and a few others in Bombay from 1985 to 1988. Allegedly, it has been said that the murderers were committed by the same person, but there is no official information on this, even after a lot of inquiries. 

He would go around killing pavement dwellers by crushing their heads with a single boulder, which weighed around 30 kg. 

Birth, rise and history of Stoneman

There is no information on the birth or history of Stoneman, since no particular person could be identified despite multiple official investigations. Based on the similarity of the styles of the murders, the person is said to be responsible for at least 26 sleeping homeless individuals, both in Calcutta and Bombay. He is known to have perpetrated a series of murders in Bombay from 1985 to 1988 and at least 13 individuals in Calcutta in 1989. However, there is no concrete proof, apart from the copycat killings, that these occurrences were carried out by the same individual. 

Stoneman’s modus operandi was quite simple. He would select his victims among the pavement-dwellers, usually those who slept alone, far from any cluster. He would then crush their heads with a huge boulder. All the victims were killed after midnight or in the morning hours. In most of the cases, the victims did not have any relatives or associates to identify them. 

Crimes committed by Stoneman

As mentioned above, from 1985 to 1988, there were 12 murders, all of the same kind, that were said to have occurred. Since 1985, the Mumbai police have found at least 12 murders within a span of 2 years. Inquiries were made, but there was no success in finding who executed such crimes. Mysteriously, one fine day in 1988, the killings stopped, but the police could never trace this murderer.

But this stillness lasted only for a year. So, to add to these atrocities, the same events were noted again, this time in Calcutta in the summer of 1989. Twelve more people were murdered in the same manner. Despite all the hard work of the police and several investigations, no one ever came to know who this egregious criminal was! 

Moreover, to add to the horror, a similar pattern was noticed again in Guwahati, Assam, during February 2009, and another incident occurred in 2016 in some parts of Assam, and even then there is no single trace of who this mysterious Stoneman is!

Arrest, conviction, and trial of Stoneman

Well, there is no hint of who the infamous Stoneman was or is. To date, no one has any clue who this inhuman murderer is/was. Even after several police investigations and inquiries, no single individual successfully managed to get any leads on this blatant killer. 

In 2016, a similar incident occurred in Gujarat, but here the murderer was caught. Further, in September 2022, a boy named Shiv Prasad Dhurve, then 19 years old, was arrested by police officers with the aid of a cyber cell for the murders of several watchmen in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. The 19-year-old committed such a heinous act, inspired by social media. He used hammers and stones to kill 4 watchmen.  

Nonetheless, the question of who this psycho serial killer was or is remains unanswered! 

Punishment for crimes committed by Stoneman 

If ever caught, Stoneman would be punished under Sections 300 (murder) and 302 (punishment for murder), amongst others, of the IPC. 

Raman Raghav

Who is Raman Raghav 

Raman Raghav, generally known as “Jack the Ripper of India,” is yet another serial killer in India. He was a hunter and a scavenger. He used to kill people because he had no other option left. In situations where a person had no earnings or food on his plate, he would prefer going out and begging for alms. But Raman Raghav had other plans; he would go around killing men, considering his sinister urges and deeds.

He is known to have killed at least 40 people in a span of three years, most of the victims residing in slums. An astonishing anecdote during his interrogation occurred. When confronted about his wrongdoings, Raman did not give any information, except for later, when he demanded to have chicken curry, and the police granted him his wish. Then he confessed his killings and described the weapon used and his modus operandi.

Birth, rise and history of Raman Raghav

Raman Raghav, also known as “Sindhi Dalwai,” Talwai,” “Anna,” “Thambi,” and “Veluswami,” “Psycho Raman,” was a serial killer active during the 1960s. He was born in 1929 in Tirunelveli, India. He claimed to receive messages from God saying he should kill them. 

From 1965–68, Raman Raghav was involved in a massacre, thus beating people to death along the tracks of Mumbai’s Central Railway. He would roam the suburbs of Mumbai and pick up his victims. The vast majority of his victims were beggars and homeless people. He is known to have killed at least 40 individuals in a span of 3 years, but there was no ideal pattern for how he picked up his victims. 

Crimes committed by Raman Raghav

As stated above, Raman confessed to killing at least 40 slum dwellers. He also confessed to raping and killing his sister. Raman would mercilessly kill people with a baton, confessing that he would smash their skulls and break their jaws. Sadly, his victims included children, too. His victims were miserably poor men, women, and children, and he would kill them with a hard, blunt object.

Arrest, conviction and trial of Raman Raghav

Raman kept escaping the clutches of the police all through 1968. IPS officer Ramakant Sheshagirirao Kulkarni had just taken over as the DCP (Deputy Commissioner of Police) when he was given this case. The fear of this killer was so bad that around 2000 cops, armed with lathis, were appointed to patrol duty throughout the city. 

Finally, a sub-inspector named Alex Fialho recognised him and arrested him. He was found by chance when the sub-inspector noticed him with a blood-stained shirt, shorts, and muddy shoes. Further, his fingerprints matched exactly with those in police records.  After a lot of questioning and inquiry, his confession in front of the Additional Session Judge was quite daunting. During this interrogation, it was found that he was guilty of nine other murders. Furthermore, most of the victims resided next to a municipal water pipeline in the eastern suburbs. Even then he was in police custody and interrogated, but nothing was proved and he was freed, although he was barred from entering the city for the next two years. Even then he came back, and hence the series of crimes. 

After all this, Raman took the police force on a citywide tour to show them the places from where he conducted such operations and the rod he had kept hidden in the northern suburbs.

Firstly, Raman Raghav was given a death sentence, but considering his mental health condition, he was sentenced to life imprisonment after a panel of doctors opined that he would never be cured. He was sent to Yerwada Jail and was under treatment at the Central Institute of Mental Health and Research. He died in 1995 of kidney failure at Sassoon while serving his punishment. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Raman Raghav

Raman Raghav was punished under Section 302 of the IPC for the murders he committed. During his trial, he must also have been charged with violating Section 376 of the IPC for raping his sister. However, there are no concrete details in this regard. 

Anjanabai, Seema Gavit and Renuka Shinde

Who are Anjanabai, Seema Gavit, and Renuka Shinde

Anjanabai, Seema Gavit, and Renuka Shinde are commonly known as “the child killers of India.” Anjana trained both of her daughters, who were also half-sisters, Seema Gavit and Renuka Shinde, to steal. Later on, the severity of their crimes increased, and they were charged with kidnapping 13 children and murdering at least 5 of them. 

Birth, rise and history of Anjanabai, Seema Gavit, and Renuka Shinde

Seema Mohan, born in 1975, and Renuka Kiran Shinde, born in 1973, along with their mother Anjana Gavit, are said to have caused a lot of terror between 1990 and 1996. The sisters, along with their mother, were active in western Maharashtra cities like Pune, Thane, Kalyan, Kolhapur, and Nashik.

Having no source of income or means to earn a livelihood, accelerated by her greed for money and disregarding the law, Anjana Shinde began her journey to crime! She started by snatching chains and pickpocketing on temple premises. Later on, she pushed her daughters, Renuka Shinde and Seema Gavit, into it, too. She also provided them with proper training for escaping any accusations in case they were nabbed by the officials. 

Crimes committed by Anjanabai, Seema Gavit and Renuka Shinde

Anjanabai, Seema Gavit, and Renuka Shinde would kidnap young children for helping them with all their criminal activities and blame them in case their plan went against the one they had plotted. The sisters would also force them into begging and petty thefts. Any kid who would pose a hindrance to their plans would end up losing their life. The primary reason for kidnapping the children was to take them to crowded places where one of the trio would try stealing someone’s belongings, and if found red-handed, she would either try to gain sympathy through the kid or distract the public there, either by injuring or hurting the child.

From 1990 to 1996, they killed five children: Santosh, Anjali, Shraddha, Gauri, and Pankaj. However, police officers were of the opinion that 13 children were kidnapped and 9 were murdered.

Arrest, conviction, and trial of Anjanabai, Seema Gavit and Renuka Shinde

Seema Gavit and Renuka Shinde, along with their mother, Ajanabai, and Renka’s husband, were all arrested in 1996. They were arrested for allegedly kidnapping Anjanabai’s ex-husband’s daughter from another marriage, a matter not unrelated to that of kidnapping and murdering kids. However, during a search of their house, the police and the search team discovered the clothes of several small children. This uncovered evidence of more kidnappings, which eventually opened an investigation that, in the end, led to the arrests. 

Renuka’s husband, however, was later pardoned from punishment. Anjanabai died within two years of her arrest. Whereas, in 2001, the two sisters were pronounced guilty of kidnapping 13 children and murdering at least 5 of them.  

Punishment for crimes committed by Anjanabai, Seema Gavit and Renuka Shinde 

The women were found guilty of the following offences under the IPC:

  1. Section 302 (murder),
  2. Section 359 (kidnapping),
  3. Section 369 (kidnapping or abducting child),
  4. Section 378 (theft), inter alia.

For all the crimes, a death sentence was pronounced for the sisters by a trial court in Kolhapur in 2001. The death sentence was then upheld by the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court in 2004. A plea was filed in the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, too, affirmed the death penalty in 2006 and stated that “these convicts are unlikely to be reformed.” After the ruling of the Apex Court, Seema and Renuka filed mercy petitions in 2008 and 2009. The President rejected them in 2014, i.e., five years after the filings, which was an unreasonable amount of delay. Considering the delay, the death sentence was ultimately commuted to life imprisonment on January 18, 2022, by the Bombay High Court, and the sisters are now lodged in Yerwada Jail, Pune. 

Had they been hanged, it would have been the first case in India where women were sentenced to death since 1955, after Rattan Bai Jain, who was given the death penalty for killing three girls. 

Cyanide Mohan

Who is Cyanide Mohan

Mohan Kumar Vivekanand, also known as “Cyanide Mohan,” “Anand Kulal,” “Mohan Kumar,” “Ananda,” “Bhaskara,” “Bhaskar,” etc., is one of the most famous serial killers in India. He used to abuse women looking for marriage and would give them cyanide pills, saying they were contraceptive pills.

The former DG of Karnataka, S.T. Ramesh, in this case, made a statement, “It was the first case which I came across in my career that cyanide was used for homicide. The case created quite the sensation, most of all for the fact that the killer murdered women after promising to marry them. It was a completely different modus operandi”. 

Birth, rise and history of Cyanide Mohan

Mohan Kumar, born in 1963 in Karnataka, India, was a primary school teacher known to have killed 20 women between 2005 and 2009. All these incidents took place in South Karnataka. His modus operandi was quite simple. He would have coitus with the victims, mostly non-consensual, the day before the marriage and convince them to take contraceptive pills, which were actually cyanide pills. He is also allegedly said to have been involved in several bank frauds and financial forgeries. 

It is still uncertain as to why an ordinary man, a teacher from Dakshina Kannada, who allegedly had no habit of smoking or alcohol consumption, suddenly turned into a psycho-serial killer. According to some sources, all these incidents started occurring in 2003, after Mohan lost his job as a teacher. The reason being, he was arrested on charges of attempting to murder after he allegedly pushed a woman into the Netravati river; however, as per Mohan’s narration, this colleague of his, got into a heated argument with him because she wanted to marry him, and accidentally fell into the river. While he was in custody for his trial, he met a goldsmith who was charged with negligence after eight cows and goats lost their lives drinking from a waterbody containing cyanide solution that had been negligently discarded by him. Later, after he was declared not guilty of the woman’s murder, he came back after a month and approached a chemical dealer to provide him with cyanide, and thus began his journey as a serial killer: Cyanide Mohan!

Crimes committed by Cyanide Mohan

His mode of operation was to lure these women with the promise to marry them, have coitus with them, and then the next day take them onto bus stands and convince them to take the pills. He would then send these women to the restrooms, claiming they might feel unwell after consuming the pill. When the woman succumbed to it, he would come back to the hotel room, collect all the jewellery and other belongings, and disappear from that place. All the victims were found in the restrooms of bus stands, decked out in wedding attire but without any jewellery. Further, all of them were from poor economic families, were between 22-35 years old, and resided either in Dakshina Kannada, Karnataka, or Kasargod, Kerala. They could not provide any dowry and thus were not able to find a suitable match. Mohan would lure them into marriage. The investigating teams had to break open the doors of all the restrooms because they were locked from the inside. 

Arrest, conviction and trial of Cyanide Mohan

Mohan escaped the clutches of the police for several years as most of the crimes were seen as suicides, even when there were traces of cyanide found in the victims’ bodies, until one day when he ran out of luck and was arrested in October of 2009 in relation to several murders committed by him. The prime witnesses included the only woman who survived the cyanide pills and an astrologer before whom Mohan revealed about the murders. The victim who survived exposed every detail of his modus operandi

The investigation was carried on by the then Assistant Superintendent of Police Chandragupta and Sub-Inspector Nanjunde Gowda before CID took over the case. Even when the case came up for trial, Mohan shook everyone by arguing his own case. During the course of his trial, he was sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs 25,00,00 /- for the murders thus committed. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Cyanide Mohan

Mohan Kumar was charged with several sections of the IPC, namely:

  1. Section 366 (Kidnapping, abducting or inducing woman to compel her marriage, etc.);
  2. Section 376 (Punishment for rape);
  3. Section 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence);
  4. Section 392 (Punishment for robbery);
  5. Section 394 (Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery);
  6. Section 417 (Punishment for cheating); and 
  7. Section 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of the offence, or giving false information to screen offender).

Punishments were pronounced under several Sections of the IPC, namely, 366, 376, 328, 392, 394, 417, and 201. All of these sentences would run concurrently, as stated by the 6th Additional District and Sessions Judge Sayeedunnisa. Moreover, he was sentenced to death in five murder cases and life imprisonment in three others by the Karnataka High Court.

He was, indeed, a cold-blooded murderer!

Cyanide Mallika 

Who is K.D. Kempamma a.k.a Cyanide Mallika

Serial killer Mallika, whose original name was D. Kempamma, but was infamously known as “Cyanide Mallika,” is a dangerous woman accused of killing several women. She is also considered to be the first female serial killer in India. She had several aliases such as “Lakshmi,” “Jayamma,” “Savithramma,” and “Shivamogga”.

She would loiter around temples and befriend wealthy women who visited temples, then invite them to temples situated far away from their homes and ask them to dress in their best attire to please the gods. On the pretext of giving holy water as prasad, she would give them cyanide water. She was held guilty of the murder of six women in such a manner. She is the first woman in Karnataka to have received the death penalty. 

Birth, rise, and history of Cyanide Mallika

Born in 1970, KD Kempamma is commonly known for murdering female temple devotees via cyanide poisoning. She was active from 1999 to 2007. She comes from the city of Kaggalipura, located in Karnataka. Kempamma’s husband, a tailor by profession,  abandoned her in 1998. Her husband left her and threw her out of the house, right after her chit-fund business suffered heavy losses. She had three children and would do odd jobs, including becoming a domestic worker and a goldsmith’s assistant, to earn her bread and butter and survive the kids. She would also steal valuables from the houses she worked in as a domestic worker. 

Crimes committed by Cyanide Mallika

Cyanide Mallika, just like Cyanide Mohan Kumar, would use an element of cyanide in her operations. She would pose as a pious woman, well-versed in religious rituals, and would choose her victims among female devotees who looked well-to-do and visited temples to seek blessings. When she saw a woman, she would try to gain her confidence by listening to her problems and would frequently advise her to perform a puja. This puja used to be on the outskirts of the city. She would ask the women to dress up well for the ritual and wear fine jewellery.  Once the victim arrived, she would offer cyanide-laced water to them; she got the cyanide from the jewellery stores that used it for the purpose of cleaning gold jewels. Once the victims were dead, she would rob them of their valuables and money. 

Arrest, conviction and trial of Cyanide Mallika

Kempamma would change her identity after every murder. She was arrested for the first time in 2001 by the police in Bidadi, a town in Bangalore. Even then, she was performing a puja for the victim. The victim was rescued by her family, and Kempamma was arrested. She was arrested for robbing jewellery and sentenced to six months of imprisonment. 

Later on, in 2008, she was arrested again from a bus stand, this time not just for robbery but also for murdering at least six women. Here, she was found attempting to sell off the jewellery she had stolen from the victims. She was using the name Jayamma, and her whereabouts were shared with the police after a tip was given to them about her. When confronted, she agreed to have committed all the crimes; however, her main motive was robbery, not murder, as stated by the police.

Kempamma was held guilty of committing several murders in distinct trials and was ultimately given a death sentence in 2010 for the murder of one of her victims, Muniyamma. Further, in 2012, another death sentence was pronounced against her for the murder of another victim, Nagaveni; however, this sentence was later  converted to life imprisonment, considering the evidence was only circumstantial. In fact, all her death penalties were later commuted to life imprisonment. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Cyanide Mallika

Cyanide Mallika would have been charged with the following offences under the IPC:

  1. Section 302 (murder);
  2. Section 328 (Causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence);
  3. Section 392 (Punishment for robbery);
  4. Section 394 (Voluntarily causing hurt in committing robbery); and
  5. Section 417 (Punishment for cheating).

Nithari killings 

Who are Surinder Koli and Moninder Singh Pandher a.k.a. the Nithari brothers 

Surinder and Mohinder are known to be two of the most popular serial killers in India. Their case received a lot of media and public attention due to its vicious and uncommon nature. The Nithari case was one of the most terrifying and gruesome cases of 2006. This case came to light when children, both boys and girls, continued to disappear from the Nithari village near New Delhi between 2005 and 2006. 

Mohinder Singh was a rich businessman from Noida who was arrested along with his house help, Surinder Koli, for murdering several girls and engaging in activities like paedophilia, sexual exploitation, cannibalism, rape, organ trafficking, and murder.  These two killers were accused of raping and murdering 16 children along with an adult. 

Birth, rise and history of the Nithari brothers

Surinder Koli, who is the mastermind behind the Nithari killings, is also known by the names of “Subhash Koli,” “Surendra Koli,” “Surinder Koli,” and “Satish”. 

The case starts with the fact that an exceptionally high number of women and children were indicated to have gone missing from Sector 31 of the Nithari village in Noida, and all such occurrences started with the arrival of Moninder Singh’s domestic help, Surinder Koli; however, no concrete evidence was found against anyone. From 2005 to 2006, several missing complaints were reported, but it was only when a girl named Payal went missing, the investigation led to leads and ultimately their arrests. 

Crimes committed by the Nithari brothers

Some say both of them unanimously victimised 19+ children and adults; however, not every activity came to light. So, they are charged with 16 murders. All these crimes were committed at Moninder’s house in Sector-31, Noida, near Nithari village, Uttar Pradesh, India, between 2005 and 2006.

Both of them were held responsible for crimes such as sexually abusing children of all ages, serial killing, cannibalism, flesh trading, organ trading, and paedophilia. 

Arrest, conviction and trial of the Nithari brothers

Koli, who was residing under the alias of “Satish”, on confrontation and enquiry, confessed to killing six children and a 20-year-old woman after sexually assaulting her.

All these crimes came to light when a girl named Payal informed her father, Nand Lal, about the happenings in Moninder Singh’s bungalow, but she went missing soon after that.  Nand Lal visited the local police station to lodge a missing person complaint, but they kept denying registering a complaint. Tired of this, he then approached the SSP for assistance, after which, the police registered the complaint and thus began the investigation. The police traced Payal’s cell phone history, which led them to Koli, who was then taken into police custody for further investigation, but Pandher got him released soon. This upset Nand Lal, who then approached the court, upon whose order an investigation was carried out in Pandher’s bungalow, and the police found lots of polythene bags stuffed with skeletons from the drain located behind the bungalow, which eventually led to their arrests in October 2006. Upon public pressure, the Uttar Pradesh police handed over this case to the CBI in January 2007. There were several investigations and several deception detection tests, such as brain mapping, polygraph tests, and narco-analysis of the criminals, carried out by the CBI team.

Both Koli and Pandher were sentenced to death for such heinous criminal activities. While Moninder Singh was held guilty of 2 offences out of 5 cases against him, his domestic help was charged with 10 out of 16 cases against him. 

The judgments in 8 out of 16 murder cases have already been delivered, but those in other cases have yet to be delivered. It has been a long time since these events came to light, and yet, the families of the victims are waiting for justice to be delivered. 

Current scenario

Recently,  in 2022, a special CBI court awarded the death penalty to Surinder Kohli for raping and murdering a  woman. Further, Moninder Singh was awarded seven years of imprisonment in the aforementioned cases. A fine of Rs 62,000/- and Rs 4,000/- was imposed on Koli and Moninder, respectively. While Koli was found guilty of killing, raping, hatching a conspiracy, and destroying evidence, Pandher was charged with immoral trafficking by the special CBI court. 

Punishment for crimes committed by the Nithari brothers

The punishment for crimes such as sexually abusing children of all age groups, serial killing, cannibalism, flesh trade, organ trade, and paedophilia by Surinder Koli and his employer, Moninder Singh, is death, which the Court has sentenced. He was sentenced under multiple sections of the IPC, including Section 364 (kidnapping or abducting in order to murder) and Section 302 (punishment for murder). Pandher was also convicted under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956. However, Moninder Singh Panddher was then sentenced to seven years of imprisonment and a fine, and Koli’s death sentence was upheld in 2022. 

Beer man

Who is Beer man

This name was given to an alleged serial killer who was quite active from October 2006 to January 2007. He was named after the empty bottles he would leave near the bodies of the victims. 

Birth, rise and history of Beer man

There is not much information available on who exactly this mysterious beer man is! However, the first discovery of such killings was made in the month of October of 2006, when a taxi driver named Vijay Gaud was found lifeless on a footbridge near Marine Lines railway station in Mumbai. Nonetheless, two months later, in December 2006, another body was found near Mumbai’s Churchgate station. The man was beaten to death, just like Gaud, and an empty Kingfisher beer can was found near the body. In the coming weeks, there were more and more killings, and 7 bodies were recovered between Marine Lines and Churchgate station. Even when there were only two incidents, wherein a beer can was found near the victims’ bodies, the case came to be termed the “Beer Man murder case.” 

Crimes committed by Beer man

The beer man’s killings were just the beginning of something sinister in Mumbai. Three distinct incidents of serial killing have been registered in separate police zones of the city in the last six years, killing at least 13 people. 

Among the other victims, 3 of them were minor girls who were raped and murdered, and their bodies were discovered in Cuffe Parade. 

Arrest, conviction and trial of Beer man

The first incident, i.e., the murder of the taxi driver in October 2006, was easily forgotten, and only a vague investigation was carried on to reach the killer, which ultimately resulted in the investigation being unsuccessful. But the series of crimes continued to take place, and around thirteen bodies were discovered within a span of six years, and the investigation began. 

An officer who was a part of this investigation made the observation that there were similarities in the pattern of the murderers and that it was no coincidence that each murder took place within a span of three years. One of the victims, Jagruti, was kidnapped and murdered in October; another victim, Karishma, was kidnapped and murdered in January; and the third victim, Angel, was found murdered in April. Furthermore, all these victims were between the ages of 3 and 4. While the bodies of Karishma and Jagruti were discovered at Nariman Point’s Fire Brigade Depot, Angel’s body was discovered from the sea near Maker Town in Cuffe Parade, the police were unable to identify the killer.

However, in January 2008, a man named Ravindra Kantrole, alias Abdul Rahim, was convicted of those murders, but he was later acquitted as the forensic tests were not relevant in 2009. This is yet another mysterious case that remains unresolved in the history of crimes!

Punishment for crimes committed by Beer man

If this Beer man had been apprehended, he would have been charged with murder and rape under Sections 302 and 376. 

Charles Sobhraj

Who is Charles Sobhraj a.k.a. the bikini killer

Charles Sobhraj, commonly known as the “bikini killer,” was one of the most notorious and popular serial killers in the history of India. He was known as the “bikini killer” because of the state the victims were found in. Moreover, he was also known as a “splitting killer” and the “serpent” due to his “snake-like ability to avoid detection by authorities.” He was well-educated and had quite a charming personality, which helped him gain the confidence of victims before he had them killed. 

It is said that Sobhraj killed at least 20 tourists in South and Southeast Asia, including some in Thailand. His mode of operation was quite simple. He would befriend tourists and later murder them, taking away their valuables and passports. He would gain the trust of his followers by helping them out in the time of need and allegedly killed some of them for they threatened him to expose his criminal activities. 

Birth, rise and history of Charles Sobhraj

On April 6, 1944, in Saigon, to an Indian father, Sobhraj Hatchard Bavani, who was an Indian Sindhi and a textile merchant by profession, and a Vietnamese mother, a boy named Hatchand Bhawnani Gurumukh Charles was born. The couple were unmarried when they had him, and his father denied paternity. Later, his mother’s French husband, an Army lieutenant by profession, stationed in the Indo-China border adopted him; however, he was deserted when the couple had children of their own, which is when the neglected young boy started committing petty crimes. He had a tumultuous childhood and grew up on the streets and in juvenile prisons in France. Charles Sobhraj spent more than two decades on the streets of Asia, making friends with backpackers, drug dealers, smugglers, diplomats, and business owners. He would drug, rob, and finally strangle them to death and burn their bodies into ashes. In short, considering his neglected childhood, he moved from petty thefts to armed robbery to murder without much effort. 

Sobhraj was first sentenced to jail time in 1963. While serving his jail time in prison in 1963, he often manipulated prison officials into allowing him to keep books in his cell. During that period, he met Felix d’Escogne, a wealthy young man and a prison volunteer. After he got paroled, he moved in with d’Escogne and would often spend his time moving between the high society of Paris and the criminal underworld. He started gathering wealth through a series of thefts and scandals. 

Later, in 1973, he was again arrested during an armed robbery and imprisoned, where he pretended to fall sick and ran away to Kabul. Furthermore, he managed to flee the police in Kabul and travel to Iran. He left his wife and child behind, who came back to France. He kept running for the next two years, running from country to country, like Greece and Turkey, on stolen passports. Sobhraj was on the run from police in several countries, including Hong Kong, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, Greece, and France. 

His modus operandi was to drug his victims’ drinks first and then either stab them or choke them to death. In some cases, he set the victims’ bodies on fire while they were still alive. He would then take away their valuables and passports. 

Crimes committed by Charles Sobhraj

It is said that Charles killed at least 12 to 24 people from 1963 to 1976. Charles posed as a salesman who sold gems or a drug dealer for impressing and befriending tourists. While residing in India, he met Marie-Andrée Leclerc from Lévis, Quebec, who was a tourist wanting to go on an adventure. Leclerc became his most devoted follower and would often lure local women. Charles would gain followers by winning their loyalty, which he would do by helping them out in difficult situations. In one case, he helped two French policemen recover passports that he himself had stolen. In another instance, he helped a Frenchman, Dominique Renelleau, who was later joined by a young army officer, Ajay Chowdhury,  who later on became Sobhraj’s helping hand. Sobhraj and Ajay Chaudhary committed their first known murder in 1957, and almost all the victims had spent some time with the duo before they were killed. 

One of Sobhraj’s first victims was a young woman from Seattle, Teresa Knowlton, whose corpse was discovered drowned in a tidal pool in the Gulf of Thailand with a flower bikini on her. The drowning, even though it at first looked like an accident, was declared a murder after the autopsy reports were out.

The next victim was a young nomadic Turkish Sephardic Jew named Vitali Hakim, whose charred corpse was discovered on the route to the Pattaya resort, where Sobhraj and his group members were residing. 

The other victims were two Dutch students, Henk Bintanja and his fiancée, Cocky Hemker, who were invited to Thailand after meeting Charles in Hong Kong. Fearing being exposed, Charles, with the help of Chowdhury, strangled them and burned them to death. After this incident, the previous victim’s girlfriend, Charmayne Carrou, was also found drowning in a swimsuit. This is how Sobhraj was nicknamed “the bikini killer.” 

Further, Sobhraj used the victims’ passports to travel to countries like Nepal, Paris, etc. Later on, he came to India, where he killed an Israeli scholar, Avoni Jacob, to take possession of Jacob’s passport. 

The trio’s next destination was Malaysia, where Chowdhury was seen stealing gems, and that was the last time Chowdhury was seen in public. It is alleged that Sobhraj killed Chowdhury to carry on his business with Leclerc, but no information was received on it. 

Further, Sobhraj started building a new gang, starting with two Western women, Barbara Smith and Mary Ellen Eather, in Bombay. His next victim was a Frenchman, Jean-Luc Solomon, who was poisoned with the intention of incapacitating him, but the poison killed him. 

In July 1976, Shobhraj and his accomplices were arrested when three students, whom he had poisoned, realised what was happening and contacted the police straight away. 

Arrest, conviction, and trial of Charles Sobhraj

In 1976, during the interrogation of Sobhraj and his accomplices, Smith and Eather, the accomplices confessed to all the crimes, and all were sent to Tihar jail in New Delhi. While Smith and Ether committed suicide within two years of serving jail time, Sobhraj, who entered with precious gems concealed in his body, lived a comfortable life in jail. He kept hiring and firing his lawyers as per his whims and fancies but was ultimately sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. The allegations of murder against him were overturned on appeal, and he was only charged with the offence of attempted robbery, for which he was asked to serve 12 years of jail time.  

Another accomplice of Sobhraj, Leclerc, with whom he was allegedly in a relationship, was arrested and charged with drugging some French students, but she was paroled later and returned to Canada, where she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died in April 1984. 

Charles tried to escape from Tihar jail like he did for other jail terms. In 1997, after his release from Tihar, he went back to France, where he would charge money for his interviews. 

Again in 2003, Charles was arrested for the murders of Connnie Jo Bronzich and Laurent Carrière. He was sentenced to life imprisonment for one murder, while the other case is pending. During the course of his trial, he allegedly got engaged to Nihita Biswas, who was his lawyer’s daughter in the jail itself; however, the jail authorities deny this claim. There have been several attempts to get him released from jail by his French and Nepali wives, both, but they were futile. He is now serving his punishment in the Kathmandu jail. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Charles Sobhraj

Charles was only charged with an offence of attempted robbery in India, as discussed under Section 393 of the IPC. The other jail terms he served for murder, theft, etc., were in France and Nepal, among other countries. 

Devendra Sharma

Who is Devendra Sharma a.k.a. Doctor Death

Devendra Sharma, an ayurvedic doctor turned serial killer, had a thing for vehicles!  He confessed that he had killed not less than 50 drivers in the span of 2 years in the early 2000s and did so to steal their vehicles and sell them off. To add to this, he went on to confess to being a part of 100 other murders! From drivers of cars to trucks to those of taxis, he had killed a set of each! He used to sell all these vehicles on the black market for economic gain. But wait, this is not over yet! He used to run an illegal kidney transplant racket, too! 

Birth, rise and history of Devendra Sharma

Devendra Kumar Sharma, also known as “Devendra,”  “Devinder,” or “Doctor Death,” is an Indian serial killer and ayurvedic doctor born in Aligarh. He confessed to his involvement in more than 50 murders of taxi drivers. Between 2002 and 2004, he murdered seven taxi drivers. 

Devendra Sharma completed his Bachelor of Ayurveda, Medicine, and Surgery (B.A.M.S.) from a college in Bihar in 1984. After graduation, he ran his own clinic for 11 years. In 1994, he made an investment in a gas dealership scheme, which turned out to be a scam. He faced a financial crisis as he had incurred a loss of Rs 11 lakhs from the scheme. A year after this fiasco, he entered the world of crime. Initially, he ran a fake gas agency and started an illegal kidney transplant racket. During 1994–2004, he and his gang were connected to the abduction and murder of several taxi drivers. They would sell the taxis in the grey market of Uttar Pradesh. 

Crimes committed by Devendra Sharma

As mentioned above, Devendra Sharma, with his gang, would kill taxi drivers or other vehicle holders and would sell off their vehicles. He, with his accomplices, would pose as passengers, hire cabs from Delhi, Gurgaon, Faridabad, and other towns in the NCR, and then kill the drivers en route. The cabs would then be sold in an illegal auto market in Uttar Pradesh. 

He earned around Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000 for each vehicle. He would then discard all the dead bodies of his victims into the Hazrat Canal for consumption by the crocodiles in the canal. 

Further, he was also involved in an illegal kidney transplant racket. It is said that he allegedly transplanted more than 125 kidneys. He would get anywhere from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 7 lakh for each kidney. 

Arrest, conviction and trial of Devendra Sharma

Devendra Sharma was arrested in 2004 in Gurgaon by the Delhi police for his involvement in the kidney racket scandal, where he also confessed to the murders he committed. In 2004, he was sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in  Rajasthan for the murder of a taxi driver residing in Jaipur, Rajasthan. In 2007, he was pronounced guilty of killing another taxi driver by an Additional District Judge in Faridabad. In 2008, Additional Sessions Judge Balbir Singh sentenced him to death for other murders. He had been held guilty in 6–7 cases, with the rest still pending. 

In 2020, he was released on parole for 20 days after 16 years of imprisonment, but he fled and jumped parole. He was caught 6 months after this incident. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Devendra Sharma 

Sharma was charged under Section 302 (murder), Section 364 (abduction with the motive of killing) and Section 201 (disposing off the evidence such as the body of the victim) of the IPC. 

Paedophile Ravinder Kumar

Who is paedophile Ravinder Kumar

Ravinder Kumar is an Indian serial killer, rapist, child molester, paedophile, and necrophile (a psychological condition where a person has a desire for sexual acts with corpses). He is said to have kidnapped, raped, and murdered at least 15 children. When caught, he confessed to murdering 30 children in toto

Birth, rise and history of Ravinder Kumar

Ravinder Kumar, born in 1991 in Badaun, Uttar Pradesh, is notoriously known to have kidnapped, raped, and murdered several children between 2008 and 2015 in and around the outer Delhi cities. He would target children from families with poor financial backgrounds. He mostly targeted children who had no inbuilt toilets in their houses and who, thus, would come out to relieve themselves in the open. He also targeted children who were playing outside their houses and would lure them with money, chocolates, and sweets. All these children were between 4 and 6 years old. 

He would operate in the areas of Delhi, some parts of Haryana, and the western parts of Uttar Pradesh. He admitted to killing more than 30 children, about 15 of whom he was found guilty of.  

He started this killing spree when he was 17 years old, in 2008. He raped and murdered a labourer’s child from Samaypur Badli. During his confession, he said he would turn into a whole different person every time he would consume alcohol or drugs with his friends. He would also watch pornographic movies in a state of intoxication. He made a confession that he had picked up a labourer’s daughter from Delhi metro construction sites, taken her to a secluded spot, raped her, murdered her, and then dumped her body. But there were no reports filed on such happenings, and thus, no investigation was carried out thereon. In this manner, Kumar kept getting away with such crimes and was inspired to do the same for other children, too, without any fears.  

When confronted by the police during his inquiry, he confessed he was inspired by the dubbed Hollywood movies such as “The Mummy” and the other blue films played in the village; these movies were arranged for public screenings by the village authority. He would pick his victims, i.e., the children, from the streets while they were sleeping. In some cases, this notorious criminal would even carry children to the crematorium grounds and rape and kill them there. 

Crimes committed by Ravinder Kumar

Ravinder Kumar is said to have kidnapped, raped, and killed more than 30 children. Any child who would protest being sexually assaulted by him would end up losing their lives. He would then proceed to indulge in acts of necrophilia with the corpses of these children. 

As per sources, it is alleged that he also had acquaintances to aid him in his criminal activities; however, he generally operated on his own, thus committing his abhorrent, vile acts while all drugged up and intoxicated with alcohol. It is said that he would go hunting for his victims after consuming alcohol or injecting or smoking drugs. 

Arrest, conviction, and trial of Ravinder Kumar

Several FIRs were filed against Ravinder Kumar at the  Mundka, Samaypur, Badli, Begampur, and Vijay Vihar police stations. He was first arrested in 2014, when a boy whom he had dumped in a septic tank, alleging he was dead, was rescued by the police. However, the police had to let it go because there was no evidence and the child was unable to identify him.

But he was again arrested by the police in 2015 for sexually assaulting and murdering a 6-year-old girl in Bengampur. These interrogations finally led to confessions of all the crimes he had committed, thus spilling out the truth, and he admitted to kidnapping, sexually assaulting, and killing about 30 children in total in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. 

When asked after his conviction whether he (Ravinder Kumar) had committed any wrongdoing and whether he was guilty of any of them, he replied in the affirmative. He also said he always regretted doing what he did. Even with the regrets, he could not refrain from getting intoxicated and going on a hunting spree. He confessed that he had no control over himself. 

He was also tested for any mental health conditions to check whether he was mentally sound. His parents were shocked by the heinous crimes he had committed and refused to accept that their child would do anything of the sort. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Ravinder Kumar

Ravinder Kumar must be charged under the following sections of the IPC:

  1. Section 299 (culpable homicide),
  2. Section 307 (attempt to murder), 
  3. Section 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 
  4. Section 300 (murder),
  5. Section 302 (punishment for murder),
  6. Section 375 (rape),
  7. Section 376 (punishment for rape),
  8. Section 201 (disappearance of evidence of offence), and 
  9. Section 8 of the POCSO Act, amongst others.  

Psycho Shankar

Who is M. Jaishankar a.k.a. Psycho Shankar 

M. Jaishankar, commonly known as “Psycho Shankar” was an Indian predator, and serial killer, infamously known for the series of rapes and murders he committed between 2008-2011. He is allegedly said to have been involved in around 30 rapes, murders, and robbery cases around Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh. 

Birth, rise and history of M. Jaishankar 

M. Jaishankar, alias Jaishankar, is the son of the late Maarimuttu, a native of Kanniampatty in Edappadi of Salem district, Tamil Nadu. He was a married man and had three daughters. He began his career as a truck driver after finishing his studies up to the 12th grade. 

He entered the field of crime in 2008 and was reported for the first time in 2009. He always carried a black handbag with him. 

He would kidnap sex workers near dhabas (roadside restaurants) on highways and rape them. Further, he befriended other women and took them to the field to rape them. He murdered a few of them brutally. Besides, his other targets were women in farmhouses. He also used to have a machete (a tool resembling a large knife) in the bag he carried, and any woman who resisted would end up losing her life with the tool. 

Crimes committed by  M. Jaishankar

As stated above, Jaishankar began his journey in the field of crime in 2008 but was held accountable for those activities only in 2009. His first crime report was at Perandahalli in the case of the rape and murder of a 45-year-old constable named P. Shyamala. By August 2009, he had raped and murdered 12 women and raped six other women. 

Arrest, conviction and trial of  M. Jaishankar

In August 2009, Jaishankar raped and murdered a 39-year-old police constable, M. Jayamani, who was temporarily on duty at Perumanallur. She was kidnapped and raped several times before she was murdered. Her body was discovered a month later, in September 2009. Further, Jaishankar and P Mohan Selvam, his partner in crime, were charged with the murder of another 50-year-old woman, K. Thangammal Ponnaya in September 2009, however, they were held not guilty due to insufficient evidence that caused delay in investigation and the lapse of time, thence. 

Jaishankar was facing trial in more than 20 cases in Chennai, Dharmapuri, Hosur, Tirupattur of Tamil Nadu and Bangalore Rural, Chitradurga, Hiriyur, Kadur, Molakalmur and Tumkur in Karnataka.

A manhunt was set by the police of Tiruppur for searching Jayshankar, which led to his arrest in 2009, and he was imprisoned in the Coimbatore Central Prison for all 13 counts of rape he was charged with in the cities of Tiruppur and Dharmapur. 

First escape 

In 2011, while taking Jaishankar into a fast-track court for a murder case trial, he managed to get away from the clutches of the police. This was his first escape. He ran away to Karnataka and raped six women in Bellary over the next month, along with a man and a child residing in Dharmapuri. The police tried tracing him via his mobile phone, but their efforts were futile. They then put up wanted posters seeking leads in public places across Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

Jaishankar was staying in Elagi village of Karnataka where he reached with the aid of a stolen motorcycle. There, he tried to rape a woman by approaching her for some food and water while she was working alone in the field. However, this woman raised an alarm and had her husband and a friend come to her rescue. Jaishankar tried to run away but was caught by the villagers and brought to the local police station, Zalaki, and later handed over to the Chitradurga police. He was sentenced to serve 27 years in prison and was imprisoned in the Parappana Agrahara Central Jail in Bangalore. He also had to undergo treatment for psychiatric problems in prison. 

Second escape 

In August 2013, Jaishankar was admitted to a hospital that was inside the premises because he complained of a feeling of uneasiness. The next day, he escaped again, jumping all the high rise jail walls smartly. A red alert was issued in all the police stations in Karnataka, and women were requested to be careful in isolated places. A reward of Rs. 50,000 was announced for any leads that would get him arrested. The police also printed 10,000  “wanted” posters and 75,000 pamphlets with several photographs of Jaishanakar; these pamphlets were in five languages, namely, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu.  These posters were spread out across Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, and Maharashtra. 

Final escape and arrest

Finally, Jaishanakar was arrested in September 2013, and he was sent to the Central Prison in Bangalore to serve the remaining punishment. He was kept in a jail cell with 24/7 CCTV monitoring and extra lighting, and the lock was designed in a manner that was beyond his reach. Moreover, it was decided that whenever he fell sick, he would be treated inside the prison instead of being taken out to be cured, to reduce the chances of him escaping. 

In 2018, Jaishankar again tried to escape from Bangalore Central Prison, but his attempt was futile, after which he was held in solitary confinement. Just 2 days after this occurrence, he committed suicide by slitting his throat with a shaving blade that he had taken from a barber the day before. He was declared dead then. 

Punishment for crimes committed by M. Jaishankar

M. Jaishankar, a.k.a. Psycho Shankar, must be charged under the following sections:

  1. Section 300 (murder),
  2. Section 302 (punishment for murder),
  3. Section 375 (rape),
  4. Section 376 (punishment for rape),
  5. Section 201 (disappearance of evidence of offence), inter alia. 

Amardeep Sada

Who is Amardeep Sada

Amardeep Sada is the youngest killer on the list of the greatest serial killers in India. He is an 8-year-old boy known to have killed 3 babies and confessed to these crimes without any resentment, fear, or guilt. He is also the youngest serial killer in the world. 

Birth, rise and history of Amardeep Sada

Amardeep Sada was born in 1998 in Begusarai, a district in Bihar, to a man who was a labourer by profession. His family later relocated to the village of Mushahari in Bihar. He was born into a poor, impoverished family. He is one of the youngest serial killers in the world, as stated above, and one of the most efficient and heinous killers. He killed three children from 2006 to 2007. 

His first crime or murder was committed when he was 7 years old. His modus operandi was to take these children onto a deserted field and hit them with a brick until they died. He would then hide the bodies of these children under piles of dried grass and leaves. 

Crimes committed by Amardeep Sada

Amardeep Sada murdered 3 children in toto. One was his own sister, who was merely 8 months old. Another baby was a six-month old cousin of his. Whereas, the third child was of the similar age as his and was also one of his neighbours. 

His family concealed the deaths of the first two kids, but when the third murder occurred, the whole village stood against them and called the police for an inquiry. 

Arrest, conviction and trial of Amardeep Sada

Amardeep Sada fearlessly confessed in front of the police about the murders he had committed. He had no guilt whatsoever during this confession. When interrogated for one of his murders, he allegedly told the police, “Khapda se mar mar ke suta deliyay,”  meaning “I killed her by beating her with a brick.” While he was captured, one psychologist addressed him as a “sadist who derives pleasure from inflicting injuries.”

When he was interrogated by the local villages and police, he was excited and happy to confess about the murders. To add to this, he even took them to the scene of his last crime and helped them recover the body. He did all this without even showing an iota of remorse. How creepy! 

Trial of Amardeep Sada

There was not much information released for the public on the trial, arrest, or conviction of Amardeep Sada. But, as an 8-year-old, Amardeep could not face any lifelong legal sentence, for there are no such provisions under Indian laws. In fact, the maximum sentence this young serial killer could receive was three years in a juvenile facility. It is stated that Amardeep was arrested and sent to a remand home in Begusarai. 

It is alleged that he did spend three years in a psychiatric facility; as to what happened later, it is again alleged that Amardeep was residing at a youth home until he turned 18. He turned 18 in 2016, so he presumably left home and started over!

As per a report, it is said that he renamed himself “Samarjit” in order to protect his identity and the privacy thereof. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Amardeep Sada

Amardeep Sada, being a juvenile, was not charged under Section 300 or Section 302; instead, he was taken to a juvenile home or remand home, where he is said to have stayed until he turned 18 years of age.  

Darbara Singh a.k.a. Baby killer 

Who is Darbara Singh

Darbara Singh is yet another notorious serial killer in India. He was serving in the Indian Armed Forces but was suspended and arrested for throwing a grenade at the house of a senior officer in a moment of fury. He used to rape and murder the families of migrant workers. He was imprisoned for his wrongs.

He spent 30 years serving the punishment, and when freed, he started murdering and raping the children of migrant labourers to take revenge. A death sentence was pronounced against him for this, but considering the insufficient evidence, a subsequent sentence was announced imposing life imprisonment. 

Birth, rise and history of Darbara Singh

Darbara Singh, was a resident of Jallupur Khera village, near Amritsar. He went on to join the Indian Armed Forces and was posted at an Air Force Station in Pathankot. In 1975, he allegedly threw a grenade at the house of a senior officer, Major V. K. Sharma, after getting into an argument with him. This incident caused serious injuries to the wife and the teenage son of the officer. Singh was fired from his job and arrested, but was later acquitted at the end of the trial. Further, Singh had three children but was abandoned by his wife and barred from their house because of his bad habits. 

He had confessed to killing 17 children—15 girls and 2 boys. He also admitted that he would dump their bodies near a bridge on the Rayya-Khadoor Sahib Road after raping them. In some cases, he confessed that he would rape or sodomise the dead bodies of these victims.

His modus operandi was to lure the kids with sweets, samosas, sugarcane juice, and fireworks. He would take the child to a secluded place and then attack them. In many cases, he slit their throats and raped their bodies. When brought into custody for confession, he stated that he would rape the dead bodies to avoid hearing the “shrieks of the victims.” He would kidnap children between 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., when most of the labourers were out working in factories or so. 

Darbara Singh was first arrested for raping and attempting to murder the daughter of a migrant worker. The next year, he was held guilty for 3 cases of rape and attempt to murder and was sentenced to 30 years of prison time. However, he was released from jail in 2003 on the basis of good conduct. This is when he started to plot revenge against migrant workers because he held them responsible for wasting several years of his life behind bars. Thus began his journey toward such ruthless criminal activities. 

Crimes committed by Darbara Singh

In 2004, a total of 23 children, almost all under the age of 10, went missing from various parts of the city, of whom 6 were recovered by the police. After he was arrested, he made a confession that he was not drunk at the time of committing these crimes but would later celebrate almost all the killings with liquor and good food. 

Within a period of 7 months, 23 children were said to be missing, of whom 6 were recovered, as discussed above. Darbara Singh stated he would target the children of migrants who were not Punjabis. A few incidents are listed below:

The rape and death of Diksha and the kidnapping of Asha 

Diksha and her sister, Asha, were picked up by Darbara Singh, while he promised to buy them a shuttlecock and a racket. He took them to a canal near Rayyia. He made Asha sit on one side of the canal and took Diksha behind the bushes and raped her. Asha, who got frightened, escaped the place, but Diksha ended up losing her life.

When these girls did not return, a missing person complaint was lodged. Meanwhile, a man found Asha and fed her some food. Later, the police discovered Diksha’s dead body lying on a big stone near Bahadurpur’s upper canal. Her postmortem report revealed that she died of neurogenic shock as a result of injuries to her private parts. 

The horrible murder of Tazbin

In yet another horrific incident, Tazbin and her sister were playing outside, where Darbara lured them with some sweets and an empty bottle, stating they could fetch a good amount of money by selling the bottle. He then asked the girls to sit on his bicycle, but Mumtaaz refused to join them.  A week after this incident, sadly, Tazbin’s body was discovered lying in a mutilated condition in bushes at Chaheru village on the Jalandhar-Phagwara Road. 

The inhumane act on a girl named Nishu

A girl named Nishu was playing with other children in front of her house when she went missing, for which her father lodged a missing person complaint. On the same day, the girl’s body was found by two individuals, Bhana Ram and Gurdev Singh, near a sugarcane field with a slit in her throat and an injured windpipe; however, she was rescued. She later testified against Darbara Singh. 

The ruthless killing of Khushreed and his cousin Ronku

Darbara Singh murdered Khushreed, the son of a migrant labourer from Darbhanga district, Bihar. They were picked up in the afternoon when they were playing near their houses. When they did not return, the family lodged a missing person complaint. Their bodies were found after the arrest of Singh, and the post-mortem report showed that both children were sexually assaulted. Singh was acquitted in this case because of insufficient evidence. 

Arrest, conviction, and trial of Darbara Singh

By September 2004, the fear of having their children raped and murdered had spread among the local residents. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) was set up to find the killer, and a rough sketch of him was prepared based on the information gathered from various sources. In October, 2004, a bicyclist who resembled the sketch was found with a bag of toffees, and the person was arrested, it turned out to be Darbara Singh. He tried to escape them, but was caught and confessed to the crimes during interrogation. 

Nishu, the girl mentioned above, identified his pictures from the newspapers. He was sent to police custody for 10 days and was pronounced guilty in 18 cases of abduction, rape, and murder. By the end of 2007, i.e., within 3 years of his arrest, he had been acquitted in three cases because there was a lack of evidence against him in those matters. 

In 2008, a death sentence was awarded to him for the murders of Khushreed and his cousin Ronku. However, the sentence was reversed. He was also acquitted in the aforementioned Tazbin’s rape and murder case because of a lack of evidence. Further, Nishu, who lost her ability to speak, identified this killer and testified to the same via expressions. He was sentenced to the death penalty, for which an appeal was made in the Punjab-Haryana High Court. The High Court rejected this appeal. 

Death of Darbara Singh 

In 2018, Darbara Singh fell severely ill and was moved from jail to the government hospital in Patiala, but he succumbed to death there. His family refused to claim his body, referring to his crimes as “unpardonable.” 

Punishment for crimes committed by Darbara Singh

Darbara Singh was tried under the following sections of the IPC:

  1. Section 376 (Punishment for rape),
  2. Section 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt),
  3. Section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty),
  4. Section 511 (Punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment). 

Akku Yadav

Who is Akku Yadav 

Bharat Kalicharan Yadav, commonly known as “Akku Yadav” is one of the cruellest serial killers in India. He was a serial killer and rapist, gangster, robber, home invader, kidnapper, and extortionist. 

During his criminal journey, it is alleged he killed at least three individuals. He would torture and kidnap individuals, enter their homes, and extort their belongings. He is said to have raped over forty women and girls. Not only this, but he also bribed police officials with money and drinks to let him carry on with his criminal activities. 

Birth, rise, and history of Akku Yadav

Akku Yadav spent his childhood in the Kasturba Nagar slum outside the central Indian city of Nagpur. He had two brothers, Santosh and Yuvraj. Yadav ran his business in the same slum he lived in. He had his own gang of criminals who controlled the slum and robbed, murdered, and tortured the residents living there. 

Crimes committed by Akku Yadav

For fifteen years, Yadav kept the whole slum in terror. Anyone who claimed to be standing up against his atrocities would receive a murder and rape threat. According to his neighbours, Akku Yadav once raped a woman just after she got married. Another horrifying incident was when he stripped a man off his clothes and coerced him into dancing in front of his sixteen-year-old daughter while he burned him with a cigarette. The next horrendous incident on the list is when Yadav tortured a woman named Asha Bhagat right in front of her daughter and neighbours and chopped off her breasts and sliced her into pieces on the street. Another horrifying incident would be him beating up an elderly man for a petty amount of Rs 100.

Several other criminal acts were committed by this heinous killer. With this terror, around 25 families relocated from Kasturba Nagar. 

Arrest, conviction and trial of Akku Yadav

In 2004, a family surnamed Madhukar raised their voice against the atrocities of Akku Yadav, and he was informed all his wrongful activities would be reported to the police, for which he also threatened Usha (the daughter of the Madhukar family) and her parents. Usha bravely handled the situation, which encouraged the other residents of the slum to raise their voices against him. The following day, the people of the slum teamed up against him and set his house on fire; however, he was not in his house at the time this occurrence took place. 

To protect himself from further retaliations, Akku decided to surrender to the local police, as that would be the safest place for him to dwell. The police supported him, and this is why he believed he would get bail once the situation cooled down. From the above incident(s), it can be rightly observed that the police played a primary role in making Akku Yadav a serial killer. 

When the people residing in the slum came to know that he would be freed soon, they decided to take action and punish him on their own. So, he was killed in the Nagpur District Court in a Vidarbha courtroom in 2004 (discussed below in detail). 

Death of Akku Yadav

In 2004, while taking Akku Yadav to appear before the Nagpur District Court, word spread in the neighbourhood that he would be released soon and that the police officials had decided to keep him in custody until the situation cooled down and then release him as a part of a corrupt pact he had made with the police. 

Hearing this, hundreds of women marched from Kasturba Nagar to the courtroom. Akku Yadav stood there in confidence without showing even a small sign of remorse on his face. He started mocking a woman he had raped before, which made the crowd’s blood boil in rage, and then all the women came forward, circling around Akku Yadav and yelling at him. Some women even threw chilli powder on him and the police officials protecting him; these women had hidden the powder under their clothing. The police, looking at the rage of the crowd, got overwhelmed and fled from the situation, leaving Akku Yadav behind. Then these women pulled out knives and started stabbing him. He cried for mercy, but to no avail. 

Punishment for the murder of Akku Yadav

The accused were charged with the following sections of the IPC: 

  1. Section 120B (Punishment of criminal conspiracy),
  2. Section 121(A) (Conspiracy to commit offences),
  3. Section 143 (Punishment for being a member of an unlawful assembly),
  4. Section 147 (Punishment for rioting),
  5. Section 148 (Rioting, armed with deadly weapon),
  6. Section 302 (Murder),
  7. Section 326 (Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means),
  8. Section 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty.),
  9. Section 349 (Force),
  10. Section 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty),
  11. Section 427 (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees).

However, the 5th District and Additional Session Judge, VT Suryavanshi, acquitted all 18 victims due to a lack of evidence. There were 22 accused in toto but 3 died during trial after a decade. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Akku Yadav

Had Akku Yadav been punished and a sentence was imposed against him, he would have been charged under the following Sections of the IPC:

  1. Section 302 (Murder),
  2. Section 323 (Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt),
  3. Section 354 (Assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty),
  4. Section 376 (Punishment for rape),
  5. Section 511 (Punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment), etc.

Chandrakant Jha

Who is Chandrakant Jha

Chandrakant Jha is yet another serial killer who would befriend and kill people for their petty bad habits like drinking, lying, etc. He was once arrested for a murder but was acquitted for lack of evidence. He took pleasure in taunting the police by leaving the chopped body parts in different areas around the city and outside the Tihar Jail with notes and letters, challenging the police to catch him.

Birth, rise and history of Chandrakant Jha

Chandrakant Jha was born in Ghosai village in Madhepura district in Bihar to Radhey Kant Jha, who worked in an irrigation department, and Champadevi, a school teacher. His mother was quite aggressive and could not give much time and attention to him, nor did his family look after his well-being, education, or food; this made him feel the absence of parents at home. He studied until the 8th standard. He later relocated to Delhi in 1986, where he started working as a vegetable seller and a plastic hawker. It is said he has been married twice, although he abandoned his first wife within a year of their marriage and then married Mamta, a native of Madhubani, Bihar, and the couple has borne 5 daughters from the marriage. According to police officials, Chandrakant Jha kept changing his residence time and again; he was based in Hyderpur, whereas his family resided in Alipur. 

When he was arrested for the first time for having a fight with a union leader, he was beaten and tortured by the police. His wife, too, was arrested for this mishap. This incident had a profound impact on Jhs’ life, and he began to believe that violence was the only way to deal with the injustices he had suffered. Gradually, he started developing an aggressive nature  and became a short-tempered person. After he was released, he shifted his wife to another place, as stated above, and resided alone in JJ Colony, Delhi. 

Chandrakant Jha was infamous for killing several people between 1998 and 2007. His modus operandi was to help young men, especially migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, get petty jobs. He would let them stay at his residence in JJ colony, Hyderpur, and would pamper them with all the love and care as if they were his children. However, any petty issue like drinking, smoking, lying, or being a  non-vegetarian would pose enough of a trigger for him to kill them. 

Usually, he would start his “death ritual” around 8 p.m. by tying the victim’s hands with a rope on the pretext of punishing them. He would then strangle them to death with a nunchaku (a weapon having two sticks joined by a cord or chain). After killing them, he would have dinner in the same room while the victim’s lifeless body lay there. 

After his arrest, he even confessed that he was skilled in chopping the victim’s bodies and that he had mastered the art of chopping their bodies with minimal blood oozing out post-mutilation.  

Crimes committed by Chandrakant Jha

Jha’s first murder was recorded in 1998. His first victim was Mangal from Adarsh Nagar. He was held captive till 2002, but was later absolved of the blame considering the lack of evidence. 

The next murder was of a man named Shekhar, who was one of Jha’s assistants. This incident was witnessed in 2003. Jha killed Shekhar because he disliked his drinking and lying habits. He went on to murder at least five of his associates after this murder. Another murder in 2003 was that of a man named Umesh, for not speaking the truth and betraying him. He threw his body in front of Gate Number 1 of Tihar Jail, and this is how the series of throwing headless bodies outside the jail began. He wanted to retaliate against  the police officials, hence, the antics. Sadly, he was acquitted for all these killings.  

Then in 2005, he killed another associate, named Guddu, because he was against his lavish lifestyle and smoked ganja. Sadly, he was also exonerated for this killing. Amit was the fourth associate in a row to be murdered in 2006. He was killed for being a womaniser. A death sentence was pronounced against him for this killing. 

Another victim was Upender, his fifth associate, who lost his life at the tender age of 19. He was killed for allegedly having an affair with the daughter of one of his friends. A death sentence was pronounced against him for his wrongs. In 2007, the last murder in this series occurred; of a man named Dalip. He was killed for his habit of eating non-vegetarian food. A life sentence was pronounced for this crime. 

Arrest, conviction and trial of Chandrakant Jha 

Chandrakant Jha was involved in 14 murders, including seven murder cases, but was found guilty of three counts of murder by the Rohini Sessions Court and received two death sentences and life imprisonment until his death in 2013. Further, a fine of Rs 20,000 was imposed on him. 

In January 2016, his death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment without remission. He is now serving jail time in the Tihar prison complex in Delhi. His recent request for parole was denied in January 2022. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Chandrakant Jha

Chandrakant Jha was held guilty under the following sections of the IPC:

  1. Section 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender),
  2. Section 302 (Punishment for murder).

In addition, the following CrPC sections apply:

  1. Section 219 (Three offences of same kind committed within year may be charged together),
  2. Section 313 (Power to examine the accused),
  3. Section 391 (An appellate court may take further evidence or direct it to be taken).

Motta Navas

Who is Motta Navas

Coming from the city of Kollam, Kerala, was a psychopathic serial killer named Motta Navas. He was active between June and August 2012. He would, on his early morning walks, go around killing pavement dwellers while they were asleep. 

Birth, rise and history of Motta Navas

Motta Navas was born in 1966 in Kollam, India. He was a drug addict and  would go to bed around 8 p.m.  His modus operandi was to wake up in the middle of the night and roam through the city looking for potential victims. He began his journey to being a criminal in 1996, when he committed the first of his 7 murders. He was convicted twice for murder but was acquitted later because there were no witnesses. In 2007, he was arrested for murder but was released in 2011. 

Crimes committed by Motta Navas

The first two murders

As stated above, the first murder committed by Motta Navas was in 1996. A man named Rajasekaran was murdered, and Navas was suspected of being at fault. The victim was around 65 years old. He was hit with a huge stone while he was sleeping underneath a flyover. He was arrested for this case but was acquitted later.

The second murder was of a man named Shamir in 2007, a decade after the first one. He was arrested but acquitted after four years, at which point he began the serial killings. 

The next five murders

The first murder on the list of serial killings took place in the first week of June 2012. Astonishingly, the next murder was committed the very next day after the first, on the veranda of a shop. Here, a man named Appukuttan Achary was hit in the nape of his neck, causing injury to his spine and, eventually, death. The third murder was 11 days after the previous one, under the same flyover. A man named Bondan Kumar, aged around 65 years, was hit on the head with a stone. The fourth murder in this series was of a man named Thankappan, aged 55 and a native of Sasthamcotta, who lay dead on a bus waiting stand, where he was sleeping when attacked. The fifth attack was on a man named Sudarshan, aged 45, on the veranda of a municipal building, where he received a fatal blow to the head with a stone. 

Two attempts to murder 

Not only this, but there are two more murders on the list; fortunately, the victims managed to run away with injuries. 

Arrest, conviction, and trial of Motta Navas

As mentioned above, Motta Navas had already been arrested twice for being a suspect in murders in 1996 and 2007 for allegedly being involved in murders, but he was acquitted in both cases for lack of evidence and witnesses. He was finally arrested again in 2012. According to the latest news, he is currently in police custody and waiting for trial. 

Punishment for crimes committed by Motta Navas

Motta was charged with the following sections of IPC:

  1. Section 302 (Punishment for murder),
  2. Section 309 (Attempt to commit suicide),
  3. Section 449 (House trespass in order to commit offence punishable with death),


  1. Section 313 (Power to examine the accused) of the CrPC. 

Troilokya Tarini Devi a.k.a. Troilokya

Who is Troilokya

Last but not least on the detailed description list of the greatest serial killers in India is a woman named Troilokya. She is allegedly one of the first serial killers in the world. Troilakya’s journey from an innocent village girl to one of the terrors of her time is quite disheartening. She is said to have been a victim of patriarchy and also faced psychological issues. 

Birth, rise and history of Troilokya

Troilokya’s journey to crime started in a quaint little village in Bengal in the 19th century. The Bengali Brahmins in that village practised a ritual named “Kulin”, where a girl child is married off to an older person, and the same ritual was followed for Troilokya. But since she was in her preteens, she would reside with her parents, as per the norm. She had the opportunity to meet her husband only once before his demise. Fortunately, she did not have to undergo the ill practises of sati or lead a life of celibacy, as she was allegedly given shelter by a kind-hearted lady; however, that lady turned out to be a procuress for brothels at Calcutta’s infamous Sonagachi. She then introduced Troilokya to a young man who enticed her and brought her to Calcutta for the purpose of selling her to a brothel, thereby beginning her journey into prostitution and crime. 

Troilokya became very famous as a prostitute in Calcutta in no time. She bought herself all the luxury she wanted. However, she had a widower lover named Kali Babu, and his son Hari (whom she had adopted), who started pretending to become an obstruction to her business. With this hindrance came a lot of frustration, and Troilokya, along with Kali Babu, started cheating the clients by intoxicating their drinks with cigar ashes and stealing all their belongings when they were out of their senses. None of the victims dared to file a complaint, as that would tarnish their public image. This trick soon started becoming ineffective as everyone was now aware of such happenings, which called for another plan in order to make ends meet. 

So next, the duo decided to hire a prostitute and pose her as a potential bride who would then marry a rich man and rob him off his belongings. They did succeed in this plan. All the jewellery collected was sold, and everyone got their shares, including Troilokya, but this scam too became old too soon. So they started abducting teenage girls from the streets of Calcutta to sell them off to brothels or to marry them to East Bengali families for economic gain. However, this news started to spread like wildfire, and Kali and Troilokya had to exit this arrangement as well. And thus began their journey toward serial killings. 

Crimes committed by Troilokya

Troilokya was in a state of misery and was facing financial hardships after Kali Babu was convicted and hanged to death for murdering a wealthy man’s secretary. To make ends meet, she had no other option but to sell off her house and jewellery. Looking for options, she got in touch with her old acquaintances from Sonagachi and lured them into a scam where she said a priest (sadhu) would end all their issues if they visited him, and that the blessings would get doubled if they were all decked out in precious jewellery. These women, being gullible, blindly followed her commands. In a span of three years, Trolokya asked five women, one at a time, to visit a secluded garden with a large pond, where she would ask them to bathe but to remove their jewellery before doing so. As they followed her instructions, she would hold their heads under water until they drowned, then rob them of their jewellery and run away. She was once caught red-handed but lured the police officer into setting her free. The victim, dismayed by this act, approached another police station,   investigated the case. However, Troilokya was lucky enough to walk free from this crime, too. Later, to earn more money, she choked a prostitute, Rajkumari, and robbed her of her jewellery. This was the last murder in her series of heinous killings. 

Arrest, conviction, and trial of Troilokya

After Rajkumari’s incident, an investigation was carried out against Troilokya, and she was held guilty of the same. She then approached the High Court, which declared her guilty as well. She further went on to write a mercy petition to the Lieutenant Governor of Bengal, Sir Augustus Rivers Thompson, who denied the petition, and thus, she was hanged in 1984. 

Her last words to Mukhopadhyay (the officer who investigated her case) were, “I am leaving Hari behind… Please look after him so that he does not get into trouble.” 

Punishment for crimes committed by Troilokya

There is no concrete information on the punishments for crimes committed by Troilokya, however, she must have been charged for the offences of murder, robbery, abduction, inter alia. 

List of other serial killers in India

To avoid the article being wordy, a brief overview of all the other serial killers is discussed below. 

Santosh Pol – Dr. Death 

Santosh Pol, born in November 1974, is an Indian doctor who confessed to killing 6 people, 5 women and a man, to be precise—from 2003 to 2016 in the town of Dhom, Maharashtra, by allegedly injecting them with succinylcholine, a neuro-muscular paralytic drug. Apart from these murders, he is said to be the reason behind the disappearance of several other people in the village. He was arrested in 2016, and he confessed to all the killings then. 

Pol, along with his associates, used to kidnap the victims and inject them with lethal medicine, leading to their deaths. He would then bury the women’s bodies in his country home, the remains of which were recovered post confession, whereas the man’s body was discarded into a local water reservoir as per his confession. 

Umesh Reddy 

Umesh Reddy, alias B.A. Umesh, a former police constable, is yet another serial rapist and killer on the list who terrorised the states in the nineties. He was born in 1969 in Basappa Malige, a village in Chitradurga district, Karnataka. He confessed to killing 18 women and raping 20 women in the states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat. He was held guilty of 9 of them. A death sentence was imposed on him by a Sessions Court in Bangalore, and the Supreme Court upheld the Court’s decision. Further, the President rejected his mercy petition as well. However, in November 2022, the death sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. 

Reddy would choose his victims with the utmost scrutiny and would visit housewives from 11 a.m. to  3 p.m. when there were no men at home. He would then manage to enter the victim’s house on the pretext of having water or asking for an address. He would then choke and rape them while they were unconscious. After this heinous activity, he would go about killing the victims and removing their jewellery to make it look like a robbery. He would then escape with their undergarments. Reddy, whenever arrested by the police, would have lingerie beneath his clothes.

Ripper Jayanandan

K.P. Jayanandan, a.k.a. “Ripper Jayanandan,” is a serial killer from Trichur, Kerala, India. He was accused of 7 murders committed during a span of 35 robberies, all committed from 2003–2006. A death sentence was imposed on him for the killings in June 2008. Jayanandan escaped from prison thrice, but was caught again by the police. He is now serving life imprisonment. 

Satish – the baby killer

Satish, a.k.a. “The Bahadurgarh Baby Killer,” born in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh, is yet another serial killer and paedophile on the list who was active from 1995 to 1998. When taken into custody, he confessed to kidnapping and attempting to rape fourteen girls and murdering ten. His nickname came from his victims, who were all between five and nine years old. 

Sastish was arrested in 1998 on charges of killing 10 of his 12 victims. He was sentenced to life imprisonment because the court did not find his crime to fall under the category of “rarest of the rare.” Further, in 2008, the Punjab and Haryana High Court rejected the request for a death sentence. 

Kampatimar Shankariya 

Kampatimar Shankariya was born in Jaipur, Rajasthan, in 1952. He was arrested at the young age of 26 for killing around 70 victims. The chain of his serial killings lasted from 1977 to 1978. He was arrested in 1978, and a death penalty was imposed upon him, which was executed in May 1979. He realised his mistake while imprisoned; his last words were “I have murdered in vain. Nobody should become like me.” 

Raja Kolander 

Raja Kolander (born Ram Niranjan), the husband of a local politician, was first suspected of killing a journalist named Dhirendra Singh in 2001. During this investigation, his diary was discovered, and the police officials ascertained that this was not the only murder he had committed. The diary stated that Kolander would consume various parts of the victims’ bodies, including their brains. His modus operandi included shooting and cutting the bodies of the victims into smaller pieces and cooking some parts to consume them. Moreover, he is said to have been a part of a gang that would loot and kill the drivers of vehicles in order to steal them. 

During the investigation, it was revealed that he would consume different parts of the victims’ bodies to seek revenge or increase his intelligence. He also confessed to talking to the skulls of the victims and playing with them. It is alleged that he has murdered 14 individuals, in addition to practising cannibalism. But even after 20 years, he still stands by his plea of not guilty

The Joshi Abhyankar killings 

These nerve-wracking killings, commonly known as the Joshi-Abhyankar serial murders, were committed by four college students in their early 20s, namely, Rajendra Jakkal, Dilip Sutar, Shantaram Jagtap, and Munawar Shah, and shook the entire city of Pune. Their group had a poor reputation on the college campus for stealing, drinking, and hooliganism. These killers were hanged to death for the ten murders they committed unanimously between January 1976 and March 1977. The criminals were sentenced to death by a local court in Pune in 1978, and the death sentence was upheld by the High Court and the Supreme Court. Further, the mercy petition was rejected by the President of India, and the four were hanged to death at Yerwada Central Jail in 1983. 

Capital punishment for such killers : a boon or a bane

In India, capital punishment is reserved for the “rarest of rare cases.” There are several substantive laws for a death penalty, the main one being the Indian Penal Code, 1860. 

The execution of these crimes is carried out by hanging as a primary method of execution, as stated under Section 354(5) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. Presently, there are 488 prisoners on death row. 

You may be wondering whether the death penalty is really necessary at this point. Well, there is no straight-jacket answer to it. As the saying goes, “every coin has two sides,” so does a capital punishment. Let us have a look at the pros and cons in brief:

Pros and cons of capital punishment 

Pros of capital punishment

The following are the pros of capital punishment: 

  1. Capital punishment is cheaper in comaprison to life sentence. 
  2. The system of retributive justice or “an eye for an eye” provides justice to the victim, helps in comforting the grieving families, and also makes sure that no crime of such heinous nature will be committed ever in the future. 
  3. It serves as a deterrent for other criminals. 
  4. It is believed a guilty mind must be awarded a punishment with respect to the severity of the crime. Crimes like murder and rape are grave in nature, thus, death penalty can be given.

Cons of capital punishment

The following are the cons of capital punishment: 

  1. It gave arbitrary power to the government for taking a human life, thus being a gross violation of right to life, enshrined under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution
  2. No concrete evidence that death penalty has been an effective detterent. 
  3. It worsens social injustice by targeting individuals who do not have an economic backup to provide financial aid. 
  4. Might influence others to commit more crimes as the criminal might go to any extent to quieten the victim’s voice against the atrocities. 
  5. According to human rights activists, it is inhumane and barbaric.  
  6. There is no reasonable and just principle governing the execution of convicts on death row.

End viewpoint on capital punishment 

Even though capital punishment is cruel, morally wrong, and revengeful, it does not eradicate crimes from society altogether but makes sure that they are not repeated again. Capital punishment being irrevocable, i.e., if once dead, an individual cannot be brought back to life; a point must be made to assure that no innocent faces such a harsh penalty. However, there are times, like the “rarest of rare cases,” when the death penalty is the utmost necessary option, as held in the case of Mukesh and Anr v. State for NCT Of Delhi (2017).

The debate shall never end, as the person who has suffered will definitely be in its favour, whereas, the criminal will be against it. So, the judges must be careful while awarding a death sentence. Further, the focus should be on compensating the victims or their family members and reducing the crimes committed in society. 

A brief analysis of all the sections under which the aforementioned serial killers were charged 


Section 302 of the Penal Code states that whoever perpetrates a murder shall be given a death sentence or imprisonment and shall also be liable to a fine. Committing murder is a non-bailable, non-compoundable, and cognizable offence, and the criminal will be liable to be tried under the Sessions Court, whereas the concerned ministry will be the Ministry of Home Affairs and the concerned department will be the Department of Internal Security


The word “rape” is legally defined under Section 375 of the IPC, and the punishment for rape is defined under Section 376 of the Code. Rape against a woman carries a minimum ten-year prison sentence as well as a fine. The only exception is that the woman is his wife, who is not under 12 years of age. To date, women fall prey to the heinous crime of marital rape, and the Penal Code definitely needs an amendment to such age-old laws. Further, rape is a cognizable offence. Also, it is a non-compoundable offence, meaning the survivor can agree to take back the charges levied against the accused.  

Kidnapping and abduction 

Kidnapping for the purpose of killing or murder is defined under Section 364 of the IPC, whereas abduction is described under Section 362 of the IPC. The punishment for kidnapping and abduction is discussed under Section 363 of the Code. Kidnapping is a cognizable offence as well as a bailable offence. 

Robbery and attempt to robbery 

Robbery is discussed under Section 309 of the IPC, and the punishment is discussed under Section 392. It is a cognizable and non-bailable offence. Whereas, attempting to commit robbery is discussed under Section 393 and the punishment is stated under Section 394, which is a cognizable and non-bailable offence, just like robbery.  


Even though crime is a five-letter word, it has the potential to instil huge terror. The aforementioned serial killers showed the potential in question can practically be beyond all measures. All such occurrences really send a chill down the spine. Such serial killers are no doubt the most feared, and they are oftentimes said to be “inhuman beings.” Indeed, all these happenings are like a crime novel that has come true!

Anup Soni is right when he asks his spectators to be cautious via his tagline, “saavdhan rahein, satark rahein!”  

Please keep in mind that the goal of this article is not to scare readers, but to educate them about notorious serial killers and their activities. These were just a few widely disseminated updates on serial killers. Readers can read about the top 10 most wanted criminals in India by visiting this page. Whereas, if one wants to read about the top 10 most wanted criminals in the world, kindly visit this page

Stay cautious, stay safe!

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How many serial killers does India have?

India has around 80 serial killers. 

Who is the biggest psycho-serial-killer in India?

M. Jaishankar, discussed above, is known to be the biggest psycho killer in India. 

Who is the youngest serial killer in India?

As discussed above, Amarjeet Sada is the youngest serial killer in India. He was taken into custody at the age of 8–9 years old for killing three children.  

Who was the first serial killer ever?

A soldier named “Breton nobleman Gilles de Rais” is allegedly the first recorded serial killer in history across the globe. He was responsible for the murder of more than 100 children. 


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