Known as the Bikini Killer,
Charles Sobhraj started his criminal journey in the 1970s – he coned, drugged,
and arrested western backpackers due to bias and unexplained dislike.
In 1976, two tourists had gone
missing on the road of Bangkok; they were later discovered as two burned
bodies. This was simply the beginning of his notorious killings – the Netflix
series ‘The Serpent’ reveals his stories of cruelty and insanity, showing how
he used to hunt down tourists and kill them mercilessly in Asia.
The BBC mini-series is all set
to release on Netflix on the 2nd of April and will unravel the
crimes committed by Charles Sobhraj and his girlfriend Marie-Andrée Leclerc.
The series is seen from the perspective of Knippenberg, who was on the case. We
see several scenes of robberies and murders throughout the series.
Tahar Rahim has taken on this
challenging role, and from the looks of it, it seems like he has aced it. In
reality, Herman Knippenberg is alive today and he lives in New Zealand. He was
very much part of the series, at least behind the scenes.
The series is accurate in most
places, the timeline and characterization are fetched out perfectly. Over the
years, Charles found several aliases, like Alain Gautier to help cover his
Where was he born? How did he
become this monstrous hunter? There are many things that we don’t know about
the famous Bikini Killer.
He was born in Vietnam in 1944
and committed his first murder in 1972 when he was in Pakistan. He has been in
and out of jail all his life, and his crimes only increased when he met
Marie-Andree Leclerc in 1945. She was a 30-year-old medical secretary at the
time and had come to Kashmir to tour (he was her tour guide).
They kept in touch through
passionate love letters until they met again in Thailand. That’s when their
real romance began. He traveled all over India,
Thailand, and Nepal, changed several names through the years, and got convicted
in numerous jails of different countries. He used to steal the passports of his
victims, only to steal their belongings and murder them.
His girlfriend also stole the
passport of one of his victims and posed as Monique for the next two years, who
was the wife of gem dealer, Alain Gautier. All the murders shown in the TV
series are real, but we’re not sure if all the names of the victims are the
same or not –they might have changed them just to protect the identity and
maintain the dignity of the dead.
Do you know that Marie-Andree
was actually given a life sentence? But when the court of India discovered that
she was going to die, they let her go back to Canada to live her last days. She
got diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died at the age of 38, all alone and by
Charles was arrested in 1976
and stayed in jail till 1997. He came out and decided to have a fresh start –
so he continued his journey to Paris. He returned to Nepal in 2003, only to get
arrested again. In The Serpent, you can see Herman Knippenberg hunt down
Charles for murdering Connie Jo Bronzich. In fact, even after he retired, some
files were dug out and sent over to the FBI for further investigations.
By 2004, Sobhraj got convicted
and was sentenced to life for good. As per his lawyers, he was put on trial and
wrongly sentenced– something against “human rights”. In 2008, at the age of 64,
he married the daughter of his lawyer who was 20 at the time. Her name is
Nihita Biswas and she is still alive and serves as his translator. We’re not
sure if the later part of his life is depicted on screen.
The show also depicts his
relationship with his right-hand man, Ajay Chowdhury. His death and whereabouts
are a mystery to this day. Some people think that Charles abandoned him and
they both went on their own path, and some claim that Charles murdered him,
too. Some people saw Ajay in 1976 in Germany, but it’s
He is 76 years old and still
serving his sentence in jail.
Like our page for more
Do you enjoy watching crime
drama? If yes, then this Netflix show is a true crime story of a merciless
killer – watch “The Serpent” show and check this show for similar