Any person who has killed 2 or more people is considered a serial killer. Their motives are for the most part driven by either psychological gratification or financial gains. India is no stranger to serial killers. While most of them in the list are behind bars or dead, killers in #10 on the list continue to be on loose. Here is a compilation of the top 10 Indian serial killers.
10. Murderers who are still at large
Most of the killers in the list to come are either incarcerated or dead. There are many Indian killers who still continue to elude the law. Little is known about these killers. One of them is Maheswar Padhi, the youngest psychopathic killer of India at just 26 years old. Padhi is also known as ‘stoneman,’ who used to kill his victims by smashing their skulls with a heavy stone.
The duo of Harbhajan Singh and Baljinder Singh are wanted in at least 105 murders. They strangulated their victims until they dropped.
Bhaskar of Tamil Nadu is wanted for murder of at least 230 people.
Number of Victims: 6.
Method of Murder: Water laced with cyanide.
K. D. Kempamma alias Mallika is a 45 year old lady, who is also infamously known as Cyanide Mallika. She apparently hung around various temples in South India posing herself as a pious lady who was well versed with religious rituals. She gained confidence of many rich women and befriended them. She then suggested them of specific rituals to rid them of their bad times. She then chose her venue carefully to conduct the ritual and instructed her victims to wear all their jewellery during the ritual. During ritual she offered her victims cyanide laced water in guise of holy water. After the victims dropped dead she would decamp with their ornaments. She was arrested and charged with murders on 6 accounts. She was awarded death penalty in 2010, which was later reduced to life imprisonment in August of 2012.
8. Chandrakant Jha
Victims Killed: 6.
Method of Murder: Strangulation with nunchaku.
Chandrakant Jha was born in Ghosai village of Bihar in 1967. He came to Delhi in 1986 and started working as a laborer in Delhi. His modus operandi was to kill his victims and dump them in front of Tihar Jail. He confessed that all his victims were his employees and he used to keep them in Hyderpur. He took care of them like his children and gave them shelter, but at times even the petty things would annoy him and punishment for such a breach of behaviour was only death. He would tie up the limbs of his victims on the pretext of punishing them. He then went on to strangle them with his nanchaku and chopping off their head and limbs. He left a lot of trails behind with his murders that led to his arrest in 2007.
7. Darbara Singh
Number of Victims: 20.
Method of Murder: Slitting their throats.
Darbara Singh also infamously known as baby serial killer was a resident of Jallupur Khaira village of Amritsar district. He was an ex-army man. Darbara Singh had earlier been dismissed from the Indian Army for attacking his senior officer while on duty at Pathankot. He came to Jalandhar where he rented a room in Model House locality and started working in a factory. He simultaneously started making children of migrants there his victims. He used sweets, samosas and crackers to lure his victims. He would slit their throat and dump their body. On a tip off, police set a trap and successfully nabbed him in 2004. He was acquitted with over 20 cases of murder, rape and sodomy of young girls and boys. He confessed that he wanted to teach a lesson to migrant laborers because of his hatred towards them. He was sentenced to death in 2008 that was later converted to life in prison.
6. Moninder Singh Pandher and Surendra Koli
Number of Victims: 18.
Method of Murder: Strangulation.
Moninder Singh Pandher was an industrialist who studied from 1963-73 at the Prestigious Bishop Cotton School in Shimla and graduated from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi. Surendra Koli was his servant. They are accused of together killing 18 young girls. They were arrested by the Delhi police on the suspicion of murdering a call girl named Payal. They were charged under various sections of Indian Penal Code including rape, murder, kidnapping and criminal conspiracy. The skeletal remains of young missing girls were discovered in the village of Nithari on the outskirts of Noida, Uttar Pradesh. In 2009, both Moninder Singh Pandher and his domestic help Surender Koli were found guilty of these murders and were given death penalty. The case still continues with Moninder Singh Pandher acquitted and his death sentence overturned.
5. Devendra Sharma
Number of Victims: 20+.
Method of Murder: Beating taxi drivers to their death.
Devendra Sharma was an ayurvedic doctor from Aligarh. All his victims were innocent taxi drivers. According to police, he would pose as a tourist and hire a taxi to go to Aligarh. Once reaching a specific location, he directed his accomplices to get inside the vehicle. The taxi was then taken to a secluded spot where with four of his accomplices the taxi driver was beaten mercilessly and killed. They would steal the vehicles and sell them in grey market of which he would get the lion’s share from proceeds. He was nabbed in 2004. He was sentenced to life in prison in 2007 and later in 2008 was sentenced to death.
4. Mohan Kumar
Number of Victims: 20.
Method of Murder: Cyanide poisoning.
Mohan Kumar alias Ananda was a physical education teacher in Bantwal Taluk of Karnataka. He confessed of killing 20 young girls over a period of 5 years. His modus operandi was to lure unmarried young girls into marrying him. The next day after marriage, he would kill them by giving them cyanide stating it was an anti-pregnancy pill. After killing his victims, he would abscond with their jewelry. He never came in contact with the victim’s family and so was never a suspect. Police however tracked him down in 2009 using the mobile phone of a victim, which was still being used by him. He is presently incarcerated awaiting trial.
3. Sadashiv Sahu
Number of Victims: 22.
Method of Murder: Shooting.
Sadashiv Sahu was a 57 year old cloth merchant in the town of Fursatganj of Uttar Pradesh. Over a period of 4 years he killed 22 men of his town. He was nabbed in 2004. All his victims were well over 45 years old. After dusk he used to hunt for unwary middle-aged men. He would shoot his victims with his gun pressed against their chest to dampen the noise. He admitted that after he committed the murder he would return home to have a peaceful sleep. He confessed of having an overpowering urge to kill a prey.
2. Raman Raghav
Number of Victims: 40+.
Method of Murder: Attacking with blunt objects.
Raman Raghav a.k.a. Sindhi Dalwai was a homeless psychopathic killer who operated in the outskirts of Mumbai from 1966-1968. He is credited of killing more than 40 people. All his victims were homeless footpath dwellers whom he bludgeoned to death in their sleep. He was a previous charge sheeter and spent 5 years in prison for petty robberies. After a series of murders Mumbai police launched a manhunt to nab the killer. He confessed to the killings when he was brought in for questioning as a suspect. He admitted that the killings were motiveless and he was unable to differentiate that his actions were against the law. His casual approach to killing made it difficult for him to remember the exact number of his victims. He was diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia.
1. Thug Behram
Number of Victims: 931.
Method of Murder: Strangulation by cummerbund.
Thug Behram is one of the world’s most prolific serial killer. James Patton, an officer of East India Company in his manuscript credited him with the murder of 931 victims between 1790-1840. During this timeframe, he headed a covert thuggee group. Most of his targets were travellers, whom he and his men would kill before fleeing with their possessions. He killed his victims by strangulating them with his cummerbund that had a large medallion sewn into it. In his own words, Behram was present in all the 931 executions made by his group and he personally may have strangulated 125 of them. He was eventually caught and executed in 1840 by hanging.