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The Serpent premieres on New Year’s Day at 9pm on BBC One. The three-part series is based on the harrowing true story of Charles Sobhraj, starring Tahar Rahim and Jenna Coleman. Where is The Serpent serial killer Charles Sobhraj now? Express.co.uk has everything you need to know.
Where is The Serpent serial killer Charles Sobhraj now?
Charles Sobhraj is a French serial killer, thief and fraudster of Vietnamese and Indian origin.
He is also known as the Serpent, Bikini Killer and the Splitting Killer.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Sobhraj evaded arrest on several occasions and was always on the run.
He was a notorious thief and fraudster, but things took a murderous turn in 1974.
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Between 1974 and 1975, Sobhraj and fellow criminal Ajay Chowdhury committed at least a dozen murders and potentially more across Southeast Asia.
Sobhraj preyed mainly on Western tourists, primarily beatniks, travelling the Hippie Trail of Southeast Asia.
In 1976, Sabhraj is believed to have killed 10 travellers on the hippie trail through Nepal, Thailand and India.
His known victims were Teresa Knowlton, Vitali Hakim, Stephanie Parry, Cornelia Hemker and Henricus Bitanja, Laurent Carriere, Connie Bronzick, Allen Jacobs and Jean-Luc Solomon.
Today, Charles Sobhraj, 76, is serving out a life sentence in Kathmandu prison, Nepal.
He was first convicted and jailed in India from 1976 to 1997, for the murder of Frenchman Jean-Luc Solomon during a robbery in Bombay.
In Tihar prison, Sobhraj earned the loyalty of fellow prisoners and guards and lived a life of luxury.
He was able to orchestrate a successful escape by drugging the prison guards and fellow inmates with sleeping pills, ensuring an extended sentence and affording his extradition to Thailand.
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On 17 February 1997, 52-year-old Sobhraj was released from Tihar prison with most warrants, evidence and witnesses lost.
He also had no other extradition orders on him and he was able to return to France.
Following his release, he moved to Paris, promoting his infamy to tabloid media.
In 2003, he returned to Nepal where he was spotted on the street by a journalist and arrested two days later in the casino of the Yak and Yeti hotel.
His motives for returning to Nepal remain unknown today.
Sobhraj was tried for the murder of American backpacker Connie Jo Boronzich, 29, and Canadian tourist Laurent Carrière, 26. They had been killed between in late December 1975 in Nepal.
He received a life sentence for the two killings in August 2004, and he has been incarcerated in Kathmandu prison ever since.
Sobhraj appealed against the conviction, claiming he was sentenced without trial but his conviction was upheld by the Patan Court of Appeals in 2005.
In July 2008, he issued a press release through his fiance Nihita Biswas asserting he was never convicted of murder by any court and asked the media not to refer to him as a serial killer.
In July 2010, the Supreme Court of Nepal upheld the verdict issued by the district court in Kathmandu of a life sentence for the murder of Connie Jo Bronzich and another year, plus a fine for entering Nepal illegally after Sobhraj entered another appeal, accusing the judges of racism when handing out the life sentence.
In April 2017, when he was 72-years-old, Sobhrj petitioned a court in Kathmandu for his release, arguing the new guidelines of Nepal’s Jail Manual which guarantees the automatic release of prisoners over 72 years of age.
According to several reports, Sobhraj has received several open-heart surgeries and is scheduled for more.
Express.co.uk will update this article when more information is available.
The Serpent premieres New Year’s Day at 9pm on BBC One.
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