The Bikini Killer
Hotchand Bhaonani Gurumukh Charles Sobhraj (born April 6, 1944), better known as Charles Sobhraj, is a serial killer of Indian and Vietnamese origin, who preyed on Western tourists throughout Southeast Asia during the 1970s. Nicknamed “the Bikini Killer” and “the Serpent,” due to his skill at deception and evasion, Sobhraj allegedly committed at least 12 murders. He was convicted and jailed in India from 1976 to 1997. After his release, he retired as a celebrity in Paris. He returned to Nepal and was arrested and tried there. He was convicted of murder by the Supreme Court of Nepal on August 12, 2004. Sobhraj received a sentence of life imprisonment.
While Sobhraj is widely believed to be a psychopath, his motives for killing differed from those of most serial killers. Sobhraj was not driven to murder by deep-seated violent impulses, but as a means to sustain his adventurous lifestyle. That, as well as his cunning and cultured personality, made him a celebrity long before his release from prison. Sobhraj enjoyed the attention, charging large amounts of money for interviews and film rights; he has been the subject of four books and three documentaries. Sobhraj’s return to Nepal, where he was still eagerly sought by authorities, is believed to be the result of his yearning for attention and overconfidence in his own cunning and intellect.