While many of us associate serial killers more with characters in a James Patterson novel than to our country, the Noida killings has put the focus back on to these dangerous breed – on why this brand of killers are overlooked when our nation has seen many of the world’s most prolific serial killers.

Thug Behram
Number of victims: 931
Method of Killing: Strangulation with a ceremonial peice of cloth.
Motive: Robbery/Religious fanaticism.
Thug Behram was a member of the notorious Thuggee cult which spread terror in India during the 17th-19th century period until they were eliminated during the British rule. This secret fraternity often befriended unsuspecting travellers before killing them, presumably to rob their belongings. You now know where the English word ‘thug’ came from.

931 seems to be a wildly exaggerated figure even considering his long 40-year old(1790-1830) career, though it is possible that he was present during as many killings with his gang members.

Status: Dead. Confessed to his crimes and provided information about the gang to the British authorities.

Charles Sobhraj

Number of victims: 12
Method of killing: Strangulation, poisoning.
Motive: Personal gains
Charles Sobhraj india bikini killer serial killer
Perhaps the most high profile criminal from India, because of his constant quest for adventure and high-society lifestyle. Served a rather comfortable if not luxurious jail term in the notoriously corrupt Tihar jail . Also known as ‘Bikini killer’ as few of his victims were found killed wearing a bikini

Status: He had the audacity to go to Nepal seeking for attention, where he is serving a life imprisonment term as of now.

Dandupalya Krishna
Dandu Palya Krishna Indian serial killer karanataka andhra

Number of victims: 42 (Unofficial figures cited as more than 100)
Method of Killing: Attacks with crowbar and other weapons.
Motive: Necrophilia/Bestiality/Sodomy/Robbery

Leader of the dreaded Dandupalya gang which operated across Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh from August 1995 to October 1999.

“I liked to hear the last sounds of life draining away. It excited me to hear the gurgling sound that emerges from the throat after I slit it,” Krishna said, without a hint of remorse after he was captured by the police.

Status: All members of the gang convicted and sentenced to death in 1999 with a fine of Rs.30,000 each.

Auto Shankar
Number of victims: 9
Method of Killing: Uknown
Motive: Sex, Money

During a period of six months in 1988, Auto Shankar abducted and murdered 9 teenage girls in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai. Though, initially he blamed on the influence of cinema for the crimes, a month before his execution, he confessed to committing the murders for some politicians who had raped the abducted teenage girls.

Status: Auto Shankar and his accomplices were hanged to death in 1995 while his other accomplices including his brother Auto Mohan was sentenced to life imprisonment. No inquiries were ordered to examine the links of politicians.

Raman Raghav
Number of victims: 42
Method of Killing: Bludgeoning to death with an iron bar with a sharp edge which he designed named as ‘Kanpatti’.
Motive: Robbery, schizophrenia

During the mid 1960’s Raman Raghav created so much panic in Mumbai, that people were afraid to go to sleep in the night. Even the subsequent events following his arrest was never short of drama. Though he was convicted of his crimes, his sentence was reduced to life imprisonment after his mental illness was certified.

Status: Died of kidney trouble while undergoing treatment for his mental illness.

The Stoneman
Number of victims: 13 (not established)
Method of Killing: Bludgeoning to death with a heavy stone
Motive: Unknown

15 years after Raman Raghav’s brutal murders, during 1985-’87 a series of murders of beggars and street dwellers were reported in North Mumbai. Despite the best efforts of the police, the identity of the killer was never established nor they came across any clues. By 1987, the murder spree stopped and the Stoneman never reappeared.