Serial killer The Serpent, Charles Sobhraj, freed from Nepal jail
A French serial murderer known as “The Serpent,” who was jailed in Nepal after being found guilty of killing several tourists in Asia in the 1970s, has been freed.
The 78-year-old Charles Sobhraj was released after a court found them in his favour due to his age and good behaviour.
He was imprisoned in Nepal for 19 years for the 1975 murders of two North Americans.
On the hippie trail in India and Thailand, Sobhraj preyed primarily on young Western travellers, whose narrative was told in the television drama The Serpent.
In Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, the legendary killer was concurrently serving two sentences of 20 years each for the 1975 slayings of an American woman named Connie Jo Bronzich and her Canadian travelling companion, Laurent Carriere.
But on Wednesday, the Nepalese Supreme Court mandated Sobhraj’s release after his legal team had successfully petitioned for a reduction in his sentence due to medical issues.
Inmates who have demonstrated high moral character and served out 75% of their sentence term may also be released under a provision of Nepalese law.
Between 1972 and 1982, more than 20 homicides, including drugging, strangulation, beating, or burning of the victims, have been connected to Sobhraj.
Because of his talent for sneaky disguises, his capacity to escape from prison, and his propensity to target young ladies, he was known as The Serpent or the Bikini Killer.
During that time, he drugged the jail guards and momentarily managed to get away from the authorities. He revealed in a later interview that the escape was a scheme to prolong his sentence and thwart his extradition to Thailand, where he was wanted for five other murders.
He was wanted by Thai officials for allegedly drugging and killing six women, some of whom were discovered dead on a beach close to the Pattaya holiday town.
Sobhraj returned to France after being freed from India in 1997, where he lived in Paris and conducted paid interviews with journalists.
He did, however, return to Nepal, where he was apprehended in 2003 for the murder of Bronzich after being seen by a reporter at a Kathmandu casino.