Charles Sobhraj, the notorious 73-year-old serial killer, is in a critical condition in a hospital in Nepal's capital Kathmandu, his mother-in-law Shakuntala Thapa told News 18.
Sobhraj, also known as the 'Bikini Killer', underwent a Coronary Artery Bypass Graft (CABG) on June 12 and reports state that he has not recovered since and his condition has been deteriorating. Sobhraj is currently admitted to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as he is struggling with multiple health issues. His mother-in-law said that both his kidneys have stopped functioning properly.
"His heart, kidneys and lungs are not functioning properly. He is suffering from a chronic kidney infection and should be given bail immediately on humanitarian grounds. It's a matter of life and death," Thapa said. "His legs have swollen up due to infection and he can't even walk. He is finding it difficult to breathe as he has developed a severe respiratory infection."
"I hope the new Prime Minister of France, Édouard Philippe, will intervene in the matter for his bail," she added.
Sobhraj is under strict vigilance, and there is tight security outside his unit in the hospital.
Here are seven interesting things you may not know about the infamous serial killer:
- His full name is Hatchand Bhaonani Gurumukh Charles Sobhraj. He has been accused of killing around 15 to 20 Western tourists across south-east Asia during the 1970s. Sobhraj was born in Saigon, Vietnam to a Vietnamese mother and an Indian father. His parents eventually separated which made him spent his childhood shuttling between them.
- His mother eventually married a French Army officer, and he was sent to a boarding school in France to complete his education. Sobhraj, however, was divisive and attempted to escape from his school to Vietnam by sea as a child, at least twice. He almost succeeded in one of his escape attempts and reached as far as Djibouti.
- One of the most scandalous serial killers of his time, Sobhraj was fluent in several languages and was considered a charmer by many. He was known for his way with women, where he ended up befriending several of his victims and later either drugged and stole from them, or drugged and killed them.
- Sobhraj's first known murder victim was an American woman, Teresa Knowlton, who was found drowned in a tide pool in the Gulf of Thailand. He was eventually nicknamed the 'Bikini Killer' because of the similarity of the attire of his victims when they were found. Knowlton and another of his victims, Charmayne Carrou, were wearing bikinis when their bodies were discovered.
- Sobhraj has succeeded in many jail escapes. He was jailed multiple times in various countries (more than 35 times), but he managed to escape a lot of them. The serial killer was also named 'The Serpent' because of the ease with which he slipped out of prison cells.
- Sobhraj was eventually jailed in India for attempting to poison French students in Delhi in 1976. He was sentenced to seven years in jail. The serial killer spent nearly 21 years in Indian jails, however, he managed to escape from Tihar Jail in 1986 by offering drug-laced sweets to the security guards. He was again arrested in 1997 and was eventually released from Tihar. He later returned to France.
- He was again seen in Nepal in 2003 and was immediately arrested from a Kathmandu hotel for the 1975 murders of Connie Jo Bronzich and Laurent Carrière. A Kathmandu court awarded him life imprisonment, and he has been in the Kathmandu Central Jail since then. Reports state that during his trial, he got engaged to his lawyer's daughter, Nihita Biswas.
- They reportedly married in jail on October 9, 2008, the Nepal government, however, disputes the claim.