Salem police arrested truck driver A Subbarayan on Saturday night on charges of murder of seven people, including three women and a minor, and for raping three of them in 15 days.
Subbarayan, 27, was arrested after a group of people from Periyeri village handed him over to the police for attempted robbery and attacking shopkeeper Selvam, 45.
"Villagers caught him and handed him over to police the Thalaivasal police. During interrogation, he confessed to seven murders in Salem, Ariyalur and Trichy districts," The Times of India quoted an investigating officer.
His first victim was his own 65-year-old grandmother Ayyammal. Salem police had arrested him following her murder and kept in jail until he was released on bail a month ago.
Subbarayan admitted that he started to rob travellers on highways in Salem and Ariyalur districts after his release.
He raped three women, including Chinnathayee, 45, Savithri, 50 and Parvathy, 25 and murdered Jayamelu, 82, Lakshmi, 75 and Velmurugan, 33, and his two-year old daughter and robbed all of them after committing the crime.
"Subbarayan slit Velmurugan's neck with a knife when he tried to rescue his wife. He then raped Parvathy and stabbed her to death. He killed the child by banging her head against a wall," the officer said.