Charles Sobhraj's 77th birthday: Interesting facts about the Bikini Killer

Pranav Dixit
·2-min read


Charles Sobhraj
Charles Sobhraj

06 Apr 2021: Charles Sobhraj's 77th birthday: Interesting facts about the Bikini Killer

The infamous serial killer Hotchand Bhawnani Gurumukh Charles Sobhraj, better known as Charles Sobhraj, turns 77 today.

Of Vietnamese-Indian origin, he has killed at least 12 people in and around Southeast Asia's Hippie Trail in the 1970s.

Sobhraj is currently serving a life sentence in a Nepalese jail, and is reportedly in poor health.

Here are some interesting facts on his birthday.

Bikini Killer: His various monikers include Splitting Killer and Bikini Killer

Sobhraj is known as the Bikini Killer, as he used to prey on unsuspecting female tourists, who were later found dead in a bikini.

His other name was the Splitting Killer because he usually ran a scam to gain the trust of his victim, and defrauded or killed them later.

He also got the name The Serpent due to his numerous jail escape attempts.

Charmer: A charmer and fluent in several languages

Sobhraj was a charmer and apparently fluent in several languages.

His first known murder victim was an American woman named Teresa Knowlton, who was found in a tidal pool in the Gulf of Thailand.

He was convicted and jailed in India from the year 1976 to 1997.

After his release, he went to Paris but his notoriety followed with him there as well.

Calculated move: His escape from Tihar Jail was a calculated move

During his time in Tihar Jail, Delhi, Sobhraj is said to have been engaged to two women.

He managed to escape from there but was recaptured a month later. His jail sentence was increased till 1997.

The escape, many believe, was a calculated move, as it meant that by the time he's out, the statute of limitations on his punishments in Thailand would exhaust.

Pop culture: He charged a lot for interviews and film rights

Sobhraj has totally banked on his notoriety by charging huge sums of money for interviews and film rights.

He has been the subject of four biographies, three documentaries, a Bollywood movie titled Main Aur Charles.

The latest work on him is the 2021 eight-part BBC and Netflix drama The Serpent.

The Mauritanian star Tahar Rahim plays the role of Sobhraj in this miniseries.