In what would be one of the biggest arrests of the decade, Bhopal police have arrested a meek, quiet tailor, Adesh Khamra, who has admitted to a whopping 33 murders, making him one of the most dreaded serial killers India has ever seen.
Khamra, who was nabbed a week back, was the kingpin of a gang that looted truckers.
Here are the gory details.
Bhopal serial killer admits to 33 murders
Khamra's kill count is second only to Raman Raghav
Assuming Khamra's confession to be true, his kill count would be second only to the infamous Raman Raghav who killed 42 people in the 1960s. Raghav was arrested in 1969.
The 'quiet, well-behaved' tailor that everyone liked
For years, Khamra, aged 48 years now, had stitched clothes at a small shop on the fringes of Bhopal, and his neighbors and friends knew his as a "quiet, well-behaved man".
They described Khamra as someone who was warm, and could be disarmingly friendly.
Little did they know about his murderous intentions, which manifested in actual killings beginning sometime in 2010.
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The murderer underneath that no one knew existed
Khamra and his gang began their killing spree in 2010, and soon, bodies started popping up everywhere in Madhya Pradesh.
Some bodies were even discovered in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, and Bihar.
Notably, all the victims were either truckers or apprentices.
While Khamra would get friendly with truckers, and murder them, his gang members would loot their cargo.
The gang had a simple, yet effective modus operandi
The gang had a simple, yet effective modus operandi. Khamra would befriend truckers over drinks using his disarming friendliness. Then he would drug their drinks, murder them by strangulation or poisoning, would strip them of clothing to prevent identification, and would then dump the bodies.
After years of efforts, police nabbed Khamra last week
By making the bodies nigh identifiable and dumping them in culverts or hilly roads across the state, Khamra and his gang ensured that police would have a hard time connecting the dots.
Finally, last week, Bhopal city SP Bittu Sharma - a taekwondo black belt and Asian Games bronze medalist in judo - succeeded in nabbing Khamra.
Once arrested, he just couldn't stop talking.
Khamra's confession was unsettling for the police
In what would be reminiscent of the notorious serial killer Edmund Kemper, Khamra, in excruciating detail, confessed to 33 murders.
Police officials involved in his interrogation said that talking to Khamra was unsettling, as the serial killer would show no remorse, and would recount every last detail pertaining to his victims, from what their last meal was, to what they wore etc.
The gang possibly believed that they were granting victims salvation
When police asked Khamra's gang member and co-accused, Jaykaran, as to why they would murder truckers, Jaykaran laughed and said, "They lead hard lives. I am giving them mukti, freeing them from pain."
Khamra was inspired by a man who committed 100 murders
If Khamra's confessions themselves weren't mortifying enough, police believe that he was influenced by dreaded killer Ashok Khamra, who he referred to as 'uncle'.
In 2010, Ashok himself had admitted to the murders of 100 truckers after he was arrested.
However, while he was being brought to Bhopal by train, he drugged his police escort and escaped.
Ashok remains at large even today.