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Who were the real life victims of Charles Sobhraj?

CHARLES Sobhraj was accused of more than two dozen murders throughout India, Thailand, Nepal, Turkey, and Iran in the 1970s.

However, he was never convicted of murder until 2004.

Channel 4He was portrayed in the series The Serpent[/caption]

Who were the real life victims of Charles Sobhraj?

Teresa Knowlton

Teresa was a 21-year-old from Seattle in the US.

She was on her way to join a Buddhist monastery when she met Sobhraj in October 1975.

She’s believed to be Sobhraj’s first female victim after he drugged and drowned her in a tidal pool.

Teresa was found by a farmer who saw a woman floating face down in the rising tide.

Later, Sobhraj said: “I killed her because she was transporting drugs.”

The criminal claimed Teresa had said she was transporting heroin for money.

Vitali Hakim

Vitali was Sobhraj’s second known victim.

He was a young Sephardic Jewish boy whose body was found on a road.

He was found near Pattaya, where The Serpent was staying, on the east coast of the Gulf of Thailand.

Henk Bintanja and Cornelia Hemker

Dutch couple Henk, 29, and Cornelia 25, were both victims of Sobhraj’s sick crimes.

They were drugged, strangled and burned by the serial killer and his accomplices.

Their bodies were discovered two days later on December 18, 1975.

Charmayne Carrou

Charmayne was the girlfriend of Hakim.

She was drowned after she came looking for her missing partner at Sobhraj’s resort.

Laurent Ormond Carrière and Connie Bronzich

Laurent, 26, from Canada, was murdered in Nepal, along with American woman Connie Bronzich, 29.

Sobhraj and his accomplice Marie-Andrée Leclerc then used their passports to fly back to Thailand.

I didn’t kill a single person.”

Charles Sobhraj

Avoni Jacob

Avoni was an Israeli scholar.

He was murdered by Sobhraj who wanted to use his passport.

He first used it to fly to Singapore, then to India, followed by a return to Bangkok in March of 1976.

After Sobhraj, Leclerc and their righthand man, Ajay Chowdhury, were interrogated by Thai police but were released.

Jean-Luc Solomon

His next victim was Frenchman Jean-Luc Solomon.

He died from the poison intended to incapacitate him during a robbery.


Posing as a gem dealer, Charles Sobhaj usually poisoned then slaughtered hippies whom he hated for their lifestyle.

After killing them, he would often take money and passports.

Sobhraj was dubbed “The Serpent” due to his conniving ways and constant escapism from reprimand.

How many people did Charles Sobhraj murder?

Sobhraj was sentenced and convicted in Nepal over the deaths of Laurent Carriere, Connie Bronzich, and Jean-Luc Solomon.

However, it’s believed that he may have been behind many more tourist deaths throughout Asia.

Unfortunately, he has never been linked to any crimes in Thailand.

Other murders he’s been tied to include Teresa Knowlton, Turk Vitali Hakim, Charmayne Carrou, and Dutch students Henk Bintanja and Cornelia Hemker.

Overall, It is thought that Sobhraj murdered at least 20 tourists in South and Southeast Asia, including 14 in Thailand.

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

After his release, he returned to France followed by a trip to Nepal in 2003, where he was arrested, tried, and given a life sentence.

But Sobhraj is now a free man after being released in December 2022 from a prison in Nepal, where he served 19 years of his prison term.

He has inspired various dramatisations over the years and has been described by those who knew him as a con artist and a seducer.

A new Channel 4 documentary, The Real Serpent, puts his crimes under the spotlight once more with unprecedented access to the man himself.

While the criminal admits to drugging and stealing from victims, he dismisses accusations he killed the backpackers as “a lot of imagination.” 

“I did wrong to some people and those wrongs were immoral but I didn’t go to the length of killing anyone,” he says. “I didn’t kill a single person.

“I’m fed up with all the allegations so I decided I’m going to put forward my facts and (the public) can decide.



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