what is life but an excuse for death,or death but an escape from life...
- Papillion -
‘My name is Hatchand Bhaonani Gurumukh’
The Interrogator , Lock Up Incident.
139 Wireless Road Police Station, Bangkok.
Time – 1 hour to Monday.
‘Ok tell me , what’s your name again ?’ Inspector Phasit Ratnapentrakul said as he lit a cigarette.
‘Hatchand Bhaonani Gurumukh’ he said looking blankly into the inspector’s cold eyes.
‘So what were you doing in the afternoon today?' Inspector interrogated.
'I broke into a gem shop at 1.30PM’ he said as a matter-of-fact.
‘and why would you do that?’ ‘why didn’t you run away?’ The inspector lifted his right eyebrow quizzically.
‘I did try to – but your patrol officer nabbed me’ Hatchand said, and slowly turned his head towards the patrol officer standing beside the inspector.
‘Don’t you think it is kind of strange, that there was a murder just around that same time at Bluemoon hotel.?’
'A waiter in the nearby restaurant seemed to have seen someone like you.’
‘Could be,Bangkok is a tourist destination. There are many tourists isn’t it Mr. Sub Inspector Phichai’?
There was silence. They looked at each other.
‘hmm it's a pity,looks like you won't talk tonight…my Sunday night bliss is officially over.’
‘take him away and lock him up – we’ll deal with him first thing tomorrow morning’ Inspector Phasit commanded his deputy, stretching his arms.
As he saw Hatchand walk away, he noticed scratch marks on his arms and a snake tattoo on his right shoulder.
Before he could think deeper, the telephone rang in the main room.
‘Wireless road police station,Inspector Phasit speaking’
‘Phasit - Worma here – Sawatdee Khrab’
‘hello - what a surprise – it’s good to know I am not the only joker working on a Sunday night.’ Inspector Phasit joked.
‘duty calls my friend - duty calls..' Worma said.
‘likewise, so… how can I help you?’
‘well I just called to let you know & alert your station – there was a body of a young girl dumped in a shack- outskirts of the beach,robbed and drugged as well – looks like a very, very ,disturbed killer out there –
‘hmm any witnesses ?’
‘mmm not much – but one by stander – some Indian fellow – think his name was Vijay something -suggested he saw the girl with some middle aged foreigner…the only identification was a snake tattoo’
Hatchand's image flashed in front of his eyes...and his snake tattoo...
‘hold on – what time did this happen?’ Inspector Phasit interrupted.
‘We have it recorded as 1.30PM’
‘WHAT?’ exclaimed a shocked Inspector Phasit.
'Phichai - get here right now' - and he rushed to see the new prisoner…but by the time he reached his cell…there was a new prisoner – Sub Inspector Phichai lay on the floor with froth coming out of his mouth.
Hatchand Bhaonani Gurumukh had vacated the premises.
a few hours earlier...
The Blue , Blood Incident
A Caucasian tourist in Bangkok was never left alone. Everyone had something to offer…be it massages, sex or even drugs. A typical European back-packer Ann-Marie ,29, walked in to the Blue Jaz restaurant. Their tag line read ‘the finest cuisine for the finest people.’ – she fit the bill perfectly. Tall, shapely, and had mystical eyes. The kind which could attract someone’s attention instantly.
Ann-Marie’s French accent while speaking English, meant not many people would be her friends in that part of the world. The Blue Jaz waiter was just one of them.
But to him there was nothing unclear.The tourist had eaten a sumptuous lunch,drunk well, and now it was time to pay. He wanted the money. Simple isn’t it?
But she had none.
Ironically,her story was simple too. She forgot her wallet in the hotel, and all she wanted to do,was to go and quickly get the money to pay the bill.
‘pourquoi ne pas vous comprendre? She muttered to herself.
This angered the waiter even more. She was tensed and it seemed to her that the people in the restaurant stopped eating to look at her situation.
‘why don’t you understand’ she pleaded one more time, this time in English... the waiter was beginning to look a little more threatening as he put his hands on his hips.
Just then a smooth suave baritone voice commented – ‘Je vais prendre soin d'elle’
Ann-Marie froze for a moment - 'If there was ever a time God existed – it was now.'
The gentleman nodded at the waiter, indicating that he would take care of the bill, and the waiter slowly backed off.
Calmness returned to the table at Blue Jaz.
‘Bonjour’ he interrupted. ‘allow me mademoiselle – I am Vermin Le Blanche’ he said with an air of confidence. ‘Merci beaucoup’ she said gratefully glancing into his deep intense eyes.‘you have a very unusual name..and an exotic snake tattoo’ Ann-Marie said trying to break the ice.
‘yes I do, it also tells me the presence of your intellect, observation and attention to detail’ Vermin said charmingly. She had never seen such magnetic eyes, there was a deep compassion, sadness even, yet magnetic and enchanting, they seem to talk, even without any introduction.
A handsome athletic body made this stranger a very attractive man. Ann-Marie was getting a strange sensation in her lower abdomen. Her toes curled, she clenched her fingers, an intense desire ran through her body. His smell engulfed her senses. Fired up her body like a hot stone on a cold skin. His presence left a mark.
and then...instant combustion.
She was getting oblivious to his conversations and blurring looking at his moving lips...her senses were heightened,goosebumps on her forearm,an odor of lust had engulfed her mind,body and soul.
‘If you are thinking you ll take me to bed trying impress me with your Nietzsche & existential philosophies... then you are wrong.’ Ann Marie said interrupting his conversation.
He was calm. He was silent and then ….‘Your place or mine?’ he said confidently.The last eye witness testimony was of the waiter. He saw Ann-Marie walk out of Blu Jaz restaurant with him.
When the housekeeping boy knocked room # 23, of the Bluemoon hotel, he got no response. As customary, he waited and then proceeded to open the door to clean the room. As he opened the door, the room looked in pristine condition but for one aberration. His shoes splashed on some liquid. It seemed he had stepped on something spongy….
He looked down in horror, it was a severed arm of a Caucasian body outstretched towards the door, naked,eyes bleeding, and the body had turned blue. The flowing curtains suggested an open balcony door…
Vermin Le Blanche had had flown away.
The Bikini , Strip Incident
From 300 ft. above sea-level ,Pattaya beach looked even more beautiful for 25yr. old Gali.
Para-gliding for the young adventure-seeking Jewish girl, was a once in a lifetime experience, and she was enjoying it to the hilt.But her enjoyment was short-lived -she landed in the sea with her parachute belts getting entangled around her neck.
Before she could free herself,she was choking underneath the weight of the parachute underwater.As she struggled to break free – a hand came from behind her shoulders, grabbing her body and cutting the belt with a knife. She was losing consciousness, so the ability to respond to shock was minimized by the second. With one last effort the belts cut lose, and so did her senses…she’d fainted underwater…
A few minutes later she opened her eyes to see a magnetic pair of eyes stare at her. He had just breathed a new life into her.
She thought - 'If there was ever a time God existed – it was now.'
‘how are you feeling’ the man said with a strong Jewish accent.She coughed and spurted some more water…and said... ‘thank you for saving my life’
His eyes spoke more than his words. His body was strong and athletic, and she felt an uncontrollable attraction towards this stranger. ‘come let me help you get up’ he extended his hand to her. The people who had gathered to witness the incident now began to disperse. Gali got up on her feet, still feeling a bit light in the head.
‘tourist…first time?’ he asked.
‘yes’ she said spontaneously.. and then Gali remembered her friends advise…don’t talk to strangers.
And as she became a bit more confident of her senses she broke the ice.. …‘well how can I ever thank you’? ‘you can by telling me your name,and maybe having a lunch with me ?'
Before Gali could respond -he continued 'hello my name is Ahreel’ in a calm suave deep baritone.
‘oh am sorry …I am Gali..and are you from Israel as well ?’and shook hands with the stranger.
‘well lets just say I have a special connection there...’ Ahreel said plainly.
Gali’s defenses were down, but her womanly instinct was trying hard to contradict. It seemed to say something was amiss, something was odd about this man. But that instinct,got killed by the passionate voice from her pelvis.Not able to concentrate on what he was saying , Gali kept staring at his lips, and as her wandering eyes caressed his body, Ahreel caught her midway.
'your bikini is wet..maybe you would want to change it..? Lets go to a shack nearby,maybe we can rest a little bit as well’ he said suggestively.
‘yea – that sounds like a good idea’
Two hours later, an innocent by stander noticed a dog howling incessantly near a shack.As he went close to the shack – he saw a trail of blood on what looked like a bikini top..
Vijay Chowdhry alerted the authorities immediately. The nearby beach patrol police came rushing in a few minutes.
Inspector Worma was the first to peep inside the shack.
The shack looked as if no one had been there in a while,a peculiar damp smell emanated, nothing seemed to be missing or broken. As he went inside he got a peculiar pungent chemical smell, he looked around to find it s origin but failed. Just as he was about to exit, he noticed a blue lace on the wooden floor leading into a crack.
He followed the string, and tugged at it slowly. It seemed stuck.He pulled a bit harder and the plank on top came off to reveal a severed finger tied to a bikini strap.
Reflex shock hit Inspector Worma very hard – he hit his head on the pillar,a few drops of blood fell on the floor below.To his horror he saw another piece of cloth sticking out…It dawned on him...that the whole floor was scattered with tiny parts of the bikini...
Ahreel had flown away...
A Gem, of an Incident.
Somewhere between Bangkok and Pattaya
As the bells rang on the door of ‘That Antique Shop’ a young smart looking man walked in with the breeze.
He was panting.
‘can I have some water please’ he asked trying to hold his breath.
Nikita immediately grew suspicious. She had heard some tourists were kleptomaniacs. They shop lifted small things, in spite having the money to probably buy the whole store.
‘Please I have just had an asthma attack- I need to take my medication’.Nikita looked into his deep magnetic eyes and bought the story.She went inside to get the jug of water.
‘Thanks you are a savior’ he said regaining his breath and composure.
‘mention not’ Nikita said managing a shy smile.
‘oh I am terribly sorry my dear,but my condition sometimes takes the better of me,I’m Thomas from London, just visiting your beautiful country.’ he said in a deep baritone English accent.
‘oh- nice to meet you – are you ok now?’
‘yes my love’
He looked around the store. Walked across to the gem section.
Nikita moved behind the counter simultaneously.
‘Would you like to see some rare gems?’
‘Oh but am seeing one already, my love’ he looked deep into Nikita’s vulnerable eyes.
Nikita blushed. ‘Let me show you this rare moonstone’
‘this is from the royal palace treasury, my great grandfather had got it as a gift from the king.’
‘marvelous I say’ said Thomas as he looked at the stone closely.
‘hmm – how much?’
‘specially for you – at 20% discount – 10k Baht only.
‘are you serious?’ –
‘Yes it is roughly USD $300’
‘Can you show me that emerald as well ? oh and that Jade looks gorgeous,
that one as well.’
Nikita’s nagging suspicion came back again. This time she decided to act.
‘Sir, if you want to buy, then I’ll show you more, but if not…’
Suddenly his expression changed. His eyes turned cold. He looked right into Nikita’s left eye.With a swift action he grabbed her right hand resting on the counter and started to pluck out the gems from the boxes with his left hand.
Nikita raised an alarm as she struggled to break free – but his grip was like a metal clamp…tightly bolted. As the chaos ensued inside ‘That Antique shop’ – some people began to gather outside, still unsure whether to go in or not. Just then Nikita screamed for help – it was the trigger people needed to charge in.
On entering the shop, they saw the tourist holding Nikita’s hand tightly,as she struggled to break free.They acted quickly and pinned him to the ground. Some people outside had smartly alerted the patrolling police vehicle.
Sub Inspector Phichai walked into the room, and took charge of the situation -
‘ok everyone back off – I ll take it from here’ he thundered.
Thomas had given up the fight by then, he was over powered.
Inspector Phichai handcuffed him and took him to the nearest police station on wireless road.
As he drove the patrolling vehicle, Thomas looked up at him and said…
Time - 4 hours into Monday.
Somewhere near the Thailand border.
‘have you got the papers’?
'yes – MYR 30k'
‘yea that should be enough to fly to Nepal from there.’
‘oh by the way,I think I accidentally gave an overdose to Inspector Phichai – please apologies to him and keep him happy’
‘oh is that so, well consider it done - I know what he wants.’
‘that’s like my boy’ he said.
‘just one last question – did you take care of that waiter?’
‘yes and no'
'what do you mean?'
'well he has agreed to forget what he saw, but he wants some more money’
‘hmm give him more money or.... kill him - take the easier option’ he smiled.
A chill ran down Vijay’s spine.He had worked with mystery man for almost a year now – but he could never fathom his brain.He had become his devoted follower after he saved his life from the drug-lords of Pattaya.
‘Good job Vijay – I am happy with your efforts - so here’s your share.' - he gave him some money.
And then the butterfly flew away...
Hatchand Bhaonani Gurumukh a.k.a Charles Sobhraj drove into Malaysia with yet another new identity....
Gyanban Thoughts -
This story is about a very intelligent dangerous mind.A man who has fooled the interpol,the local police,the victims and the followers for many years.I've just captured and constructed a fictional story based on a few years of his serial killing days in Thailand.The facts of the story are researched below -
The Man –
- Charles Sobhraj, was born to an unwed Vietnamese mother and Indian father.
- Hatchand Bhaonani Gurumukh is his real name.
- Widely believed to be a psychopath—he has a manipulative personality and is incapable of remorse—
- His motives for killing differed from those of most serial killers.
- Sobhraj was not driven to murder by deep-rooted hatred or violent impulses, but as a means to sustain his lifestyle of adventure.
- The Bikini Killer and Serpent were names given to him after those infamous murders.
- A man of vast intelligence and immense will power had a very dark side to his personality.
- Ironically – the victims held him in great respect , reverence even…while equally felt incredible hatred. Such was the dichotomy of his personality.
- He Would help out people,gain their trust and then kill them.
- The title of the story Papillion – pronounced -pah-pee-yawn - means butterfly in French.
- Vermin - means the serpent.
- Ahreel is actually Ariel in Jewish - which means - Lion of god.
- Charles had mastered books on personality changes,human socio-cultural behavior patterns extensively.
- Vijay Chowdhury’s character in real life is Ajay Chowdhury – who became his deputy.
- Ann Marie - Marie-Andrée Leclerc was from Lévis, Quebec, French Canada.
- Gali Hakim – was a young Jewish girl named Vitali Hakim.
- The cops – not real names –
- He was so successful was because he paid the cops heavily in cash or with a supply of high quality cocaine.
The Murders –
- This story revolves around the classic misdirection theory.
- It is generally accepted that 1st incident was at Pattaya beach, 2nd was Bluemoon hotel, 3 rd was Gemstone, and 4th was lockup.
- the murder time 1.30PM was the best misdirection executed by Sobhraj,with the help of his aides.
- He had led the police to believe that he could not be convicted, because he couldn’t have been at multiple places doing the same crime at the same time.
- The time lapse between these incidents is still debated.
- Police had not been able to connect incidents conclusively...
- The distance between fact and fiction had been blurred by Sobhraj's brilliance.
- It wasn't until much later that the police found out that they were being setup themselves.
- Later in life,he would commit multiple murders in one country, and get caught in a ridiculous petty crime ,in another country,and be jailed.
- He would remain in jail till the other case died down due lack of evidence and then get out of Jail at his own will.
- There are only 12 official murders recorded under his name – but Interpol believe there may be many more.
- Some of these murders remain unsolved until today.
- Watch this video – Life and Crimes of Charles Shobraj.
- Or read this biography –Charles -