Here is Saregama’s portrait of this 71 year old living criminal, depicting his legendary trail across the globe. His journey remains as enigmatic as his personality. Check out the infographic to know him better.
Presenting ‘Jab Chaye Tera Jadoo’ Video Song in the voice of Kanika Kapoor from upcoming bollywood movie Main Aur Charles starring Randeep Hooda & Richa Chadda. Directed by Prawaal Raman, Produced by Raju Chadha, Amit Kapoor & Vikram Khakhar. A Waves Cinemas Ponty Chadha presentation of a Cynozure Networkz Production.
Singer – Kanika Kapoor
Music Recreated – Sanjeev Darshan Singer
Additional Lyrics – Ikram Basra
Movie – Main Aur Charles
Programed by – Aditya Dev
Mixed and Mastered by – Bharat Goel
Original Songs Credits::
Singer – Asha Bhosle
Music Composer – Rajesh Roshan
Lyricist – Amit Khanna
Movie – Lootmaar
Label :: Saregama India Ltd.
In the seventies when travellers could visit countries like Thailand, Hong Kong & Nepal with marginal official processing, Charles Sobraj used this to his advantage and was on a sadistic murder spree. Young backpackers, hash stoners and idealists from the West were found lost in their fantasies along the Asian Hippie Trail. Charles made sure they reached the permanent state of elevation. His killings would range anything between ten such individuals, up to twenty-four (mostly women). Although the real figure still remains ambiguous.
He is half-Vietnamese, half-Indian, fluent in various languages, a feline charismatic man with big eyes. Apart from his attractive demeanour, Charles’ personality has high resonance with suave fictional characters like James Bond, Tom Ripley & Hannibal Lecter. No wonder, he once introduced himself to a reporter, echoing Bond as, “This is Charles, Charles Sobraj”. His intellectual bent of mind, found repose in the works of German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. Fully familiar with his book ‘Beyond Good & Evil’, Charles never really considered his killings to have defied his own moral code. In fact, in his confessions, he referred to them as ‘cleaning’ in the light of being a criminal Superman. Using his know-how of what budget travellers needed and his expertise in gem selling, he had his way with all his ulterior motives.
But there was method to the madness as his killings were stamped with his trademark style. He befriended and advised the travellers for best places to eat, teach hacks of gemstone buying and bring them to his Bangkok apartment (shared by his French-Canadian girlfriend) and murdered them. The ritual began by first drugging their drinks and then proceed to choke or stab them until dead. Sometimes, he would take a more hostile route by setting the body on fire – in few cases the victims were investigated to be burnt alive. His other favourite methods were to make the victims ill by using diarrhoea pills and itching powder. The intention was to make them weak and totally dependent on him so that he could stifle them, disfigure their bodies with a knife or just shoot them. He was then attributed with the title of ‘The Bikini Killer’ when the bodies of his victims (Teresa Knowlton & Vitaji Hakim) were discovered in swimsuits. This entire murder rampage culminated with his desire to travel the world using the identities and belongings of the deceased.
One of the most interesting element of his criminal record, has been his practice of using psychology as an underlying element. He could easily break into people’s minds and had a knack for spotting flaws in them. In order to suit his evil brilliance, he would then re-shape them as and when required. Until his victims were viciously murdered, they probably found him to be one of the kindest and genuinely friendly people. On being asked, the pre-requisites of being a murderer, Charles had replied that, “Either they have too many feelings and cannot control themselves, or they have no feelings. It is one of the two.” His captivating charm and smile has indeed been an instrument of deceit to hide the raging storm inside his head.
His pursuits have led him to spend most of his time either on the run or in prisons across France, South East Asia and the Subcontinent. He has done it all from extravagant indulgence in women affairs to criminal conquests with his then wife Chantal Companion, later his brother Andre to escapes from jail (mainly induced by bribery), not once but five times – earning yet another title of ‘The Serpent’. His ability to attract women using his smooth conversationalist skills was quite evident. He was known to have had four Parsi girlfriends during his times in Mumbai, while his lawyer as well couldn’t help herself from falling for him. In Thailand, Charles found an adventurous female traveller Marie Leclerc who soon turned out to be his most devoted follower and henceforth they pulled off a few scams together. Later when he was back in India, he also made a woman clan with Barbara & Mery Ellen in order to trick French tourists.
So there you have it, an intellectual criminal who not only used his charms to fulfil his motives but also could brainwash people into following him with complete devotion. He had a colourful personality, using which he travelled all across the globe, generating his own legendary testaments. Now as always, his intriguing journey has caught the eye of filmmakers like Prawaal Raman, to delve deeper from what’s on the surface and explore the intricacies of the mystery called Charles Sobraj. The song, ‘Jab Chaye Tera Jadoo’ from the Prawaal’s upcoming movie ‘Main Aur Charles’ is a clear depiction of the extravagance of his lifestyle and his affinity towards women alongside his criminal record.