Serial killer dubbed The Serpent, 78, denies being responsible for string of deaths in the 1970s
One of the world’s most notorious serial killers admitted today to drugging and stealing passports from at least 150 victims, but insisted, “I didn’t kill anyone and I’ll prove it.”
Charles Sobhraj, the 78-year-old French man dubbed ‘The Serpent’ in the BBC drama of the same name, spoke for the first time since being released from prison in Nepal on Sunday.
During a media offensive in Paris, he denied responsibility for a series of murders of mainly Western tourists in countries such as Thailand and India in the 1970s.
“I’ve used quite a few stolen passports, but I’ve never killed anyone, and I’ll prove it,” he told Le Monde.
“Right now I’m running all over to get my papers redone.”
French serial killer Charles Sobhraj, responsible for several murders in the 1970s in Asia, was released on December 23 after nearly 20 years in a Nepalese prison
Complaining that he didn’t yet have a card entitling him to free health care, Sobhraj said: ‘You have to prove you’ve lived in France for three consecutive months and until then I don’t even have social security. number.’
Returning to his crimes in a chilling interview with TF1, Sobhraj described the way he targeted people across South Asia while working as a jewelry salesman.
“I sold rubies, sapphires, emeralds — that was about it,” he said. ‘I contacted someone. They were always tourists or business people.
‘And always, when things went well, we went out for a drink together towards evening.
“I put some medicine in his glass, a good dose, so that he was asleep by the time he reached his room.
“I took his things there, generally money or other things.”
When presented with compelling evidence that he was seen with people who were never seen alive again before their corpses were found mutilated, strangled and burned, Sobhraj simply said, ‘I don’t remember’.
‘No, I’m not a murderer. I’ve never killed anyone before,’ he repeated.
During a media offensive in Paris, he denied responsibility for a series of murders of mainly Western tourists in countries such as Thailand and India in the 1970s. Pictured: Charles Sobhraj in 2014
An eight-part TV serial shows Sobhraj drugging victims before killing them in cold blood – crimes for which he received multiple life sentences
When asked why he kept getting convicted by the court, Sobhraj said, “The whole world was against me and I was found guilty.”
He blamed the press and TV for much of his woes, saying, “I don’t know why the media called me The Serpent.
“Maybe because of my ability to get out of prison. I’ve escaped around the world about 10 times. Maybe that’s why they called me The Serpent.’
Referring to his infamous Kanit House hostel in Bangkok, where he preyed on backpackers, Sobhraj said he remembered little of those who died.
‘I don’t remember, okay? Because many customers came to me.
“There were accidental deaths from drug overdose. Autopsies have shown this.’
Sobhraj admitted that he often stole passports and said, ‘I used to travel with a fake passport.
‘Yes, in those days you could easily change a photo on a passport, it took twenty minutes. “Even the US passport was very, very easy. I’ve done it at least 150 times.’
Scenes including passport forgery are depicted in ‘The Serpent’, which aired on the BBC and Netflix, with Sobhraj played by French-Algerian actor Tahar Rahim, and the role of his female accomplice, Marie-Andrée Leclerc, taken on by British star Jenna Coleman.
Sobhraj (pictured left) was played by French-Algerian actor Tahar Rahim (right) in the TV series about the serial killer
The eight-part TV series features Sobhraj drugging victims before killing them in cold blood – crimes for which he received multiple life sentences.
Nepal’s Supreme Court controversially ordered his release in late December due to his age and declining health, after serving 19 years in the Himalayan country.
Sobhraj’s latest media appearances have caused quite a stir in France.
Michel Jacomet, a 75-year-old retired travel agent who was part of a group of Frenchmen drugged by the killer in 1976, said: ‘He is a monster with the features of a human being who, even at his age, is still capable of anything. .’
Sobhraj was imprisoned in Nepal in 2003 after being convicted of the murder of two North American tourists.
He was eventually linked to more than 20 murders and police dubbed him first “The Bikini Killer” and then “The Serpent” for how he used numerous false identities to evade justice.