French serial killer released from prison in Nepal

A French serial killer known as The Serpent, who was jailed in Nepal after being found guilty of killing several tourists in Asia, has been freed.

78-year-old Charles Sobhraj had spent 19 years in prison in Nepal but was freed after a court ruled in favour of his age and good behaviour. He was told that he must leave Nepal within 15 days of his release.

The court also stated that Sobhraj is suffering from heart disease and needs open-heart surgery.

Sobhraj had been serving a life sentence in a jail in the Kathmandu suburb of Bhaktapur for the murders of American Connie Jo Bronzich and Canadian Laurent Carriere in 1975, but many other of his alleged murders remain unsolved.

Sobhraj preyed primarily on young Western travellers on the hippie trail in India and Thailand in the 1970s.

Sobhraj was named The Serpent for his ability to adopt different identities using disguises and his history of being able to escape prison.

The alleged murders of Sobhraj were the subject of the 2021 BBC/Netflix thriller “The Serpent.” It describes how he reportedly drugged, stole, and killed travellers around Asia for years as Herman Knippenberg, a former Dutch diplomat, worked with law enforcement to capture him.

Before being imprisoned in Nepal, Charles Sobhraj had spent nearly 20 years in prison in India for poisoning a bus full of French tourists.

In Thailand in the mid-1970s, he was wanted on charges of drugging and murdering six women who were found dead on a beach near the town of Pattaya.

It is believed that Charles Sobhraj was responsible for the deaths of at least 12 people whilst being suspected of at least 18 more.