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Thursday 7 March 2024

Channel 4 Announces Groundbreaking Series on Charles Sobhraj, "The Real Serpent"

Channel 4 has greenlit a gripping three-part series titled "The Real Serpent: Investigating a Serial Killer," delving into the enigmatic persona of Charles Sobhraj. Sobhraj, infamously dubbed "The Serpent" due to his cunning ability to charm his victims, has agreed to undergo a series of psychological and criminal interrogations regarding murders he has never been prosecuted for.

Following his release from a Nepalese prison on December 23, 2022, after nearly two decades of incarceration, Sobhraj consented to be filmed for a span of six months. This unprecedented access allowed for an intense scrutiny of his alleged involvement in numerous murders, offering a glimmer of hope for closure and justice for the families of the victims.

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Although Sobhraj has been convicted of two killings and confessed to ten murders in 1977, subsequently retracting his statements, suspicions loom over his potential involvement in a multitude of other cases. The series, spearheaded by former senior Metropolitan Police detectives Jackie Malton and Gary Copson, alongside leading forensic psychologist Paul Britton, focuses on re-examining the murders, interviewing key figures, and challenging Sobhraj's assertions.

During the 1970s, Sobhraj preyed upon Western tourists traversing the hippie trail across India, Nepal, and Thailand. Despite his admission to over a hundred instances of drugging and theft, he vehemently denies any involvement in murder. Notably, the series zeroes in on five widely publicized killings in Thailand in 1975, subjecting Sobhraj's claims to rigorous interrogation.

Sobhraj's criminal history is riddled with audacious escapes and legal maneuvers. After serving a decade in an Indian prison for culpable homicide and robbery, he orchestrated a daring prison break, only to be recaptured and sentenced to another ten years. Subsequently, he evaded extradition to Thailand due to statute of limitations constraints and eventually faced trial in Nepal, resulting in a life sentence for the murder of Connie Jo Bronzich and her Canadian companion, Laurent Carrière.

The series, produced by Monster Films, marks an unparalleled attempt to unravel the truth behind Sobhraj's atrocities and the possibility of securing justice for his victims. Shaminder Nahal, Channel 4's Commissioning Editor and Head of Specialist Factual, underscores the series' significance in shedding light on historic crimes and questioning the mechanisms that allow a notorious serial killer like Sobhraj to evade justice.

As the world awaits the unveiling of "The Real Serpent," viewers brace themselves for a chilling exploration of one of the 20th century's most elusive and sinister figures.

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