When the body of American tourist Jennie Bollivar was found floating in the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand she was wearing a simple floral bikini. The year was 1972, and she was among Charles Sobhraj's first victims. The Bikini Killer, as the popular press dubbed him, was born.
Between 1972 to 1982 the suave and sophisticated Sobhraj committed at least 20 murders in India, Thailand, Afghanistan, Turkey, Nepal, Iran and Hong Kong.
Born Gurmukh Sobhraj to an unwed Vietnamese woman and an Indian tailor, the master criminal started off small. Sobhraj's first foray into the world of crime was by forging cheques from his stepsister's bank account. But Sobhraj graduated fast, first becoming a smuggler and a con man and then a serial killer, leaving his deadly imprint all over the world.
Photo: Thai/Indian Police | Design: Rahil Shaikh
Text: R Swaminathan