Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Charles Sobhraj


Thailand Police patch
Thailand Police patch

Nothing so fragile as a life built on lies can stand for long, and it was just a matter of time before Charles Sobhraj was caught. He overestimated his own intelligence and underestimated law enforcement agencies in the Far East, believing it did not matter that Thai police were looking for Alain Galtier or even Laddie DuParr. He had outsmarted them before and he would again.

But when news of a serial killer in Thailand who was killing tourists emerged in the spring of 1976, the Thais knew they had to find Charles Sobhraj. Tourism is important to Thailand, and no 300,000 baht bribe could compete with the millions that would be lost if the people were afraid to come.

Connie Bronzich
Connie Bronzich

So far, two American women, two Canadians, a Turk, two Dutch citizens, a French woman, and an Israeli scholar had died in Southeast Asia under mysterious and similar circumstances. Calls for justice came from nearly every embassy.

Laurent Cariere
Laurent Cariere

Charles Sobhraj came to the attention of Interpol first in 1973 when he was linked with the aborted jewel robbery in the Hotel Ashoka. He was not linked to the Bikini killings in Thailand by Interpol -- they were looking for Alain Gautier -- but nonetheless Interpol's massive database contained quite a detailed dossier on Charles. Sooner or later every criminal slips up and even the most intelligent sociopath like Charles Sobhraj makes mistakes. When he did, Interpol was there to see it and the long arm of the law was there to make sure he did not escape again.

Stephanie Parry (top)Teresa Knowlton (bottom)
Stephanie Parry (top) Teresa Knowlton (bottom)


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