A serial killer whose Spree inspired the TV drama The Serpent tries to find his way to Hollywood.
In an amazing interview from his cell in Nepal, Charles Sobhraj says he wants Virgin tycoon Sir Richard Branson and the ex-wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to fund a film.
The 76-year-old Frenchman Sobhraj is serving 20 years for double homicide but is suspected of killing more than 20 people.
However, during a series of calls from the rat-infested central prison in Kathmandu, he still claims he is innocent and even laments that he was denied € 7 million in compensation for “illegal detention”.
He told the Sonntagsspiegel: “I am absolutely innocent in these cases. I will be released in three to four weeks. If you wish, you can conduct an interview and then come back with me on the same flight.
“I am being released completely. We can make an arrangement, but you must do me two services.
“Richard Branson and Mackenzie Scott, Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife. She has two secretaries. If you can get me a secretary’s number in DC and Richard too. I was in touch with Richard Branson a few months ago.
“I would like to propose a film contract. My book will be published in about a month. We can have a meeting and interview and whatever you want. At the time of my release we will be flying back. “
His breakouts are the result of the transatlantic success of the BBC series The Serpent, which cataloged his crooked gem trade – and murders.
It left a trail of bodies across Southeast Asia that targeted backpackers in the 1970s and 1980s.
More than 31 million Britons have seen the drama in which the killer is played by French actor Tahar Rahim and his French-Canadian lover Marie-Andrée is played by British actress Jenna Coleman from Doctor Who.
Sobhraj told us he also wanted to talk about whipping the rights to his life story with Mackenzie, 50, who vowed to give away half of her £ 50 billion fortune after divorcing Amazon boss Bezos.
There is no indication, however, that either she or Branson has any wish to be associated with the fiend.
He offers a comprehensive interview and asks the 70-year-old Branson to send a “Senior Lawyer” immediately to discuss the terms of his film deal.
He also claims that he will be released in two weeks following a Supreme Court ruling – though the truth is that he will likely remain incarcerated until 2024.
Sobhraj says his 2004 trial in Nepal was illegal and got used to the results of a report by the United Nations Human Rights Committee.
He says, “Look, look, because of the guilt, I am innocent. On July 27, 2010, 12 members of the UNHRC issued a verdict ruling out my two cases in Nepal. I am innocent.
“After the 12 members of the UNHRC declared about the process, they were supposed to release me within 90 days, but they didn’t. After that, we asked Nepal for seven million euros in compensation. In these cases I am absolutely innocent. ” . ”
In fact, the Human Rights Agency has stated that it has neither acquitted him nor requested his release.
However, it said there were “particular concerns about the conduct of his trial and his detention conditions”. Sobhraj, who has access to newspapers and international television channels while in prison, has been linked to up to two dozen murders in Nepal, India, Malaysia and Thailand.
His first prison sentence was for burglary in Paris in 1963. Upon his release, he flirted with Parisian high society while making money through break-ins, car thefts and fraud.
He eventually had to flee and spent years on the run with stolen passports.
In the 1970s and 1980s, he used his knowledge of gemstones and the backpacker routes to lure unsuspecting Westerners into his circle.
Those who opposed his scams were poisoned. Some victims, found only in swimwear, were declared victims of the “Bikini Killer”.
Over time, the slippery Sobhraj came to be known as The Serpent.
He killed the American backpacker Connie Jo Boronzich (29) and the Canadian tourist Laurent Carrière (26) in 1975 in Nepal. He would elude justice in Thailand for nearly 30 years.
But the Indian authorities pinned him down in 1976. Together with Leclerc, he was captured in Delhi and imprisoned for attempting to rob a group of French students.
Leclerc was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and was allowed to return to Canada, where she died in 1984 at the age of 38.
Meanwhile, Sobhraj remained in prison in India. But he was still under a 20-year warrant in Thailand, where he likely faced the death penalty for the 1975 murders.
In 1986, two years before he was due to be released in India, Sobhraj threw a party for guards, drugged them, and fled.
He was caught and, he hoped, his sentence was extended by a decade. So the Thai warrant expired while it was inside – and it was never extradited for murder.
In 1997, the then 52-year-old Sobhraj went free and returned to Paris for a comfortable life, to benefit from his shame – and even to pose with a newspaper that wrote about his release.
There was talk of a Hollywood biopic and reports that he billed “fans” $ 5,000 for lunch with him.
Then, inexplicably, he flew to Nepal.
What made Sobhraj return to the scene of his crime in 2004 has always remained a mystery. Some claim it was fueled by arrogance and its constant need for attention.
But the liar says he worked as an arms dealer for the Taliban in Pakistan and passed information on to the American Central Intelligence Agency.
Sobhraj said, “At that time, I was doing something with the Americans in Pakistan for the CIA.”