Netflix and VICE India’s true-crime series Indian Predator: Butcher of Delhi was released this month, refocusing national attention on a serial killer who dismembered his victims before dumping their bodies across the national capital.
Serial killer Chandrakant Jha was convicted of his crimes which had him taunting and challenging police to try and catch him before he struck again.
A migrant worker from the eastern Bihar state, Jha’s first killing dates back to 1998 but the case against him was eventually dropped for lack of evidence, even though he was arrested for the murder and held in jail for four years.
As the new docuseries – released in India on 20 July – shows, Jha went on to unleash a wave of terror on the city in the years following his acquittal by murdering at least six others.
The three-part series begins with the events of 20 October 2006 when police are shocked to discover a mutilated body dumped outside west Delhi’s Tihar jail. Authorities were alerted to the body by an anonymous caller – now known to be Jha – before they discovered a note among the remains.
In the note, Jha claimed credit for the murder and promised to deliver another victim’s body to the police if they couldn’t catch him in time.
Soon after, in April and May 2007, Jha dismembered and killed two other young men before scattering their body parts at different locations in New Delhi.
Following his arrest on 20 May 2007, Jha was convicted for the murders of the three men who he befriended on the pretext of helping them find work. During interrogation, he admitted to killing several people and dumping their bodies at different places in Delhi.
News reports at the time indicated his modus operandi was always the same: After a petty disagreement with his victims over things like eating meat or womanizing, Jha brutally killed and mutilated them.
He was found guilty of the three murders that took place between 2006 and 2007 and received two death sentences and life imprisonment until death at a hearing in February 2013. The death sentences were later commuted to life imprisonment without remission three years later.
At his sentencing, judge Kamini Lau noted Jha had committed the offences “in exceptional depravity and extreme brutality”.