Previously on Cyanide Swindler
Inspector Arbaaz and his team was searching for a serial killer who is responsible for around 60 murders in the same fashion by making the victims take cyanide after intercourse. All the bodies were found in different parts of Karnataka, in public toilets. Meanwhile Karthik, a retired professor gets in touch with Madumitha a working woman and made her to fall for him, once after he took her, he gave her a contraceptive pill laced with cyanide and left her in the public toilet. Madumitha decided not to take the pill and searched for Karthik in the hotel they stayed and came to know that Karthik was no more there, so did her belongings and she found that the name was given as Bhaskara in the ledger of the hotel.
After Madumitha came to know that she got cheated, she is shocked, ashamed and sad all at once. Having no money to go anywhere and no mobile to call someone, she is stranded in the new place where she doesn’t know anyone. She asked the hotel receptionist if she can make a call, the receptionist permitted too. When she called Karthik’s number, she got a message “The subscriber you are trying to reach is currently switched off”, when she tried her own number, she got the same message again. She came to a conclusion that she was betrayed by Karthik.
She asked herself,
Did I just got betrayed by Karthik? Or wait, Bhaskara? Or whom?
Meanwhile Inspector Arbaaz and team landed Coorg and started searching the public toilet in the bus depot, fortunately, there was no victim found dead. The team moved to all the hotels near by and searched for any bookings on the name of Bhaskara. One of the team member found a booking for the name Bhaskara in a near by hotel and informed Arbaaz the same. Few minutes later, the entire team appeared at the hotel and started searching the room where Karthik stayed with Madumitha. Looking at the ruckus happining at the hotel, Madumitha slowly went to one of the policemen and asked what is happening, for which the policeman told that they are in search of Bhaskara, a serial killer.
Which came as yet another shock to Madumitha, she told them that she was the woman who was staying with Karthik alias Bhaskara, listening to that from a distance, Arbaaz rushed to Madumitha and asked her what actually happened and why he left her alone in the half way. Madumitha told Arbaaz everything starting from how they came to Coorg to the way Karthik forced her to take the contraceptive pill.
All of a sudden things started unveiling to Arbaaz that it was not Bhaskara who force fed the victims to take cyanide, he just convinced them to take a contraceptive pill which was laced with cyanide so that his job was done easily to loot the jewels and money after taking the women to bed.
Arbaaz asked Madumitha if she had taken the pill for which she said she hadn’t. Arbaaz took her to safety and started informing all the stations on the way from Coorg to Mangalore to put up barricades and start searching for anyone who looks suspicious. Also a team was assigned to triangulate the position of both Bhaskara’s and Madumitha’s number.
Meanwhile Arbaaz got a call from Mangalore cyber division stating that the call records of Anita’s (the fourth last victim) landline revealed she used to get into long conversations with somebody late in the night. This number belonged to Kaveri Manku in Madikeri, who, cops found to their shock, was missing too. A study of Kaveri’s CDR records revealed suspiciously high number of calls from a number none in her family recognised. This number led the investigating team to Pushpa Vasukoda in Kasargod. She too had been reported missing a year ago. Pushpa’s call records led the cops to another missing woman — Vinutha Pijina from Puttur. As Vinutha’s phone records led them to another missing woman and this woman’s phone to another, the cops tasked a team back in Bantwal to analyse the dump data of all these numbers.
The exercise revealed an interesting piece of information – all the phones the cops had been tracking were at some point active in a village called Deralakatte in Mangalore.
As the cops swarmed Deralakatte and began raiding small hotels and lodges to uncover, what they believe, was a prostitution racket, they were informed by the team back in Bantwal that Kaveri’s phone had been switched on for three minutes in Deralakatte. The call was traced to a young boy named Dhanush, who told them it was given to him by his uncle Mohan Kumar.While nobody knows for sure what made Mohan Kumar, who at one point taught English, Science, Mathematics at a Primary School in rural Mangalore.
Arbaaz and team cornered Mohan Kumar on the ground of suspicion, and took him for inquiry. The Arbaaz’s police team knew that either they were close to catching the ring leader of a flesh racket or, worse, a mass murderer. It turned out to be the latter. On forcing him to tell the truth by the usual means of Police treatment for over a week (unofficially), Mohan kumar finally opened up and told them that he was the one who committed those crimes. The police lodged an FIR on him based on the complaint raised by Madumitha and they eventually lodged all the missing persons complaints on him.
The police decided to record his statement for their prosecution, in which he told the following statement.
A goldsmith told me about how cyanide can kill instantaneously and how easily it was available in the market. I purchased cyanide from Abdul Salam, a chemical dealer. Salam sold cyanide to me thinking I was a jeweler and needed it for gold polishing. On identifying my targets – women from poor background desperate to get married – to mapping their fertility cycles so that they wouldn’t think twice about the pill. The hotels I chose for the last night before killing the victims were always close to a bus stand.
After having sex, I would ask the women to take a walk with me, taking care they left all their jewelry, cash, and belongings back in the hotel room. I would woo them with the promise of marriage, spend a night with them and then take them to the nearest bus stand where he would ask them to take a birth control pill. The pill would be laced with cyanide. I asked the women to take the pill in the washroom as it could make them sick.
Once the victims left for the washroom, I would go back to the hotel room, collect all the valuables and disappear. I always planned these last nights in towns far from the victim’s place of residence. I always introduced myself with a different name to each woman, but one thing never changed – I always posed as a government employee with a stable job.
The police took him to the judicial Magistrate’s notice, the magistrate remanded him for 14 days.What Mohan Kumar told the cops during his custodial interrogation was worse than they had imagined. It was serial killing of the proportion the state had not witnessed before. He said he had killed 72 women in the period of 10 years but only 60 complaints were registered. The case became very sensitive among the media and the public in a space of few days.
Many protests happened against Mohan Kumar and the people lauded the effort of police in the investigation. The case was brought to the State High court as the matter became sensitive. On his defense, Mohan kumar kept on saying,
I didn’t kill the women, I just created a situation, they committed suicide.
Once the accounts of his brutal killing campaign made it to newspapers and TV channels, Mohan was never called Mohan Kumar again.
He became Cyanide Mohan.
PS : The entire series was based on a true incident which happened in Karnataka, India. I collected information and data about the incident and added fictional elements to make it as a story. There are few contents which were taken from the article posted by Bangalore Mirror.
Prabakaran Thodithot Sembiyan