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Cyanide Mohan Raped And Killed 20 Women. But No One Cared To Trace The Victim’s Families Or Identities. Our System Failed These Women

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The stories of serial killers are fascinating to most of us. The question that often looms in our minds is,’ How did he/she get away with it for so long?’ Because you would think that someone who has been murdering women for so long would have something, a tell-tale sign, anything at all, that would give him away. But turns out, the most heinous, chilling crimes are committed by people who look so regular, you probably pass them on the street or wave a quick hello to them on your way to work.

No, not everyone you’re friendly with is actually out to kill people, but just reading the stories of Cyanide Mohan, a man who has been convicted now of 19 murders and has confessed to killing 20 women, is chilling. The details are straight-forward, for the most part, but this is the kind of case where you can feel the ripples of fear down to your very bones.

Mohan Kumar, now known as Cyanide Mohan, chose his targets carefully. They were often emotionally vulnerable women, unable to find husbands or afford the dowry that goes with a wedding. He would lure them with the promise of marriage, rape them and then kill them by offering them a pill. He would tell these women they are contraceptive pills. Once this victim was dead, he would run away with her jewellery .

If someone had paid close attention, they would have definitely figured out a modus operandi. Then again, women are entirely disposable in our country and 20 women missing over a span of over 5 years would not call for the slightest of panic. Bangalore Mirror reported that from 2003 to 2009, 20 women turned up dead, all in the restrooms of bus stands. Every single one of them was in a wedding saree with no jewellery on them. Yes, this did span across 6 towns across Karnataka, but if someone was paying heed, they would have noticed a pattern.

In what is obviously a failure of the system, all of the deaths were deemed suicides or unnatural deaths, and the police didn’t even attempt to trace their families or figure out their identities. Every single post mortem of the victims revealed poisoning but the blood samples of only two women were sent for forensic tests. It was only when the death of the 19th victim, Anita Barimar caused communal tension, that an investigation on who she had been talking to was launched.

This was the first link and after tracing phone calls and coming up with a lineup of missing women. A deeper probe lead the police to Mohan Kumar and he confessed that what the police new was a tame version of the story.

He had killed 32 women, he claimed. “He 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. He asked the women to take the pill in the washroom as it could make them sick. He would return to the hotel room and vanish with their jewellery and other belongings which he would have asked them to leave behind,” reported Bangalore Mirror. 

Though the number of women he claims he has killed is 32, the police have been able to build a case against him for only 20 women. Yesterday, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for the 19th murder.

This is a man who was previously a teacher at a primary school in Mangaluru. He taught english, science and maths here. Some reports claim that he spiralled out of control when he lost his job. Whatever the reason, we know that this was a systematic failure in the delivery of justice and we are just glad the man is serving his time in prison.

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Mansi Shah is the resident humour writer and random conversation starter. Tends to laugh manically at puns. Deeply enjoys the blunt force of sarcasm. Preys on chauvinists and people with incorrect grammar. Hoards makeup and beauty products. Attacks Nutella with vigour.

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