The latest drama from the BBC comes in the form of chilling true-crime series The Serpent. The eight-part show, starring Jenna Coleman and Tahar Rahim in the lead roles, tells the harrowing story of notorious killer of the 1970s Charles Sobhraj and the corruption he inflicted on many.
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While viewers are gripped by The Serpent, many are wondering what happened after the tragic events, including whether Charles was caught and where he is now. Before the series continues on Sunday, we've done some investigating of our own.
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When and how was Charles Sobhraj caught?
Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg is portrayed in the BBC show as eager to find out the truth behind the numerous killings occurring in Thailand and beyond. In July 1976 in New Delhi, Charles attempted to drug three young students from France on their backpacking trip. However, his plan did not go accordingly as one of the students fell unconscious earlier than he anticipated.
This lead to the other students realising what had happened and contacting the police. Charles was then arrested and charged for the murder of a previous victim and was sent to prison, awaiting further trial. He was initially sentenced to 12 years in prison.
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Charles is played by Tahar Rahim in the BBC drama
Charles managed to get by in prison thanks to his bribery and conman tactics and he led a comfortable life. As the end of his 12-month sentence drew closer, Charles threw a party to celebrate inside the prison in 1986. During the party, he drugged the prison guards and officers and then walked out of the prison. He was then reprimanded and sentenced to another ten years.
This meant in 1997, the 20-year long warrants from Thailand were long gone and Charles was once again released and was extradited back to France.
Where is Charles Sobhraj now?
On his return to France, he led a comfortable life and reportedly attempted to grow a celebrity-like status and charged over $15 million for the rights to a movie based on him. However, he then returned to Asia to start a new business, but after authorities then re-opened a double murder case, he was reprimanded once more.
Charles Sobhraj pictured in 2003
Charles attempted to appeal his sentences, but any appeals he made were either rejected or postponed. In 2014, he was convicted of the murder of Canadian backpacker Laurent Carrière. He remains in prison to this day.
Where is his accomplice, Marie-Andrée Leclerc now?
Marie-Andrée Leclerc, from Quebec, worked as Charles' accomplice and is portrayed in the BBC drama by Jenna Coleman. She became his closest follower and turned a blind-eye to his crimes, even luring victims to get closer to the couple before crimes were committed against them.
The pair travelled around Thailand, Nepal and India on a crime spree before she and Charles were eventually upheld by authorities.
Jenna Coleman as Marie-Andrée Leclerc
Marie-Andrée was imprisoned and accused of complicity in the murders of Jean-Luc Solomon and Avoni Jacob. She was acquitted of the crime towards Jean-Luc but was convicted of the murder of Avoni. After appealing the verdict, Marie-Andrée was released but was unable to leave the country.
She was allowed to return to Canada in the early eighties after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In 1984, she died at her hotel from cancer aged 38.
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