What Drugs Did Charles Shobraj Use to Poison His Victims?

Co-produced by BBC One and Netflix, ‘The Serpent’ is an eight-part crime drama series based on the life and crimes of notorious French serial killer Charles Sobhraj. As per records, he had started targeting tourists along the Hippie Trail of Southeast Asia in the early 1970s with his wife, Chantal Compagnon. But after she left him, he found Marie-Andrée Leclerc and made her his mistress and accomplice. Only then, in the mid-1970s, did Charles move from robbery to murder. So now, if you’re curious to know exactly how “The Serpent” took advantage of his victims, we’ve got you covered.

What Drugs Did Charles Shobraj Use to Poison His Victims?

Charles Sobhraj is a killer not by choice but by necessity, according to a few reports. While some murderers kill because of their deep-rooted violent impulses, it seems like Charles preyed on Western tourists as a byproduct of his lavish lifestyle. However, no one can deny that the half-Indian, half-Vietnamese man’s charm was anything short of lethal itself. His alleged anti-social personality, combined with his ability to be persuasive, was a deadly dose. After all, Charles never called what he did to his victims “murder,” he called it “cleaning.”

As an expert in gems and psychology, Charles had a knack for spotting what a person needs and then providing it to them, all the while reshaping their ideas to fit his own ominous schemes. But he is also a narcissist of sorts, having already bragged about his offenses to Richard Neville and Julie Clarke for their book ‘The Life and Crimes of Charles Sobhraj.’ Yet, Charles has since redacted his statements, denying that he ever told them the details of what transpired in Thailand, Nepal, Malaysia, Pakistan, and India in 1975 and 1976.

According to the book and Marie-Andrée Leclerc’s testimony after she was arrested with him in the summer of 1976 in New Delhi, India, Charles Sobhraj’s favorite method to subdue his victims was by making them ill. He used anything from diarrhea-inducing medicines to itching powder to render the people who stayed with him weak and reliant. Then, he strangled, shot, or mutilated them before burning their remains to avoid quick and easy identification. Moreover, Charles also used fast-affecting drugs on his victims to bring on a downer before robbing them.

In Bangkok, Thailand, specifically, when Charles invited travelers to stay with him at his base or when he wanted someone to work for him for long periods, he poisoned them under the ploy of providing them dysentery medication. He bought Kaopectate powder, an antacid medication used to treat temporary discomforts of the stomach, and mixed it with Mogadon, a hypnotic drug used for short-term relief from severe, disabling anxiety, and insomnia. Upon giving this to his intended victims, Charles rendered them unable to function on their own. He used Mogadon pills separately as well, along with other highly sedative drugs like Largactil and quaaludes.

Read More: How Was Charles Sobhraj Caught?