Kochi: A suspected serial killer who used to slay victims by hitting on their heads with huge stones has been arrested by the Kochi police who found evidence linking him to at least nine murders since 2007.
Panickar Kunjumon alias Xavier, 42, a painting worker based in Thevara, used to target low-profile victims who sleep by the roadside and used to murder them cruelly upon resisting his robbery bid. However, he made sure not to leave any trace of evidence and to go about his daily routine without any change that helped him dodge cops and friends for so long.
“Xavier was arrested on Sunday evening from North RoB, and so far he confessed to having a role in eight murders in Ernakulam city and one in Paravur. We relied on wounds certificates, especially the injury pattern, and opinion of forensic specialists and medical experts as evidence besides his confession statement,” deputy commissioner Arul R. B. Krishna said.
The accused, he said, would search for drugs, beedis or money after spotting the victims, usually rag-pickers or old men sleeping on the roadside or shop verandas. When they resist, he would flee the place and come back a little later after making sure they had fallen asleep again.
He would then pick up a huge stone (20 kg and above) or concrete bricks and hit the victims with all force. “He was a tough nut to crack during interrogation, but we got the help of psychologists. He was arrested several times earlier for minor
offences like pickpocketing and causing a public nuisance in an inebriated state. But neither his close friends nor cops realised the killer in him as often there was no evidence left and his behaviour would be normal the days after the crimes,” the officer said.