Kochi: What gave cops the breakthrough was the secret information passed on by a person who knew of Xavier’s habit of stealing from homeless ragpickers and handicapped persons sleeping by the roadside.
The North Police was probing into the murder of Unnikrishnan (58), who was found bleeding in a shed before the North railway station on March 9. The next day, a person (name undisclosed due to security reasons) came to meet Assistant Commissioner (Ernakulam) K. V. Vijayan and told about his suspicion of Xavier’s involvement in the murder.
“He was part of Xavier friend’s circle and knew about the latter’s habit of robbing old persons sleeping by the roadside during night. A team led by Ernakulam Town North CI Nizammuddin followed the lead and further questioned his close friends. They said Xavier was last seen drinking liquor with the victim in the shed,” sources said.
The cops finally interrogated Xavier who confessed to the crime and said he hit Unnikrishnan with a stone after the two indulged in a verbal duel during the drinking session. The accused then fled the spot. He threw the stone into a nearby canal and also burned the shirt he was wearing since it contained blood stains of Unnikrishnan.
Now the investigation team began to analyse the past cases in which victims were found hit on their head using heavy objects. “This especially after the info received that he has a habit of robbing persons sleeping on road sides or before shops,” they said.
However, Xavier denied his involvement in other crimes initially but the team found his statements to be contradictory. “We felt he was deliberately trying to hush up things. We sought the help of psychologists when he finally broke up and confessed to the crimes”.
Xavier told police that he used to rob such persons regularly to buy drugs. If they didn’t wake up he used to spare them. But if the victims woke up during the robbing he would flee from the spot only to return a little later and kill them so that he wouldn’t be exposed. “The accused made sure that he went about his routine works the next day so that no one would suspect him. He would also behave normally,” an officer said.
He’s more dangerous than ‘Ripper’ Chandran: Police
Xavier, whose real self was exposed to friends and family only the other day, was more dangerous than the notorious criminal Ripper Chandran if the number of murders committed by both is compared.
“So far, Xavier was found behind nine murders since 2007 while Ripper Chandran had committed eight murders,” a senior police officer said.
Chandran was a psycho maniac who visited houses in the night and killed people by striking hammer on their heads and was executed after a court sentenced him to death.
However, cops refuse to label Xavier a ‘psycho killer’. “Basically he was robbing people and killing them so as to destroy evidence. He was a drug addict and a drunkard at the best and suffered from insomnia. He used to take seven ampoules of drug daily and looted the homeless. He believed they won’t file case for theft and also that cops couldn’t dig deeper upon murdering them,” he said.
Xavier has four siblings and used to live in his sister’s rented house in Thevara. He had earlier sold off the property owned in Manapattiparambu near Kaloor.
Kerala, especially Thrissur region, was earlier in fears as another serial killer Jayanandan allegedly committed seven murders during the 2003-2006 period.
Cops to probe Xavier’s role in other murders
The cops are probing whether Ripper Xavier has any role in similar murders reported from elsewhere in the state, especially in Pathanamthitta and Kannur districts, where he used to go for work. An investigation team from Kannur would reach here on Tuesday to question Xavier since a similar incident was reported there a couple of years ago.
“He was a painter and used to work in far off places. His friends told us that he used to go for cinemas late night and leave midway there too, a practice he adopts to target his victims,” a senior officer said.
The cops on Monday submitted for his custody to shed further light into such cases. He was produced before the court which remanded him to judicial custody for the day.
“We expect the court to allow his custody tomorrow. We’ve already submitted the custody application,” he said. The cops are reopening all murder cases in the last 10 years in which there is evidence about his role to facilitate a detailed probe.