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Charles Sobhraj Pt. 1: The Bikini Killer


Kabul nineteen seventy-three. The prison where criminals were sent to rot in Afghanistan. Mustang twenty nine year old. Charles Sobhraj could hardly breathe in his cell the air more heat than oxygen every inhale singed. His lungs sitting in solitary confinement only made it worse he had to escape. It wasn't the first time Charles els found himself needing to escape. He had done it less than a year earlier. In India that time he'd been able to drug his God but to scare the unflappable unflappable Afghans the theatrics needed to be escalated in Afghanistan prisoners even those in solitary are responsible responsible for their own food so Charles employed a runner cold Abacha to get things like bread or rice or t today. He instructed his CIA to bring him a syringe and the glass once he had forty needed. Charles turned to his cellmate for help using the SYRINGE. The cellmate drew enough of Charles's blood to fill the glass to the brim. Charles Smile that his cellmate toasted him with the glass then drank the entire thing then. He called for the Gods Moaning and writhing in pain by the time they reached his cell. Charles was vomiting blood. Prison officials rushed him to the hospital thinking he had a bleeding ulcer while he recovered in the hospital. Charles waited for his moment to strike after a few days. He managed on inch to slip a sedative into his God's Cup of tea once the guard passed out Charles broke out of his shackles and walked out the front front door of the hospital. It was one of many or day. Shift escapes for Charles Sobhraj. Earning his nickname the serpent. You're welcome to con artists. A- podcast original. I'm Alice stemmer. And every week we peel back the layers of history's greatest deceptions and tell the stories of the hustlers swindlers and fraudsters that orchestrated them. I'll dive into their psychology breakdown their tricks and explain why anyone might fool. Fool for a con- you can find episodes of connaught say send all the pasta originals for free unspecified or wherever you listen to podcasts to stream between Colossus for free on spotify. Just open the APP and type con artists in the search bar at podcast with grateful for you listeners. You allow us to do what we love. Let us know how we're doing reach ounce on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network. And if you enjoyed today's Today's episode the best way to help is to leave a five star review. Wherever you're listening? It really does help us. Today we begin our dive into the life and crimes of Charles Sobhraj. He became infamous in the nineteen seventies for talking Western tourists along the so called hippy hippie trail in Southeast Asia this week we will explore how Charles's neglectful upbringing led him to a life of manipulation and small-time multi-mm` scams across the globe. We'll see how whenever he got caught which was quite often. He managed to escape jail. Almost instantly Eh. Next week we'll discuss Charles's most active period in the mid seventy s as he graduated from contest to serial killer. We'll see how he selected his targets and earned a new Monica the Bikini Killer fief con artist serial killer. Charles Sobhraj was all of these things and and more though he ran scams throughout his life his most notorious cons were running along the roads from Thailand to Turkey. Charles Charles played the helpful local posing as a gem dealer to manipulate unsuspecting Western tourists. And scam them out of their money. When the time right he would rob them blind? oftentimes stealing their identity in the process throughout the early nineteen seventies channels restlessly moved from city to city perfecting his simple yet effective con by nineteen. Seventy five heat. Recruited routed a cadre of followers young men and women willing to help him run his cons and if any mark became suspicious of their activities. Tease Charles made sure they kept their mouth shut forever. Charles Sobhraj was born Hutcheon. Banana Gorham Charles Sobhraj on April six nineteen forty four in Saigon French Indochina known today as has Vietnam Charles's mother was a shop. Girl named Sean Wind Foon also known as Noye. His father was a wealthy Indian the in textile merchant but they union didn't last long. When Charles was too noisy left Charles's father after she learned he had another wife back can India a few years after their separation? She fell in love with the French army. Lieutenant named Alphonse through they married in September timber of nineteen forty eight when Charles was four but Charles rejected his stepfather. He dreamed of the day that he would be reunited with with his real father. His real family. He got his wish in one thousand nine hundred forty nine. His stepfather was relocated. Back to France France and five year old Charles sent to live with his father but the reunion didn't go as expected just as his mother had that done. Mr Sobhraj had remarried. He'd started a new family. Charles struggled to compete for attention in the growing household and felt neglected when children and neglected by their parents. Doing such an important development periods it can have lasting negative effects. That's according to psychiatrist Bruce. Perry these effects can include increased aggression and cruelty. He added that one of the most disturbing elements elements of this aggression is that it is often accompanied by a detached cold lack of empathy. Charles started showing signs of this aggression over the next three years. He joined a gang of street thugs who attacked and robbed unsuspecting tourists when challenges mother and stepfather attend to Saigon gone in one thousand nine hundred fifty two Mr Immediately Return Charles to their care washing his hands of his son. Charles is behavior behavior only worsened. His stepfather formerly adopted him hoping that security might help him settle down but it had no oh impact worse as Charles got older. He started showing early. Signs of Machiavelli Anisim the psychological ecological trait based around manipulation. His favourite victim was his half brother. ondre eight two years younger than Charles. Andre look to his brother as an idol. It made him the perfect target for Charles's manipulations. Once Charles Convinced Andre to rob a shopkeeper when he was caught Andre confessed to their mother that Charles had put him up to it when she confronted hid her oldest son he scoffed. I can always find an idiot to do what I wanted. In one thousand nine hundred fifty nine. When Charles was fifteen in the family moved from Saigon to France it did nothing to curb his penchant for scheming that December he tried to make a few extra bucks selling Christmas cards on the street but his sales tactics were aggressive? He was arrested for threatening people with a knife when they refuse to buy one of his cards trying to help us son find some direction in his life. Naw US connections within the Vietnamese community in Paris to get Charles job in a restaurant for a few months fifteen year. Old Charles Bounced from one Parisian restaurant to another Either working as a busboy or kitchen hand peeling the vegetables and washing the dishes Charles hated the work but knowing refused. Who's to let her son slide? Near the end of Nineteen Sixty Charles was a busboy at a restaurant could lacquer poll a favourite of the rich and famous Parisian elite according to journalists Thomas Thompson from time to Time Charles Corp glimpses of High Society from his place in back. Those few seconds is the kitchen door flapped open was enough to inspire Charles to strive for more to be rich. I like them though. He didn't change his methods. Charles just needed a bigger scheme during a shift at lacouture in nineteen sixty one Charles was summoned from his post in the back. Someone had requested to see him when he emerged from kitchens. Charles saw an Indian man waiting for him. The Stranger called him by his Indian name. Got Mook Charles realized he was staring hiring at his father. He couldn't have been more thrilled. He always knew deep down that his father loved him and would one day reclaim. I'm him as they reconnected. Charles told his father how horrible his life with Noyon his stepfather was. He said they were abusive claiming that they'd forced him to quit school to work in restaurant. Kitchens for slave wages Charles swore that noise showed him no love and threw him so the wolves journalists Thomas Thompson aptly called it and Oliver Twist tail. Mr Sobhraj bolted well oil hook line and sinker. He vowed to save his son from this awful fate in the spring of nineteen sixty one seventeen year old Charles returned to his father's home in Saigon but he had even more siblings to compete with them before his his father now had nine other children within weeks Charles was back to his old attention seeking ways leaving work early early and not showing up to work at all until he was fired soon after he was arrested on suspicion of car theft Mr Sarraj believed that his son's rebellion was caused by lack of identity. Technically he was a man without a country. Not Vietnamese not not Indian not French. He reasoned that if Charles was officially declared an Indian citizen. Perhaps that identity could help straighten him out but the citizenship process was long to be considered. Charles had to stay on Indian soil for a year but Charles didn't take kindly to being banished half a world away to live with some distant cousins twice. He attempted to return Santici gone but his father warned him. If Charles didn't stay in India for the year he would wash his hands of his son for good yet for reasons that have never been made clear by the time Charles returned to Bombay. His father had preemptively. I decided to cut him off financially regardless of whether Charles stayed in India or not when he found out. Charles desperately telegraphed around his mother for help knowing agreed to pay for Charles to return to France but she swore it was the loss time she'd help him. He proven too many times that he was more trouble than he was worth back. In France. Charles Return to restaurant work but he still. Hey the menial nature. He longed to be one of the patrons in front of the house not a grunt in the back in search of this more. Oh exclusive lifestyle. Charles returned to crime. He was eventually arrested for car theft and sentenced to six months in prison. Listen when he was released he asked his mother for financial help once Morel but she refused she meant what she said she was done. I'm trying to help his son. The proclamation was a blow to Charles in less than a year his father and mother ahead completely forsaken him. At least that's how Charles saw it more than ever. He was on his own. He chose to look at this abandonment as an opportunity. If he was truly on his own now that meant he could do things his own way he was going to survive by any means necessary. Coming up Charles. Sobhraj commits himself to a life of crime podcast listeners. We have a real treat for you. If you're a fan of true crime crime you'll love on New Trivia series killer knowledge. New episodes are released every Tuesday his hosts Qatar. To tell. You sure you're a fan of true crime but are you ready to put your skills to the test and be crowned in undisputed expert. Then try your hand at par cast new Trivia Trivia podcast killer knowledge every Tuesday to competitors go head to head to correctly answer multiple choice. True crime questions never gains the most points after twenty questions wins. All the murder mystery and suspense. You've come to expect from podcast now and fast paced paste interactive format each episode dives deep into a different shocking topic from history such as the Manson family Jimmy Hoffa and even the Jonestown owns coun- massacre with each question and answer comes additional context surrounding the event enlightening even the most knowledgeable. True Crime Lover. You can play by yourself. Itali- your friends and prove your hours by sharing. The results with Park asked on social media. You never know you may even find yourself in the hot seat one day. Follow killer knowledge free on spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Now back to the story after years of being passed back and forth between his mother and father across France Vietnam and India twenty year old. Charles Elsa Came to the realization that neither of his parents wanted him in a way. They're abandonment was the sign Charles needed to commit commit himself to a life of crime. He moved to Paris in nineteen sixty three and double down on his delinquency there. He met the fellow. Vietnamese criminal will call the roll. While living on the streets of Paris the two decided it would be safer if they worked together Laurent larome became something of a criminal mentor to Charles. He even taught Charles Karate as both a means of survival and philosophy for the next several several months the two pulled off small time robberies to fund their lives on the streets. Eventually Laurent introduced Charles to a man who forged forged identity papers for the right price. Charles could buy a Swiss passport or a Dutch student. Visa or an American driver's live is license. Whatever he wanted Charles was taken aback a man without a country without a family? He marveled at the prospect of being anyone he chose all he needed was three thousand francs and he could make take a whole new life for himself over the course of six weeks Charles committed at least eleven robberies to secure the funds but just as he was in sight of his goal the law caught up with him he was pulled over for speeding. The police officer off the surreal is the car. Charles was driving was stolen in court. Charles tried to plead innocence. His crimes was simply the product of his circumstances stances but he found no sympathy from the French courts. They sentenced him to three years in Boise prison. According to journalist Thomas Thomson. It wasn't until Charles was let out of the courtroom that the reality of three years behind bars hit him. The prospect of confinement terrified the young man. But he knew he couldn't show any emotion couldn't lament or wallow in self pity poicy was one of the more notorious prisons in France known for housing. Doing some of the country's worst criminals. The lanky young Charles could have been subjected to violence at the hands of the other inmates. But thanks to Laurent Karate lessons. He knew how to defend himself. Prisoners employs see with forbidden from decorating their cells while keeping any deep personal items yet Charles was allowed some small favors. It's unclear. Exactly what's lies. He used to gain favor with the prison priest but whatever he said Charles was able to smooth talk his way into keeping books in his cell. He was given volumes of Voltaire Eh Malaria and various other tomes on philosophy and theology with all that free time he digested everything he could get his hands on expanding his vocabulary across four languages. Charles turned the prison into his first real home in nineteen sixty six. He began a friendship with Felix desk on a wealthy Frenchman whose family had made their fortune in forestry. St Discount followed in his family's tradition of using their wealth to help the less fortunate however unlike his family members he did more than just write a check. He volunteered directly in the prison helping inmates with correspondence and legal issues for some like Charles. He just acted as a friendly ear. In the autumn of Nineteen Sixty six twenty two year old Charles shed his family woes and his life history with thirty nine year old scone but the wealthy man wasn't immediately taken in by that point Poi- sees. He's priests had come to realize that Charles couldn't tell the difference between truth and lie. He warned US gone to God. Himself against Charles's words but Charles is story of his tumultuous. Upbringing was hard to ignore. He swore that after two years in prison all he wanted was the love love and respect of his father yet. He'd feared he damaged the relationship beyond repair. He hoped discount could help him mend that rift. Somehow how acting as an intermediary between father and son whether Charles was really looking to reconcile with his father is is up for debate he may have simply wanted to curry discount sympathy. In fact it's not entirely clear. What Charles saw Indus cone outside of someone new to possibly manipulate regardless his tactics worked for the rest of Charles's prison sentence? He and disowned With friends they traded letters and spent long hours talking. Discount did try to help Charles reconcile with his parents but was met with failure. Neither of them wished to speak to Charles again. However disown own had a more important victory he was able to convince the French government to recognize Charles as a citizen for the first US Time Charles had a true national identity in the summer of Nineteen Sixty eight twenty four year? Old Charles Completed pleated his prison sentence as he stepped past Pisces walls. He had not only his French citizenship. But also a place to live Felix discount offered to house him while he got on his feet. Charles even managed to land a job as a fire extinguisher salesman continuing doing his rehabilitation Charles also found love. He met a young Parisian girl named Shantelle companion at a party and they began to see each other regularly. But Sean tells parents weren't too pleased by Charles. He wasn't the type of man they envisioned that alter with trying mind to impress them. Charles claimed that he came from a wealthy Vietnamese family but just saying he came from. Money did little to ease their fears. Veres he needed to show that he had enough means to take care of Shantelle. Of course Charles was actually but he was already in the midst of planning his next Khan while living with this code Charles was introduced to a whole new in class of citizens. He was invited to parties meeting. All of scones wealthy friends as he was escorted through that lavish homes treated return to world class. Dinners all Charles could think about was how to make money off these people. The opportunity had practically Phoolan Phoolan into his lap. Charleston's drawing maps of the different two states. He visited he noted the best entrances and exits as as well as which rooms in the house contained the most valuables then he offered to sell the heist maps to some ex-cons he'd met in poicy prison for fifty percent sent the take plus a finders fee. It was the perfect plan. His friends took all the risk while he made a a handsome profit but his scheme was derailed before the first robbery ever took place in August of nineteen sixty sixty eight Charles took Shantelle to a casino in do veal about one hundred twenty five miles west of Paris but the nights of fun quickly soured when Charles lost several thousand francs at the tables on the drive back home. Charles blamed Shantelle for his bad fortune. Machiavelli like all manipulators refused to take responsibility for their actions. Psychiatrist Abigail Brennan writes a manipulator avoids responsibilities for his own conduct by blaming others for causing. It it's not that manipulative people don't understand what responsibility responsibility is. They do a manipulative person. Just sees nothing wrong with refusing to take responsibility for their actions. As Charles drove he became more and more enraged at the events of the evening. Suddenly he slammed his foot on the gas pedal accelerating wildly. The car weaving over the road from the speed. Desperate to appease him Shantelle blurted blurted out that she wanted to get married. She didn't care what had parents thought of Charles. She loved him and wanted to spend her life with him. Charles also looked over at his now fiance and laughed. He took his foot off the gas allowing the CAU- ought to slow down but just as soon as he'd relaxed Charles was beset by a new problem in his rearview rearview mirror flashing police lights and the car he was driving was stolen. Instead of pulling pulling over. Charles blasted the gas pedal. One small leading. The police on a high-speed chase through the dog French countryside in his panic Charles lost control of the car. He clips the side of a fence and crashed in a field. The police pulled pulled Charles from the mangled wreckage and immediately placed him in handcuffs at trial. Shantelle testified on his behalf defending his actions and professing her love for him even Felix Desk Own who by now had begun to question his associations with Charles also came to his aid he paid for psychiatric evaluation to prove the courts. That Charles wasn't well thanks to that. Actions Actions Charles was sentenced to only eight months in prison. He was released on June of nineteen. sixty-nine and married Sean tell that's okay Tober but even with a new bride and a second prison rap. Charles wasn't willing to confine his life to the straight Drayton narrow path behind sean tells back he continued running schemes with friends. He'd made in Boise prison over the course of a few months. He pulled a string of robberies passed around bad checks and stole from family members but he suddenly got a wakeup call role. In the spring of Nineteen. Seventy SHANTELLE was pregnant. The revelation sent Charles into something of a panic. If French authorities finally caught up to him. What would happen to the baby? Who would take care of it? Would they be doomed to a life of abandonment like he was Charles decided that his small family needed to flee France immediately he asked Felix Task Own if he could borrow an MG spores comfort few days. Their journey would be much longer than that. Charles planned to drive all the way from Paris Paris to Saigon. He would beg his father for help one more time hoping he'd be moved by the news of his grandchild but they only made it as far as Bombay Shantelle now eight months pregnant. Couldn't travel anymore with the Bay Eh. Becoming any day Charles desperately searched for a new way to make money and by the time Shantelle gave birth to a baby go on November fifteenth. The one thousand nine hundred seventy Charles was fully immersed in a clever little car scam between his time in high high priced French restaurants and his tenure as discounts houseguests. Charles had learned the ways of high society in Bombay. He puts on enough as has to be accepted into India's clause. He discovered that many wealthy men were fond of European. 'cause they were a true states. A symbol among the elite. Foreign cars were hard to come by an India made even more expensive by exorbitant taxes and tariffs and bogged down by paperwork that took time to process Charles realized he could be the man to bypass the red tape. He asked each client for a down payment of two thousand dollars. Then Charles flew to a Middle Eastern city like Tehran which had a robust black market market for stolen European cars without the red tape of so much paperwork. Charles would legally purchase a stolen car for a fraction of the price. Then bring it back to Bombay. Once home he brought the car to a mechanic friend who stripped the vehicle of his insights. Charles brought the chopped car out to the woods making. It looked like it had been stolen then. He reported the theft to the police. When the police recovered the car it was in such a state that it was marked as a total loss? Something to be settled with Insurance Charles would would cry over the damage and reluctantly sign ownership over to the police so the scraps auctioned off then on the day of the scheduled drooled auction Charles secretly bid on the car in the client's name and buy it back for next to nothing then. He returned to the mechanic who restored all of the stripped parts until it was good as new and now through the charade of the auction shen the clients was the legal owner of the vehicle. Free and clear of any red tape for this help. They paid Charles else. Twenty thousand dollars. Charles pulled off his car scheme at least five times if not more for the first time time he had more than enough money to live on easily providing Shantelle and the new baby but the extra cash eventually burned a hole in his pocket. He found his way into casinos in Bombay. And what started off as casual fund quickly developed into a full blown addiction. Twenty seven year old Charles spent days at the BACCARAT tables cycling through winning and losing streaks chasing his next a big payday when he did well. He showered Shawntel and the baby with expensive gifts from his winnings. When he lost he immediately left town flying to Tehran Karachi Kabul Oregon bull to find another car to run through his scheme breath by the spring of Nineteen seventy-one Charles's reputation at the tables was catching up to him? In April he decided decided to take some time away from Bombay. He took Sean Towel on a vacation to Hong Kong and sent the baby to stay with. Sean tells parents for six weeks. They were submerged in the highlife so much so that in June they decided to make the move permanent but even in a new city Charles couldn't stay away from the casinos and soon his fortune turned for the worst day after day. He lost more and more money eventually. He owed close to fifty thousand dollars he. He started a porn off the jewelry. Gifted Chantelle when his fortunes were high. But it wasn't enough and the Casino officials demanded payment one one way or another feeling the walls closing in on him. Charles desperately looked for new scheme. He needed money into either pay off his debts or at the very least pay for his escape in the summer of Nineteen seventy one twenty seven year old Charles Heard. I heard about the potential gambit from some of his French ex-con friends another criminal who will call Jerome was planning a jewel heist in Delhi Ali. The score would not only cover Charles's debt for the casinos but leave him sitting comfortably for quite a while without even blinking. Charles said yes he should have said no coming up Charles Attempts to rob the Shoka hotel in Delhi. Now back to the story. You're in the early nineteen seventies Charles. Sobhraj was nearly fifty thousand dollars in debt to casinos in Hong Kong. He needed to do something to make money fussed. In the summer of nineteen seventy one he heard about a potential opportunity orchestrated by conman named Jerome Rome. Charles immediately agreed to help jerome with a jewel heist in Delhi by October. Twenty seven year. Old Charles to Rome mm-hmm and two French accomplices. Were holed up at the a Shoka hotel in Delhi India. Their plan was simple on the first first floor of the hotel was a fine jewelry store during the night when the store was closed Charles and the others would drill through the ceiling of the store lower. Oh with themselves down raid the cases and slink into the night. Then they would take different routes out of Delhi and regroup in Tehran. Ron Charles was entrusted with carrying the stolen goods out of the city. But things didn't go as planned on the nights of the planned heist. The men spent hours trying to work their way through the ceiling. Breaking drill. Bits off the drill bit they didn't realize is the ceiling to the jewelry store was made of marble at one point. Charles suggested trying acid to melt through the stone but nothing worked. The mobile was impenetrable for three days. They tried to come up with a new plan. Charles grew agitated. He needed the money and he needed it now. Eventually he called down to the store and asked if he could. Let's see some of the gems in his room. He described to the owner that he was interested in buying asking if he had anything like it in stock knowing full. Well exactly exactly what was in the store's case less than an hour later. The store owner arrived with a box full of precious gems Charles. I greeted him then shoved a pistol in his face. Demanding the keys to the shop Jerome and the others bound and gagged the the store owner and threw him in the bathroom Charles. Hurry down to the jewelry store for the raid thirty minutes later. He returns with a case fool of gems and ten thousand dollars in cash. Then the men made their escape. Charles Tried Hi to act casual as he waited in the customs line at the airport. The cash and jewels in luggage bag in his hand but just as he neared the front of the Line Line Charles saw a rush of police scrambling through the gates. At the front of the pack. Was the jewelry store owner. He had miraculously escaped his ties. Charles had to act quickly while he hates it. The thoughts are being hunted by Hong Kong Casino. Gangster's spending time in an Indian prison was a much more terrifying prospect. He could always find another way to repay his debts. It's but not if he was rotting in jail. Cell Charles Calmly set down. The bag of gems excused himself itself from the line and walked to the restroom. Then he slipped out of the airport and headed to the train station. He bought a ticket to Bombay. They were Shantelle was waiting for him but his attempt avoiding jail time failed less than two weeks after pretending to Bombay. A child's was arrested for selling stolen cars while in custody chance was somehow recognized as part of the Shoka hotel robbery fearing that the Indian courts with throw the book at Him Charles was determined to escape before his case went to trial one afternoon. Charles suddenly keeled over screaming in pain. He hoped the gods would take him to a hospital where it would be easier to break free. But Charles got more than he bargained for the prison doctors diagnosed him with appendicitis and scheduled him for surgery. After Syrup pointless appendectomy Charles was chained to his hospital bed still under close God but because he was in a medical facility Shantelle was able to come visit him. Charles recruited her to aid in his escape the next time she came to the hospital. Sean Sean tell brought a vial of chloroform. She slipped it into one of the gods tea and waited for him to pass out once. The gaunt was fully asleep. She stole the keys to the handcuffs and unshackled chance then she took his place in the hospital bed to avoid suspicion as long long as possible. Giving Charles a head start to freedom. Still Charles didn't make it very far at the train station. When Charles's week appearance drew the attention of a police officer still recovering from surgery? Charles didn't have the energy to run. He quickly Louis surrendered even worse. Shantelle was arrested as his accomplice. Her cries of innocence fell on deaf. Ears is but she was at least able to convince a friend to pay for her bail. Once outside Shantelle contacted chances father to beg for his bail bail money. Miraculously Mr Sabaj agreed. Once Charles was free he and Shantelle immediately relief fled India for the rest of Nineteen seventy-two Charles bounced around from city to city. He scammed and robbed in. Rome Copenhagen Paris Bulgaria and even Yugoslavia in the fall of that year. Charles and Shantelle were reunited with their baby aby who they hadn't seen in over a year seeing that daughter again seeing how much she missed during their life on the run was a breaking point for Shantelle off two years of living in hotel rooms and waiting for Charles and Prisons Shantelle had had enough on Christmas Eve nineteen seventy-two she left Charles and took their door to France to live with parents. She eventually filed mild for divorce and swore to never see Charles Sobhraj again to Charles Shantelle was just one more person who abandoned. Send Him in a letter to Felix cone. He brushed off the end of his marriage. Charles claimed that he was the one leaving Shantelle. He discovered discovered an affair with another man and send his wife away. But scone didn't believe it for one second with this Chantelle Gone Charles needed a new partner by his side likely he was looking for someone else to help him in his schemes. So in the summer of Nineteen seventy-three Charles reached out to the first person he'd managed to manipulate his younger half brother Andrei. It had been years since anyone in Charles's family had really spoken Charles. He sense sporadic postcards here and there but no one knew what he had been up to for the last four years let alone that he escaped from prison but in this time of silence Andre Still idolized his older brother so when Charles suddenly cooled Andrei and asked if he would come to Istanbul Campbell with him he didn't hesitate to say yes. Andre had no idea how deeply vested his brother was in criminal activity vity. He found it strange when Charles asked if he knew karate or how many languages he spoke Charles by now had mastered English French Vietnamese German Spanish Italian and assessable amount of Greek and Hindy he could run a con in practically any language Charles started grooming Andre to be his new partner in crime while Shantelle tell had been taken. In by Charles's bombs and affection. Andre was captivated by his older brothers seemingly endless wisdom Charles all spell to tenants of Philosophy Theology and Psychology Nature Union Voltaire. He explained how all of this studying had taught him how to read people. In fact Charles had spent a great deal of time reading Andrei himself trying to determine whether he was trustworthy or naught. He confessed that for the longest time. He blamed the parents for his misfortune but he now realized he could turn that pain into strength. He had the power to change his status in life. He didn't have to toil in squalor and neither did Andre. Hey as long as he did exactly what Charles told him to do. Dr Dale Hartley. The professor of social psychology at the University of West Virginia identified several tactics. That Machiavelli US for manipulation. These include Chom friendliness. US self disclosure guilt and if necessary pressure Charles's self disclosure worked. Andre was intoxicated by his intelligent brother when Charles finally ost if he would swear loyalty to him Andre of course said yes it was only then that Charles finally revealed that he was a thief. Charles Quickly Torch Andre the INS and outs of life as a con man. One of the greatest assets was their exotic looks. Both men could easily pass as locals throughout throughout the Middle East and Asia by taking on this role they could prey on unsuspecting tourists offering to help them navigate the foreign city. They were in then at the right moment. The brothers rubbed their charges. Blind throughout nineteen seventy-three. Charles and Andrei roamed around Greece. re-sent Turkey pretending to be helpful locals and robbing tourists. While in Athens Charles set his sights on a particularly wealthy looking corruption. If the school was big enough the brothers could live off this con- for weeks. They followed him back to his hotel. Then Andrei lured him to the downstairs bomb within a few hours. The man was incapacitated. I different too much alcohol whole off from drugs while he slept at the bar. Charles and Andrei ransacked the Egyptians hotel room unfortunately lead the score proved less fruitful than Charles thought. Though they got the Egyptians passport all they found were a few thousand. Franks thanks and some souvenirs a few weeks. Later Charles and Andre decided to try their luck in Beirut but his Charleston. Andre rode a bus out of Athens. They were miraculously spotted by the Egyptian man. He called the police. The bus was surrounded and Charles and Andre found themselves locked behind bars in the years. That childhood made his living as a thief he'd studied various countries penal codes. Tsk while Charles Languished in the Athens jail. He heard that he'd also being connected to a string of robberies in Istanbul and he knew that ending coming up in a Turkish prison was far worse than staying in a Greek one. According to Greek law any prisoner could be kept in jail for year. Yeah and the day before going to trial however if the trial hadn't commence by then the prisoner was released to buy themselves more time. The brothers denied their involvement in the robberies with only the word of the Egyptian man against them. The police were forced to conduct a more thorough investigation. In the meantime Charles devised a plan to get them out of lockup. He realized that the prison guards had no idea that they were brothers. They they thought they were just a couple of Southeast Asian looking men in Greece Charles convinced. Andrei that they should switch identities. Andre didn't have a major criminal record Charles say he would probably receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist for robbing Egyptian posing as Andre Charles would walk out of prison I then when the coast was clear Andrea would reveal to the warden that they had released the wrong man. He it was the real Andre. Andre was reluctant a few months earlier. He was living a good life in France now. It was in a Greek prison. What if the plan failed? Or if they received a harsher punishment than expected but Charles continued to needle him when the time came. And the prison guards. Holdout Charles's name Andrei stepped forward. Charles couldn't have been more pleased but months past and Andrei wasn't released as they expected expected after a failed attempt to dig out of Prison Charles decided to go back to the well. He faked an illness on his way to the hospital. Charles pick pocketed a bottle of perfume from an old woman as he waited to enter the prison van. When the time was right he lit the bottle on fire and threw it like a Molotov cocktail during the chaos? Charles slipped away when word got back to Andre of Charles's escape. He knew he couldn't wait any longer. He asked to see the warden and told him that he was the real. He'll Andrei and that his brother. Charles Sobhraj was the one who escaped the Greeks didn't buy it instead. They handed Andrei over to the Turks and Andre was sentenced to eighteen years of hard labor. The escape gape from the Greek. Prison can be seen as something of a turning point for Charles Sobhraj at no point during his freedom. Did he try to help his brother. All right the situation relation in any way it seems to have become the moments when Charles realized more than ever that if someone provided no more value to him it was it's easier to just get rid of them Shantelle and the baby were Albatross around his neck for too long Andrei. Didn't have the smarts to figure out an escape. If Charles wanted to be successful he had to be ruthless in his schemes. And by nineteen seventy five. He found that callousness if someone became worthless to him he didn't just cut the amounts of his life. He murdered then Thanks for listening to con artist. Next week we'll continue our story of Charles Sobhraj as he recruits an entire gang of con artists. AUTISTS terrorizing Western travelers along the hippie trail. Leaving a trail of bodies in his wake you can find old episodes of con artists and all the podcast originals for free on spotify. Not only to spotify already have Olivo favorite music but now spotify is making it easy fee to enjoy all of fuel favorite podcast originals. Like Catis for free from your phone. Desktop will smell speaker to stream cornutus on spotify. Just open the APP and type Cornutus in the search bar and don't forget to follow us on facebook and Instagram at podcast and twitter at podcast network. I'll see you next time. Connaught is was created by Max Cutler and his opponent studios original it is executive produced by Max Cutler SOM- on designed by Anthony Val sick with production assistance by Ron Shapiro. Cardi Madden at Travis. Cloke this episode contest was written by Joe Garra with writing assistance. Inspite Abigail Cannon. I'm Alice Demoted Cli- listeners. You do not want onto miss podcast new Trivia podcast killer knowledge if you're a fan of everything true crime like I am absolutely love. 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