Shadow Boxing

A blog that probes the mind's dark secrets

Cannibal Killer's Cave of Bones

Rare MO in 10-day killing frenzy points directly to killer.

From time to time, I write about bizarre serial killers, and today I noticed a feature in the Times of India about a case that began and ended in a matter of days. At least one of the victims had been partially eaten. News reports conflict, so I'll just lay this out according to the facts I've gathered so far.

It took a joint operation between the Madhya Pradesh and Rajesthen law enforcement to figure out the perpetrator's identity. The similarity of the attacks provided a link that helped locate the killer, despite the fact that he'd operated in two different jurisdictions and always retreated to a secretive place.

Karan Singh Bheel (of the Bheel community), 35, lived in a cave deep in the jungle. (Some reports state that he lived on a platform in a tree.) Reportedly he always carried an axe and was addicted to blood and raw flesh. One report states that Karan Singh had killed his mother seven (or eight) years ago, and consumed her blood.

On December 6, the killer approached a sleeping middle-aged man at Rampuria village. He lifted an axe and hacked the man to death. When his wife found him, no one knew what to think. There were no leads. They didn't realize that the killer had probably lapped up some of the blood.

Then a week later, on December 13, a 32-year-old man was found hacked to death at his farm in Semra village, just eight kilometers from Rampuria. Investigators realized that the MO was the same in both cases, so they had a serial killer. They had to act quickly.

They started asking questions, but before they could make an arrest, a similar attack occurred in another village on December 16. In this case, the killer chopped off both of the victim’s legs. (The news suggests that he took one with him and possibly consumed it.)

Both cannibalism and vampirism are considered paraphilias if practiced for arousal. There is also a delusional mental illness known as clinical vampirism.

Apparently, he was out looking for yet another victim when police located him the day after the third murder. A mob of villagers had already formed to find and lynch him. They were well acquainted with his habit of hunting animals and eating them raw, so it wasn’t difficult for them to figure out who was killing members of their community. The wife of the first victim gave police Karan Singh's name. When arrested, there was blood on his clothing.

"We made a timely arrest," stated PS Bisht, the Guna superintendent of police. He was certain that Karan Singh would have killed again. They believe that Karan Singh might be responsible for other unsolved murders, but the three most recent incidents seem to clearly implicate him. He has been detained for questioning and murder charges have been lodged against him.

In his cave, investigators found six axe handles, a bloodstained quilt that was identified as belonging to one of the victims, and a number of bones. Some of the skeletal remains appear to be human. This has yet to be sorted out.

There are few other details as yet, but I do wonder why this man wasn’t detained on a permanent basis after he killed his mother. Perhaps they're only now making this connection, or perhaps he was treated at the time and released.

Even without this incident, his odd behavior in compulsively consuming raw flesh might have alerted authorities to his potentially dangerous mental state. I’ll be watching this story with interest, because serial killers with vampiristic and cannibalistic tastes are rare. I’ll venture to say that a severe psychosis is involved. 

Katherine Ramsland, Ph.D., an expert on murder and other shadow themes, teaches forensic psychology and has published 46 books.

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