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The Oblivion of Serial Homicide in the Indian Criminal Context

Dheeraj RayaluTadi

The serial killing or serial homicide is fundamentally understood as an unlawful homicide of at least two or more individuals by the same person in at least two different settings. This differentiates against mass killing, which is associated with killing multiple individuals in the same situation. Whilst this conception is not legally recognized across various legal codes such as United States, United Kingdom, India and so forth, it has emerged to be a significant issue in the global crime prevention scenario.


The origins of this criminological phenomenon are not particularly highlighted owing to the dynamic and inculcating nature of the definition. But notable cases agreed upon by criminological historians include Gille De Rais from the fifteenth century, a paedophilic serial killer who raped, sodomized and killed children, Elizabeth Bathory, who killed young women with the intent of sadistic pleasure and so forth into the legends of jack the ripper for Victorian England. However, the practical cases of alarming concern emerged in the latter half of the twentieth century, predominantly in western nations. The famous cases include ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, Ian Brady and so forth. The alarming rate of motiveless crime has ever since fused into the popular fiction and lifestyle symbolism at a global level. The historical perspective and literature on serial homicide are restrictively associated with western elements. The aberrational psychological tendencies were assumed to be a characteristic of western lifestyle and thought which was individualistic and flexible by cultural customs. Over time, this was proven wrong by landmark cases such as Andrei Chikatillo, Alexander Spesivtsev, Javed Iqbal, Jaishankar S and many other criminals who emerged from the Russia, Pakistan and India respectively. However, the origination, dynamics and responsible factors for the phenomenon of serial homicide in the collectivistic and society driven culture of the east are practically non-existent. The criminological analysis of identifying a serial homicide is extremely poor in developing countries owing to the other significant criminal struggles in the nation. The root of the problem lies in not being able to recognise the existence of the issue itself.

Indian context

Legal concerning the Indian context of legal code, criminal investigation procedure and socio-cultural perspective, this oblivion towards serial homicide tin is understood by initiating from the legal definition of murder in the criminal procedure code followed in the Indian legal system.


A special case in the section allotted to ‘culpable homicide’, which is covered by sections 299 and 300. The legal system identifies murder as one of the two possibilities - murder – the direct action with the intent of killing someone and the individual is fully aware that the victim would die if and when engaged in the procedure of intent by the perpetrator. For instance, this tin be exemplified by a knife stabbing or a gun shooting with the intent to kill the other person.


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