Serial killer held in Karnataka for hacking women to death over revenge
The accused has been identified as T Siddalingappa, a resident of Kudur in Ramanagara district.
Bengaluru: A 35-year-old man who allegedly murdered three women and disposed of their severed bodies in different parts of Karnataka has been arrested by the Mandya police, officials said, adding that the accused was preparing to kill another woman when he was nabbed.
The accused has been identified as T Siddalingappa, a resident of Kudur in Ramanagara district. A woman, identified as Chandrakala, who the accused claimed was his girlfriend, has also been arrested for aiding him in the murders, a senior police officer said.
After carrying out murders of the three women in Bengaluru and Mysuru earlier this year, the accused had targeted five more women to kill, a senior police officer said, adding that when the police arrested him on Thursday, he was preparing to murder another woman.
The investigation into the case began when the police discovered severed body parts of two women near a water canal in Mandya on June 8. One body was recovered in the Baby Lake canal near K Bettanahalli and the other was found at the CDS Canal near Arakere village. Though the bodies were found 25km from each other, there was a common link between them – only the bottom halves of both bodies were recovered, said the senior officer.
During his interrogation, the accused told the police that he got into a relationship with Chandrakala, who worked as a sex worker, a few years ago. As they grew closer, she narrated her ordeal of how she landed in prostitution, said Praveen Madhukar Pawar, inspector general of police (IGP), Southern Range, Mysuru.
The accused then decided to murder all the women who Chandrakala had claimed were involved in pushing her into sex trade.
“Initially, we were investigating one murder, but he told us that he had disposed of the second body found in Mandya. He also told us that a few months ago he had murdered another woman in Bengaluru and he was planning to murder five others as well,” said Pawar.
He murdered the first woman in Bengaluru in May, chopped the body into halves and disposed of them in different places. He killed the other two women with the help of Chandrakala in Mysuru on May 30 and June 3.
“In Mysuru, he had rented a house. With the help of Chandrakala, he invited both women, who were known to her, to the house on different days. He strangled them before chopping off their bodies. The accused duo then rode to Mandya on a motorcycle and dumped the body parts at two different places,” Pawar said.
Though the modus operandi of murder —chopping the body into halves — was similar in both murders in Mysuru, the Mandya police were not able to find any evidence to connect the two victims or identify them, said the IG.
“As only the bottom halves of the bodies were found, we were not able to identify the victims. We then decided to approach the case from a different angle,” said Pawar. “We pooled in around 45 officers and formed nine teams. They were tasked to go through the missing reports of women in age group of 25-35 (same as the two victims) filed across the state.”
The police team circulated 10,000 handbills in the surrounding areas about the severed bodies and verified 1,116 missing cases of women in Karnataka and neighbouring states.
“The process was time-consuming and it took us more than two months before we got a breakthrough. The details of a woman, who had gone missing from Chamarajanagar, matched with one of the victims. One of the sub-inspectors visited the missing person’s house where her family provided some old photos of her,” said Pawar. “The officer found that the colour and pattern of the clothes in the photo and the one that was found on the crime scene were similar.”
Upon tracking the locations of her mobile phone, the police realised the device had been moved from Mysuru to Mandya. “We then checked her call record data, which gave us a list of suspects, including Siddalingappa,” said another police officer, requesting anonymity.
Siddalingappa was arrested from his home in Bengaluru on Thursday. He was working in the fabrication department of a manufacturing unit at Peenya in Bengaluru, the police said.
When the team arrested Siddalingappa, he was preparing to murder Chandrakala. “He believed he would get away as he thought he had carried out perfect murders, though he was apprehensive that Chandrakala might give him away. He told us that the day he was arrested, he had planned to murder her,” said the IG.
Police are also suspecting that the accused murdered the three women for money as he had stolen from them.
“He is a serial killer and our biggest achievement is that we could stop the murders of five other women,” Pawar said.
“Now, the biggest challenge before us is to recover the other body parts that he had disposed of in different locations over two months ago,” he added.