The spirit of Halloween is in the air, as most of us are already planning out our scary movie marathons and our "It's not that revealing, I swear" Halloween costumes. If fictional ghosts, aswangs, and witches have stopped giving you the frights and spooky delights associated with the season, have no fear—or do—as Netflix has got you covered with their cauldron of disturbing and shocking titles based on real-life stories.
One of their recent releases centers around a serial killer from India who would crack open his victim's skulls and (allegedly) drink their brain juice. Is he a zombie, a vampiric predator, or a devil in disguise? That is what the three-episode docu-series Indian Predator: Diary of a Serial Killer attempts to uncover, as it shockingly also features an interview with the killer himself, Raja Kolander.
Who is Raja Kolander?
Also known by his real name Ram Niranjan, Raja Kolander was a serial killer active in the city of Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh, India in the early 2000s. Kolander murdered well-known journalist Dheerenda Singh with a single gunshot to the head, before severing the head and dumping the rest of the corpse into a pond in a different district.
A police investigation into Singh's death led to the discovery of a dozen more sets of human remains at Kolander's property, along with a diary that listed the names of the apparent victims. Investigators later gathered some evidence that Kolander would boil the severed heads of his victims and apparently "drink the juice" of the remains.
Criminal psychologists featured in the documentary noted that the presence of a well-kept and detailed diary is common amongst serial killers, as they like to relive the "highs" of past stalkings and kills. They determined his modus operandi for killing his victims was to befriend them, build up the fantasy of murdering them, create a meticulous plan, then execute. Experts interviewed believed that Kolander was a prideful and vengeful man who would drink the brain juice of his victims in the belief that he could absorb their knowledge.
However, two of Kolander's children, his eldest son Adalat and youngest daughter Zamant, also appear prominently in the docu-series and still defend their father, citing that he was a genuinely loving and caring father toward them, which doesn't line up at all with what the news says.
Where is Raja Kolander now?
Raja Kolander, along with his wife Phoolan Devi and his brother Vakshraj, was sentenced to life in prison for Singh's murder. Additionally, Kolander was also convicted of the double-murder charge that Singh was in the process of uncovering. However, it's still to be determined if he'll be charged for the murders of the victims whose bodies were found on his property and for cannibalism, as cases are still ongoing.
Kolander was an interview subject in the Netflix documentary and still maintained his innocence, stating that the police and media were conspiring against him.
Kolander also detailed his first couple years in prison in the interview. He would initially attempt to help the police out with cases, but in their eyes, he was motivated purely by wanting to show his superior intellect. Later, Kolander would help fellow inmates to reduce their sentences in prison—to the point where he would have to request to be put in solitary confinement, due to the severe number of inmates wanting his help.
Kolander has since turned to learning to summon spiritual energy known as tantric power. However, he's still expected to live out the rest of his life in prison.
Indian Predator: Diary of a Serial Killer is now streaming on Netflix.