Fascination with true crime is a natural human trait, according to clinical psychology. We are wired to understand the minds and motives of killers as a way of making sense of the threats in the world around us. The attraction to true crime stories also allows us to process our fears from a safe setting, much like the appeal of horror novels or films. Additionally, the outcome of these stories, particularly whether or not justice is served, is another reason why true crime stories are so alluring.
Most true crime enthusiasts are familiar with American serial killers like Dahmer, Bundy, and Kraft, but there have also been notorious serial killers in India. Learning about their violent crimes can feel even more threatening as it hits close to home. Hindi crime-related television series have captured the stories of some of the most gruesome murderers in Indian history and fiction. Below is a list of such shows.
I. Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer
This Netflix docuseries is inspired by the infamous case of Raja Kolander, a cannibal who is responsible for slaughtering more than 15 people in eastern Uttar Pradesh. It consists of three gripping episodes. The show’s timeline begins in the year 2000, when Dhirendra Singh, an Allahabad-based journalist, vanished without a trace. But later his mutilated and decapitated body was found in the neighbouring state of Madhya Pradesh. A suspect is found in the journalist's murder and the police consider it an open-and-shut case. However, the real story unravels when a secret diary is found suggesting 13 more victims and possible cannibalism. Directed by Dheeraj Jindal, it is the second segment of the Indian Predator series.
II. Rudra: The Edge of Darkness
Rudra is a six-episode Indian psychological crime thriller television series, created for Disney+ Hotstar. It's a remake of the British series Luther. Rudra Veer Singh, a brilliant cop, navigates the labyrinth of psychopaths in the crime-ridden alleys of Mumbai. Meanwhile, a serial killer is on the loose, killing young women and leaving behind a distinctly odd crime scene. Meanwhile, Rudra's past catches up, threatening his investigation and career. The story follows Rudra’s journey into the investigation as the demons of his past threaten him. The cast is star-studded with the likes of Ajay Devgn, Raashii Khanna, and Esha Deol.
'Asur' is an eight-episode intriguing crime thriller that brings together two contrasting worlds. The intricate and less-explored domain of forensic science and the profound beliefs of ancient Indian mythology intersect in the narrative. The story of Asur unfolds in the mystical city of Varanasi and revolves around Nikhil Nair, a forensic expert and a teacher who returns to his roots at the Central Bureau of Investigation. Nair reunites with his former boss Dhananjay Rajpoot and soon finds himself entangled in a web of mystery and mythology, investigating a series of seemingly unrelated killings.
The show follows Kabir, an unorthodox officer of the Crime Branch, who is determined to solve a series of unrelated deaths of organ donors. He believes that the friendly and amiable Danny may be an unlikely suspect and sets out to prove it. Meanwhile, Danny, a father desperate to save his terminally ill son, embarks on a killing spree to ensure his son's survival. As the stakes get higher, the two men find themselves playing a deadly game of cat and mouse, where the line between right and wrong blurs, and the consequences of their actions become more severe. is Amazon Prime Video’s second Indian original series and features an ensemble cast including R. Madhavan, Amit Sadh, Hrishikesh Joshi, Sapna Pabbi, Atharva Vishwakarma, and Neena Kulkarni.
V. Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi
This three-episode true crime docuseries is based on the real-life serial killer, Chandrakant Jha. His modus operandi was befriending migrant laborers and then strangulating and dismembering them. He had 18 victims in West Delhi between 1998 and 2007. The series picks up when three decapitated victims outside the Tihar Jail in Delhi, India accompanied by mocking notes taunting the police to catch him before he commits his next murder. Later episodes delve deeper into Jha's life, backstory, and motives, much of which Jha shared with the police after his arrest. The docuseries features interviews of people involved or close to the case, such as officers and journalists, sprinkled with dramatizations of police exchanges and recreations based on archival photographs. It is the first segment of the Indian Predator series.
A timid comedian from a small town finally gets his big break, but it soon turns into a sinister affair when he realizes that the only way to sustain his act is by resorting to murder. Hasmukh, the aspiring comedian, reaches a breaking point when he realizes that his mentor has no plans of giving him a chance to perform on stage. In a drastic move, Hasmukh decides to take matters into his own hands. Will his impulsive decision lead him to his downfall, or will it bring out the best in him? This dark comedy/crime television series has ten episodes and the talented Vir Das in the leading role.