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Mumbai’s brush with maniac

Mumbai, Feb. 15: Even by the macabre standards of the genre, the latest “confessions of a serial killer” coming out of Mumbai offers an extraordinary cocktail of drugs, beer, blood and truth serum.

A 36-year-old man has confessed to stabbing 21 street-side sleepers to death and leaving behind empty Kingfisher beer cans as his signature, city police sources said today.

“I am a psycho. I love to see blood,” Ravindra Kantrole reportedly told questioners during his narco-analysis test in a Bangalore laboratory.

The police had found only seven bodies, all between October 2006 and January 2007, before they nabbed Kantrole on January 11 and charged him first with house-breaking and then with murder.

Now, the man who lived on alms from a mosque near Liberty Cinema, on the Marine Lines, has reportedly spilled out a story that will have Bollywood scriptwriters reaching for their pens.

A former henchman of mobster Ashwin Naik, Kantrole was thrown out of the gang because of his heavy drug addiction, the police said. He had been jailed in an attempt-to-murder case in the past.

Kantrole apparently battered his victims with sticks and stabbed them after they fell unconscious.

He is believed to have said he targeted the homeless in the hope that the police wouldn’t care to investigate.

“We are yet to get a copy of the narco tests. He has confessed to multiple murders but I can’t confirm the number,” deputy commissioner (zone I) Brajesh Singh said over the phone from Bangalore.

But other officers said Kantrole had owned up to killing 21 people over two years.

The police had quickly realised that a serial killer was on the loose because the seven bodies had shown up in a rather small stretch of south Mumbai and many had a beer can placed near them. The killer obviously wanted to attract attention to himself.

Patrolling was tightened around spots where the homeless slept. When Kantrole was detained on the Marine Lines, a bloodstained shirt was recovered from him.

Remanded till February 20, he was taken to Bangalore on Tuesday for a series of lie tests. Yesterday’s narco-analysis provided clues to not only his crimes but also his troubled mind, police said.

Today, he was being subjected to brain-mapping tests to corroborate his confessions.

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