Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer explained: Who was the cannibalistic serial killer?

Netflix’s “Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer” follows the macabre unravelling following the murder of a young journalist. As the police investigations proceed, the case reveals grisly details involving serial murders, mutilations, and cannibalism.

Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers

Plot summary

“Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer” opens with a news report detailing a morbid discovery of a dead body in Rewa, Allahabad (present-day Prayagraj). The news reporter adds that the young man’s corpse was stripped off his clothes, with his head and genitals mutilated.

The first bit of expository introduction is followed by a quick montage teasing all that’s to come. We then delve into the background of the victim, Dheerendra Singh — a promising young journalist who wrote against the mining mafia and the powers that be.

Unfortunately, Dheerendra was also suspicious of Kolander, which ultimately led to his death and postmortem mutilation. The docuseries then delves into Dheerendra Singh’s murder case and traces the police investigations to the moment a plausible suspect was arrested.

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The authorities, as recounted by the investigating officer S.N. Tripathi, nabbed one suspect named Ram Niranjan a.k.a. Raja Kolander. Soon after the police detained Raja and his brother-in-law, the various suspicious elements surrounding these two proved concrete.

Kolander and his brother-in-law, Vakshraj, confessed to killing Dheerendra Singh. However, the true horrors of the case would unravel when the investigations proceeded even further.

When the police rummaged through Kolander’s belongings in order to find the pistol used to kill Dheerendra, they found a diary. This diary belonged to Kolander and upon going through its contents, the police found a total of 14 names written inside it. The fourteenth name was Dheerendra Singh.

This blew open a new harrowing chapter to the investigations into Kolander’s dark criminal record. What was already a bone-chilling murder case, quickly escalated into a state-wide search for the victims of Kolander’s serial killings and the purported cannibalism.

Indian Predator: The Diary of a Serial Killer explained in detail:

How many people did Raja Kolander kill?

The second instalment in Netflix’s ‘Indian Predator‘ series, ‘The Diary of a Serial Killer’ delves into the confessional record of Raja Kolander. According to the various interviewees throughout the three-episode, we learn that he had 14 people’s names written in his diary.

However, of the 14 odd names, including that of Dheerendra Singh, there are claims that some of them belong to living, thriving humans. We see Kolander present claims of innocence of his own in the second and third episodes. He keeps claiming that he was framed and that many of the alleged victims of his still walk, alive and unharmed.

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Raja Kolander with one of his victims’ skeletal remains/image credits: Netflix

Although the docuseries doesn’t delve into each of his purported victims, the information available online does. According to various reports, he did kill and confessed to having killed, a total of 14 people.

However, the evidence for the killings has had a deficit of any concreteness. On these very murky grounds, Raja Kolander — as well his wife Phoolan Devi and brother-in-law Vakshraj — are all still serving their life sentences in prison.

What did Kolander do to his victims after killing them?

The docuseries paints a rather explicit picture of the postmortem ritual Kolander subjected all his victims’ corpses. His consistent modus operandi involved shooting his victims in the back and burying them in various places, preceded by mutilating their body parts.

However, perhaps the most absurdly horrifying post-death fate his victims suffered — at least according to the claims online and in the docuseries — was cannibalism. Reports, and the various interviewees in ‘The Diary of a Serial Killer’ claim that Kolander used to eat his victims.

In particular, it was the brains of his victims that Kolander was keen on feasting upon. We learn throughout the episodes that he boiled the brains and drank the stew, along with his brother-in-law sometimes.

The docuseries correlates this aspect of Kolander’s serial killings — to a problematic degree sometimes — with his tribal roots. Raja Kolander belongs to the “Kol” community — a tribe whose populace eats an omnivorous diet.

There have been many unfounded, bad-faith even, speculations about the connection between Kolander’s victims and their mutilations. Many people including the ones in the Netflix docuseries, claim Kolander cannibalized because of his tribal origins.

Even if Kolander did cannibalize his victims — a fact that has not been proven sufficiently in court — it’s absolutely wrong to blame his tribal origin as the cause for his cannibalism. The docuseries makes an effort to dispute this correlation as well.

Why did Kolander kill Dheerendra Singh and other victims?

Raja Kolander used to run a vehicle looting gang. One of their steals — the Tata Sumo SUV — came to be reported as stolen, while in the presence of Dheerendra Singh. Kolander, as per his confession, had picked up on Dheerendra’s suspicions about him.

Before Dheerendra could act on his suspicions, Kolander invited him to his piggery farm and killed him. Following that, he mutilated his head and genitals and dumped different constituents of the corpse at different sites.

Apart from his riddance and the subsequent immunity from an arrest, there are claims that Kolander also benefitted politically from Dheerendra’s death. As for other victims, or people in general, Kolander killed them due to various reasons.

One of the reasons for his psychopathic murders was his alleged thirst for power. This power was almost synonymous with political and social dominance over other socio-political factions at that time. This part of Kolander’s case also makes for a very crucial revelation.

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Dheerendra Singh/ image credits: Netflix

Kolander’s purported thirst for power and dominance is what led him to kill mostly upper caste people. Many members of his family were political figures during the time the murders took place, and according to Kolander himself, had won various elections.

We also take a peek at an anthropological explanation of his thirst for power and dominance. ‘Indian Predator’ also takes a stab at a dissection of his tribe’s cultural and historical background to explain his tussle with the upper caste people.

While the aforementioned discussion makes for a fascinating explanation, there are also some sensational and drastic explanations for why he did what he did.

Most of them boil down to him wanting to increase his cognitive and mental sharpness to the level of the upper caste people he killed. He allegedly tried doing so by drinking their brain stew. However, this phrenological explanation for his killings and cannibalism lacks concrete proof.

Where is Raja Kolander now?

Raja Kolander is currently serving his life sentence at the Unnao District Jail since 2019. Kolander was convicted for the murder of Dheerendra Singh and the Tata Sumo double-murder case. He had contested the charges in upper courts and the case is still ongoing.

Apart from Kolander, his wife Phoolan Devi and brother-in-law Vakshraj are also serving life sentences in prison.

Was Kolander involved in the occult?

Although there are various claims of Kolander being involved in occult practices during his life as a free man and while in prison, none have been supported by concrete evidence.

He has been a devoutly spiritual person, however, the evidence for this has been abundant in his own letters written to other inmates, as well as his interview with the Netflix Indian Predator crew.

Also Read: Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi explained: How many people did he kill?