A man who allegedly poisoned and killed 10 individuals in Andhra Pradesh was taken into custody on November 5 by the state police department. The accused, reportedly, murdered his victims over the last two years using cyanide-mixed ‘prasadam’.
Incidentally, after serial killer Jolly Joseph shocked the South with her murder stints in Kerala last month, this is second such incident that came to light.
Identified as Vellanki Simhadri (Shiva), was arrested on Tuesday by West Godavari Superintendent of Police (SP) Navadeep Singh at Eluru.
According to official reports, Simhadri started his killing spree as early as February 2018, with his latest victim being murdered on October 16 this year. He resorted to his killing acts in Krishna, East Godavari and West Godavari districts of Andhra Pradesh.
Simhadri, a businessman originally, had lost his investments in the real estate market two years back. After registering loss, he took up the role of a conman possessed with supernatural powers. For the past two years, Simhadri has been cheating people with the promise to double their assets, revealed police investigations.
A native of Eluru town, Simhadri conned people of their gold and money in the prospect of hidden treasure.
The accused poisoned his customers after collecting the token and giving them “rice-pulling coins” in turn. He promised his victims prosperity in exchange of his services.
The serial killings came into notice if the police during a probe in connection with a suspicious murder in Eluru. Cyanide death do not leave any physical trail on the external appearance of the body, which became a camouflage to murder in this case, cited a police official investigating the murder series.
A forty-nine year-old government teacher, K Nagaraju, was found dead on October 16. He had reportedly left his house with cash and jewellery to deposit them in the bank. As the found his death under suspicious circumstances, an autopsy was conducted on the deceased which revealed the traces of cyanide within his system.
Incidentally, the accused conned the school teacher of Rs 2 lakh in exchange for a supernatural coin.
During further investigation, Simhadri confessed to the crime.
Since then at 10 families have come forward to report case of suspicious death with respect to similar scenarios. In each of the cases, the victims had prior contact with Simhadri.
As per police reports, two of his victims include Simhadri’s own grandmother and sister-in-law. The FIRs were registered in only four cases.