Episodes

When you visit an Indian restaurant and look through the awfully long menu, there is one type of food item that always stands out (us desis are in fact known for this around the world)— the tandoor. From tandoori naan to tandoori chicken, and tandoori paneer for all our vegetarian listeners out there, the tandoor is an integral part of any brown kid’s childhood. But this seemingly innocent cylindrical clay oven found itself embroiled in a case that captured and haunted Delhiites for years. A case about love, hate and an impeccable investigation conducted by the Delhi police in the late 90s. This is the story of that clay oven; this is the story of the Tandoor murder.

On September 8, 2017, a 7-year-old child was found dead inside a famous school in Gurugram. Soon it became obvious that his death was no accident. The deep cut on his neck and the knife found at the scene pointed to a sinister plot. Until recently, the Haryana police paraded their murderer and declared the case closed. But did they accuse the right person? Did bus conductor Ashok Kumar murder Pradyuman after a failed attempt at sexually assaulting the child? Or was this story far more complicated than it seemed?

On September 8 2017, a loving father drove his two kids—his 7-year-old son and his 11-year-old daughter— to school just like any other morning. He smiled and waved goodbye to his children just before 8:00am, and barely 20 minutes later, his life had changed forever. His world had come crashing down in front of his eyes. This is the story of his 7-year-old child. This is the story of Pradyuman Thakur.

Zainab is on the run. Her siblings are terrified. Shafia is plotting a mass murder. But how did a plan to murder Zainab and possibly Rona develop into a plan to murder Sahar and Geeti too? How did they bring Zainab back from the shelter? What went down inside that Nissan Sentra just moments before it drowned, killing 4 women? And what was it all for? Find out in part 3 of The Shafia Family Murders.

A brother, a mother and father are grieving their daughters' deaths. It appears that Zainab, Sahar, and Geeti died in a bizarre accident; their black nissan was found drowned in a Lock in Kingston, Canada. But police questioning and investigation unfurls this accident more; suggesting inklings of something way more sinister. Good the grieving family be an act? Do Hamed, Shafia and Tooba know more than they are telling? Find out in Pt.2 of The Desi Crime Podcast.

Imagine you’re on a roadtrip with your family. Your father’s driving well below the speed limit, stickler for the law that he is; your mum’s insisting you eat the food she brought from home instead of the McDonald’s drive-thru meal; your younger sibling’s belligerently asking how far you have left to go. You’re tuned into your headset, staring into the horizon, when suddenly the landscape changes. You’re underwater. Your car is drowning, and you and your family are drowning along with it. This is what one Afghan family went through in Canada back in 2009. What seemed to be a tragedy soon betrayed inklings of a sinister plot. Was this an accident, or was it just made to look like one? This is the story of the Shafia Family Murders.

On the evening of April 14, 2008 a family of eight in the small village of Bawankheri, Uttar Pradesh was getting ready for bed with their nightly ritual of tea. Seven of the eight of them, including a 10-month-old baby, never woke up to see another day. The sole surviving member, 23-year-old Shabnam Ali, was hysterical, her entire family gone in an instant. This is the story of a brutal mass murder, a love story, and a court verdict that made history in independent India. This is the story of Shabnam Ali.

We are naturally drawn to stories with a Romeo and Juliet archetype — forbidden love breaking through the shackles of society to ignite the sparks of passion. But let’s not forget how their Shakespearean saga ends: with their tragic death. Our protagonists today, Mithu and Jassi, bear all the same hallmarks. As passionate as their love was, it faced an even more passionate fervor to repress them. This is the story of tradition forcing love toward death. Welcome to Part 2!

The 29th of May looked like it would pass uneventfully until shocking news shook India: armed assailants had shot and killed Punjabi cultural icon and hip-hop star Sidhu Moosewala. The 28-year-old died after being shot 24 times. But this is no simple story of senseless violence. This is a story of revenge, politics, gangs, guns, and Khalistan. This is the story of Sidhu Moosewala, a young man whose music took a country by storm.

We are naturally drawn to stories with a Romeo and Juliet archetype — forbidden love breaking through the shackles of society to ignite the sparks of passion. But let’s not forget how their Shakespearean saga ends: with their tragic death. Our protagonists today, Mithu and Jassi, bear all the same hallmarks. As passionate as their love was, it faced an even more passionate fervor to repress them. This is the story of tradition forcing love toward death.

When 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four American planes and crashed them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, it was almost certain death and destruction would follow. Almost 3,000 people died during the attacks, including 41 from India. Hundreds of thousands of Indians were working and living in New York on that fateful day, including Sneha Philip, a 31-year-old doctor. Sneha was last seen walking the streets of Manhattan the morning of the attacks, before vanishing into thin air. This is the story of Sneha Philip’s mysterious disappearance.

When 19 al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four American planes and crashed them into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, it was almost certain death and destruction would follow. Almost 3,000 people died during the attacks, including 41 from India. Hundreds of thousands of Indians were working and living in New York on that fateful day, including Sneha Philip, a 31-year-old doctor. Sneha was last seen walking the streets of Manhattan the morning of the attacks, before vanishing into thin air. This is the story of Sneha Philip’s mysterious disappearance.

EP. 37 – MURDER OF NOOR

This is a story from Pakistan, a story of a woman just like a lot of us. She was in love and living a happy life. She had a loving sister, doting parents and a relationship of 3 years. But by early 2021, something had shifted in Noor’s life. Something was wrong and the people around, the people close to her could sense it. What the people around Noor didn’t know was that she was about to become a symbol of feminism and the rights of women in a patriarchal society. Noor would go down in history. This is her story.

By 1976, five people are dead within a small radius around a house in Bangkok. This house belongs to wealthy gem dealer Alain Gautier, and his wife, Monique. But, as of now, nobody had successfully drawn the connection between Alain and the deaths of foreign travelers on the hippy trail. But that was all going to change. Simultaneously, two couples are working to reveal the truth about Alain and the people around him: Dutch diplomat Herman Knippenberg, and his wife, Angela. And Nadine Gires and her husband Remi Gires. Now, these two couples are about to meet and make history. Welcome to part two of the Bikini Killer. Welcome to the story of Charles Sobhraj

The case that we have for you today is not just a case, its a saga. This is a story of not one murder, it’s a story of 12. “21 year old American woman drugged and drowned in Bangkok”; “Turkish man found doused in gasoline and burnt to death near Pattaya”; “Dutch couple found drugged, strangled and burnt alive in Thailand”….and the countless news reports of dead or missing foreign nations just wouldn’t stop. This is the story of one man behind these killings and this is the story of one man that uncovered it all. This is the story of Charles Sobhraj.

The episode that we have for you today is a follow up update on the last episode we created, The Bed Box Murder. The story is of a beautiful, young girl, Snehal Gaware, whose murder shook the city of Mumbai and led to the conviction of her boyfriend Hiren Rathod. A lot has happened in the 24 hours since we uploaded that episode and new, shocking details have come to the surface. So, here it is, for all of you, the unplanned Part 2 of the Bed Box Murder. Here is the story of Snehal Gaware.

A beautiful, young girl has just begun to live her life, only just begun to explore relationships, friendships, academic success but fails to see the signs of the disaster that is coming her way. This is the story of a family, a happy and loving household, broken and destroyed for an unknown cause and a murder that kept Mumbai cops on their toes for almost a decade. This is the story of an romance gone wrong, allegedly. This is the story of Snehal Gaware.

After a harrowing phone call with the cops, Anu Singh is left feeling helpless. Her boyfriend, Joe Cinque, is barely breathing and Joe’s mother Maria is convinced that Anu is Joe’s killer. Find out in the finale what actually happened on the morning of October 26, 1997 – the fateful Sunday that sealed the Cinques’ destiny forever.

EP. 31 – ANU SINGH

Anu Singh and Joe Cinque are madly in love. But a year into their relationship Anu starts to suspect that Joe is plotting to kill her. To get the upper hand, she decides to turn the tables on him. This is a story of Romeo and “the Devil;” a story of dinner parties, passionate love, heroin, death, paralyzing terror and a murderer still on the loose. Tune into part 1 of this series to find out the fate of Anu and Joe.

Almost two years ago, in June of 2020, as the world was protesting the unlawful death of George Floyd caused by a cop who kneeled on his neck for over 9 minutes, India was fighting its very own case of police brutality. We brought that case to you two years ago and since then, newer, harrowing developments have led us to bring to you an updated episode. This episode goes to the countless people who lose their lives at the hands of those meant to protect them. This episode goes to cases that never got a protest, people that were turned into mere statistics of violence at the hands of the police.

10 years ago, among the millions of tourists that come to India every year, there was Jonathan Spollen— a 28-year-old Irish journalist on a path to self-discovery and spiritual exploration. Jonathan wanted to trek in Rishikesh…alone. He told his friends and family he’d contact them in a few days. Two and a half weeks passed with no contact from Jonathan before he was declared a missing person in India, which he remains even today. To find out the story of Jonathan, tune in to this week’s episode.

When socialite Shakereh Khaleeli stopped taking her daughters’ calls, her family began to grow suspicious. But why should they worry when the man Shakereh was living with assured them that she was alive and well? From being buried alive, to death penalties, to self proclaimed swamis (godmen), this case has it all. This is the story of the granddaughter of the Dewan of Mysore whose glorious life came to a crashing end in a way that can only be described as people’s worst nightmare. This is the story of Shakereh Khaleeli.

You have heard of Ted Bundy, the Times Square killer, John Wayne Gacy, Jack the Ripper and on and on and on about a list of serial killers that haunt you in your dreams. The story we have for you today will haunt you even when you are awake, because the serial killer we have for you makes the Ted Bundys of the world look like petty criminals. Today’s killer is the greatest, most hated, most terrifying serial killer in the history of mankind. Don’t believe us? Well, Guinness Book of World Records calls him the most prolific murderer in recorded history. This is the story of the man who killed 931 people with his handkerchief — Thug Behram.

By the morning of June 1, Nepal was in shambles and the world had been left shocked by the brutal slaying of one of the oldest Asian monarchies still standing. But the high profile nature of this crime somehow only led to more questions about why the heir to the throne would assassinate his entire family before killing himself. Was it just a tragic love story that society couldn’t accept or was this an internationally orchestrated killing with roots in gro-politics meant to cause mayhem in Asia? To find out, tune in to part 2 of the Royal Family Massacre.

The case that we have for you today is one that destroyed the most significant family in Nepal and pushed the country into political turmoil. This is the story of a political struggle, conspiracy theories involving the United States government, an unaccepted love affair, a family rivalry and a mass killing that left 10 dead and 4 severely wounded: not by an outsider, but an insider from within the family. This is the story of what is called history’s worst mass slaying of royalty since the Romanovs. This is the story of the Nepalese Royal Family Massacre.

This is the story of the thug who loved women more than money: Daku Amritlal. The word ‘dacoit’ bears its roots in the Hindi word daku. Tracing back its etymology unveils a plethora of stories buried in the rich history of India and its rule under the British empire. From the commonly known dakus like Paan Singh Tomar, to the brave Phoolan Devi, to the dreaded Gabbar Singh, endless stories can be found in the plains and plateaus of Northern India. Last time we covered the real life Gabbar Singh, but this time we have the tale of an even more dreaded dacoit. Tune into this episode to find out.

In today’s world of online dating, especially since the onset of a pandemic that forced everyone into the confines of their homes, the need to know the person you’re talking to online for your own safety is more important than ever. The case that we have for you today is one of a prank gone wrong. This is the story of a 22-year-old young woman from the state of Kerala, happily married, trying to navigate the world around her and live her best life until she met someone… online. This is the story of Reshma and her online love story.

Artists Gone Awry: This week’s case is one that, in our opinion, did not get enough limelight. As the world focused its attention on the Sheena Bora murder case in 2015, another heartbreaking and jaw dropping double murder somehow came to the forefront but was forgotten relatively quickly. This is the story of an immensely talented woman whose life, on the outside, seemed perfect: one that most people would envy. This is the story of an Indian artist who gained fame and international recognition for the work she was doing, until one day, she was nowhere to be found. This is the story of Hema Upadhyay.

Often we hear the phrase ‘brothers in blood’ as a means to depict loyalty. But what happens when that phrase is taken a tad bit too literally? What happens when someone turns on his or her own family? This is the story of an immigrant family from the quaint town of Allen, Texas. The Towhid brothers were victims of a mental illness. And it didn’t take time before those around them became a victim of their mental illness as well. Tune into this episode to find out what happened to the Towhid family.

EP. 22 – HERCULES

Hercules: In the early months of 2019, dead bodies of men started showing up in and around Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka; dead bodies of men that, on the face of it, had absolutely no connection to each other. However, a quick look at the crime scenes revealed a harrowing truth about the past and deaths of these killers. Tune in to this week’s episode of the Desi Crime Podcast to learn about Hercules, Bangladesh’s very own vigilante killer.

It all started with a blurry pixelated video shot in 2011. Now it is 2013, and eight people have been killed as a direct consequence of the video. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has re-opened an investigation into the case. Find out if any more lives are lost by this viral video, and if justice will be served. Welcome back to part 3 of the Kohistan Video Murders.

In the northern mountains of the Kybher Pakhtunkhwa region in Pakistan in an area known as Kohistan, a leaked video of four singing girls and two dancing boys is spreading among the locals. What seems like an innocent and playful video, is anything but. As cold as it is in the snowy mountains of Kohistan, this story is even colder. Begum Jan, Shireen Jan, Bazigha and Amna all murdered in cold blood. Burned in hot coals and splashed with boiling water, the girls’ own families tortured them for 30 days in a small room until their ultimate demise. But even though they’re dead, their fate ests in the hands of an iron-jawed man — Afzal Kohistani, who’s putting his life on the line for justice. Welcome back to the Kohistan Video Murders, Part 2.

A video surfaced back in 2012, far in the northern hills of Pakistan, in a small district called Kohistan. This video, to an outsider, like me or you, is a very innocent clip— 4 women clapping and singing wedding songs, while 1 boy dances to their melodious tunes. Sounds like a happy moment caught on a 2-megapixel Nokia camera. Well, think again! As cold as the hills of Kohistan are, this story is even colder. Begum Jan, Shireen Jan, Bazigha and Amna have their lives hanging by a thread. Their fate now rests in the hands of an iron-jawed man— Afzal Kohistani. This is the story of the video that took the lives of 8 people. This is the story of the Kohistan Video Murders.

They’re a beautiful couple and they look like they’re crazily in love. Their romance involves a proposal in Paris, a private jet and a £25,000 ring. Their honeymoon is no less, a lush vacation to Cape Town, South Africa. But after a father has to travel there to collect his daughter’s dead body, the revelations in this case will leave you wondering: can you ever truly know anyone? To find out the story about Anni’s murder, tune in to this week’s episode.

They’re a beautiful couple and they look like they’re crazily in love. Their romance involves a proposal in Paris, a private jet and a £25,000 ring. Their honeymoon is no less, a lush vacation to Cape Town, South Africa. But after a father has to travel there to collect his daughter’s dead body, the revelations in this case will leave you wondering: can you ever truly know anyone? To find out the story about Anni’s murder, tune in to this week’s episode.

On the 24th of January 2021, India woke up to the news of a heinous double murder -- a husband and wife duo had bludgeoned their own two daughters to death. However, it quickly became clear that the murderers in this double murder weren’t cold-blooded psychopaths but a mentally unstable family that was unable to save itself before it was too late. Listen to the audio of the delusional mother, and hear the details of this gruesome case. To find out the story of the Naidu family and the Andhra double murder, tune in to this episode of the Desi Crime Podcast.

This story takes place in the bumbling streets of Karachi. Organ trade, stolen cadavers… and ghosts… so many theories come to light, but which one is true? Imagine you are dead. No, seriously – imagine you are dead, and have been buried by your friends and family. But on the night of your burial, something or someone comes and disturbs your grave. Something or someone comes, and does something to your body that is so heinous, so gory, so crazy, that you thank God you are dead and not alive to witness it. What you just merely imagined was the harsh reality of 50 corpses buried in a graveyard in Karachi. This is the story that shook Pakistan’s very faith in humanity.

On 11th February 2012, Bangladesh woke up to the news of a harrowing murder that had taken place in its capital – the murder of high-profile energy journalists Sagar Sarowar and Meherun Runi. The first person to discover the dead bodies? Sagar and Meherun’s 5-year-old son, Megh. As we near the ninth anniversary of the crime, find out all the details of one of Bangladesh’s most infamous and brutal cold cases and judge for yourself what you think went down on that fateful night.

This is a beautiful love story that went wrong; this is a love story riddled with class and religious tensions; this is a love story of two people whose worst crime was wanting to spend their lives with each other. This is the love story of Rizwanur Rahman and Priyanka Todi. She is the daughter of a prominent Hindu billionaire, he is the son of a poor Muslim family, and that was enough to decide their fate. To hear their story, tune in to this week’s episode.

Yes, don’t wipe your glasses, you read it right — the Prime Minister of Nepal hijacked an airplane, and this is the story all the way back from 1973. Girija Prasad was involved in hijacking a Royal Nepalese Airline Flight transporting ₹3 Lakh from Bihar, India, in an attempt to gather funds for a democratic revolution. Tune into this episode to find out if he was successful.

The man, the myth, the legend, Gaurav Tiwari was India’s first significant paranormal investigator. However, the case of his death still remains a mystery. All of India was left shocked when this star was found dead in his Delhi house under mysterious circumstances. What happened to Gaurav? Did he succumb to the stress of work and a failing marriage? Did his family have something to do with this? Or was there something more sinister at work here? Find out in this episode.

Mahatma Gandhi survived 6 failed assassination attempts. All too often, politics saturates how we look at the world, and today’s case has been polluted by politics for far too long. Very few know the actual story of what happened on 30th January 1948. In this episode we discuss the actual story of not only the assassination of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, but also Nathuram Godse. Who was he actually, and did he try to murder Gandhi before (hint: yes he did)?

This is the story of a young, 19-year-old Swedish-Sri Lankan named Yvonne Jonnson who decided to use her summer break in 2005 to have fun and explore Sri Lanka with her sister and friends. Little did anyone know that July 1st 2005, a night Yvonne decided to go out partying with her sister and her sister’s new boyfriend, would become the last night anyone saw her alive. From a shocking and gory murder, to the involvement of the Sri Lankan President, this case has it all. To listen to Yvonne’s story, tune in to this week’s episode of The Desi Crime Podcast.

Children continue to disappear in the 100m stretch of Nithari Village, and the cops’ callousness is not helping. But when Officer Panday receives an email, this case takes a shocking turn. Payal’s missing phone has been traced. The e-mail Officer Panday receives says : Surendra Kohli, Village Nithari, Sector 31, Noida. The cops rush to the address, but they weren’t ready for what awaited them. Tune into the second part to find out the horrors of House No. D-5.

Kidnapping, canniballism, rape, pedophilia, serial murder: all in one story. The Nithari Case is one of India's most gruesome and sinister true crime cases. Children start disappearing from a 100-meter stretch in the village of Nithari in Noida. This region was deemed a ‘black hole’ by locals because it appeared to swallow children. From class struggle to police corruption, this case manifests a true Desi Crime. But what was this ‘black hole’, and who was behind these kidnappings? To find out what happened, tune in to this episode of The Desi Crime Podcast.

EP. 5 – RANGA AND BILLA

‘Ranga’ and ‘Billa’… if you're Indian, you've probably heard their names in jest. But nowadays very few actually know the haunting story behind the two petty criminals who committed a kidnapping that went horribly wrong. This was a case that shook the nation, tore apart a family and led to one of India’s first cases of the death penalty. To find out what happened, tune in to this episode of The Desi Crime Podcast.

On the evening of 20th June 2020, Jayaraj and his son Bennix were taken into police custody for a petty infraction. The cops held them in custody for longer than they were authorised to and the next time the two men were seen, they were severely beaten with their clothes soaked in blood. A day later, the father-son duo died. To find out what happened to Jayaraj and Bennix in police custody and why these two men came to be known as India's George Floyds, listen to this episode of The Desi Crime Podcast.

When Lahore police began their hunt for the man who claimed to have sexually assaulted 100 young boys before killing them, they are led to a house of horrors, a house owned by a man named Javed Iqbal. But didn’t Iqbal commit suicide? Isn’t he dead? To find out whether or not those 100 children ever got justice and to find out exactly how the cops unraveled the layers of Pakistan’s most heinous crime, tune in to part 2 of the episode on Javed Iqbal.

When children started disappearing from the streets of Lahore, Pakistan, in 1999, a letter arrived in the lap of Lahore police. "I sexually assaulted 100 children before killing them" — this was the first line of the confessional statement of a man who soon came to be known as Pakistan's most notorious serial killer, and one that sent Lahore police on its largest manhunt ever. Who was this man? Did he really kill 100 children? What was his story? To find out, tune in to part 1 of the episode on Javed Iqbal.

THUG LIFE #1 GABBAR SINGH

is the most popular villain in all of Bollywood. But did you know his character was inspired by an actual dacoit? Gabbar Singh Gujjar, born in 1926, was one of India’s most feared dacoits in the post-independence era. He murdered 31 people and his eccentricities involved a vow to chop the noses of 116 people. From his early life, to his terrorizing reign and encounters with the police, tune into this episode of THUG LIFE to hear the story of Gabbar Singh, India’s favourite villain.

Delhi, the capital of India, is a city with one of the highest suicide rates anywhere in the world. But even a city like this is left shaken when all eleven members of the same seemingly happy and wealthy family are found dead. What made this 'normal' family kill themselves? Was it really a suicide? Or was it a murder? Can there be a third explanation? Tune in to see what Aishwarya and Aryaan have to say about the case that shook the nation in 2018.

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