The Stoneman Murders
Written By: JEH
Edited By: Grave Reviews Staff
The Stoneman murders made headlines in the early 1980s in Bombay. Believed to be responsible for at least 13 murders, this serial killer has inspired copycat murderers, increasing the total number of victims to 26. However, The Stoneman was never caught nor identified.
The Growing Terror in Bombay
In 1985, the Bombay police found a dead body in a desolate area with the victim’s head crushed. Five more murdered homeless people later, the department began to see a pattern in the gruesome crimes. First, the suspect would find a victim sleeping alone in a hidden area. Officers believe that the Stoneman targeted homeless rag pickers and beggars. Then, the suspect would crush the victim’s head with a stone weighing at least 30 kilos.
A few more murders later, the police began to lose hope in the case, until they met a victim who claimed to have survived the Stoneman. According to the homeless waiter, he was sleeping in the dimly lit area of Sion when the suspect attempted to bludgeon him to death. Unfortunately, the waiter had not been able to get a good look at his assailant. The big break the police have hoped for came to naught.
From Stoning to Hacking
In 1987, another homeless rag picker was victimized. However, the M.O. of the killer was different from The Stoneman’s work. As per reports, the ragpicker was hacked to death in the adjoining suburb of Matunga. For reasons still unknown, investigators immediately linked this murder to the Stoneman, despite the difference in handiwork.
The Unsolved Murders
By the middle of 1988, the mysterious killings stopped. The case has gone cold and up to this day, the identity of the Stoneman remains unknown. However, the terror of the Stoneman was not yet over.
Continuation or Impersonation?
In June 1989, the pattern reappeared on the streets of Calcutta, leading to a massive police deployment. Thirteen more homeless pavement-dwellers were bludgeoned to death as they slept alone in dimly lit areas of the city. Investigators immediately thought that they were given a second chance to capture the elusive killer, so The Stoneman manhunt continued. After they arrested numerous suspects for questioning, the killings stopped. However, the police were not able to gather damning evidence and the arrested suspects had to be released. To date, it was never confirmed if it was the work of the same person or if it was a copycat.
In January 2009, seven beggars once again were bludgeoned to death. A few months later, the police were able to arrest 22-year-old Krishna Timung AKA Bikram Timung, a drug addict and a diagnosed psychopath. While he was dubbed as the Stoneman, it is obvious that he is not the serial killer who continues to elude the police for decades.
The Stoneman in Media
A film titled “The Stoneman Murders” was released on February 13, 2009, starring Kay Kay Menon and Arbaaz Khan. Writer and director Manish Gupta said that the story of the movie is 40% fact and 60% fiction. In the movie, the Stoneman is a policeman who kills for a religious ritual.
Another movie based on the Stoneman was released in 2011. Baishe Srabon, directed by Srijit Mukherjee, was also inspired by the mysterious M.O. of the Stoneman. However, the climax of the film is different from reality.
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