Marri Ramu

HYDERABAD: Is a serial killer targeting lonely women moving on the city’s outskirts? Going by the murder of six women over the past few months under similar circumstances in the Cyberabad Police Commissionerate jurisdiction, investigators believe so. If the three stray murders over four months earlier raised this suspicion, three more were reported over the past three consecutive days adding strength to it.

Except in one case, the identity of the victims is not yet known. In all six cases, the women were taken - apparently lured - to secluded places before being murdered. Most of them appeared to be labourers.

Single killer

The first case was reported at Raidurg in April. The body was found on the hilly area close to Durgam Cheruvu. The victim was strangled with her sari and her head smashed with a boulder.

Two months later, another woman was found killed near a well at Tolkatta in Moinabad.

There were no signs of strangulation, but the killers smashed her head with a boulder. The third was reported at Petbasheerabad in June. “Interestingly, in this case too the victim was strangled with her sari and hit on her head with a boulder. Naturally, we began to wonder if the same killer was behind the murder at Raidurg,” an investigator said.

The victim was identified subsequently as B. Kamalamma. Inquiries revealed that an unidentified man picked up the woman while she was at the Subhashnagar toddy compound on the fateful evening in an autorickshaw.

Another woman confirmed this and told the police that she would recognise the man. Investigators believe the same man, believed to be an autorickshaw driver took her to the secluded place and murdered her.

Based on these inputs, they sketched a portrait but investigation could not proceed beyond this point.

The police spread out a dragnet for the suspected serial killer but could not stumble upon his movements anywhere.

But the three consecutive murders from Monday - at Alwal, Madhapur and again at Petbasheerabad - prompted them to believe that a serial killer is moving on the city’s fringes.

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