The crime thriller series “Dahaad”, produced by Tiger Baby and Excel Entertainment, and directed by Reema Kagti and Ruchika Oberoi, effectively captures the atmospheric tone.
The show features captivating settings, from cramped apartments in big cities like Jaipur to sprawling tenements in smaller towns, as well as long, winding roads, with a killer on the loose.
As they investigate, Anjali becomes suspicious of a mild-mannered college professor named Anand, who is a devoted father and husband and seems an unlikely suspect. The show explores social ills such as castism, sexism, and pressure to marry, as well as dysfunctional family dynamics.
The show's attempt to be more than a run-of-the-mill crime thriller is hampered by a lack of convincing performances from most of the actors, who are too urbane to convincingly portray small-towners.
The setting in the ruggedly beautiful Mandawa district does not provide many insights into patriarchal culture, and the characters' actions are often far-fetched.
Who is Psycho Shankar?
M Jaishankar, also known as Psycho Shankar, was a notorious criminal from Kanniyampatty in Edappadi, Salem district of Tamil Nadu. He was a truck driver and had learned several Indian languages, including Kannada, Hindi and Telugu, which he used to his advantage when he committed crimes.
Shankar was accused of raping and murdering at least 15 people, mostly sex workers, whom he drove to isolated camps before attacking them.
He was arrested in 2009 for raping and murdering an officer, after which police discovered that more than two dozen similar complaints had been filed against him.
In 2011, Shankar dramatically escaped from prison while wearing a police uniform and was later accused of murdering six women in Karnataka's Bellary district and a man and a boy in Dharmapuri district.
Shankar committed suicide with a razor blade while in solitary confinement at Bengaluru's Parappana Agrahara Central Prison, where he was serving a 10-year sentence. He was found unconscious and taken to the jail hospital, but died on the way to Victoria Hospital.
The police have ruled out the possibility of an attack by other inmates and are investigating the incident. A movie called “Psycho Shankar” was released in 2017, based on his life and crimes.
His First Escape
After brutally raping and murdering 12 more women, Psycho Shankar even attacked a police officer. One day, while she was trying to rape a woman on a highway, she miraculously managed to escape and immediately reported the incident to the nearest police station. Finally, the police were able to capture him.
In custody, Jaishankar confessed to committing these heinous crimes since 2008. Between 2008 and 2009, he was charged with 13 cases of rape and murder.
On March 17, 2011, Jaishankar was brought before the court, but the next day, as two policemen, M Chinnasamy and Rajvelu, were escorting him back to prison, he managed to trick them into escaping. The incident was so shameful that Chinnasamy, who was only 25 years old at the time, committed suicide.
His Second Escape
Jaishankar's heinous crimes spread to the state of Karnataka after his escape, where he raped and killed ten more women in one month. The police were able to trace his phone to Delhi and Mumbai, but Jaishankar managed to evade them by abandoning his phone in a vehicle. He continued his spree in Karnataka until he was caught trying to rape a woman while he was working in the fields.
After being sent to Bangalore prison, Jaishankar underwent psychiatric treatment when the police discovered that he had no control over his criminal instincts. During one of his court visits, Jaishankar requested to be transferred to a different cell and later escaped using a duplicate key.
He managed to get through the prison walls and electric fence, despite broken glass cemented to the top of the walls, using a blanket from his cell.
Jaishankar broke his leg during the escape and fled again until the police declared all hospitals in Bangalore on high alert. They eventually caught him while he was trying to move to another city by bike. He was placed under 24/7 CCTV surveillance in a high-security prison. Although Jaishankar tried to escape again, he was unsuccessful and remained in custody until his death.
In February 2018, he committed suicide with the blade of a knife he obtained from the hairdresser. He was found by staff and rushed to the hospital, but could not be saved.
It is unknown what led a seemingly normal man with a wife and three daughters to become a notorious serial rapist and murderer, despite the fact that he was undergoing treatment for depression. This case is a reminder that such predators can come from normal families, and we need to be very careful around strangers.
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