Kerala man says killed family members to ‘detach soul from body’
A man arrested for allegedly murdering four family members at their residence in Thiruvananthapuram’s posh Nathencode colony has reportedly told police that he was working on “an experiment to detach human souls from their bodies”.
Baffled by such a peculiar motive on the part of 30-year-old Cadell Jeanson Raja, investigators had no choice but to include psychiatrists in the interrogation team.
Police said Raja, who suffers from bipolar disorder, seemed unrepentant over murdering his relatives, including his parents and sister. He did not hesitate in admitting his involvement in the crime, stating that the entire episode was part of an experiment in the field of astral projection.
Astral projection is an unscientific stream of esotericism that involves separating one’s soul from its physical shell to create an out-of-body experience. Police said he was taken in by the abstract concept upon returning from Australia after completing his education.
“Raja takes pride in claiming that he has ‘freed’ his relatives. Completely unrepentant, he cites weird philosophy to justify his deeds and – at times – contradicts himself,” said a senior officer investigating the case.
Police now believe that Raja was singularly responsible for the ghastly crime. “It looks like he killed all the four with a sharp weapon on the same day, and then tried to burn their bodies,” said another officer.
The matter came to light when neighbours complained of smoke billowing from the house, situated just 500 metres from Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan’s residence, on Sunday morning. When police went to investigate, they recovered half-burnt and badly mutilated bodies from the scene.
The victims were identified as retired cardiologist Dr Jean Padma, her husband Professor Raj Thankam, their daughter Caroline, and a relative Lalitha. Caroline had come home on vacation from China, where she was studying medicine.
While three bodies were charred, another was chopped up and kept in a bag at the multi-storeyed house.
As there was no sign of forced entry into the house, police zeroed in on Raja – who was absconding. He was arrested from the Thiruvananthapuram Central railway station on Monday.