‘La Serpiente’ is one of the fashionable series. Since its arrival in the Netflix catalog on April 2, its popularity has not stopped growing. It is not difficult to understand the reasons that have led many to be trapped by this co-production between BBC and Netflix on the true story of the elusive serial killer Charles Sobhraj, but not everything that counts happened as we see in it, the changes in its resolution being especially important.
Next we are going to review everything that changes ‘The Serpent’ in relation to –watch out for series spoilers from here on– Final arrest of the cunning Sobhraj. And it is that surely the real ending felt a bit like a downturn in what was seen until then, but at least it is convenient how was the final fall of the character played by Tahar rahim.
The end of the series
In the final episode of ‘The Serpent’ we see how Sobhraj returns to Nepal with an almost defiant attitude, trusting that he will be able to move freely around the country in the absence of evidence against him, even letting them photograph him so that he appears in the press and the authorities go after him, although there was no search and arrest warrant.
Overconfidence turns against you when Knippenberg locates the evidence necessary to incriminate him just as he was about to get away with it. Then overprinted texts inform us that it is unknown what made him come back and that he was sentenced, having remained in prison since then.
This last part is very similar to reality, but in all of the above, a multitude of changes were made to lead to the same resolution. The truth is Sobhraj did return to Nepal in 2003, but his arrival initially went largely unnoticed. and it seems that it was due to his interest in creating a mineral water business from the Himalayas or related to the export of pashmina. It was never entirely clear.
What really happened
Sobhraj frequently visited the Casino Royale of the Yak & Yeti Hotel, where the veteran journalist Joseph Nathan she noticed him because of his resemblance to Sobhraj. It had been many years since his murders in the country and he wasn’t sure that this balding man was Sobhraj, but Nathan decided to do everything in his power to make sure he didn’t leave.
His plan led him to speak with a hotel manager to take care of Sobhraj to make sure he did not leave, while at the same time forming a small team to follow him around. Suspicions remained, but it was impossible to clarify whether or not that aging man with incipient baldness was him.
This is where the diplomat comes in S Ramesh, who had previously commented to Nathan that he had some interest in blackjack, which caused the two to meet at the casino on September 16, 2003. Shortly after arriving, Nathan got up to take a tour of the place and coincidence he wanted Sobhraj to be there.
Nathan returned to Ramesh and pointed to Sobhraj, who was quickly identified by Ramesh. The following day an article was published in The Himalayan Times revealing the presence of Sobhraj in Kathmandu, so the police soon proceeded to launch an exhaustive search to find him.
That is where it is not very clear what Sobhraj did, because the police raided several hotels to find him, but They did not locate him until the afternoon of September 18. Where was it? In the same casino, playing like nothing shortly before being arrested for several murders. And it is that the search and capture orders against him were still active, being the only country in the world where he risked being arrested.
Ramesh recently revealed that shortly after his arrest Sobhraj told the police that he owned a film production company in the country and that he had returned to Nepal to shoot a television documentary on local handicrafts. It is not known that this was true, but adds more doubts about the apparent apathy he displayed …
From there, the ways of the series and reality coincide again, and it is true that the evidence collected by Knippenberg was essential to convict Sobhraj, but as you have already seen, his last days off were very different from what this miniseries tells us.