Auto Shankar


Auto Shankar

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Rape - Robberies
Number of victims: 6 - 9
Date of murders: 1988 - 1989
Date of birth: January 21, 1954
Victims profile: Lalitha, Sudalai, Sampath, Mohan, Govindaraj and Ravi (teenage girls)
Method of murder: ???
Location: Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Status: Executed by hanging at the Salem Central Prison on April 27, 1995

Auto Shankar

Number of victims: 9
Method of Killing: Uknown
Motive: Sex, Money

During a period of six months in 1988, Auto Shankar abducted and murdered 9 teenage girls in Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai. Though, initially he blamed on the influence of cinema for the crimes, a month before his execution, he confessed to committing the murders for some politicians who had raped the abducted teenage girls.

Status: Auto Shankar and his accomplices were hanged to death in 1995 while his other accomplices including his brother Auto Mohan was sentenced to life imprisonment. No inquiries were ordered to examine the links of politicians.

Auto Shankar (21 January 1954 - 27 April 1995) is the nickname of an Indian serial killer.


Shankar and his gang were found guilty of six murders, committed over a period of two years in 1988–1989. They were tried for the murders of Lalitha, Sudalai, Sampath, Mohan, Govindaraj and Ravi. The bodies of the victims were either burnt or buried inside residential houses.

In late 1988, over a period of approximately six months, nine teenage girls from the Thiruvanmiyur section of Chennai disappeared. In the beginning, investigators believed that the girls had been sold into prostitution by families unable to afford wedding dowries, but the consistent denials by their kin forced them to seek another explanation.

Late in December, a schoolgirl named Subalakshmi claimed that an auto rickshaw driver had attempted to abduct her in front of a wine shop. Working undercover in the local wine shop back-rooms, detectives learned of a rumour that an auto driver called Shankar was behind the crimes, disposing of the bodies by cremating them and pouring the remains into the Bay of Bengal. The following morning, the police picked up the suspect who overnight became known to the nation as "Auto Shankar".


Shankar's trial was completed by the Chengalpattu sessions court. He was sentenced to death along with two of his associates, Eldin and Shivaji, on May 31, 1991.

During his trial Auto Shankar blamed films for "making a devil of him", but a month before his execution, he revealed to reporters a more sinister force. According to his account, he had kidnapped the girls for powerful state politicians, subsequently disposing of them after his patrons had raped them. Auto Shankar was hanged in Salem Central Prison.


In 2002, Shankar's five accomplices were sentenced to six months of Rigorous Imprisonment after having been found guilty by a Magistrate. The accomplices were Shankar's brother, Mohan, Selva alias Selvaraj and the jail warders Kannan, Balan and Rahim Khan. They were found guilty of criminal conspiracy and resistance or obstruction by a person to his lawful apprehension.

Subsequently, Shankar's younger brother, Auto Mohan, was also found guilty of the six murders and was awarded three life sentences. Mohan had earlier escaped from the Chennai Central Prison in August 1990 and was re-arrested in Pune on June 25, 1992.


K. Vijay Kumar, the Tamil Nadu Additional Director-General of Police, claimed that cinema was solely responsible for making Shankar a criminal. He mentioned this during a seminar on "Crime and Media" in Kerala.

The trial has become widely known across the nation since the Supreme Court invoked the American free speech doctrine and the case became oft-quoted in relation to cases of expose.

Auto Shankar's brother gets life imprisonment

Saturday, Nov 26, 2005

CHENNAI: Auto Mohan, younger brother of Auto Shankar who was hanged more than a decade ago after being convicted for six murders in Chennai in 1987-88, was also found guilty of the six murders and awarded life imprisonment under each count.

A sessions court, which convicted him on Friday, however, split the sentence into three life terms and ruled that Mohan would undergo the three life terms consecutively — that is, one after the completion of the other.

In his 140-page order, the I Additional Sessions Judge, A.R. Selvakumar, convicted Mohan's associate, Selvaraj, also for three murders and sentenced him to undergo imprisonment for life. In his case, the three life terms, however, would run concurrently — that is, simultaneously. No fine was imposed on both of them.

The trial of the duo had to be conducted separately as the case was split after their escape from the Chennai Central Prison in August 1990. While Mohan was re-arrested in Pune on June 25, 1992, Selvaraj was nabbed in Mumbai on August 20, 1993.

In the meanwhile, the trial of Auto Shankar and two of his associates — Eldin and Shivaji — had been completed by the Chengalpattu Sessions Court and they were sentenced to death on May 31, 1991. Five other accused in the case — Jayavelu, Rajaraman, Ravi, Palani and Paramasivam — were awarded life imprisonment. One of the accused, Babu turned approver.

Shankar was hanged to death on April 27, 1995 at the Salem Central Prison.

The prosecution arraigned 134 witnesses, which included nine Magistrates and five Inspectors of Police. The charge sheet ran to 1,100 pages, covering six major Sections of the Indian Penal Code.

The gang was rounded up and tried for the murders of Lalitha, Sudalai, Sampath, Mohan, Govindaraj and Ravi committed in a span of two years. The victims were either burnt after being killed or were buried inside residential houses.

Immediately after the delivery of the order, a composed Mohan wanted the Judge to direct the jail administration to keep him in the Chennai Central Prison as he intended to appeal against the verdict.

Selvaraj requested that he be kept in the Cuddalore Central Prison. To these requests, the Judge said that if they filed petitions, he would consider them.


Let It All Bleed Out
At first I was like, wtf? "Auto Wanker?", "Ravi Shankar?", "Auto Spanker's Moron brother, I mean his brother Moron...sorry, Auto Moron" and then this dude comes along named "Erwin." Finally we end up at none other than the "Cuddlelotsmore" prison.

Serioulsy though, good post with detailed background. I haven't heard of these killings.