Chapter 1 – The horror begins

My name is Rajeev Khatri. I am posted as Special Detective in Major Crime Investigation Unit in New Delhi, India. Most of you might not have heard of this department because we do not deal with regular crimes. We see mostly serial killers and national security related cases. I am going to narrate the story of one of the most heinous serial killer even seen in Indian crime history. The code name of the case is “499 & Counting” and it is still under investigation as the killer is still out. He calls himself Kaal which we came to know after reading his journals. His story is only possible because of his huge collection of handwritten journals and photographs which I will tell about later.

The opening of the case

I still remember the day I received the call from my senior Mr. Agnihotri to check run an investigation about a person who was under surveillance for quite some time. I could sense some stress in his voice which was a clear signal that something is seriously wrong. I immediately joined my team who was already getting ready to bust in a house in gated society near New Delhi.

Let me tell you a little history of the case first. A few months back, we received an anonymous tip that the owner of this gated society is living off-grid and has some shady schedule. He had strict instructions for the residents that no one will come out of the house or enter the society between 1:30 and 3:30 PM. This has been going on since 1995 and no one bothered to inform the officials about his shady lifestyle.

First, we thought he is just some paranoid person who is suffering from a mental disorder but when we tried to investigate about Kaal, we found that he does not have any paper trail and he deals only in cash. There is no driving license or other identity cards issued on his name. Moreover, the society was still on his father’s name who died around 15 years ago.

This was more than enough to raise the alarm and we started to investigate him deeper as we thought he might be associated with some terrorist group. Interestingly even our trained detectives were unable to get a single clear photograph of him. He always covered his face and traveled in a tinted car which is not allowed! We tried our level best to talk to the residents of the society but none of them was ready to talk as they were living there at very nominal charges from last 10-20 years and no one wanted to leave the premises by annoying Kaal. Even they knew him by the name Kaal only which we came to know only after he escaped our surveillance.

The raid was an eye opener

We only knew that he lives in #212 and appeared only from the back door. After we were sure that he is not going to come back as he had noticed one of our officers, we decided to crack down the door and see what exactly he is cooking inside. As soon as we entered the house from the front door, it was a shock for the whole team. The house was occupied by an old couple who didn’t have any idea that Kaal lived in the same house! One of the officers found a back door entry to the basement and called the rest of the team.

The horror was worst than we thought

As we entered the basement, we were greeted by a large collection of crime-related books, 100s of Polaroid photographs and a few notebooks which looked like journals. The team started to scroll through the stuff and I picked the journal marked as #1. By going through on a couple of pages I immediately got the idea what all this is about and I asked everyone to stop and not to move anything. The journals were detailed information about his kills. Kaal was coming forward as the serial killer we never knew about. Someone who was active on the streets of India since 1990 and we had no idea that he killed 100s of people without leaving a single trace.

I asked the team to carefully catalog each and every thing in the room and recreate the basement in our facility. This was going to take at least a week so I took the first 10 journals and walked out of the basement. I was still not sure what I was going to unfold. After reaching home, I started to read the journal #1 again when one of my colleagues who was in charge of cataloging everything called. He was little stressed as he counted 499 photographs of different people. Every photograph had a date on the back and ref to the journal which was a sure indication that these people were his victims. I asked him to get the room ready as soon as possible and got back to the journal. The story of Kaal was about to unfold.

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