Yeah the guy was full on. He actually started killing people as a young kid in Vietnam. Sneaking bombs into cinemas that US soldiers would visit. Sobhraj wasn’t his real name even. His real father was an Indian and his mother remarried a french Foreign Legion soldier. The family were stationed in Africa for a while. This is when Sobhraj started doing break and enters.
He was imprisoned in Greece and a few other places. His escape from the Greek prison is the stuff of legend. He used a syringe to extract blood and made out like he had a peptic ulcer that had ruptured. He escaped from the transport van to the hospital and put on a disguise of a fake moustache and wig and turned his prison shirt inside out and literally walked straight past the police chasing his brother. The Greek authorities ended up torturing his brother to try and find out where Sobhraj was.
Other than that he was arrested for breaking into jewelery stores. One where he befriended a prostitute living above the store and then tied her up and over the course of 3 nights broke through the cement roof. He ended up getting caught for that and was also charged for enslavement and other things.
The one thing missing from the Netflix series is Sobhraj’s claims that he was killing these backpackers on orders from a drug cartel. Although the only sort of connection that could be made was the Turkish drug trafficker he killed and then the Turk’s girlfriend that came looking for him about a year after he went missing.
As for his time in India he was first imprisoned for drugging and robbing tourists. He lived like a king in prison. With huge drug parties and prostitutes being allowed into his section of the prison. Just before his time was up he invited the prison warden in for one of the parties. Spiked his cake and changed clothes with him. Him and another prisoner then used the prison wardens car and literally just drove out the gate. He was caught about a month or so later trying to rob tourists. He had an empty briefcase with a loaded gun in it.
From that point he kept filing appeals within the Indian legal system until the extradition warrant for Thailand expired. After that he was freed from India and sent back to France. He did some interviews on French TV and threatened to sue the guy that wrote the best selling book about him when he was in prison but nothing came of it.
Then he went to Bhutan or Nepal and he’s been rotting in prison ever since.