Who is Usha Sutliff? Serial killer Charles Sobhraj's estranged daughter works as US counter-terrorist agent
Regarded as one of the best criminal minds of the 20th century, French psychopath Charles Sobhraj, 77, who is accused of killing at least a dozen tourists in the '70s, is currently serving a life sentence. Sobhraj is in the news for being the subject of a new Netflix series, 'The Serpent', which is based on his life.
It is rumored that Usha Sutliff, 50, the daughter of Sobhraj and his ex-wife Chantal Compagnon, was asked to contribute to the script but she turned down the offer. Usha has no contact with her birth father Sobhraj.
Who is Charles Sobhraj?
Born in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam, in 1944, Sobhraj was the result of a fling between a Vietnamese shop girl and an Indian businessman. Later, he was adopted by his mother's new partner, a French army lieutenant who lived in Marseilles. Sobhraj was involved in crime from an early age and was first prisoned at the age of 19 in 1963 for burglary. He met his first wife, Chantal Compagnon, who came from a conservative Parisian family, after his release from the Maison centrale de Poissy in France.
Usha was born to Sobhraj and Chantal in Mumbai, India, in 1970 when her parents were a wanted couple on the run. Sobhraj had convinced Chantal to join him in an international crime spree, which involved robbing tourists and faking travel documents. The couple was arrested in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1973 for not paying a hotel bill. Usha was flown back to France to Chantal's mother and father. Sobhraj, however, escaped from prison and kidnapped his daughter Usha by drugging her grandmother. Baby Usha was then smuggled to Iran, where Sobhraj was arrested at a casino.
Who is Usha Sutliff?
Usha (now 50) was later adopted by Chantal's second husband, a stonemason, Leon Harris (now 75). Chantal and Leon got married in 1975. Leon met Chantal while visiting a friend at the women's jail in Kabul in 1973. Seven months later they drove to Paris to meet Usha, who was repatriated by Air France. Chantal and Leon settled in the small town of Litchfield, Connecticut, where Chantal divorced Sobhraj and gave birth to her second daughter, Sandrine. Leon says his daughter Usha has had zero contact with her biological father Sobhraj since she was a baby.
Usha, a Boston University graduate, now has a 'classified' job with the US government, specializing in counter-terrorism and homeland security. Not only this, she is also a long-serving reserve officer with the Los Angeles Police Department since 2007. According to Leon, Usha cut off all contact with her mother, Chantal, (now 74), after Sobhraj was released from an Indian jail in 1997.
A former print journalist, Usha previously served at the Center for Policing Terrorism at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research, a New York-based think tank. She is married to Jason Sutliff, 49, a Fire Captain in San Marino, California, and is a mother of one.
Her relationship with Charles Sobhraj
According to Usha's stepdad Leon, Usha was only eight years old when she learned the truth about her biological dad and never expressed any interest in meeting him.
"Usha has no interest in seeing her blood father and the last thing she would do is talk about him. She has a classified job similar to (Britain's) MI5. It is so secret she has not even told me about it — and I am the only father she has ever known. She is a formidable woman, good looking and tough-minded like her father, but that is about the only thing they have in common, " Leon revealed in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com.
"The rest of us have lived quietly for decades with this awful story and prefer it to stay that way. Usha has even cut off her mother (Chantal) because she is so eager to escape this aspect of her past, " he added.
'The Serpent' is an eight-part series about the serial killer that began streaming on Netflix in the US this month after premiering on BBC One on New Year's Day. Sobhraj, 77, is currently serving a life sentence for a string of murders committed in the 1970s in South Asia.