How Did Aaftab Poonawala Use 'Dexter' to Cover Up His Partner's Murder?
Aaftab Poonawala is accused of killing his partner Shraddha Walkar after an argument between the two escalated at their flat in Delhi in May this year.
The brutal murder of a 27-year-old woman by her partner in Delhi and gory details of an alleged coverup by the accused has sent shockwaves across the country. Twenty-eight-year-old Aftab Poonawala allegedly strangulated his girlfriend Shraddha Walkar in Delhi on May 18 after an argument between the two escalated. He reportedly chopped her body and stored it in a fridge and disposed off the pieces at several locations across the city over the next few weeks.
Poonawala was arrested on Saturday and reportedly told the police he killed Walkar after an argument. "He told us during the interrogation that he wanted to silence her but she died. He kept the body at his home for two days," The Indian Express quoted a police officer as saying.
The case has brought everyone's attention to the American crime series Dexter after several reports, including Indian Express and Times of India, quoted police sources saying that Poonawala was inspired by the show. "He followed what the main character did to chop the body and discard it," Indian Express quoted sources.
Here is what the US crime series is about and how it inspired the accused in Walkar murder case:
What is Dexter?
Based on 'Darkly Dreaming Dexter' by Jeff Lindsay, Dexter is an American crime series consisting of 96 episodes broken into 8 seasons. It was aired on Showtime from October 1, 2006, to September 22, 2013.
Set in Miami, the show is about Dexter, played by Michael C Hall, who witnesses his mother's brutal murder when was just three. The trauma changes Dexter forever. As he grows up, Dexter works as a blood spatter analyst with the Miami Metro Police Department by the day and during the night he kills criminals who manage to escape the criminal justice system.
"He's smart. He's lovable. He's Dexter Morgan, America's favorite serial killer, who spends his days solving crimes and nights committing them," IMDB says in the introduction of the show.
Did Dexter inspire Poonawala?
Dexter is very clinical with the execution of the murders and coverup of the crimes. He is shown wearing gloves, using plastic-wrapped rooms to kill the criminals and dumping the carved-up corpses in the Atlantic Ocean to eradicate all traces of the murders. Dexter's modus operandi for the crime, like carving up the bodies and throwing the away to avoid suspicion, is seen much like how Poonawala tried covering up the alleged murder. The police said that Poonawala would go out during the night to avoid suspicion and dump the parts of Walkar's body in a nearby forest.
A report in the Indian Express quoted a source saying that Poonawala stored pieces of Walkar's body in poly bags and put them in a fridge that he bought after killing her.
The couple, originally from Mumbai, had reportedly met on a dating app and had been together since 2019. Indian Express quoted police saying that the couple shifted to Delhi after their parents did not approve of their relationship. "There had been some issues and the couple decided to go to Rishikesh for a trip before settling in Delhi," the report quoted a police officer.
Dexter-inspired Crimes in the past
Dexter's coverup of the murders has hit the headlines several times in the past as criminals confessed that they were inspired by the show. A 21-year-old Swedish woman who murdered her father came to be known as The Dexter Lady in the media after she said that she would see Dexter's picture whenever her father called. Reports quoted the woman telling the investigators that she had a passion for serial killers and was an avid watcher of "Dexter".
In 2014, a Dexter-obsessed teenager in Surrey, England killed his girlfriend and chopped her body into pieces using a. saw in his bedroom. The 17-year-old Steven Miles was sent to 25 years in jail.
Similarly, 21-year-old Mark Howe in Leicester who killed his mother multiple times was also inspired by Dexter. He reportedly stabbed his other several times in the face, mouth, neck, arms and chest after the two argued over his cannabis addiction.
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