Feb. 5 (UPI) -- Three rape suspects in Bangladesh have been found dead with notes around their necks confessing to crimes, suggesting a vigilante is committing extrajudicial killings.
At least one of the notes referenced a possible alter ego for the killer, Hercules, Al Jazeera reported. Two of the victims were accused of gang-raping a student from a religious school in Bhandaria on Jan. 14. The third victim was one of four men accused of gang-raping a garment worker in Savar outside Dhaka on Jan. 7.
Family members of the victims said they had been picked up by plain-clothed people before they were found dead.
One of the bodies was found about 160 miles from the others.
Police are investigating the incidents.
"At this point, we are not even sure that the same person or the group is doing these murders, Sohel Rana, Additional Inspector General of Police Headquarters, told Al Jazeera.
Rape convictions are rare in Bangladesh, prompting some on social media to hail Hercules as a "vigilante" delivering justice for victims.
Human rights activist Nur Khan Liton disagreed, but acknowledged the country is enraged about recent rape incidents.
"The recent killings naturally raise a lot of questions, especially considering the facts that the country has a long tainted record of extrajudicial killings," Liton told Al Jazeera. "The government should launch a proper investigation to probe these murders. No one should be allowed to be killed extrajudiciously."
The most recent victim was found in a village in southwestern Jhalakathi on Jan. 26. The body was face down with a wound near the eye that looked like a bullet hole.
"It felt strange and scary to see this happen in my area ... but it also felt like justice," Mahmud Hasan, chairman of the Shaulakania Union, a government unit.