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The week that was in Thailand news: Where, oh where are all the Thai serial killers?


The week that was in Thailand news: Where, oh where are all the Thai serial killers?

Rooster is a bit weird. If you believe the missus very weird indeed. However, due to her diet consisting almost exclusively of fiery and stinky som tam pla ra accompanied by leaves found attached to roadside trees, her opinions can be somewhat befuddled.
After what Basil Fawlty referred to as an “avenue of pleasure” – trips to Patpong – were cut off some two decades ago, my idea of a fun night is to curl up in a darkened room with YouTube and delve into the murky world of crime and in particular serial killers.
My grown up daughter still proudly wears a t-shirt souvenir I purchased in India that has a bowl of cornflakes on it and proclaims her a “Cereal Killer”. I digress….even though Weetabix and Grape Nuts are a lifelong secret fantasy.
This week apropos of nothing, except one day getting rich and writing a best seller on Thai serial killers, I thought I might investigate the matter of the apparent dearth of multiple murderers in my adoptive “kingdom by the sea”. There is no shortage of crime but plod somehow manages to arrest most miscreants before they can strike again.
At least before they are jailed for five minutes, get out and repeat the dose. Frankly, serial philandering seems to be a far more practiced pastime.
Everyone who has been here five minutes has heard of Si Quey (pronounced Si Ooi) whose mummified body is on public display in the forensics museum at Bangkok’s Sirirat Hospital.
Si Quey has terrified generations of Thai children as the archetypal “Freddy Kreuger”-style bogeyman. Believing it would invigorate him, he ate the hearts of at least six children after he came to Thailand towards the end of World War 2. He is used by Thai parents to bring their children into line if the usual belts, straps,sticks and merciless beatings fail to work…..
But he was Chinese not Thai. I wanted to find someone on the list who could kick start my book who was born here and someone a bit more modern too. Wikhee being my friend as much as Googern, I explored lists of all the world’s modern serial killers.
Not a single Thai! Is this a conspiracy I thought, dreamed up by tourism minister Wearysak to ensure that not a single one of the expected 60 million tourists this year decides to stay home.
The only serial killers mentioned with a Thai connection – in that they did some of their dastardly deeds on these shores (literally) – are Charles Sobhraj and John Martin (Scripps).
Sobhraj’s reign of terror on the hippie trail and in Thailand in the 1970’s was missed by Rooster who arrived in 1982. But like many others having read extensively about him on my travels in India I was always wary of meeting other tourists.
It wasn’t just their baggy pants and the fact they smelled worse than me.
Essentially Sobhraj and his gang befriended gullible tourists posing as a friend and gem dealer. Two of his female victims ended up on beaches in Pattaya while another couple of his acquaintances were covered in gasoline, set fire to and dumped. He murdered at least five times in Thailand and was largely based in Kanit House in Saladaeng, Bangkok.
I was staying near the Malaysia Hotel when I was first here so I keenly peeped in on some of his stamping grounds – an all too relevant pun. The Thai police force let him slip away through a combination of incompetence and a wish not to harm the tourist industry.
Now where have we heard that before?
He was jailed in India for a decade then connived to be incarcerated some more so as not to be extradited to Thailand to face the death penalty. A Dutch investigator had discovered enough evidence to convict him prompting the Thais to finally act but ultimately to no avail as the statute of limitations ran out and Sobhraj returned to Paris.
Luckily for the modern day backpacker perhaps, Mr S is under a tight lock and key in Nepal for good. Though he has escaped many times before…..
John Martin (born Scripps) is another you would not have wanted to befriend in Thailand. In 1996 he became the first Briton hanged in Singapore since independence after he murdered and butchered Canadians Sheila and Darin Damude who he met on a plane bound for Phuket.
He coolly moved into the couple’s hotel at Marina Inn in Patong after killing them and then spread their mutilated bodies in a tin mine and along roads. He killed many, many others.
But as horrendous as these characters are, they are not Thai and didn’t even have a Thai parent or wife to blame for making them go loony like the rest of us.
Sure, most serial murderers are in huge easy to move about countries and areas like the States, Russia or the wilds of South America but Britain – with a similar population to Thailand – has plenty too. The experts say that serial murder crosses racial boundaries so where are all the Thais?
I can only conclude – and Big Joke has not just sent me a generous backhander – that the Thai police must be thoroughly excellent! Okay, occasionally competent.
This was quite a week on Thaivisa for crime with several high profile murder cases captivating and tittilating a salivating Thai public….Rooster included.
Sunday last saw the double murder of “Spy and Fos” at Buddha Mountain near Pattaya. The Nation called Spy a beauty queen mentioning her bullet riddled body in a pool of blood all in the same sentence. The male victim’s mum helpfully said they were not an item as her son was too effeminate.
Thanks for that Khun Mae.
As the Chonburi police chief claimed with a straight face that the public could have faith in the honesty and sense of justice of his men, the hapless getaway driver had a cunning plan to hide at his mum’s gaff and was thus soon “spilling the thua” on his erstwhile boss who had fled to Cambodia.
There he may be rubbing shoulders with another fugitive in the shape of “Go” who dispatched millionairess and hi-so “Cherry” with a baseball bat in a Bangkok hotel room later in the week. He pinched her Benz from the parking lot then grabbed a casino courtesy bus with his younger brother for a spot of “hi-lo” in Cambodia.
Wearysak might examine what the clever Cambodian authorities are doing right to attract so many quality and loaded tourists… can’t just be the gambling.
In Mrs Rooster’s back yard of Pha Khao the Loei constabulary found the tattooed body of a dead man in a reservoir weighed down by bricks in a fertilizer sack. She was happy that it couldn’t possibly have been the doing of anyone in her nearby village – they wouldn’t waste bricks.
If possible, worse was yet to come. A very unseemly reenactment was held for “Ai For” the 20 year old high ranking policeman’s son who murdered a gran and her 11 year son in their house in a nighttime burglary of a gold necklace and a phone.
Several forum posters suggested that the Lomsak, Petchabun police should have taken a leaf out of Chonburi chief Nanthachart’s book on policing and persuaded the suspect to try and escape to give them an excuse to fire.
That activity has been almost as much a national sport as Muay Thai over the years of my stay in Thailand. Any doubts about that, ask the many thousands of relatives of addicts and dealers who didn’t return home during the days of Thaksin’s sneaky drug crusade.
Once again the junta reared its ugly head above the parapet but were beautifully beaten back down by brave Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, aged 39. As  long as it is, remember the name. The head of the Future Forward party did not mince his wordslabeling the NCPO a dictatorship and saying they had “tarnished the image of Thailand”.
As far as the history of politics in Thailand goes one would be tempted to say “no change there” but this country needs young people like Thanathorn who are prepared to stand up and be counted. The pathetic attempts to stifle him while denying their patently obvious political ambitions mark this junta reincarnation as yet another scandalous self-serving group of bullies in suits and  khaki underpants hell bent on preserving the misery of the Thais under the guise of returning happiness.
See, Rooster can say it like it is, though I admit that Prayut has far greater skills when it comes to brevity if not wit.
He simply calls it fake news.
Sticking his weaselly oar in and twisting was Suthep Thaugsuban. He “confirmed” that the general has his unreserved support and would miraculously win the election despite not standing.
Suthep has crawled so perilously far beyond Big Too’s sphincter that it may soon be necessary for the British cave rescuers to return and save him before the next election. All paid for by their Elite card bonus.
Fortunately, the humor of the Thai news once again brightened everyone’s week.
The granny who threw away her savings in a market bin because the termites got to them raised a smile then a double ‘yim’ when the bank said they would replace the old notes with some crisp new ones..
And one had to grin a tad at the “mentally deficient” man in Bangkok who stole the Number 7 bus and took it on a joy ride against traffic. The headline described him as not the full ticket; he might try joining the civil service, it’s far safer than the roads.
Then there were further strains on the titter-o-meter as the government asked the British if they wouldn’t mind awfully handing over Ms Shinawatra. Some veiled reciprocal ruse was mentioned to try to entice Mrs May to betray the last of her principals. She must have had a wry smile when she read that her female counterpart’s case was “corruption not politcal”.
Most of the humor in this one stems from the back story. As many wily posters pointed out the Thai request is just going through legal motions. The very last thing they want, especially with an election in the offing, is the return of Yingluck who would instantly become the mother of martyrs and ensure an even bigger electoral kick in the khaki nuts for the junta.
Better she stays shopping in Knightsbridge and has the Fortnum and Mason hampers delivered to Claridges for tea in her suite.
Two further and even more hilarious stories came out of the north of Thailand. In a Chiang Mai housing estate a major row blew up after neighbors erected a huge vinyl sign calling for the banishment of the accursed mutt “Jao Bo” after it allegedly bit a poodle called….wait for it…..Mammoth.
Bo’s owner claimed he had been bitten by Mammoth in a skirmish in which he was actually trying to protect the poor put-on poodle. He needed rabies jabs as the animal loving netizens of Thai social media commented in their proverbial droves on the antics of all concerned.
They must all be barking.
But even this titter-fest was upstaged by the news that the Highways Department have come up with a novel way to protect motorists and roadworks gangs, namely ‘Ja Wai’. Modeled on the ‘Ja Cheuy’ (inactive officer) or cement police models that proliferate in Thailand showing the flesh and blood force how to do their job, Ja Wai is a welcome upgrade.
This tireless civil servant can work directing traffic in the hot sun all day and is fitted with a solar panel that can move one of its arms.
Big Joke better watch out – if the cunning Thais can devise a way to move both arms and a mouth in sync then he could even find his own job under threat.
Finally, permit me to go a little abroad to the funniest story of the week that took place in China as new British foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt tried to ingratiatingly impress his hosts by mentioning his Chinese wife. The only problem being that he committed the granny of all gaffes by referring to her as Japanese.
The Chinese smiled inscrutably – even laughed at his quickly corrected slip – but the damage was done. One could imagine the recently resigned Boris chuckling uncontrollably into his morning bangers.
But let’s face it, it could happen to anyone….the incident reminded me of that fateful day when in an unguarded moment Rooster mistakenly referred to the first wife by the name of the latest “mia noi”.
A day when I was lucky not to become a crime statistic.
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may, 2019

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