CityNews Article Archive:
Thai Real Crimes

We don’t tend to hear about Thai real crimes, not compared to western crimes where films, t-shirts and twenty eight books are written following a murder. Thailand keeps things more quiet. But country has its fair share of criminals, mafia bosses (likely of the uniformed type or least actors in politics), and gruesome murder stories. Here are some of Thailand’s most notorious crimes from the recent past:

Tee Yai

Tee Yai

Tee Yai, or Kornprasert Sungkhean, was a serial killer and robber who met his fate in 1981. Apparently he went on a murder spree in 1977 in Ratchaburi and Bangkok, robbing folk and then taking their life. He even sprung his mates out of jail from time to time, and if arrested, he always managed to escape from jail. People believed that he might have magical powers. Not magic enough to save him though, his own gang killed him. Some people think that’s a lie and he fled from Thailand to the US. he became the focus of a film or two.

Body in a Box

This case happened in 1965, when Charin Sittitam, also called Krating Dang Sitprakarn, killed a 15 year old boy. The case became well known as Charin left the body in a box on a Bangkok-Chiang Mai train…which ended up freaking out a lot passengers who thought bad spirits were at work on the train.

The Murder of Sherry Ann Duncan and the Ill-fated Scapegoats

In 1986, Thai-American, Sherry Ann Duncan went missing from school. Her body was found three days later. Four men were ‘quickly’ – when foreigners are involved cases MUST be solved fast to save tourism and Thai image – arrested on only one man’s testimony.

Years later the case was reopened and the four men, it seemed, were innocent. However, one man died in jail, another had been severely crippled due to the torture he’d been through when police were exacting his confession, and two more died right after their release from jail. The kind of thing one thinks might only happen in Hollywood. The police involved were finally arrested and the murderers were caught.

Unfortunately, even though this case highlighted the seedy aspects of Thai police work, there are many more cases in Thailand where scapegoats have been used, especially when foreigners are involved.

Boonpeng Heep Lek, the Iron Box Killer

Boonpeng  Heep Lek was a serial killer in Thailand who and was executed in 1990. Boonpeng killed 7 women. He would chop them up and then stuff their remains in an iron box and throw it into a canal. It was also said that he was some kind of an exorcist. He was the last person who was executed in public by beheading in Thailand.

Zee Uey the Cannibal

Zee Uey was a Chinese immigrant who had a taste for human flesh. Most of  his victims were killed in Prajuabkirikhan, but he was arrested in Rayong after killing his last victim, and executed in 1958. He admitted to police that he killed the people, mostly young boys, because he thought that their livers would make him stronger.


The One Baht Cop Killer

This only happened 21st August 2011. Gas station attendant (Petrol Pump Boy) shot an ex-policeman and killed him in Chanthaburi. The suspect, Rit Predatham (37) admitted that he shot him because he refused to pay the one baht extra that he had over-pumped. He confessed to police that he was in a bad mood that day.


Saint Joseph Convent School Stabbings

On 9th September 2005, Chitlada, or Ped Tatiwanitsayakul (36) went to Saint Joseph Convent School  and stabbed seven students. Although critically injured, the students survived. Doctors released a statement saying the women did not have mental problems. No one will ever know why she did such a thing.


The Macabre Case of Prompiram

The Macabre Case of Prompiram (2003) was made into a Thai film.  The real crime happened in August and September 1977. After a mentally disabled girl’s body was found on railway tracks in Prompiram, Phitsanulok, it was later discovered that she had been raped by more than 20 local men, and then killed.


2,002 Aborted Infant Corpses

On 19th November 2010, more two thousand aborted infant corpses were found in Wat Phai Ngern temple in Bangkok. An investigation revealed that the dead babies had been aborted, and then wrapped in plastic bags and left in the temple.  Three people were arrested. The case made international headlines and the issue of abortion was raised in Thailand.


The Jealous Student Doctor, Serm Sakornraj

On 30th Jan 1998, Serm Sakornraj, a 2rd year medical student killed his girlfriend, Jenjira Ployangun, by shooting in her head. He said he had been jealous and angry. He had expertly cut her body into little pieces with his scalpel and flushed it down the toilet. He was arrested because of DNA evidence.

The Boontawe Family Massacre

On 26th April 1997, the Boontawe family was murdered in their house. The father and his three children were found hanging by their necks under the stairs, while the mother had been bludgeoned to death in her bed. Two teenagers were arrested. They told police that they knew the family had money, but when the father refused to tell them where they could find it they killed everyone.


Woman Cooking Children

On 21st August 2012 in Mae Ai, Chiang Mai, two young girl children (5 and 1 years old) were killed by their mother. Namai Jagu (26) admitted to killing her boy and girl, chopping them up, and preparing their bodies to be cooked in a curry. The woman had been treated before for mental problems.


Sacrifice a Daughter to the God Indra – the whole family involved

On 4th October 2004, in Damnoen Saduak, Rajchaburi, a young girl called  Papatsorn Jiamjalern (12) was killed by her own mother, Karnjan (50). The mother, along with with the grandmother Bua (68) and two aunts Anong (45) and Jarin (32), had agreed to sacrifice the daughter to the God, Indra. All were arrested and taken for psychotherapy.


The Blue Diamond Affair and Killings

In 1989 a Thai employee (janitor) in Saudi Arabia, Kriangkrai Techamong, stole a lot of precious gems including a blue diamond, that belonged to the Saudi royal family, from the Palace of Faisal bin Fah. He brought the gems back to Lampang, Thailand, to sell.

Kriangkrai was later arrested and it was said that the stolen gems were returned to Saudi Arabia. However, it was discovered that the returned diamonds were fake! It was then discovered that the police who investigated the crime had ordered the gem dealer, along with his wife, who had taken the gems from Kriangkrai to be abducted. The police then raped the gem dealer’s wife, killer her, and killed her son. The case is still a mystery as the diamonds were never recovered and all who seem to be involved keep turning up dead. Even a Saudi investigator was killed when he came to Thailand. Three Saudi Embassy staff were also abducted and killed. So far about seven police officers have been arrest in connection with the murders.