A heavily armed police unit, acting on a police tip-off, moved in to arrest a murder suspect on foot of a court warrant on Wednesday night in the southern province of Phatthalung. The armed officers broke into a crime scene in which a 31-year-old woman was being systematically beaten to death by a psychotic killer who had already inflicted the same gruesome fate on another woman in Bangkok from June to July this year.
As a woman with her back broken in three places recovers in Phatthalung City Hospital after being rescued from a suspected serial killer on Wednesday in an armed raid by Thai police, the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) in Bangkok and police in the South are investigating 27-year-old Mr Thanadej Kaewchuang or ‘Ruj’ who is thought to be a violent and psychotic serial killer who lured women on dating sites and apps to their eventual imprisonment and physical torture at his hands. One beautiful 26-year-old woman, Kamolphet Lamul, was found dead in Bangkok on July 21st after being brutalised so badly that her own mother failed to recognise her swollen and deformed body. On Thursday, Ms Boonthin Lamul called for her daughter’s suspected killer to face a firing squad or suffer the same fate as her child and be physically beaten to death if convicted of her murder.
The mother of a young woman brutally murdered by what police in Thailand suspect to be a serial killer has called for him to face the death penalty after armed officers of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD) arrested 27-year-old Thanadej Kaewchuang, also known as Ruj, at a rented apartment in the Mueang district of Phatthalung on Wednesday.
Police were acting on foot of an arrest warrant issued in Bangkok by the Taling Chan Criminal Court concerning the false imprisonment, torture and murder of 26-year-old Kamolphet Lamul whose swollen and battered body was found on July 21st last in another rented room in the Bangkok Noi area of the Thai capital leading to a murder investigation.
Just moved in with her killer in June this year, by July 21st she was dead with her mother called to identify her badly swollen body at Siriraj Hospital
Ms Kamolphet had only moved in with her killer in June this year after she met him on a social network dating application.
Her mother, 59-year-old Ms Boonthin Lamul, on Thursday, told how when she was called to identify the body of her only daughter on July 21st, she could only do so after recognising a bracelet the beautiful young woman had worn.
Such was the swelling and physical abnormalities caused by the violence meted out to her by the killer in what police suspect was a frenzy of psychotic anger.
The young woman had suffered a haemorrhage in the skull under the cerebral cortex in addition to spinal injuries and broken ribs which had caused her death at the hands of the man she had met while seeking love online.
Similar crime unfolding as armed Crime Suppression Division (CSD) arresting officers raided an apartment in Phatthalung city centre on Wednesday night
When officers broke into the apartment in Phatthalung, they found a similar situation on Wednesday night, another badly injured 31-year-old woman welcomed and thanked them for saving her life before she was removed by emergency services to the local Phatthalung City Hospital where doctors, on Thursday, confirmed she was out of danger although she had suffered serious physical injuries including a broken nose bridge, broken ribs and damage to her spine.
Senior police officers including Phatthalung’s police chief Police Major General Tanit Ramdit visited the injured woman on the same day.
The hospital director, Dr Jarung Boonkan, while confirming that his patient was out of danger, said she would need care for at least a month. He was also concerned that she should be monitored because of the extensive nature of her injuries, particularly to the spine.
The woman’s back had been broken in three places, he revealed.
He said, however, she had already shown signs of improvement since she was admitted on Wednesday night last.
Woman met suspected serial killer ‘Ruj’ on a social media site in August and he, professing love, invited her to join him in Phatthalung this September
The woman, identified by police sources as Ms Noei, from Lamphun in upper northern Thailand, told police that she had met Mr Thanadej on a social network dating app in early August thought to be Facebook.
This was just weeks following the killer’s flight from Bangkok to Phatthalung after murdering his last girlfriend.
She said that very quickly her new online lover asked her to come and meet him Phatthalung. She agreed and travelled by train to the southern province.
Mr Thanadej met her at the train station and took her for breakfast before inviting her back to his apartment in the centre of Phatthalung.
He quickly turned violent and began to viciously assault her accusing her of looking at other men during their first meal together.
She said she had been held within the apartment for the last month and regularly beaten by the crazed man.
Full police probe into the man’s life history and his activities as many more victims are feared to have fallen under his control, left homeless at 14
The accused has provisionally been charged with assault in Phatthalung but is facing more serious charges in Bangkok in relation to the murder of Ms Kamolphet Lamul.
Police in Bangkok are also in contact with their southern counterparts about the outstanding warrant for his arrest while a wider investigation of the man’s activities has been launched
On Thursday, Police Lieutenant General Jiraphop Phuridech told the media that a lucky tip-off to police had led to the armed police unit raiding the apartment of the killer on Wednesday night, an action that may well have saved Ms Noi’s life.
The senior officer also noted the similarity in patterns between the murder of Ms Kamolphet in Bangkok and that of the victim found in Phatthalung.
He said police believed that the killer, Mr Thanadej, may have committed many similar acts and that there could be many more female victims to be discovered.
Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) chief Police Lieutenant General Jiraphop Phuridech believes the suspect is a dangerous serial killer with more victims
He suggested that the police were dealing with a dangerous serial killer and assured the public that investigating officers were already examining the background of the suspect and his prior movements.
From preliminary findings, they had discovered that the killer had become homeless at the age of 14 after he fled his home in Yala from a violent and abusive mother.
It appears that Mr Thanadej’s mother and father had separated because of his mother’s repeated pattern of violent behaviour within the family home.
He is reported to have come to Bangkok with ฿100 and fallen into criminal activities on the street before moving on to working in human trafficking and drug dealing which led to an extensive criminal record.
Criminal, known to police as a drug user, tested positive for yaba on Wednesday night after his arrest
The 27-year-old was only released early this year from prison in relation to a drug offence.
Police have also confirmed that the murderer is a user of yaba pills, a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine which can lead to the user exhibiting psychotic behaviour.
The suspect was found to have used drugs before his arrest on Wednesday when a urine sample tested positive.
Meanwhile, Ms Boothin, the mother of the man’s first victim, told reporters on Thursday, she was forced to rely on neighbours to help with the funeral rites for her daughter in Amnat Charoen after the trauma of her death.
Mother of the victim relives harrowing details of her interactions with her daughter’s murderer who duped her for money while committing cruel murder
Breaking down, she called on the killer to be shot by firing squad or preferably, beaten to death to suffer the same fate as her daughter so that justice could be served.
The 59-year-old said she had only one daughter who was the pillar of her family and already had two daughters of her own, future mothers.
She said her daughter worked in Bangkok and had supported her mother and family.
She recalled the killer contacting her in June and promising to take good care of her daughter and even to send money himself to assist the family in Amnat Charoen.
After this, she said there were two or three days when her daughter made contact as she regularly did.
Then four to five days passed and she could not be contacted.
Her phone number was also cancelled or changed but she was able to make contact eventually with Mr Thanadej who she referred to by his nickname, Ruj who explained there was a problem with phone sim cards.
Said the couple had been robbed and Ms Kamolphet was injured in the attack, money was required for hospital, daughter was not well enough to speak
In early July, she received a call from Ruj to say that the couple had been attacked and robbed and that Ms Kamolphet had suffered injuries and needed to be admitted to hospital.
The mother sold her gold necklace and sent the money to him.
After this, she received a further call from the man saying the couple needed to move to new accommodation so she borrowed from friends and relatives to send more money.
When she asked to speak with her daughter, Mr Thanadej had always responded that her daughter was not feeling well and was not up to it yet.
Finally, she received a call from the man to tell her that her daughter had died and that her body was at Siriraj Hospital.
He suggested that ฿1,700 was required for sending the body home.
Ms Boothin said she had no further funds and that wanted to first see her daughter’s body and speak with the police. After this, the man became unreachable.
Ex husband of the victim said he separated from the mother of his daughter as she liked to play with phones which caused distrust and misunderstanding
The ex-husband of Ms Kamolphet, 34-year-old Mr Wichai Prakobdee told reporters on Thursday that he had been separated from her for 5 years and that they had been together for 6 years. They had a 6-year-old daughter together.
He said the news of the fate suffered by his former lover had both saddened and shocked him.
He explained that the reason he and his former partner had separated was that she liked to chat online using her smartphone which bred unease and distrust in the relationship leading to misunderstandings.
He told reporters that his young daughter was unable to process the news of her mother’s death.
He also called for the death penalty in this case saying that authorities must be certain that this dangerous man cannot offend again.
Serial killer in Thailand sentenced to death in 2005 for the murder of 5 women was released on parole in 2019 and murdered again that year in Khon Kaen
In March 2021, the Khon Kaen Provincial Court sentenced a 55-year-old serial killer to death for the murder of a woman who befriended him at a hotel where she worked and invited him into her own home in the Kranuan district of the province where she was found murder weeks later in December 2019.
The serial killer who liked to rent hotel bedrooms to murder his victims had met the woman who was a maid at a hotel in Khon Kaen.
The woman had no idea that the man she became involved with, Somkid Pumpuang, had been released just months earlier, in May 2019, on parole from prison after being sentenced to death in 2005 for the murder of 5 women in hotels across Thailand, a number which police officers privately believe to be only a fraction of those who died as the man targeted sex workers and those working in associated industries.
Thailand retains the death penalty, the last execution was carried out in June 2018 at Bang Kwang Central Prison. Strong public support for the measure
Thailand still maintains the death penalty with the sentence regularly handed down by Thai courts. The last execution in Thailand was in June 2018 at Bang Kwang Central Prison.
It went ahead without notice while coming as a shock to human rights activists who considered it, at that point, after an extended hiatus, as de facto abolished.
Death sentence imposed on school boss who murdered a 2-year-old boy in a gold shop robbery in January
The kingdom regularly commutes death sentences to life imprisonment either through court decisions on appeal or through regular royal pardons or remissions of sentences on auspicious occasions.
An opinion poll in 2018 showed that 93% of the public in the kingdom support both the retention and the regular use of the death penalty.
This is thought not to have diminished given the country’s chronic twin problems with drug use which is also linked with violent crime.
There is solid evidence however to suggest that the homicide rate in Thailand over the past two decades has been falling at least between 2003 to 2016 although poverty and inequality have since grown also according to the World Bank.
The bank suggests that from 2003 to 2011, the homicide rate dropped from 10 per 100,000 to 4.9 per 100,000 while the UN Office for Drugs and Crime reports a homicide rate of 3.2 for 2016 with Thai cities, by and large, being significantly safer than those in the United States.