They needed a ride to the beach
Two cold-blooded young men who killed a Grab driver in Kanchanaburi and took a video of their handiwork to show off to friends later went on a beach outing as if nothing had happened.
Lat Ya police in Muang district nabbed Pissanu “Lek” Naktuean, 23, and his cousin, Putthachai, or “Wave”, aged 17, on Aug 19 after they stabbed to death a Grab driver in his vehicle, buried the body and went on a jaunt to the beach in Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Pissanu ‘Lek’ Naktuean
Mr Lek, who along with Wave has been charged with premeditated murder, denies they planned to kill Supadech Choisamnak, 37, whose body they buried in forestland in Lat Ya three days before.
The media dubbed him the “high IQ” killer after locals told reporters that Mr Lek, who with his cousin hails from Ayutthaya, had once passed an exam for entry to medical school and was upset after his father refused to let him pursue his studies.
In a bizarre feature of the case, the pair also took videos charting the progress of their journey: one when they were disposing of the body, and a later one after they arrived at the beach.
In the video of them burying Supadech, which Mr Lek sent to a friend and his ex-girlfriend, he asked for forgiveness for what he had done.
Speaking to police after his arrest, Mr Lek said he ordered a Grab car via the app, and Supadech turned up as he had on previous times when he booked the service.
During the ride, Mr Lek and Wave, who were unemployed, asked Supadech if they could borrow his vehicle to look for work.
However, Supadech turned them down, insisting he needed the vehicle to make a living. The two sides started to argue and from the back seat, Mr Lek and Wave subdued and stabbed him. Supadech was found with stab wounds in the left shoulder and right side of his chest.
That done, the pair decided to go on an outing to the beach. However, before leaving, they went to see a friend, “Duang”, with whom Mr Lek had bad blood after he stole his Buddha amulets a month before.
In a macabre twist to the tale, when the pair turned up at Duang’s place in Pak Phraek, Muang district, they still had Supadech’s body with them in the car, propped up in the back seat.
Duang said he was surprised to see them in the light blue Mitsubishi as Mr Lek normally gets about on a motorcycle. Mr Lek had said he came to say sorry, presumably for the theft of the amulets, and added the pair were going away.
“Wave got out of the vehicle first, and I saw blood on his sleeve. I mentioned it, but he did not respond,” Duang said.
“He went to the passenger window and beckoned me over for a look. It was hard to make out, but it looked like Lek, sitting side by side with a guy in black, or perhaps even hugging his body. Wave told me they were going for an outing, but didn’t say where,” he told police.
Later, after the pair had left, Duang noticed on social media that Supadech’s family had reported him missing and also were looking for his Mitsubishi, which he recognised as the one Mr Lek and Wave were travelling in.
He contacted police, who asked for images of the pair. Duang, however, sent them to Mr Lek’s phone by mistake, who replied with a chilling message: “Who did you mean to send those images to, krab?”
Duang said he was shocked and didn’t know what to say. “But the pair then sent me a clip of the body as they were disposing of it, accompanied by the message: ‘If one day we are cornered or the cops ask, send him this video.’”
This message enabled police to connect the pair to the stolen car and the killing.
Mr Lek, who perhaps knew police would catch up with them eventually, also sent a copy of the clip to his former girlfriend, “A”, whom he had beaten and harassed after she took up with a new boyfriend, Hnong.
The campaign of harassment included two occasions over the past 12 months when he set fire to Hnong’s pickup and a six-wheeler outside his home. He had also threatened harm to Hnong and his family, prompting Hnong to enter the monkhood for his own safety, and his parents to flee to safer ground.
A, like Duang, was to play a key role in events leading to the pair’s arrest. Mr Lek, she said, also sent her the social media post from Supadech’s family, in which they said Supadech and his car had gone missing.
A noticed their contact number in the post and contacted Supadech’s family. They passed on the number to the police, who called her.
A said she did not realise the pair had killed the man in the accompanying video and thought Mr Lek had obtained the clip from elsewhere and was merely trying to scare her. He had sent her threatening messages daily after she started seeing Hnong.
Police spread word they were looking for the vehicle. Alert bystanders reported seeing it in Pran Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, where the pair were to be arrested at a seafood eatery.
One last piece of chilling evidence to emerge was a clip which Mr Lek took while wandering on the beach, their destination in Prachuap Khiri Khan. Media reports said the pair acted as if nothing had happened even though they had killed a man and disguised his body.
Police say the enterprising pair had used a sticker to change the vehicle registration number from Gor Bor 218 to 248. However, it did not buy them much time, as locals recognised the vehicle from its unusual colour.
Supadech’s mother, Boonyaporn Choisamnak, 65, said she observed the crime scene reconstruction and saw Mr Lek, who didn’t talk to her. “He didn’t apologise: he just stood there and stared,” she said.
Her son was a hard worker who supported her and his own family, including a young daughter. He was also keen on making merit. “I hope my son benefits from those good deeds in his next life, and that the accused get what is coming to them for the hurt they have sown,” she said.
Sister gets brother bumped off
A Phetchabun man was killed by a hitman hired by his own elder sister after he sexually abused her daughter, police say.
Police from Bang Klang station, Phetchabun provincial police and CSD officers on Aug 20 arrested three people for the intentional killing of Chao Jongtham, 51.
He was slain not far from the family home in Pak Chong, Lom Sak, Phetchabun, on July 29. The accused are his elder sister, a relative who hired the killer on her behalf, and the gunman.
The arrests shocked locals, as initial speculation centred on a land dispute.
Police say Chao’s elder sister, Saranya, was the mastermind, who set about having him killed after discovering Chao had been abusing her 14-year-old daughter.
She consulted a relative, Pramuan Pengdamnern, who she knew had served jail time for robbery.
He sought out a gunman, Amka Inchan, who he knew from his time in jail to carry out the shooting. The three of them hatched the plot to have him killed.
On July 29, police said, Amka arrived as arranged in his Toyota Jazz in front of Pramuan’s place. Pramuan took him on his motorcycle to the family tamarind plantation about 500m away.
Amka hid in a grove of banana trees, from where he intended to ambush Chao, but after waiting half an hour and seeing no sign of his prey, changed his mind and walked to where Chao normally parks.
Shortly after, Chao turned up in his pickup. Amka shot him with his Thai-modified handgun.
Chao lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a tree. Amka walked over and shot him a second time before he and Pramuan escaped on the motorbike.
Amka fled to a hut on a corn plantation in Nam Ron, Wichian Buri, Phetchabun, where police were to arrest him. Amka served 10 years in Phetchabun jail for robbery, and was released last September.
All this took place while the mastermind, Ms Saranya, carried on as normal at home, showing no sign that she knew the killing was taking place, according to her eldest daughter, Bua (assumed name), who was present.
It is unclear if Ms Saranya confronted Chao about the abuse claims, though Bua, who spoke to the media, said she too knew about Chao’s deviant behaviour but was too scared to say anything. “He had a hot temper,” she said.
Chao raised a family in Ban Tiw, Lom Sak, for many years but when he and his wife split up moved back to Village 7 in Pak Chong, where his father and siblings live. Bua said her uncle would sneak into their home from his place next door and interfere with her younger sister.
Media reports say Chao, who took drugs, also meddled in a family arrangement put in place by the family patriarch, which police say was another factor behind Ms Saranya’s decision to have him killed.
Under the arrangement put in place by their father, Hrang, Chao and his two siblings would take it in turns to farm 10 rai of family-owned land each year. However, after his return, Chao would not let the others farm the land, angering Ms Saranya, the reports said.
However, Mr Hrang himself downplays that theory, saying he was unaware of any problems over the property. He still rotates the right to farm the land between his children. Last year was Ms Saranya’s turn, he said; this year was Chao’s.
“I am shocked to hear my daughter would do such a thing, though I think it’s because he was interfering with her daughter, not the land. Saranya told me about the abuse about a month ago,” he told reporters.
“I feel sorry for both kids…Saranya was a hard worker,” he said. The suspects have been jointly charged with the killing, among other charges related to their role in the slaying.
Speaking at the police station, Ms Saranya offered an apology to her brother’s family.