Pattaya Daily News

08 March 2010 :: 17:03:26 pm 15051

Serial Killer Finally Gets His Just Desserts

The serial killer of 5 masseuses and sex workers, has finally been sentenced to death after having twice been given a life sentence. The final sentence is for strangling masseuse, Miss Pongpan Sabchai, a traditional massage lady in hotel room in Lampang Province.
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Pattaya, 8 March, 2010, [Pattaya Daily News]: Somkhid Phumphuang, 41, from Nakhon Si Thammarat was sentenced to death on March 2 for the murder of Miss Pongpan Sabchai, a traditional massage lady, in a hotel room in Lampang Province, six years ago. After strangling the woman, he stole her gold ring, mobile phone and gold earring, with the approximate value of Bt5,000. The victim had apparently been 2-months pregnant at the time of her death.

Somkhid, a juvenile delinquent, who was raised by his uncle after the early death of his parents, had led a life of crime since being thrown out of school for theft. Following school, he was found work in a wood factory by his uncle, but was sacked for stealing Bt50,000. In addition, Somkhid framed a local businessman, giving false testimony in court, which resulted in the victim being jailed for six years. The victim swore to kill Somkhid in revenge when he was released. Somkhid, himself, served a four-year jail sentence for robbery. He has also been involved in drug and arms trading in Esarn.

 

Somkhid apparently had a penchant for staying in large hotels on his itinerant travels and successfully evaded the police by losing himself in large crowds. His evasion was also helped by assuming a number of aliases, including Daeng Phumpuang, Suwat Chanarong, Suchart Kingkaew and Narong Nilnet.

His first murder was apparently carried out 6 years previously in Mukdahan on January 30, 2004, when Warunee Pimpabutr, 25, a cabaret singer had been found drowned in a hotel room bathtub. The hotel’s register showed that Somkid had rented the room where the murder was committed, and he was also positively identified from a police photograph.

Somkhid, it would appear, favoured the same modus operandi, working from hotel rooms and strangling his victims. The second killing occurred on June 4, in similar circumstances to the murder of Warunee, where Pongpan Sabchai, a 34-year-old masseuse, was found strangled in a Lampang hotel room.

Next, Patcharee Amatanirand, 39, another traditional Thai masseuse, was found strangled in a room of the Caesar Hotel on June 11. She had apparently been accompanied by a man who checked in under the name of Narong Nilnet.

On June 19, yet another masseuse, 37-year-old Porntawan Pangkabutr, was found drowned in a hotel room bath in Udon Thani. This time, CCTV footage as well as eyewitnesses revealed Somkhid’s involvement.

Police, by this time, were convinced they had a serial killer on their hands and began a manhunt. However, Somkhid was one step ahead and managed to strangle yet another woman, this time Sompong Pimpornpirom, 36, a sex worker, whose nude body was found in a Buri Ram hotel room on June 21. To add to his image on CCTV footage, Somkhid’s fingerprints were found on a beer glass nearby Sompong’s dead body.

Soon after, Somkhid was successfully apprehended. The death sentence which was handed down at his first trial, however, was transmuted to life imprisonment. This incredibly happened a second time, whilst he was in jail serving his first sentence, as Somkhid pled guilty and also returned some of his ill-gotten gains to the family of his victim.

Due to the incredibly laborious process of the Thai legal system, Somkhid’s third trial for murder has only just appeared before the courts, which occurred on March 2, 2010. The evidence was damning, a friend of the victim witnessed her sitting with the offender. She later told her that Somkhid was paying her Bt5,000 for staying with him for 3 days and 2 nights. In addition, a room service waiter positively identified Somkhid as having shared food with the victim. Despite Somkhid’s plea that police had tried to discredit him, this time there was no escape for the callous murderer as the judge handed down his final verdict, death, with no chance of appeal. Although leniency had marked the previous trials, and the process had been incredibly long-winded, justice finally prevailed.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Crime News

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