Psychiatrist to see Khon Kaen murder suspects amid suicide watch

PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

The three women accused of murdering and dismembering a karaoke club singer will have a psychiatric interview after they showed signs of stress during an initial physical examination when they arrived at Khon Kaen Prison.

Prison director Weerachai Phetcharat said the detainees wept during their physicals and while they were questioned about personal information.

Gruesome murder of Thai woman has nation transfixed

  • The recent murder allegedly committed by a heavily tattooed, attractive girl has captured the attention of media outlets inside in the country and internationally.
  • The three suspects - Priyanuch Nonwangchai, 24, Kawita Rachada, 26, and Apiwan Satayabundit, 28 - fled to Myanmar after allegedly killing Warisara Klinjui, 22, in late May. 
  • The driver of the rented car and his girlfriend, who is also a friend of the main suspect, were also arrested.
  • After fleeing across the border to Myanmar, the female suspects in the high-profile gruesome murder of Warisara Klinjui, 22, were eventually surrendered to Myanmar police opposite Chiang Rai's Mae Sai district in the northern region.
  • The victim's chopped-up body was found in two buckets in a bamboo forest in Khao Suan Kwang district in Khon Kaen. Her body was cut in half and her neck showed traces that someone had unsuccessfully tried to cut her head off.
  • Initially police could not identify the victim but they followed a clue provided by a tattoo on her body and eventually linked it to Warisara.
  • After the alleged murder, they escaped to Myanmar on May 25 via checkpoint in Chiang Rai province.
  • After surrendering to police in Myanmar, they were taken to Bangkok by a police helicopter.
  • As media attention on the suspects escalated, controversial images of police officers and suspects in the gruesome killing of karaoke singer Warisara Klinjui seemingly in a relaxed mood were leaked onto social media.
  • It drew criticims that police seemed eager to please suspects who had been charged with such a grisly murder.
  • Photos showing the suspects putting on make-up in a police station were leaked.
  • The three were also apparently not handcuffed when handed over from Myanmar authorities to Thai police, which was claimed to be against the rules.
  • 2 immigration police officers in Chiang Rai province were subsequently transferred out of their posts for taking photos with a smiling Priyanuch.
  • According to reports, Priyanuch has claimed she did not intend to kill the victim.
  • “I had no intention to kill her. If I did, I would have fled [and not come back],” said Priyanuch.
  • Police brought the suspects back to the scene of the crime for a re-enactment .
  • Many of the onlookers became angry and booed throughout the re-enactment.
  • Priyanuch claimed she loved the victim and did not know what to do when she realised she had killed her
  • She later confessed that she killed Warisara Klinjui due to a personal grudge concerning narcotics and a debt.
  • But people were shocked to discover that Priyanuch had apparently changed her Facebook cover photo on May 13, depicting Chucky, the doll character in horror films that delights in mutilating people.
  • Four of the five suspects in the much publicised dismemberment case of the karaoke bar worker are facing the death penalty.
  • The rented car where the strangulation of the victim had allegedly taken place.

Weerachai said the three shared a detention cell for the first night of incarceration but they would be held in separate cells starting yesterday, he said.

Each woman was being supervised by two guards to prevent any suicide attempt, he added.

The director said that he had asked for a psychiatrist from Khon Kaen Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital to meet the women and assess the state of their mental health.

Priyanuch Nonwangchai, 24, Kawita Rachada, 26, and Apiwan Satayabundit, 28, turned themselves in to Myanmar authorities on Saturday and were handed over to Thai police on suspicion of murdering Warisara Klinjui, 22, in Khon Kaen late last month.

Her dismembered body was discovered buried in a remote wooded area in Khao Suan Kwang.

The three women were forced to re-enact the crime on Monday before being taken to a provincial prison.

At least one of the women has confessed to the crime.

Weerachai said the women were healthy and Priyanuch and Kawita passed drug tests.

However, Apiwan's urine test showed signs of having taken drugs, which she reportedly did in Myanmar five days ago.

Apiwan's father and relatives yesterday visited her at the prison.

"Our whole family is sad. We had never thought things would come to this point," said her father.

Priyanuch's mother and elder sister also showed up at the prison but were denied a visit because they could not produce all the required documents.

In the wake of huge media coverage of the case, Chulalongkorn University academics will stage a seminar today on Thai society's keen interest in drama and violent-crime news and the media's competition in presenting such news.

The "Killing: A New Value?" seminar is designed to allow academics to address the issue and warn people to be careful when consuming such content.

"We also intend to remind media - both mainstream and online - about the negative impact of the content," Asst Prof Dr Pirongrong Ramasoota, the university's vice president for Social Outreach and Global Engagement, said.

Speakers at the seminar will include psychology expert Dr Sompoch Eiumsupasit, civil media expert Ua-jit Wirojtrairat, criminal code expert Pareena Srivanich, mass communication expert Munyat Akarachantachote and psychiatrist Puchong Laurujisawat.

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