When children kill their parents

When children kill their parents

Two recent cases have sparked widespread horror and revulsion, with many asking what has gone wrong with the institution of the family in Thailand.

In the last few weeks Thailand has witnessed two murder cases in which young men have apparently slain their parents and siblings.

On March 8 a couple in Pathum Thani and their son were shot dead in their home by the eldest son, aged 19. On April 3 in Bangkok, a husband and wife and their elder son were killed in their home by two gunmen who the police say were hired by the couple's younger son, 22.

Police say the accused in the first case had confessed to murdering his parents and younger brother in a fit of anger at being continuously scolded by his mother. He said she also broke a promise to buy him a car and, on the night of the murders, refused to let him use the family car to pick up his girlfriend because he was drinking.

In the second case, police say, the slain couple's younger son and his close friend arranged the contract killing of his family. Police say the son, who had left home to live with a close friend, felt slighted by and angry with his parents for frequently comparing him to his successful elder brother, a police officer. His parents also owned land worth over 100 million baht and had bank deposits of more than 10 million baht, fuelling suspicion that a lust for inheritance was also a motive.

The multiple murders have caused shock and dismay across the country. People are wondering what has gone wrong with the institution of the family. The possible motives of the perpetrators are being widely discussed on the social media. Expressions of disgust and horror have been coupled with disbelief as users ask who in their right mind would kill their own parents. Many are calling the crime unforgivable and demanding that the perpetrators be sentenced to death.

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