Abbot gets no thanks, son-in-law flees, bathtub exit
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Abbot gets no thanks, son-in-law flees, bathtub exit

Abbot gets no thanks, son-in-law flees, bathtub exit
drug-fuelled: The scene of the abbot's murder in Ayutthaya.

Bad drug memories

A young monk in Ayutthaya knifed to death an elderly abbot in a frenzied attack which police believe was brought on by drug-fuelled psychiatric problems.

Bang Sai police nabbed Phra Ano Mukpradap, 26, for stabbing to death the abbot, Phra Khru Khantithammanuwat, or Ekanart Ketchot, 75, in his living quarters at Bang Sai Nai temple.

The young knifeman did not wait around to be defrocked but changed into civilian gear of shorts and a military-pattern T-shirt while waiting for police.

Police video shows him yelling and crying as he was led away. He had tossed the weapon, a long knife, into a lake in front of the monks' quarters, which police retrieved.

While the suspect was talking little sense, one temple worker heard him say that a "higher authority" had urged him to kill the abbot.

Family members say the suspect had been in the monkhood just two or three months after entering rehab for his drug habit.

His father, they say, helped with temple building works and had asked the abbot to help his son ordain.

"He wanted his son to make a clean break from drugs. The abbot felt sorry for the father so agreed, but ended up paying for his generosity," one observer said.

The abbot was stabbed in the chest once, the back three times, and slashed about the head another three times. Temple assistants sent him to hospital but he died from his injuries.

Police found blood scattered in front of the abbot's quarters, and items strewn about inside, showing signs of a struggle.

hot temper: Some parts of the house were damaged by the blaze.

One monk who saw the clash said the abbot fled but the suspect pursued him and kept stabbing him until he fell. He said an earlier argument with his father may have set him off.

"The suspect called his Dad asking him to bring more meds, but when he arrived they started to argue. The abbot urged the father to go home and told off the suspect for speaking harshly to his father. He also urged the monk to keep taking his meds.

"Phra Ano was upset and his condition flared up. He hit the abbot with the knife and hid inside the monk's quarters. We sent the abbot to hospital and called the police," he said.

One media report said Phra Ano wasn't willing to take meds, which he received from the hospital as recently as Sept 2.

"No one was courageous enough to go near him except the abbot who would urge him to take the meds for his own good. However, he responded by kicking him, hitting him and stabbing him," said the monk who witnessed the attack.

Phra Ano's elder brother, Anon Thamnam, 33, said the suspect was heavily addicted and hallucinating when he entered rehab.

"He was psychologically ill and has a history of being treated in hospital. However, I am not sure if he was still taking meds when he entered the monkhood," he said.

Police were waiting for him to regain his composure before contemplating charges, and had sent the abbot's body for an autopsy.

A fondness for arson

Udon Thani police are tracking down the son-in-law from hell who is accused of setting fire to the home of his pregnant girlfriend before fleeing with her family's flat-screen TV.

on his bike: The son-in-law flees with his parents-in-law's flat-screen TV.

Police in Muang district are pursuing a druggie known as Sukphat, captured on CCTV fleeing his parents-in-law's house last week on a motorcycle and clutching their TV.

Neighbours alerted the owners, Somjai Phokapanich, 57, and his wife Orakanya, 45, after they noticed flames coming from their place.

They had gone to work but raced back in time to put out the blaze, in which Sukphat is accused of using paint as an accelerant.

Mr Somjai, who has had an ongoing battle with the young man after he set fire to their place three times previously, smashed up their belongings and had earlier stolen their motorcycle.

"He is aggressive and won't listen to anyone," he said. Previously he set fire to his own parents' vehicle repair yard when he was hallucinating on drugs.

"In this case, he was angry that I complained to the police about his drug habit. He does no work apart from selling drugs. We have gone to the police three times about his behaviour and now disown him as our son-in-law," he said.

Mr Somjai said this was the fourth time he had set fire to their home. He gained access by breaking a window and had also damaged furniture, a wrought iron clothesline, and a mosquito screen. He said his son-in-law had once also set off an improvised explosive device at their place, hoping to blow them up.

Ms Orakanya said Sukphat had asked to move in with them, and they agreed because their daughter is pregnant with his child. "Police caught him once with 90 pills, and he suspects Somjai was behind that bust so felt vengeful," she said.

Mr Somjai, who described his son-in-law as a danger to society, said he had chased him away previously but he kept coming back. "We put up with it because our daughter is pregnant." Police are tracking him down.

Sad and sudden ending

A Samut Prakan man prone to jealousy and depression shot his wife to death and then took his own life as they lay together in the family bathtub.

sad scenes: The house where the couple died in the bath.

Akin Thammabuacha, 24, shot his wife Pattyada Leelathaweephat, also 24, with a Thai-modified .380 calibre gun, also found in the tub.

Family members prised open the bathroom door on the second storey of their home after calling and failing to get an answer.

The couple, who were naked, had shown no signs they were having problems, says Akin's younger brother, Wutthichai, 21, who was sleeping in his room opposite at the suspected time of death.

"I didn't notice anything odd, or hear the sound of the gun," said Mr Wutthichai. "They were both jealous types, though I took no notice as it was personal. When they argued, they would try not to let anyone else in the family see," he added.

The shooter's grandmother, Khan Kranbut, 67, said the couple left behind two children, a son aged two and a daughter aged six.

"They were married for ages but Akin had no work. Pattyada worked as an agent for a company selling second-hand houses. I saw them talking normally that morning; they said they'd take their little one to see the doctor," she said.

"At 3pm, the couple went upstairs and didn't return so I took the kids outside to play. When we returned I let the kids go up and knock on the door, but no one answered, so I assumed they were asleep.

"Akin's mother came back from work at 9pm, went up and knocked at the door, but still there was no answer. We took a knife and used it to prise open the door when we found their bodies in the tub," she said. Her grandson, she said, has a history of depression but was taking his meds.

Muang police head Pol Col Noppadon Changruan said police suspect Akin took his wife's life first, followed by his own, with jealousy and depression both probable factors.

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