Thai 'Jack the Ripper' gets death sentence

Thai 'Jack the Ripper' gets death sentence

Somkid: Killed hotel maid
Somkid: Killed hotel maid

The Khon Kaen provincial court has handed down the death sentence to serial killer Somkid Pumpuang for the murder of a 51-year-old hotel maid in Khon Kaen’s Kranuan district in December 2019.

In a statement released by the court’s public relations office yesterday, the court on March 14 this year sentenced the defendant to death for premeditated murder. It also handed down a one-year-and-four-month prison term for concealing a body and a three-year jail term for theft.

The victim, identified only as Ratsami, 51, was found strangled on Dec 15 with no other physical injuries. Her body was found wrapped in a blanket, naked from the waist down. There were no signs of a struggle in the house.

It was reported that Somkid got to know Ratsami via Facebook, then moved into her house in Kranuan district on Dec 2, or 13 days before she was murdered.

Somkid, who had been released on parole in early 2019, was arrested on Dec 18 same year a Bangkok-bound train at Pak Chong station in Nakhon Ratchasima after a passenger identified him.

He was charged with premeditated murder, concealing a body, and theft.

According to the court, even though the defendant confessed during police interrogation it was because he was compelled by evidence and he reversed his statement during the trial. The court also said the defendant, now 55, showed no remorse and posed a great danger to public safety.

The court said it found no reason to reduce the sentences for the defendant who was arrested six months after serving the jail terms for his previous offences.

Dubbed the “Jack the Ripper of Thailand” by the media, Somkid, a native of the southern province of Trang, had been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in 2005 for the murders of five women who were nightclub singers or masseuses at hotels in Mukdahan, Lampang, Trang, Udon Thani and Buri Ram provinces.

The Appeal Court sentenced him to life imprisonment in August 2012. He applied for parole and got it. The Corrections Department said he was a “model prisoner”.

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