Police have wrapped up their case against the suspected serial killer Sararat “Aem Cyanide” Rangsiwuthaporn, who is accused of fatally poisoning 14 people.
After an investigation that involved questioning more than 900 witnesses over three months, officers on Friday began turning over their files to prosecutors.
The 36-year-old suspect faces more than 75 charges — including premeditated murder, attempted murder, theft causing death, and forgery.
Fourteen victims died and one survived an alleged murder spree that spanned eight years from 2015 to 2023, said deputy national police chief Pol Gen Surachate Hakparn.
“This is a historic case in Thailand. Even Jack the Ripper from the UK did not kill this many,” Pol Gen Surachate said at a media briefing, referring to the notorious killer of at least five women in London in 1888.
Ms Sararat is pleading not guilty to the charges, according to police.
Some of the offences carry the death penalty, said Pol Col Anek Taosuphap, deputy commander of the Crime Suppression Division (CSD).
The 15 cases were spread over seven provinces — Nakhon Pathom, Samut Sakhon, Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi, Ratchaburi, Udon Thani and Mukdahan.
The investigation was expanded following the arrest of the suspect on April 25 in connection with the death of Siriporn “Koy” Khanwong.
Siriporn collapsed and died on the banks of the Mae Klong River in Ban Pong district of Ratchaburi, where she had just released fish for merit-making on April 14 with Ms Sararat. Cyanide was found in the victim’s bloodstream.
Pol Gen Surachate said police believed Ms Sararat, who was found to have been a heavy online gambler, killed her victims to steal their money or to free herself from the debts she owed them.
An examination of the money trail showed most of the victims were linked to her through private savings schemes and car-financing deals. All were found to have been with Ms Sararat shortly before they died, he said.
Pol Col Anek said Ms Sararat was believed to have mixed cyanide in the victims’ food — except in the Mukdahan case in which she allegedly sent “diet pills” to her victim, Sawittree Budsrirak, who died in 2020.
After poisoning the victims, the suspect stole their valuables including mobile phones to destroy evidence. She then falsified documents to lure their families into giving her money, he said.
Pol Col Thatsaphum Pitsamai, a senior investigator attached to the Provincial Police Region 4, said officers had obtained evidence to link the suspect with cyanide.
He said she had purchased the chemical from a supplier online and had it delivered by a messenger. The seized cyanide was among 2,000 bottles imported by the company in 2021.
Ms Sararat, who was four months pregnant when she was arrested, had a miscarriage in prison earlier this week and was sent to hospital, local media reported. Police denied that their interrogations contributed to the miscarriage.