Golden Triangle Digest: Late Night Weekend Edition, December 6th, 2020
I'm stuck in Folsom Prison, and time keeps draggin' on.
To all expats and readers,
The train keeps on rollin',
rollin' round the bend,
and I ain't seen the sunshine,
since I don't know when...
I can relate to Johnny Cash here. The past week has seen me chained to the keyboard, clacking away to push out as many hard-hitting true crime stories from Thailand as physically possible.
And I'd like to think I'm doing a damn good job at that.
We had a helluva week. Finding that titillating promotional video of the Burmese hotel where the COVID-girls worked. Reporting on the Udon Thani knife-killer, Jack. Along with plenty of yaba-dabba-doo, of course.
It wouldn't be true crime digest without those sweet red pills.
These headlines and more dominated the latter half of the week:
Leader of Drug Cartel Fled to Myanmar to Escape Arrest; Snuck Back into Thailand Fleeing COVID-19
When: December 3rd, 2020
Where: Doi Sa Ngo Viewpoint, Si Don Mun subdistrict, Chiang Sean district, Chiang Rai province
Perpetrators: Mr. Kriangkrai, nickname O Lai, 29
Victims: Thai society
What: The leader of a drug cartel in Lamphun and Chiang Mai province was arrested today on the Doi Sa Ngo Viewpoint in the mountainous border region of Chiang Rai this morning. He was found camping in a tent, enjoying the cool air according to reports.
The arrest is very timely, considering everything that's transpiring from the illegal entry of Thai girls working in Myanmar, who have allegedly brought COVID-19 back into Thailand.
Mr. Kriangkrai, nickname O Lai, initially fled to Myanmar after 5 warrants were issued for his arrest by Thai law enforcement. He was wanted for drug sale and distribution, assault, and firearms offenses.
He came back into Thailand recently to escape the COVID-19 epidemic in Myanmar. Police found and arrested him in his tent on the mountain.
My take: The border region between Myanmar and Thailand is very porous. The cases of COVID-19 that came from the girls who snuck back into the country highlights the problem. But it's been a problem for a long time. I'd bet that we'll see more and more cases like this, some with COVID19, in the coming months.
It wouldn’t be SEA without a little TA
If you can’t work out those two acronyms, perhaps the next story can help.
More details about the “hotel workers” who snuck back into Thailand from Myanmar have been released to the public. Lurid details about the first girl reported to have COVID-19 paint a naughty little portrait. She went to a gigolo bar in the Santitham neighborhood of Chiang Mai and picked out the two finest studs at the place and took them both on in the same night.
We also found a promotional video from the hotel where the COVID-girls worked. It’s well-worth the watch. When I wrote the piece, I’d watched it 9 times for research purposes. I’ve seen it at least 2,491 times now:
Marketing Video from the 1G1 Hotel, Associated with COVID-19 Outbreak, Shows Off Goods
We can't confirm or deny that the girls in the video are employees at the hotel.
When: December 2nd, 2020
Where: Tachileik, Myanmar
Perpetrators: The infamous COVID-19 hotel
Victims: Thai society
What: The hotel associated with the COVID-19 cases that were brought into Thailand put out a YouTube marketing video on December 2nd, 2020. The video showcases the different rooms and amenities that they offer.
Of particular interest is the hotel's pool, where one may find a fine selection of smiling and attractive girls.
My take: I watched the video 9 times before making this post. It's that good.
My whole world doesn’t revolve around drugs and tits and ass. I have a heart, too.
And so does the husband of a woman that was killed by a bus in a motorbike accident last year.
The story pulled on my heart strings and although it wasn’t sensational, I felt it was necessary to do my part and get this man’s story heard.
I feel good about stories like this. And I feel great that I’m free to report on what I choose.
Here’s the story, as it was:
Tribute to Wife Killed by Bus is also Plea for Justice in Bangkok
The husband is unemployed due to COVID-19.
When: December 4th, 2020
Where: Chatuchak district, Bangkok
Perpetrators: Unnamed bus driver of Bus 39
Victims: Mrs. Duangjai
What: On October 15th, 2020, a tragic accident took the life of Mrs. Duangjai, the wife of a man who has now set up a tribute in the middle of a busy intersection of Bangkok's Chatuchak district. At the midnight hour of December 4th, 2020, the deceased's husband, Mr. Chokchai Bai Pruek, 36, laid down a humble mat with a photo of his wife and a sign that called for justice.
The accident in October involved a bus that hit Mrs. Duangjai as she was going to work on a motorbike driven by her 17 year old son. The bus hit the motorcycle, flipping it over, and the bus repeatedly drove over the Mrs. Duangjai's body, and she died at the scene.
Mrs. Duangjai's husband is now seeking justice as there has been no court ruling or settlement for funeral costs and loss of life. It is reported that Mr. Chokchai is currently unemployed as an electrician due to the COVID-19 economic devastation.
My take: Thais know how to pluck at the heart strings to achieve something. We don't know the full motivations of the deceased's husband, but his approach has caught my attention. Setting up a humble mat and memorial for his wife at a busy intersection is sure to draw attention to his cause. I wish him the best.
We did one tribute, and we’ll do one more.
Another tragedy, this time in Udon Thani. The two young girls killed by a knife-wielding madman on Saturday, December 5th, deserve to be remembered.
And that’s not to say I won’t cover the killer, Jack. Because I have with a report that went viral on Facebook about the killing-spree here and a sensational report about his involvement with Khmer black magic here.
Two young girls were taken from this world too early. We do the work here at True Crime Thailand for them. For victims of violent crime, scams, torture, terrorism, rape, the nameless faces that walk among us that suffer a mark that should never have been. We write these articles to inform the public about the truth. So that we may make informed decisions to protect ourselves and our loved ones.
It’s good to remember why we do what we do. And these two girls are at the top of our list:
Update in Udon Thani: Let's Honor the Fallen
May their families find peace in this time.
When: December 6th, 2020
Where: Udon Thani city
Perpetrators: "Mr. Jack", alias for murderer according to reports
Victims: Ms. Chalada Phinkham, 22, deceased; Ms. Anchaya Boonyingyuan, 16 , deceased; 5 others injured
What: More details about the grisly spree-killing yesterday in Udon Thani are slowly being reported.
This morning we learn about Ms. Chalada Phinkham, taken at 22 years old by the knife-killer.
Her friends knew her as Nong Jun Hin Kham. She was studying management at Udon Thani Rajabhat University, in her 4th year, just months from graduating.
We also learn about the second girl killed, Ms. Anchaya Boonyingyuan, 16 years old. She was in Grade 5 at Udon Pittayanukul School.
Relatives are mourning the loss.
My take: Thailand Crime & Breaking News in English sends our condolences.
What’s the 411 this week?
We have a few exciting projects underway:
You can expect a special report on Asia’s largest historical drug bust to be sent out Monday December 7th. I’m tentatively calling it, “Myanmar's Apocalyptic Drug Bust was Biggest Ever in Asia”, but I’ll finalize that when it’s pushed out.
I’m also in the research stage of an in-depth look at the 2011 Mekong River massacre, which you can read about here. I’m pairing the deep-dive into the historical events and fallout with a film review of Operation Mekong, a 2016 Hong Kong-Chinese produced true crime film that dramatized the events. It’s gonna be great!
Finally, I’m poring over 100+ articles about Thailand’s former Deputy Commerce Minister Banyin Tangpakorn and the murder and fraud that surrounds him. It’s an insanely twisted story with a cast of characters longer than a Dostoevsky novel. That will be pushed out by year’s end, and writing it will completely dominate my holidays.
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I’m at your service,
True Crime Thailand