The suspect had been released in 2019 for attempted murder in another case.
On February 18th, 2021, police in Nong Khai were notified of a killing where a man was beheaded. Officers responded to the scene and found the body of Mr. Suriya Somboon, age 66, chairman of the Baan Thon subdistrict council. His corpse laid flat and his head cut off in his home.
Police went on the hunt for the culprit. Later in the day Mr. Wichian Chaiyanut, 31 years old, came to the police station to confess to the crime. He carried the bloody machete he used in the attack.
After an initial round of interrogation, officers revealed that Mr. Wichian had a mental illness but was not on drugs. He was reportedly drunk during the attack. Mr. Suriya, the victim, was the suspect’s neighbor.
Mr. Wichian broke into Mr. Suriya’s home, slashed the victim’s neck, then proceeded to decapitate the victim. The suspect then carried Mr. Suriya’s head in the front of the motorbike basket to the Mekong River around 3 kilometers away from the crime scene.
The victim’s head was found later in the evening in the Mekong River.
Officers said that Mr. Wichian had been convicted of attempted murder in 2019 and after being released had developed a mental illness. Relatives took him to a psychiatric hospital but he hadn’t been for some time.
Video of Mr. Wichian’s arrest:
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My take: Time after time suspects in the crimes I cover had recently been in and out of jail for offenses of the same nature. There’s a fine line between expecting the same and expecting rehabilitation — what is that line?
I don’t think we will ever know.
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