Triple murder-suicide stuns community in northern Thailand

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

In a shocking discovery at a newly built residence in Udon Thani, Thailand, a gardener found three bodies lying side by side, in the aftermath of an apparent murder-suicide involving a retired police officer. The deceased included the homeowner, her sister, and the ex-officer, who were to celebrate a housewarming and birthday tomorrow, March 14.

Police Colonel Pattanawong Janphol, the chief of Udon Thani City Police Station, was informed of a shooting incident that claimed three lives at a house in the Non-Duea area of Udon Thani Province, yesterday at around 8am. Police, rescue workers, and forensic doctors immediately rushed to the scene to investigate.

The tragedy unfolded at a luxurious half-wood, half-concrete residence set on a 20-acre estate. The victims were found by the 50 year old gardener, Pibul, as he arrived for work.

He was met with a horrific scene: the 52 year old owner of the house, Suthathip, her 62 year old sister, Pimpila, and the 63 year old retired officer, Somdet, a close friend of the homeowner, were all lying dead. Each had been shot with a 9mm pistol, which was found between the legs of Somdet, leading to speculation that he had turned the gun on himself after killing the two women.

The events unfolded in a home where the three individuals had lived together for nearly a decade. Police Colonel Janphol and his team discovered that Suthathip had been shot in the mouth with the bullet exiting through the head.

Pimpila suffered three gunshot wounds to the mouth, shoulder, and waist. Somdet appeared to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the temple. Investigators recovered five 9mm cartridge cases at the scene and another ten unspent rounds.

Speculation on motive

The motive behind the grisly murder-suicide remains under investigation. However, initial speculation suggests a domestic dispute between Suthathip and Somdet as a possible trigger.

The retired officer might have been overwhelmed by the constant nagging from Suthathip or by financial troubles, including debts owed to fellow police officers from his service days, leading to a heated argument and the subsequent killings, reported KhaoSod.

The local community is in shock over the incident, especially since the house was about to host a combined birthday and housewarming celebration on March 14. The head of the local village, whose name is reserved, reported that loud arguments and gunshots had been heard from the house the previous evening, although nothing seemed amiss upon checking.

The revelation of the deaths came as a surprise to everyone, including Suthathip’s aunt, Sophon, who expressed disbelief that family disagreements could escalate to such a tragic end.

If you or anyone you know is in emotional distress, please contact the Samaritans of Thailand 24-hour hotline: 02 713 6791 (English), 02 713 6793 (Thai), or the Thai Mental Health Hotline at 1323 (Thai). Please also contact your friends or relatives at this time if you have feelings of loneliness, stress, or depression. Seek help.

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Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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