Connect with us


American Fanelli sentenced to 10 years for Phuket bar girl murder

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: American Ronald “Mad Yank” Fanelli has been sentenced to 10 years and three months imprisonment for the stabbing murder of bar hostess Wanphen Pienjai last year.

Phuket Provincial Prison Director Rapin Nichanon today confirmed that the court’s decision was handed down on Tuesday.

The sentence will be reduced by the 471 days Fanelli has already been detained, he added.

Fanelli has the right to appeal the decision, although details of the conditions of an appeal have yet to be announced.

“Under policy, Phuket Prison accommodates prisoners serving sentences up to 15 years, so he can stay here if chooses to.

“However, he has the right to contact his embassy and apply to be transferred to another prison, such as Klong Prem Prison in Bangkok, which would be more convenient for him if he wants to stay in regular contact with embassy officials,” Chief Rapin said.

“He returned from Suan Saranrom Hospital in Surat Thani only a few days ago. This was the second time he was sent there for psychiatric treatment. The first time he spent many months receiving treatment there,” he added.

In March this year, Fanelli told the Phuket Gazette in an exclusive interview that conditions at the overcrowded Phuket Prison were making him ill.

Phuket Prison is currently home to nearly 1,600 prisoners. The facility was originally designed to house about 1,000 inmates.

During the interview, Fanelli said that overcrowding at the prison had led to a lack of cleanliness that caused him to contract scabies and other infections.

He added that he continued to suffer from “the stress of having to watch out for my own physical safety as well as that of my friends who are weaker than me.”

At a press conference in July last year, Fanelli confessed to killing Miss Pienjai by stabbing her, but said it was an “accident”.

Presented by police at the same press conference were items to be used as evidence to show that Fanelli disposed of Miss Pienjai’s body by stuffing it into a large suitcase – posthumously breaking both of her legs.

He carried the suitcase by motorbike and dumped it in a remote part of Phuket’s Wichit sub-district, several kilometers from his rented home.

Fanelli, who was a professional poker player, earned the name “Mad Yank” among fellow players for his often boisterous demeanor.

Columnist Victoria Coren wrote an article in the British newspaper The Guardian, about her friendship with Fanelli when he was participating in poker competitions.

To see video of Ronald Fanelli confessing to the killing of Ms Pienjai, click here.

— Atchaa Khamlo


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

New site for foreigner vaccine; Mor Prom deletes appointments

Politics3 hours ago

Facebook fake news post suggesting a coup faces prosecution

Koh Samui7 hours ago

UPDATED: Samui Covid-19: 14 new Black Club infections, 2nd small cluster

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand8 hours ago

40,000 cases a day could happen by September, says projection

Phuket8 hours ago

Phuket Sandbox Covid-19 infections: 35 today, 209 this week

Thailand9 hours ago

Prayut says he will not resign, warns politicians to behave

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand10 hours ago

Bangkok Train market to possibly close for good

Coronavirus (Covid-19)11 hours ago

Border between Kanchanaburi and Myanmar closed until…

Thailand11 hours ago

Covid UPDATE: 18,912 infections, provincial totals

Coronavirus (Covid-19)12 hours ago

PCD says don’t throw away used masks in water bottles after infections linked to bottles

Thailand13 hours ago

Government says it’s okay to criticise them, if it’s fact based

Thailand14 hours ago

Bangkok volunteer group “Sai Mai Will Survive” overwhelmed with calls

Coronavirus (Covid-19)15 hours ago

Phuket reservations slow down for August

Thailand18 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 18,912 infections, news briefs

Drugs24 hours ago

Police nab 600kg heroin drug bust, year’s biggest in Northeast

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism5 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand6 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8