Friday, August 10, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012
18

ANDREW DRUMMOND

BANGKOK - August 10 2012





Welsh police and the mother of Kirsty Jones who was murdered on this day in Chiang Mai 12 years ago made one more appeal today offering £10,000 (approx. 500,000 baht) for information leading to the killer.

It is Dyfed Powys Police's most important unsolved crime. Now with the Department of Special Investigations in charge and the offer of cash they are hoping that someone will step forward with information on Kirsty's brutal killer.

Detective Superintendent Andy John with Mrs. Sue Jones and their reward poster

In an emotional statement in Bangkok, having given a similar press conference in Chiang Mai, Mrs. Sue Jones said:
“I am convinced there is someone who has information that could lead to the arrest of the person who took away my daughter’s life.

“With the passing of time people’s loyalties change and relationships end which may remove any previous reluctance to come forward. Something small which may seem irrelevant at the time could now be significant and add news pieces to the jig-saw that the police already have.”

A press conference at the Plaza Athenae Hotel in Bangkok was attended by a small smattering of British media organisations – including the BBC, HTV Wales and the Sunday Times.  The more vital conference for the Thai media to broadcast the reward was held in Chiang Mai on Thursday.

Kirsty Jones was 23 when she was brutally murdered and raped in the Aree Guest House in Chiang Mai in August 2000.

A whole series of suspects, including foreign backpackers, the guest house’s Thai manager, and the guest house owner himself Andy Gill, were rounded up.  In the early stages the crime scene was trampled over by police.

Andrew Gill the public school owner of the Aree Guest House still remains the prime suspect of the Commissioner of Region 5 Royal Thai Police - says Chiangmai City News
Police falsely arrested a Karen hill tribe guide whose DNA was close to but not the same as the killer’s, then beat tortured him in an attempt to extract a confession.

They even at one stage suggested Kirsty was probably a willing participant in sex, finally closing the case claiming they believed Gill was the killer and the sperm found at the scene must have been purchased in Chiang Mai (from a lady boy or male prostitute or tuk tuk driver).

Colonel Suthep Dejraksa , the lead detective said at the time “the foreign murderer must have bought some Thai sperm.”

Those conclusions were intitially discredited by Chief Superintendent Steve Wilkins of Dyfed Powys police, then by Dr. Thanin Bhoopat, Chairman of the Department of Forensic Medicine at Chiang Mai University Hospital, again by Detective Chief Superintendent Steve Hughson and have this week again been denounced by Thailand’s Department of Special Investigations, who have taken over the enquiry from Chiang Mai Police.

Today, Detective Superintendent Andy John, of Dyfed Powys Police – the third Superintendent on Wales’s most important unsolved murder case – again specified that the DNA profile they had of the killer was Asian.

Andy Gill who had been re-interviewed in Britain with the co-operation of Scottish Police had been ruled out as a suspect. So too had other suspects including a Chiang Mai academic who had been referred to in a video put up by an elderly Australian former Chiang Mai resident.

Now Dyfed-Powys Police are hoping the reward will perhaps help jog some memories. It is not beyond the realms of imagination that there has been a conspiracy of silence.

Former Colonel Suthep Dejraksa is now Lieutenant General Suthep Dejraksa and Commissioner of the 5th Region Police comprising most of Northern Thailand and still does not appear to have changed his mind.

The Chiang Mai City News reported yesterday that only two months ago he said that that he still stood behind his theory that the guesthouse’s English owner, Andrew Gill, was the culprit and that the Asian DNA was planted.

In the light of that statement Superintendent John was asked whether he still had confidence in the Chiang Mai Police. Detective Superintendent John said he was very happy and pleased with Thai Police co-operation.

The DSI are building on a crime-DNA database. One hope is that this will eventually reveal the killer - but 12 years after the event, with all efforts by Chiang Mai Police, and the DSI, despite Dyfed-Powys Police optimism, for many its hard to see any resolution in sight.
N.B: Regrets for not carrying a  more newsy report.  But the reward has already been published not only yesterday, and this morning,  but even before Dyfed-Powys police arrived in Thailand. However I wish to keep this case in the public eye and also inform for those who were not around at the time. The press conference today was however a little bit rigid in so far as little deviation was allowed from the 'reward' agenda.

(Its not 'Life on Mars' any more.Ed.)

ITV/HTV Wales Report

Murder in Chiang Mai (The Times)

Earlier Dyfed-Powys Police visit

18 comments:

  1. The Dyfed police are doing their very best as indeed did Blair when he was prime minister. And it seems the embassy is doing all it can. I hope you are wrong that there is no resolution is sight.

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  2. I'll slightly amend that enigma if it sounds a bit negative. But an inescapable view is that this should have been solved by local policing. Its almost unbelievable that no word got out out, or if it did, it was stifled very quickly.The DNA should have been the icing on the cake in a case like this.There were so many regular irregularities (like Gill 'allegedly' paying out 12,000 sterling. Chiang Mai journalists (Thai) insisting that two men were spotted outside the guest house at the time; like a drunken policeman, once under suspicion but ruled out by the DNA, who boasted he liked anal sex with farang women (This happened while drunk with a British TV producer) Of course this is Thailand where fiction becomes fact - but someone walking into a guest house in the middle of Chiang Mai raping someone to the extent her screams are being heard, and then simply walking out is hard to take - and my concern has always been that there may have been been a damage limitation excercise and that's why this real killer will never be revealed. It is possible that if there is a cover up it cannot be reversed. If that's the case then its appalling and tragic for the family. But have I seen these sort of cover ups before? Yes but NOT specifically in the case of a the murder and rape of a backpacker - even though in the Katherine Horton murder on Koh Samui it was as usual the foreigners who were rounded up first. And of course we have been through the fiasco of deaths at the Downtown Inn in Chiang Mai.
    There was a time when Thai interpreters working for the British media in Chiang Mai were accused by the police of being traitors to Thailand. One cannot rule out the fact that assuming there are people out there who do know they might find it unpatriotic to their own country to provide information, which they misguidedly think will damage it.

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  3. No. It did not sound negative, AD

    We all know the reality here. Perhaps I should have worded it that I am hoping against hope that a resolution can be found. If loss of face can be avoided maybe a 'quiet' resolution can be found. The press conferences so far have been, correctly, guarded and have not ruffled feathers. Dyfed police and the mother have praised the cooperation now being given. Doing it the Thai way may work. Please edit if you feel this post may hinder a prosecution

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  4. One would almost think that only guys in uniform could get away with this, perhaps with rich daddies.

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  5. Well you are obviously right there in terms of not ruffling feathers. I thought perhaps that as they are spending a lot of money on the trip with a view to getting publicity for the reward, as well as having these short press conferences they could have contacted the right writers particularly Thai women journalists to present the very personal tragedy. This story really needs to tug the emotions of the people of Chiang Mai. But lets wait and see. Its more than possible that Sue Jones was probably not up to it although she has given one or two interviews in the UK.

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  6. I find it strange that the reward poster although written in Thai, quotes a figure in British Pounds. It is almost like they are appealing to a specific British Witness as many Thai's would not have any idea of what that value is in Thai Baht.

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  7. I did not realise that, AD. You are right. They should have involved the media more professionally to get results. But neither the mother, the police, or the embassy have the necessary PR skills needed. Hopefully the visit will now get wider and more relevant coverage. Appealing to the emotions of the Thai particularly women will be key.

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  8. Not sure how true this is, but I've read of some prime suspect(s) who are yet to provide DNA samples. If true wouldn't there be other ways to get it? Blood, semen, oral swab, hair. They aren't always legal, but private investigators have their ways. Searching through garbage for example. Pay off a mistress, a dentist. Get him drunk and...

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  9. It's twelve years on, DavidA

    For an on-the -spot account of that day 12 years ago read Pim Kemasingki's article yesterday at www.chiangmaicitynews.com

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  10. The investigation was a total mess from the start as the Thai media rampaged thru it all before the Police arrived --typical. They hauled in many people & blamed a foreigner yet the sperm was Thai--totally denied by the useless Police who under media pressure had to get the DSI in. They too by had problems as evidence was destroyed by the Press. Aree was a total dump of a place full of dropouts but sad that nothing was ever advanced. The Police tried to sweep it under the carpet a few times & it is believed one of them was involved?? Just hope the new reward will bring some closure.Andy's father paid the Feds 1m baht backhander to get out of jail & Thailand --the Police denied it of course? but Andy said it after leaving Thailand. Sad case indeed!!!!!!

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  11. enigma I'm aware of that. They have a DNA sample from semen which is purported to be the offender's. We can't be absolutely sure that wasn't planted, but it's what they have to work with. Apparently a certain academic is suspect and he's yet to be tested. His DNA hasn't changed in 12 years.

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  12. Dyfed Powys were a bit vaque on this academic. They said this had been dealt with last Summer but I can't find how. They also said that they did not have a suspect whose DNA matched.

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  13. That's exactly the point, DavidA

    The only DNA that can be used is that of which there is no suspicion of contamination or planting. I won't go into the forensics of it; but after 12 years unless there was properly obtained dna at the time it is not an issue. My guess is that there could be evidence other than dna. Dyfed police have to be careful how they approach this.

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  14. Lee the reward is in Thai above as well as 491,000baht? & in pounds in Thai. Quoting the English pounds if paid in sterling may be more favourable to whoever may decide to come forward???

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  15. Pepe. It's the Thai population that should be the target audience for information and the reward. The Dyfed police need a catylyst to kickstart this.

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  16. enigma, I would say we can use DNA even where such suspicion exists - we just need to incorporate that suspicion into any interpretations we make. And we can apply Holmes'ian deductive reasoning: Would the police frame their friend? What is the likelihood that the male police extracted/sourced semen from their male friend soon after the incident? (A mental picture tells a thousand words) If the crime scene DNA did match that of a police friend (hypothetically) i.e. one who we expect to be protected rather than framed by the police, and that person can be placed at the scene of the crime on the night (hypothetically) then we can be fairly sure the crime scene DNA did belong to the offender. IMO.

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  17. LOts of talk initially. Now everything has gone quiet. Much interest from expats, nothing from Thais

    The Gu Kailai trial is startingly similar. Reporters can't get comments from people in the street who seem afraid to talk publicly

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  18. Feel sorry for Kirsty's family that this has got nowhere but at least this site and farangs have kept it in the public domain. The Thais just can't lose face can they and all to save one man's skin. Good reporting by Pim but I think everyone realised that this case was just going through the motions. Maybe in 50 years time things will change

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