FISHERMAN RECALLED IN KOH TAO MURDER HUNT
LAST CCTV OF HANNAH WITHERIDGE
Thai police investigating the murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller on the holiday island of Koh Tao now fear that that they may be a copycat attack of the rape and murder of a Reading University student on the nearby island of Koh Samui.
Police have taken the details of the fishing boats moored off Sairee Beach on the island of Koh Tao, having admitted that both killers were Asian, and are now investigating the possibility that just like in the murder of Katherine Horton, 23, in Koh Samui in January 2006, the two latest victims might have been murdered by fishermen who swam ashore to wait for a foreign victim.
|Sue Jones in Bangkok trying to pressure police to find|
to her daughter's killers
As the mother of law graduate Kirsty Jones, 23, from Brecon, who was raped and murdered in Chiang Mai in August 2000 criticised Thai police for ‘learning nothing’ since the failed investigation of her daughter’s death. In that investigation they concentrated on foreigners and tried to force a confession from a Burmese-Karen tourist guide.
They initially charged the British owner of the Aree guest house Andy Gill with her murder but were forced to release him when the DNA was proved to be Asian. The detective in charge had said that the killer ‘could have bought the sperm from a male prostitute and introduced it to the crime scene.”
The Kirsty Jones crime scene was contaminated as was the crime scene on Sairee Beach by workers for foundations who act as an ambulance service. Some very nasty scenes of crime photographs were published on Thai websites and Facebook pages just as Thai newspapers published photos of Kirsty’s body.
– Thai police have however been comparing the case to that of Horton. In all three cases little information has come from the local community.
While this goes part of the way to explaining why they concerted their investigations on westerners and Burmese migrant labourers, it does not explain why police did not go to check on the fishermen in the first place.
At the time of the brutal murders last Monday morning when Hannah Witheridge, 23, from Great Yarmouth, and David Miller from Jersey were brutally clubbed and hacked to death, some ten fishing boats were lying offshore. Six of those boats have since left. It has not been stated whether they had all Thai or Thai and part Burmese crews.
|Handcuffed - Andy Gill - but he had to be released|
But Pol Col Kitthanes Thananunthawisin, chief of the Marine Police Division's sub-division 6 said he had the names of all the boats and they were being recalled.
Police also now say that they have gathered more DNA evidence from another cigarette butt found on a log near the scene while DNA evidence from a double penetration of Hannah shows has thrown up the DNA of two Asians.
They have also found footprints in a local garden where it is believed the hoe was taken from, and have been checking locals. And they have also taken into their possession a piece of wood which may have been a second murder weapon – as all the blood on a garden hoe found near the scene belonged to Hannah.
Thailand’s Deputy Police Chief Pol Gen Somyos Pumpanmuang, said he now believed that Hannah and David could have met and spoke with their killers shortly before the attacks. There is evidence Hannah might have shared a cigarette.
While the Thai police say their investigation has now made positive progress this is of no comfort to Sue Jones who has said on Facebook “I can't believe how these murders are following pretty much the exact same lines as Kirsty's , unbelievable. The Thais have learned nothing!!!”
Prior to police discovering that the killers were Asian she said:
“The DNA found should tell them if the perpetrators are British or Thai. If it turns out to be Thai that really will upset the apple cart as they are back to square one with not a clue which way to turn.
“Sad to say (I’ve) been here before, (I) feel so much for the families involved ,they are at the beginning of what will probably be a very long road.
And she had earlier commented: ‘Here we go again, botched investigation, DNA contaminated, red herrings everywhere.... Makes me so mad.”This case has angered me very much,the way it has been handled almost mirrors what happened in my daughters murder back in 2000.
The Thais have learned nothing...,
No sealing off of the crime scene,red herrings,false statements from the BIB,misleading info,first it's a Brit,then an immigrant,back to the Brit.
Thais say they make an arrest very soon,I have heard it all before.
The only reason the Brit in our case was released was DNA didn't match ,and the forensics guy in Chaingmai did narrow down the perpetrator to be southeast Asian.
Once the UK guys got involved the DNA was then sent for familiar testing,which was closely matched to a tour guide,but there is so much interbreeding with Karen tribes it's not as straight forward as it would be in the uk.
If the UK police are to be involved they have to be officially asked,through the proper channels I.e.fco and embassies have to send official letters of request,this can take months.
Have the Thais checked the lads DNA against what was found on Hannah?
I feel so sorry for the families,the press print stuff that there is no need to print,graphic details that only hurt even more.
No matter what your kids get up to they are still your kids and no one likes to think of them in a "bad"way.
We were so glad when the pm results come back for our daughter,no drugs or alcohol ,not because she didn't drink or no doubt tried a spiff,but because if she had it would no doubt have been her fault she was raped and murdered.
The Thais don't seem to care that they are failing badly and loss of face over a Thai committing the crime seems more important than actually solving the murders.
Personally I don't see this being solved,I hope I am wrong.
I've been trying for 14 years and am no further on......people know,but no one will talk, even for a reward."
There is no evidence of DNA contamination and the Royal Thai Police have sought the assistance of the FBI in getting more exact DNA profiles but apart from the presence of David Miller there are uncanny similarities to the murder of Katherine Horton.
On New Year’s night 2006 Katherine was sitting on the beach in an evening dress outside her chalet when she received a call from her mum and taken a stroll along Lamai Beach in Koh Samui in January 26th as they chatted together when she was attacked.
Her attackers were two Thai fishermen, Bualoi Posit, and Wichai Somkhaoyai, 24, who had spent the earlier part of the evening drinking and watching porn moves and had swum ashore for some action.
After both were arrested and confessed, Somkhaoyai, further confessed he had raped women in the past. It transpired that they had beaten Katherine, raped her, and then threw her into the sea. She was not quite dead when her body entered the sea.
After the attack both men swam back to their fishing boat and boasted to their colleagues. The foreign woman, they said, was ‘roi’ – delicious. (roi is the southern Thai abbreviation of the Thai word aroi).
No-one thought to tell police – but after murder squad detectives arrived from Bangkok.
The slow and haltering beginning of the Thai murder investigation, the most vital time of any investigation, is being blamed on local police, who did not seal off the island, as was reported.
|Somkhaoyai and Bualoi sentenced to death but later reprieved|