Thai local people gathered on the popular island of Koh Si Chang, just 12 km from Chonburi and north-west of Pattaya on Tuesday. They came to remember the beautiful 27-year-old German woman who lost her life in an unspeakable atrocity on Sunday last. The local Mayor and island leader led the community in an emotional goodbye ceremony at the site of the young woman’s murder following a callous sexual assault and rape. The gathering was respectful, humble and sincere. The Mayor acknowledged that the 24-year-old Thai man who perpetrated the heinous act on Sunday was one of their own and expressed ‘heartfelt sorrow’ for what had occurred. On Tuesday morning, the killer was brought back to the island by Thai police to reenact the crime and was harangued by locals who vented their disgust at his crime.

They now call him ‘Ai Korn’ or ‘the devil Korn’ which is the nickname that locals on Koh Si Chang island have given the 24-year-old Thai man and one of their own, Ronnakorn Romruen, who callously and brutally raped and then murdered 27-year-old German woman Miriam Beelte this weekend. On Tuesday, the killer returned to the island escorted by 40 Thai police officers to stage a reenactment of his appalling crime. A picture released by police of the hooded accused raising a rock over a female actor taking Ms Beelte place lying prone and helpless on the ground is truly horrifying. It reminds us that truly, evil came to life on a beautiful Thai island last Sunday afternoon.

Evil struck the island of Koh Si Chang last Sunday afternoon when a local man raped and bludgeoned a young German tourist to death in an appalling and shocking crime. The killer, 24-year-old Ronnakorn Romruen is shown hooded in the photo here as he reenacts the moment that he used a large rock to batter the life out of the defenceless 27-year-old German woman as she lay at his mercy. Miriam Beelte is played here by a Thai female standing in. This followed her unfortunate fall after she had escaped from her attacker who had raped and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Now known on the idyllic island by the tight-knit local community as ‘Ai Korn’ or ‘the devil Korn’ the actions of the rapist and killer have appalled and disgusted the community there and throughout all of Thailand. The local island population held a ceremony led by the local mayor Damrong Phetra to say goodbye to the young German woman at the spot where she died and express ‘heartfelt’ sorrow and remorse for what happened on the island last Sunday. As the Thai police brought the 24-year-old man back to the island also on Tuesday to conduct the reenactment, they were met at many points with expressions of disgust and anger at what the young man had done driven by lust and illegal drugs on a Sunday afternoon in what is otherwise and normally a paradise.

In the aftermath of the brutal rape and murder of 27-year-old German woman Miriam Beelte from Hildesheim in Germany, Thai authorities have been carrying forward their investigation while local leaders on the island of Koh Si Chang where the brutal murder occurred, have been paying their respects to the young German woman.

Community on Thai island express grief and sadness at rape and murder of German woman

This week, the Lord Mayor of the island Damrong Phetra, lead the local community in expressing their grief. The gathering included hundreds of residents of the small island who turned up at the spot where she was so brutally and callously murdered on Sunday last by 24-year-old local man, Ronnakorn Romruen, who is now known on the island and throughout Thailand as ‘the devil Korn’ after news of his vile and evil actions last Sunday afternoon spread. The murderer and rapist is now being held in police custody and is assisting them with their intense investigation into the outrage that has tarnished the image of Thailand and its people.

Koh Si Chang island leader acknowledges damage done by ‘one of us’ as they gathered at the site where 27-year-old Miriam Beelte lost her life

The Lord Mayor of the island, Damrong Phetra, expressed the views of the Thai people in Koh Si Chang who gathered yesterday in sorrow and humility after the outrage. ‘We are grief-stricken. This has never happened here before. Worse still is that the criminal is one of us and acted against a foreign visitor to our island.’ The local leader went on to acknowledge the damage that the act had done not only to the island but Thailand as a whole and its image as one of the world’s premier tourist locations. ‘As the leader of the community here, we wanted to express our heartfelt sorrow with flowers and wais of goodbye for the victim at the site of her death,’ he said.

Normally busy tourist island deserted after outrage

On Tuesday this week, the normally busy Koh Si Chang which is a favourite not only with international and foreign tourists but also tourist from within Thailand, was reported to be nearly deserted. A local restaurant owner confirmed the catastrophe for local traders and business people when she explained to the media that following news of the shocking rape and murder, most tourists simply took their leave of the island. The 37-year-old made an emotional appeal to foreigners and tourists to ‘please come back’. ‘The bad guy is gone,’ Rattiya Sangthong exclaimed. ‘Only the good guys are left.’

Thai woman, a local trader, says crime has shaken ‘public morale’ and is a tragedy for islanders

The local woman explained that the criminal action of the 24-year-old islander, Ronnakorn Romruen, is a tragedy for the local community. ‘This crime has shaken public morale. I’ve never seen such a horrible crime on Koh Si Chang in the past 37 years.’ Her thoughts were echoed by a Thai woman, Patcharee Thongpheng, a 49-year-old Thai tourist, one of the small number of travellers visiting the island on Tuesday. ‘It was a terrible crime. Since it happened I have been taking greater measures for my own personal protection,’ she explained. She said that women were moving about the island in groups.

Foreigners online sympathize with local traders on a Thai tourist island, a favourite spot

Meanwhile, support for the islanders and Koh Si Chang’s traders have been coming from an unlikely quarter, foreigners living in Thailand or regular visitors to the country. Normally highly critical and cynical about the shortcoming of the country, many online commentators have pointed to the fact that the culprit was quickly apprehended by Thai police in a police operation that was exemplary and swift. There is no doubt that the Thai police have the right man in custody.

Local islanders helped Thai police apprehend the culprit quickly last Sunday evening

One foreigner explained: ‘I would go back there. I have been there with the family a few times now. He explained that the island of Koh Si Chang is a beautiful spot with a normally peaceful environment and scenic walks. He said that it would be very sad if the local, hard-working people on the island were to be destroyed by one ‘crazy nutter’ high on illegal drugs. Another foreign commentator praised the attitude of the local people on the island who had swiftly helped the police to identify and arrest the perpetrator.

Thai people show disgust at the killer by nicknaming him ‘Ai Korn’ or ‘The Devil Korn’

Thai media, as well as international news outlets, have been covering the story. There is a deep sense of concern and feeling in Thailand at the incident and how the country is perceived by foreigners abroad. The killer, high on the deadly crystal ice drug or amphetamine has been labelled by Thai media as ‘Ai Korn’ which means ‘The Devil Korn’ in the Thai language. The term comes from the Thai expression ‘Ai’ which means devil or a person who has committed a grievous crime. Thai people have now combined this with the abbreviation or a shortened version of the killer’s name which is ‘Korn’ to create the notorious nickname. It indicates the anger and revulsion among the Thai public over the appalling act that they would apply such a label.

Killer may face the death penalty

93% of Thai people still support the death penalty in Thailand for heinous crimes. The perpetrator is already facing the charge of premeditated murder and rape. However, this is a matter for a Thai court and the judicial process. The killer’s quick and full confession to his appalling actions will be a mitigating factor.

Drugs, the sight of the attractive looking German woman and the fact that she was alone were factors that influenced the killer

24-year-old Ronnakorn Romruen worked on the island as a rubbish collector. It is an occupation of many of Thailand’s poorer citizens who make money from collecting old trash, sorting it and then selling the produce to dealers. It is understood that ‘Ai Korn’ was high on drugs before he met the German woman at approximately 1 pm last Sunday having taken the crystal meth drug now widely popular and available for as little as $1 a shot. He has explained to the Thai police that the influence of the drug was a key factor that impacted his state of mind.

He said that the sight of the attractive 27-year-old German woman left him in a state of arousal which catapulted him into his diabolical escapade which has stunned the island, his nation and the whole world. He also admitted to Thai police that the fact that the beautiful young woman was travelling alone was also a factor that influenced him. The local man is from the Tha Thewawong district of the island, a busy community with many small shops and traders.

Killer returns to Koh Si Chang to retrace the hellish steps of his criminal acts last Sunday

‘Ai Korn,’ the notorious killer was brought back to the island of Koh Si Chang last Tuesday to recreate the circumstances of the crime for police investigators. It has been a routine procedure for Thai police for over a century to stage reenactments of all crimes as part of the investigative procedure. This saw the 24-year-old Ronnakorn Romruen on the island where he attended 5 locations associated with the crime.

At Step One: ‘Ai Korn’ saw a ‘good looking woman travelling alone’ and asked her for sex

The first location was where he initially encountered 27-year-old Miriam Beelte. He has told investigating Thai police officers that he saw a ‘good looking woman travelling alone’. He is also reported to have propositioned Ms Beelte quite forwardly, for sex but she ignored him. The Thai man is reported to have parked his motorbike and bought flowers. He then proceeded to follow Ms Beelte along a well-known path which leads to a platform flying a flag dedicated to Thailand’s King Rama V or Chulalongkorn.

Locals gathered on Tuesday morning to harangue and insult the local man who killed and raped the German woman on Sunday

As Thai police brought the 24 year accused back to the scene on Tuesday, many locals gathered to vocally express their disgust at the Thai man and his despicable actions. He was accompanied by up to 40 Thai police officers including the Deputy Superintendent of the Thai police in Chonburi province, Police Colonel Sakrapee Priewpanich. The operation took place at approximately 10 am in the morning. The police boss told reporters that the reenactment operation had been a success

Thai police confirm that the German woman, Miriam Beelte, was very badly beaten by the accused Thai man who killed her with a rock

Earlier this week, Thai police confirmed that Ms Beelte entered Thailand on March 23rd on her vacation. She was staying in Pattaya and had been on an excursion to the island. She had arrived on the island at noon and encountered the Thai man who would ultimately kill her, at 1 pm. Her body was found at 6 pm by an island local person out walking. When police arrested the 23-year-old Ronnakorn Romruen in the early hours of the next morning, he was still wearing clothes stained with the blood of Miriam Beelte. Senior police officer and spokesman  Police Colonel Krissana Pattanacharoen confirmed to the AFP News agency this week that, as well as being raped, the young woman was very badly beaten by the perpetrator.

Horrific scene from crime reenactment on Koh Si Chang where hooded killer holds rock over female actor in place of Miriam Beelte

The 27-year-old Ms Beelte is reported to have had a broken leg, neck and to have suffered serious injuries to her face after the crazed killer bludgeoned her with a large rock. At the reenactment on Tuesday, the sight of the hooded killer holding a large rock over a Thai female participating in the reenactment looked like something akin to something from a horror movie.

Second step: killer shows Thai police where he raped the 27-year-old German woman and forced her into performing oral sex on him

As onlooker persisted in uttering condemnations and outpourings of their disgust at his actions on Tuesday, the killer ‘Ai Korn’ was lead to the 2nd location of his appalling crime. This was where he had launched his physical and sexual assault on Ms Beelte who was wearing light summer clothing. Police have recovered pictures of her from CCTV footage showing the woman on her rented motorbike. After overpowering the woman, the Thai man, inflamed with sexual desire and enhanced by the amphetamine drugs (which causes chronic users to often lose their sense of judgment), forced the German woman to perform oral sex. He is also reported to have pinned down the 27-year-old Ms Beelte and raped her. It is reported that, at some point, the German woman had managed to free herself from the Thai man and made to flee down a stairway from the higher scenic point.

Third step: Thai man killed the German woman with a rock as she lay on the ground at his mercy

Unfortunately, it appears that Ms Beelte lost her footing at some stage during her escape and the killer came upon her again. The German woman may have, in fact, broken her leg while making her escape. On Tuesday, the 24-year-old Thai man accused of her rape and murder pointed out to Thai police the exact location where he took a rock and inflicted the lethal wounds on the young woman as she lay prostrate on the ground. It has not, however, been confirmed yet as to how Ms Beelte suffered a broken leg.

This was reported on Sunday and would have left her at her attacker’s mercy. If so, her attacker showed no mercy. The killer ‘Ai Korn’ or 24-year old Ronnakorn Romruen, remorselessly, viciously and brutally executed the young German woman. He has already admitted doing so to prevent the young German woman from reporting his vile sexual attack to the police.

Fourth step: the 24-year-old Ronnakorn Romruen moved the body and attempted to conceal it

The fourth location significant to the abominable crime was where the 24-year-old Thai man dragged the German woman’s body to conceal it and his criminal actions. This was a point near the stairway leading to the top or platform area where the sex attack had commenced. The killer attempted to conceal the German woman’s body under rocks and been used leaves as he tried to cover up his bloody work.

Fifth step: an alert and vital witness sighted the killer’s blood-stained shirt and questioned him

The fifth location and perhaps the key to the ability of local Thai police to so quickly being able to solve the crime was a flower stall. On Sunday afternoon, a vital witness at this location had asked the 24-year-old Thai man, Ronnakorn Romruen, why his shirt was covered in blood as he made his way through the area. The killer dismissed the question and made his getaway in short order.  

Thailand is safe for modern, western women despite this appalling act which has generated revulsion throughout Thailand

There has been huge international coverage of the rape and murder with particular interest from audiences in Europe, Scandinavia and the UK. This appalling act of one Thai man has brought shame on Thailand and caused a headache for Thai tourist chiefs who in today’s modern world, are successfully marketing Thailand as a highly popular destination with well off and independent western women.

The quick action on Sunday by Thai police and the genuine strength of feeling and revulsion against what has happened should be noted by foreign audiences. They should also note that for all this, Thailand has a relatively low crime rate and remarkably lower rates of rape that many, safe, western states such as the United States or Sweden. Although the USA and Sweden are all safe countries, the incidence of rape is eight to ten times lower in Thailand than in Sweden and four to five times lower than in America.

Mother of the killer urges her son to accept punishment for his evil actions last Sunday

The tragedy and human devastation caused by the evil actions of one young, deranged man could also be seen from another, peculiar vantage on Tuesday. The mother of ‘Ai Korn,’ now vilified and loathed amongst the tight-knit islanders of Koh Si Chang, Thailand and the international world brought her son a change of clothes to the local police station on the island. The 43-year-old Thai woman, Nonglak Phosaeng, in no way, excused her young son’s unspeakable and evil actions.

She urged her son to accept whatever punishment will be forthcoming for his depraved acts. This came just before Thai police applied to the Thai courts for a 12 day detention period while they continue their investigation.

Thai man facing the gravest of criminal charges

The 24-year-old is now facing charges of premeditated murder, rape and concealment of a body. The killer’s mother described her son as ‘a quiet man who kept himself to himself listening to music and watching movies’ and confessed that she could not imagine her son carry out the appalling cruel and callous acts that The police now have little reason to doubt that he did and in a merciless fashion. But then, love is blind.

Shock and trauma of German friends and family of the 27-year-old German woman

The Thai mother’s suffering must surely be exceeded by the shock and trauma afflicting friends and family in Germany as the news of the fate of the young and vivacious German woman, Miriam Beelte, has had time to be digested. While Thai authorities have quickly identified the killer and rapist, the pursuit of justice for the 27-year-old German woman is all that can be done now, at this point.

Evil came to life on a Thai island this Sunday

Finally, as the locals in Koh Si Chang seek to assure foreign travellers that ‘Ai Korn’ or the ‘Devil Korn’ is gone from the island after Tuesday’s reenactment perhaps never to return, it reminds us that evil took life last Sunday on the beautiful Thai island Koh Si Chang as can happen anywhere on earth.

It was an evil that can easily be explained. The evil of illicit drugs where someone can unlock the latent evil that lies lurking in many human beings particularly men. It points to the absolute necessity of Thai authorities to protect Thai people and foreigners alike not only just from outrages like this but also the insidious danger of illegal drugs.

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Further reading:

Shocking rape and murder of German woman does not mean Thailand is unsafe for western women holidaying