It is a nightmare tale complete with a ghost. The headman of the community has told the media that he believes the spirit of the 41-year-old deceased woman does not yet know that she has died and is still present at the property.
A 45-year-old Thai man has been charged by Udon Thani police with the death on Saturday night of his 41-year-old wife of three years in a drunken stupor after being out earlier that evening drinking at a friend’s house.
It is another one of these hair raising stories from Thailand’s provinces that are harrowing and show the thin line that many poorer people walk in lives which can quickly turn into situations that would drive a normal person to insanity.
While most people get on with things and live within limited and constricted means, these stories regularly remind us of the kingdom’s distinctly animated culture which still, unfortunately, tolerates violence to women by emotional men.
Last Saturday night, 45-year old Somdej Yan Phimai was out drinking at a friend’s house with his wife or living partner of three years, 41-year-old Lam Prai Khokwattanakun. The pair were quite intoxicated as they made their way home in the Muang area of Udon Thani.
Quarrel began in the car on the way home when the man’s wife insisted on buying more alcohol
A quarrel between the two erupted after Ms Lam Prai insisted on stopping at a shop to buy more alcohol. The drunken woman threatened to jump out of the car 4 times.
Eventually, after buying the alcohol, the couple eventually arrived home.
Tragedy at the threshold of their home
The tragedy that befell the pair occurred at the threshold to their house.
As they walked towards their home from the car, Mr Somdej was already seething about the fact that he had not had enough money to buy food having spent what he had on alcohol.
Then, his wife tripped, lost control and fell as she was about to enter the house caused by the effects of the alcohol in her system.
Man admitted to police that he beat his wife on the head with a wooden beam from a window unit
The Thai man admitted his wrongdoing to police on Sunday. He confessed to picking up a piece of wood from a window frame and beating his wife with it, hitting her on the head.
He told police that his wife had refused to get up after she stumbled at the threshold of their house.
This and her argumentative attitude had made him very angry.
He told officers that he saw that he had injured his wife’s head and poured water on her to wake her up. When she did not respond, he went off to bed to watch TV.
Wife got up and appeared to be hungry
He then revealed to police that his wife got up and shouted at him that she was hungry and wanted to eat some mango. He said his wife walked to the kitchen grumbling about him.
He told investigating officers that the sounds she had been making then subsided.
He said he got up from bed again and went to investigate. His wife was lying on her side crying near the kitchen area of the house.
Threw fish sauce over her
He ordered his wife to get up but she did not respond. He then threw some fermented fish sauce over her head thinking that the stink would cause her to wake up and clean herself. He retired for the second time.
He told the horrified police officers that after this, he was surprised not to hear his wife complaining so he got up for a second time to investigate.
Shocked to discover his wife was dead
This time, he noticed that his wife was bleeding heavily and she appeared to be more inert. He moved her head and felt her body, removing her brassiere and necklace. She was cold, there was no pulse.
He told police he was shocked at that point to realise that his wife was dead. He brought water to wash the blood from the scene near the body and around the room.
Notified his mother and the village boss
He then set off and raised his mother who was living within the community and the Headman.
He explained to police that his intention was not to kill his wife and after his violent assault, he did not think she was seriously hurt.
Mother urged him to tell police the truth
His 75-year-old mother, Nang Klin Yan Phimai, encouraged him to confess to whatever he had done to bring about the death of his wife.
She, along with other relatives of his family, promised him their support and advised him to tell the police what had happened and that he did not intend to kill his wife.
He is reported to have bowed down at his mother’s feet to show respect and become emotional before police arrived to arrest him.
Police initially gave the man some time to cool off at the local police station as he was in a distressed condition.
However, officers are believed to be sceptical about some aspects of the man’s story. They are still investigating the full circumstances surrounding the violent death of the woman.
Dead woman was a keen lover of dogs and cats
The Headman of the community is 54-year-old Jesada Pimkotek. He told the press this week that both husband and wife were known to be regular users of alcohol even to excess.
Reports from the village also suggest that the couple rowed regularly although they did not appear to be violent towards each other.
The village leader had, however, a story of his own.
He explained that the deceased woman, Ms Lam Prai, the 41-year old wife of Mr Somdej, was a keen lover of cats and dogs in the area.
He said that the kind-hearted woman would often bring out scraps of food to the front of the house.
Headman had a story of his own
This week, after the woman died, he said he observed three black cats, one at the front of the home and two at the back near where the woman had died.
He said that he believed that the spirit of the woman does not yet know that she has died and still comes to feed the cats as she was her custom.
Mr Jesada said that in ancient times it was believed in the area that the black cat was a medium for spirits and may call the spirits of the dead to return.
Charged with violence causing the death of his wife
On Monday morning, Major General Nanthachat Suphamongkhon of Udon Thani Provincial Police together with Colonel Aree Sinthura revealed details of the case based on a confession made by the 45-year-old man who has been charged under Section 290 of the Thai criminal code which is the Thai equivalent of manslaughter.
If convicted for this offence, depending on the court’s interpretation of the circumstances and the evidence of the accused, the Thai man is facing three to fifteen years imprisonment for his actions.