Sinister murder suspect Mr Phurinat, 28, was arrested on Friday morning after a 5-day manhunt. Identified by CCTV, he allegedly butchered 54-year-old Mr Paisan Thong-on with a knife purchased beforehand. Public gripped by a dark and chilling story.

A dark, murderous figure haunted the imagination of the Thai public his week. That was until his arrest in southern Chumphon province on Friday morning. Identified at that point, as 28-year-old Mr Phurinat, the black-hoodied individual with double spectacles and sunglasses spent the week pilfering his victim’s finances. It is understood that on May 20th, he butchered the victim to death with no less than 15 stab wounds from a 34 cm knife he specifically purchased days beforehand. His victim was 54-year-old clothes merchant Mr Paisan Thong-on, with whom he had a regular association.

(Left) The murder suspect on the night of May 20th in CCTV footage from the elevator of the murder victim’s condo building. (Inset bottom) A saleswoman from a department store shows a police officer the ฿900 knife purchased by the killer. (Inset top) A smartphone shop owner identified the culprit from a police photo. He sold her the victim’s phones.

On Friday evening in Thailand, there was a sigh of relief when police confirmed the arrest of a sinister murderer who had evaded police for five days.

In summary, the young man, reportedly a law graduate, is wanted for a vicious knife murder which occurred on the night of May 20th.

At length, the body of the deceased, a successful online clothes seller, was only discovered at his condominium on the night of May 26th. 

Putrid smell reported by worried residents in the days before May 26th at a luxury condominium complex in Nonthaburi. Floor 6 condo later opened by police

Previously, residents in the luxury condominium building reported a putrid smell from Room 107/129 on the 6th floor. The building is in the Bang Khen area of Nonthaburi city near the Ministry of Public Health.

After 10 pm on that night, police entered the room. They found the body concealed between the balcony and the kitchen. There were signs of a violent struggle and blood stains in the bathroom. A bottle of mouthwash had been emptied in the main room to help conceal the smell.

The murder victim has been identified as 54-year-old Mr Paisan Thong-on, known as ‘Tos’. Mr Paisan ran an online clothes business, importing products from China and selling them to the wholesale trade.

In particular, what captured public attention was the appearance and stealthy actions of the murder suspect as he was tracked by police.

In brief, after police discovered the body of the victim on May 26th, they opened a murder investigation.

The bloated and decomposing corpse of Mr Paisan was found to have no less than 15 wounds. He was stabbed in his left and right arms in addition to the left and right cheek areas with 8 cm cuts.

Young, educated killer purchased an extremely sharp and long kitchen knife in preparation for the frenzied murder attack which he perpetrated on May 20th

Afterwards, police interviewed employees of a well-known department store. The killer, identified as 28-year-old Mr Phurinat, had purchased a 34 cm kitchen knife for ฿900 before the murder.

At the same time, police identified the younger man as their prime suspect from CCTV footage.

At approximately 10:23 pm on May 20th, he was seen in the elevator of the building with Mr Paisan. Residents of the complex say the younger man was often seen in the older man’s company. 

Despite this, after his arrest on Friday, the killer insisted that he was not an LGBTQ community member.

In addition, he made a number of other unexpected and contentious claims.

For instance, he claimed that he was owed ฿5 million by the older businessman. In short, he attempted to justify his behaviour based on this.

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Certainly, the CCTV footage of the 28-year-old Mr Phurinat was startling.

Wearing a black hoodie, he also wore two sets of spectacles, one being a pair of sunglasses. In effect, the young man presented a darkly sinister appearance.

Young woman living in the condo unit underneath heard the murder taking place and gave extensive, vivid and disturbing testimony to investigating police

Police investigating the case interviewed a 24-year-old woman who lives directly below the death condo on the 5th floor.

In addition to telling investigators that she had spoken with the ghost of the dead man, she offered valuable testimony.

At length, she heard a violent argument commencing in the overhead condominium at approximately 11 pm on the night of May 20th. Then she heard the words, ‘Hey, but why?’ 

Thereafter she heard a physical struggle. It was protracted. After that, she heard a man cry out that he was hit.

Following this, there was the sound of someone falling to the ground and being repeatedly stomped upon.

In summary, the fight and struggle lasted approximately 37 minutes.

Police were subsequently able to corroborate this when they spoke to a phone seller at a shopping centre in Pathumwan. In short, she recalled particularly well her encounter with the phantom killer after the murder.

Killer suffered injuries as the 54-year-old fought for his life. The day after the murder was discovered he went to sell the victim’s iPhones at a shopping centre

He appeared before her wearing shorts but clad in a hoodie and, again, the double pair of spectacles including sunglasses.

The young man was selling an iPhone 14 Plus and a red iPhone with a cover.

In conclusion, she purchased the iPhone 14 for ฿17,000.

The businesswoman told police that the suspect killer’s hands were shaking although he showed no emotion. In addition, she noticed he had a wound on his hand and his neck showed signs of greenish bruising.

Police in Nonthaburi worked helter-skelter this week to solve the horrendous crime and arrest their prime suspect.

Significantly, as well as purchasing the large knife believed to be used in the murder, the killer attempted to cover his tracks when meeting Mr Paisan Thong-on.

The 54-year-old victim had agreed to meet the younger man outside a shopping mall in Nonthaburi. However, the young man got a taxi to another location and walked across an overpass to meet him.

Killer began pilfering the murdered man’s financial accounts on May 25th, some 5 days after the murder. Significantly, he laid low after the killing took place

In the meantime, family members of Mr Paisan including his mother, 77-year-old Banjong Khiao-on, and his older brother, Chatchai Thong-on, had been liaising with police. In addition, a 54-year-old female friend, Ms Suan, who had known the victim since vocational school, assisted police.

Thereafter, on May 25th, the police discovered financial activities on Mr Paisan’s bank accounts.

The killer had started to use his financial facilities to buy gold. In total, it is thought 25 baht of gold was bought in transactions starting with only 2 baht, then the next day 20 baht in two 10 baht instalments followed by a 3 baht purchase the day after.

The total value was ฿ 1 million.

Indeed on one occasion, the audacious murderer sent a LINE message to his victim’s niece. He held himself out as Mr Paisan.

At length, he arranged to collect financial documents and keys. Of course, that was before the murder was discovered on May 26th although the last purchase occurred on May 27th.

The killer deleted the dead man’s LINE account when contacted by the condo building on May 26th, hours before the police went in.

Mr Paisan Thong-on owned his condominium unit. The building supervisors were trying to make contact about the smell.

Killer told shop teller he had plastic surgery and that is why his photo did not match that of the deceased man when she did a background check on the card

Indeed, the killer encountered difficulty on that day when asked why the credit card photo online did not match his own.

He calmly assured the teller that he had undergone plastic surgery.

Similarly with the phone seller at the MBK centre in Pathumwan. Shortly after the sinister figure had left her store, she saw him on news alerts. Certainly, it was not hard to recognize him from the elevator CCTV images released by police. She raised the alarm.

Police later tracked the killer to Pattaya.

It is understood he travelled there by car. CCTV footage showed him walking along the beach sidewalk in the resort city using his rolling suitcase. He was carrying a brown paper bag and still wearing a hoodie and glasses.

That was on the night of May 27th after his disposal of the victim’s assets was complete.

Following this, he checked out of a local hotel near the beach in Pattaya at Soi 11 at noon on May 28th. Police then tracked via a taxi ride to Hua Hin in Prachuap Khiri Khan province.

After that, he used a cab to travel to southern Chumphon province. His family are from this area and he stayed with his uncle.

Arrested at 11.30 am at his uncle’s home. The killer reportedly is from a wealthy family and has a law degree. Also, he has a penchant for luxury living 

On Friday, Provincial Police Region 1 announced that he was arrested by officers that day at 11:30 am. That was in the Wang Mai Subdistrict of Mueang Chumphon.

After being detained briefly in Chumphon, he was taken by Nonthaburi police back to the province for legal proceedings.

In the meantime, he claimed that Mr Paisan Thong-on had owed him ฿5 million. This claim has caused outrage among the dead man’s family.

In short, they insist he was an honest and giving man. Undoubtedly, a successful businessman.

Reports suggest that the killer, 28-year-old Mr Phurinat, is from a wealthy family. He is reported to have graduated from a prestigious university with a bachelor’s degree in law.

At the same time, similar reports suggest that he had a penchant for high living.

Police working on the case believe that he stayed for two nights after the murder at a luxury hotel in Lat Phrao, Bangkok where rooms cost up to ฿5,000 per night.

Mother of the victim asks the killer if he is human

Meanwhile, the family of the victim began this week to put the dead man’s affairs in order.

His funeral rites will take place on Saturday following a police autopsy. Previously, a contractor was paid ฿30,000 to clear out fully his luxury condominium space.

On Friday, his mother who during the week had prayed for police to catch the killer, said she hoped her son could find peace. It is understood that some ceremony will take place to that effect at the same time.

Ms Banjong Khiao-on would not be drawn on whether she could forgive her son’s murderer. Certainly, she wants him prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

She said she was angered even more by his crude attempt to blacken her son’s name even after murderously taking his life.

‘You’re cruel. Are you even still a human being?’ she asked. Certainly after this week’s dark story, it is a valid question.

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Further reading:

Police dubious of answers emerging from arrested suspects in the murder of a South Korean tourist in Thailand

Two men arrested for the body in barrel murder of a South Korean tourist, final suspect at large in Burma

South Korean tourist taken from Bangkok nightlife centre, tortured, murdered and buried in a bin

Chinese student here only 20 days kidnapped, tortured and murdered by evil gang from China here as tourists

Fear-mongering, fake news and disinformation being stoked in China against visiting Thailand

Chinese tourists arrested on kidnapping and extortion charges insist they are innocent

Police defend Pattaya search warrant raid which saw two officers shot with Chinese man arrested and charged