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Thailand's Killer Cops - Kanchanaburi Backpacker Murders

Updated on January 29, 2012
Adam Loyd, Vanessa Arscott
Adam Loyd, Vanessa Arscott

Thailand's Killer Cops

A recent report in the Phuket Gazette tells a story of a local police officer that opened fire in a restaurant, injuring another man with wounds to his legs and chest. The officer had been drinking, and had an argument with a group of men. The cop claimed it was self defense, stating that the other men had attacked him with bottles and sticks as weapons. Despite the fact that this story sounds a little suspicious, as well as the fact that the officer was seemingly drunk at the time, it appears that the case is closed and no investigation will take place.

Stories like this are not out of the ordinary in Thailand, where it seems that cops live outside the law, with no accountability for their actions. These stories are so common, that it would be impossible to include all of them in just 1 article, so I have decided to write a series of articles titled "Thailand's Killer Cops". My intention is to increase awareness of just how common these incidents are, as the more people talk about issues like this, the more difficult it is for corrupt cops and governments to cover them up.

Kanchanaburi Backpacker Murders

September 9, 2004 - British backpackers Vanessa Arscott and her fiancé Adam Lloyd were executed in plain sight, in front of the S&S Restaurant in Kanchanaburi, owned by Sergeant Somchai Wisetsingh. The couple had been drinking with the owner, officer Wisetsingh, when apparently they had an argument, resulting in a scuffle between Adam Loyd and the sergeant. When the couple decided to leave the restaurant, officer Wisetsingh was enraged, he drew his weapon and opened fire, killing Mr. Loyd with two shots from a Smith and Wesson .38 pistol.

Officer Wisetsingh then ran down Ms. Arscott with his car, dragging her more than 100 meters, then stopping to fire 3 shots in her neck, mouth and chest. This brutal slaying was apparently witnessed by as many as 16 residents of Kanchanaburi, shamefully, not one of them had the courage to come forward and testify against Sergeant Wisetsingh. The killer cop was not apprehended immediately after the killing, and he was allowed to live at home and continue to live a normal life pending his trial. When he realized that the mountain of physical evidence against him would be enough to see him convicted, he fled, disappearing in Northern Thailand near the Burmese border area.

Sgt. Somchai would be later apprehended and sentenced to 2 life sentences of imprisonment, escaping the death penalty. During his stay in prison at the notorious Bangkok Hilton, officer Somchai has been quoted as saying 'If I had had any sense, I would have emptied some sugar into the slut's handbag'" According to Thailand’s Department of Corrections, Wisetsingh was transferred to Khaobin ‘Supermax’ prison in Ratchaburi province. However prominent freelance journalist Andrew Drummond has reported on his website that rumours on internet forums are persistently claiming that Sergeant Wisetsingh has been spotted at different locations in Thailand.

Many people in Thailand believe that with the right connections, you can buy your way out of prison. Despite the rumors, nobody has been able to prove that Sgt. Wisetsingh has actually been living his life outside of prison, yet the families of the slain backpackers remain sceptical that justice has been served.



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