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Ronald Fanelli: a long psychiatric assessment has ruled him sane

Phuket Bar Hostess Killer 'Found to be Sane'

Monday, January 31, 2011
CONFESSED bar hostess killer Ronald Fanelli is back in Phuket Prison after having been assessed by psychiatrists and found to be sane, Phuketwan has learned.

The former professional poker player and US navy officer was returned to crowded Phuket Prison on Thursday after a long period of five months in a facility in Surat Thani.

US Embassy staff from Bangkok and doctors at Vachira Hospital Phuket, the largest public hospital in Phuket City, are understood to have pressed for the psychiatric examination, along with Fanelli himself.

The examination was also sanctioned by the courts.

Fanelli, 37, from New York, confessed to stabbing Karon hostess Wanpen Pianchai twice - once in the back and once in the chest - after she disappeared from the Sweetheart Bar on June 18 last year.

For about a month, as Phuket police hunted a mysterious expat killer with a beard, Fanelli managed to avoid arrest. Fanelli admitted at a media presentation that he had killed Khun Wanpen, but said that it had been ''a horrible, horrible accident.''

In response to a question from Phuketwan, he said: ''I have made a full statement of what happened. I don't want to go into it. I killed her. To gain the full context, you would have to read the full story. It was wrong. It was a horrible, horrible accident, in my opinion. I never intended to do any harm to this person.''

Instead of going to Phuket police to explain the accident, Fanelli stuffed the naked body of the mother of two into a suitcase, carried it on a motorcycle to a relatively remote spot in central Phuket, and dumped it by the roadside.

Several days later, the odor from Khun Wanpen's remains attracted attention.

Although some acquaintances have described Fanelli as brash and loud, none of his friends noted a predisposition to violence. In retrospect, though, his choice of the moniker 'Mad Yank' in the years he spent playing online poker was probably unwise.

It is not known when Fanelli will next appear in court.

Under an arrangement with police, Fanelli admitted his guilt but requested that the full account of what transpired be kept private for the sake of his family.

Fanelli went through a reenactment of the crime, returning to the Sweetheart Bar then to his Phuket City house, where the murder took place.
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Comments

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In response to a question from Phuketwan, he said: ''I have made a full statement of what happened. I don't want to go into it. I killed her. To gain the full context, you would have to read the full story. It was wrong. It was a horrible, horrible accident, in my opinion. I never intended to do any harm to this person.'

OK, he has admitted the offence, but we do not know the full story, he made a full statement. Let's not pre-judge this with silly comments.

Posted by Phuket Kop on February 1, 2011 21:54


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