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Yukiho Yamada and Phuket businesswoman Tuptim Saehup

Accused Killer Replays Phuket Car Fire Murder

Saturday, November 28, 2009
Reenactment Photo Album Above

A REENACTMENT today of the ''funeral pyre'' murder of a Japanese businessman, whose body was found in a burned out car, left questions unanswered.

A 21-year-old man, arrested about 4pm yesterday, claims to have committed the killing and disposed of the body alone. However, witnesses at the scene heard voices in the car.

Earlier, souces told Phuketwan that a policeman was likely to be charged, then that a second man was to be charged.

But today, only Suwit Mensri, originally from Kornken province, reenacted the crime and the attempt to dispose of the body.

When asked by Phuketwan why he killed prominent expat businessman Yukiho Yamada, 75, Khun Suwit said: ''I was very angry because he beat the woman I love many times.''

Chalong police chief Colonel Chinarat Rittakananan said today that 30 police in six teams had thoroughly investigated the island's most sensational murder for years.

The case is considered to be so important that Region 8 police chief Pitak Jarusombat flew by helicopter to Phuket today for the second time this week from regional headquarters in Surat Thani.

Mr Yamada's wife, Tuptim Saehup, who has also been charged with his murder, gave her age to police as 42 but investigations have shown she is 50.

At a media presentation on Thursday evening in Chalong, Khun Tuptim confessed to the killing. With her hands and green-painted fingernails covering her face at all times, she told of a marriage gone wrong.

Husband Yukiho was a prominent expat citizen on Phuket and a regular golfing partner of the president of the Phuket Japanese Association, Kazushi Miyashita.

Khun Tuptim said she married her husband on the eigth of August, 2008 (08.08.08) which would have been considered an extremely propitious date.

The couple stayed together, she said, for three or four months, then she moved out of his Chalong home to her own place at Vichit, near her business, Tuptim Care Care.

She said her husband brought young women to the house constantly, embarrassing her.

Mr Yamada's 08.08.08 good fortune ran out on Tuesday night, about midnight, when his wife's boyfriend allegedly used an iron bar to beat him to death, she told the media.

The killing of Mr Yamada came to public notice when a car, recorded as being owned by his wife, was set alight about 4.20am on Wednesday, with his body inside.

Fuelled by benzine, the car became an inferno and Mr Yamada's body was almost entirely destroyed. However, investigators qhickly identified the car from the engine number and found it belonged to Khun Tuptim.

Forensic police identified Mr Yamada from dental records.

According to Khun Suwit's account, given today at the reenactment, he told his girlfriend by telephone about 9pm on Monday that he planned to kill her husband.

''I've had enough,'' she reportedly told him. ''Do what you like.''

About 3am on Tuesday, Khun Suwit said he clambered over the fence of the home of the Japanese businessman, found him asleep on a sofa, hit him twice with an iron crowbar, and bound the legs and arms of the body.

When he had pulled the body onto the floor, he felt Mr Yamada could be still alive so he stabbed him in the lower abdomen.

All this time, police have been led to believe, Khun Tuptim was asleep in an adjoining bedroom.

''She heard nothing,'' Khun Suwit said. ''She did nothing.''

The slightly built Khun Suwit left the house and returned about noon that day.

He told police he cleaned the blood, then wrapped Mr Yamada's large body in a blanket. In the early hours of Wednesday morning, he slid the body out the door and into the reclining passenger seat of Khun Tuptim's car.

When he got into the driver's seat, he had Mr Yamada's head on his lap.

In answer to a question from Phuketwan Khun Suwit said that he planned to dump the body in a remote spot but found the soi near the PTT petrol station in Chalong was a no through road, and the car became bogged in the rain.

''I tried to burn the blanket with a cigarette lighter,'' he said, '' but that did not work until after I opened a window, and tried again.'' He said there was a container of benzine in the car, a Honda civic.

Khun Suwit said he dumped a blood-stained shirt and headed across the hill to Kata, where he called Khun Tuptim to come and pick him up.

Police are still making further inquiries about whether another man was involved.
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Comments

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Confused how the headline "Phuket Policeman Prime Suspect in Car Fire Killing" that you emailed out fits with this story ??

Says above that thats wrong, do you mean there's still another suspect still out there who is a cop ??

Editor: We update, which is why we replaced the old information with new information. On a developing story, information changes. (Tiger Woods was said at first to be seriously injured today) There were reported to be two males involved in the killing. Police are still checking.

Posted by LivinLOS on November 28, 2009 10:31

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impossible that this skinny guy was alone...

Posted by Mike on November 28, 2009 19:18

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I've never seen it spelled as "Kornken". I always see it as "Khon Kaen".

Posted by D on November 29, 2009 07:24


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