Wanted Thai serial killer re-arrested after early release

BANGKOK (AFP) – Thai police arrested a convicted serial killer yesterday in connection with another murder after his early release from jail for good behaviour, authorities confirmed. Somkid Pumpuang was sentenced to life in 2005 for the killing of five women believed to be involved in the nightlife industry, leading the media to dub him Thailand’s “Jack the Ripper”.

Authorities considered him an “excellent prisoner” and released him in May this year, but he is now the chief suspect in the murder this week of a 51-year-old hotel maid in the country’s northeast.

Authorities distributed his photo under the heading “Most Wanted” and offered a THB50,000 (USD1,650) reward for information leading to his capture.

Yesterday, released photos showed police officers detaining the suspect on a train in the town of Pakchong in Nakhon Ratchasima province. “Somkid Pumpuang was arrested thanks to information from the public,” Major General Puttipong Musikul from Khon Kaen police force told AFP yesterday morning.

Local media described how a fellow passenger on the train spotted the suspect wearing a cap and face mask and sent a photo to police.

Thailand’s corrections department said it was urgently reviewing its sentence reduction policies but also said it was operating at three times capacity with 370,000 inmates.