Crime & Justice

Thailand’s most notorious serial child killer ‘Si Quey’ cremated

Bangkok, Jul 23 (efe-epa).- Thailand’s most notorious convicted murderer Si Quey Sae-Ung, who was accused of killing seven children and cannibalism, and whose embalmed body had been exhibited in a glass case since his execution in 1959, was cremated in Bangkok on Thursday.

The rites, sponsored by the Medical Department of Siriraj Hospital and the Bang Kwang Central Prison, took place on Thursday morning at Wat Bang Phraek Tai, close to the Bang Kwang Central Prison where he died by firing squad 60 years ago.

The ceremony was attended by human rights commissioners, prison officials and residents from Thap Sakae, southern Thailand, where Si Quey lived.

“(I remember that) he couldn’t speak or understand Thai, but I could understand his language. We speak different languages. We only smiled at each other when we met… he seemed honest and liked to smile,” said Wipha Kitichotekul, an 83-year-old Thap Sakae villager who attended the ceremony.

“I didn’t know him personally but at that time he was hired by many farm owners to do many tasks, such as picking up coconuts or beans… I am convinced that he’s innocent,” she added.

Si Quey, a Chinese immigrant from the southeastern city of Shantou, was sentenced to death when he was 32 years old, after he confessed he had abducted seven children in various provinces of Thailand.

His confession was later questioned by the public, who asked whether he was a killer or used as a scapegoat.

According to the Court of Appeals verdict, he was sentenced to death for killing a boy named Somboon Bunyakarn, but made no mention of killing other children, or his alleged cannibalism.

Although recent research shed doubt on evidence against Si Uey and his ability to carry out multiple murders, the man has already been recognized by Thais as a bogeyman figure. His name has been invoked by parents to warn their children to behave or “Si Quey will eat your liver.”

Si Quey’s body was on display to public and medical students at the Medical Museum of Siriraj Hospital in Bangkok until last year when it was removed after complaints by residents of Thap Sakae to the National Human Rights Commission that the exhibition had branded him a cannibal and his dignity had not been protected.

More than 10,000 netizens signed an online petition at change.org calling for a proper funeral for Si Quey.

Following numerous complaints and demands from netizens and Thab Sakae villagers, the Corrections Department announced on Monday the cremation of Si Quey’s corpse in order to restore “dignity and justice” for him. EFE-EPA

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