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Thailand Woman Accused Of Murdering 12 Friends By Poisoning Them With Cyanide

Investigators believe money was the motive in the killings

A pregnant woman in Thailand has been accused of murdering 12 of her friends by poisoning them with cyanide, BBC reported. Sararat Rangsiwuthaporn, 32, was arrested in Bangkok on Tuesday after an investigation was launched into a friend’s death. She came under suspicion following the death of her friend Siriporn Khanwong earlier this month.

On April 14, Rangsiwuthaporn had gone on a trip to the Ratchaburi province with Siriporn Khanwong, where they had taken part in a Buddhist protection ritual at a river. However, her friend collapsed and died on the riverbank. Autopsy results detected cyanide in her body and showed heart failure as the cause of death. Her phone, money, and bags were also missing when she was found.

During the course of the investigation, police said they believed Rangsiwuthaporn had killed 11 others, including an ex-boyfriend. 

Police said that all the victims, aged between 33 and 44, died between December 2020 and April 2023. They believe that all the victims died in a similar fashion. Relatives of victims had also reported missing jewelry and cash, police said.

Notably, cyanide can be detected in corpses several months after death. The poison starves the body’s cells of oxygen, which can induce heart attacks. Early symptoms include dizziness, shortness of breath, and vomiting.

Investigators believe money was the motive in the killings, Royal Thai Police spokesperson Archayon Kraithong told AFP. However, Rangsiwuthaporn, who is the former wife of a senior police officer, has denied the charges. Her lawyer said Rangsiwuthaporn, who is pregnant, has suffered stress while under police custody for several hours, Independent reported.

Police major-general Montri Theskha, chief of the Crime Suppression Division, said, ”If the evidence shows she has committed other murders, then the suspect will fit the description of a serial killer.”

However, Surachate Hakparn, the assistant national police chief of the Royal Thai Police, said that recovering evidence from previous deaths would be challenging. ”As no case was filed [at the time of such deaths] there wasn’t any investigation of crime scenes or anything,” he said, as reported by Guardian.

While a few affected families were in contact with police, some of them thought that their beloved died of natural causes.

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