In Truman Capote’s true-crime book, In Cold Blood, a rural town in Kansas was rattled by brutal murders. Four people killed in their own home, late at night, three shot point-blank in the face, the other had his throat slit, then shot in the head. It was a robbery turned massacre. The morning after committing the crime, the book reports, one of the two killers, Dick Hickock, went back to his house and had toast for breakfast with his family, laughing, unperturbed, as if nothing so inhuman had happened just hours before.
Thailand is not a small town in Kansas in 1959; we don’t normally have toast for breakfast, but cold-blooded are the words that keep haunting us upon reading newspaper headlines these days. There have been deaths in jail cells and explanations that, almost unanimously, made people speechless: first, Pol Maj Prakrom Wirunprapa, found hanged in a room with no bars in what looked like a suicide; then the fortune teller who forgot to read his own palms, Suriyan “Mor Yong” Sucharitpolwong, whose warm blood suddenly betrayed its own body, according to the official statement. Before that, there was a dark rumour of another high-ranking officer, believed to have disappeared.