Three female murder suspects in Thailand have earned the nickname the “murder babes” because of their cavalier attitude and penchant for makeup, fashion, and striped backpacks.
Preeyanuch Nonwangchai, 24 (known as “Preaw”), Kawita Ratchada, 25, and Apiwant Satayabundit, 28 are the so-called “murder babes,” who have become instant celebrities in Thailand and, despite the gruesome murder of which they stand accused, they’re driving the popularity of some merchandise sales, according to The New York Post.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The ‘Murder Babes’ Are Accused in the Grisly Slaying of a Karaoke Bar Worker
The homicide the young women are accused of committing is an extremely disturbing one.
Warisara Klinjui, 23, was the victim; she was “murdered, sawed in half, and stuffed into two black bins in Khon Kaen Province, in northeast Thailand, in May.”
The crime “has been described as the most gruesome murder that has ever taken place in Thailand,” The New York Post reported.
Warisara, who was strangled and buried in a shallow grave, worked in a karaoke bar. Villagers flocked to the field where Warisara was buried, according to ABC.net.au, with one commenting she wanted to see the “beautiful face, but cruel mind.”
2. The Young Women Have Acted Unapologetic Since Being Captured, Even Applying Makeup While in Police Custody
An Australian newspaper called the women “the most seemingly unapologetic killers in the world.”
“These women have been photographed applying makeup in police custody, posing and laughing with immigration officers and even applying face masks before fronting the media,” reported News.com.au.
According to The Sun, “they were pictured in custody at the immigration checkpoint eating cakes, laughing, smoking and applying make-up as Preeyanuch…posed with officers for pictures.”
3. The ‘Murder Babes’ Went Shopping With Striped Backpacks While on the Run
The three women fled to Burma before being captured there in June.
According to News.com.au, despite being on the run, the women found time to shop.
“The women seemed so unconcerned while on the run, CCTV footage emerged of the suspects carrying colourful, striped ‘picnic blanket patterned’ backpacks while they casually browsed dresses in a store near the border town of Tachileik in Myanmar,” the Australian site reported.
Preeyanuch worked as a cam girl.
According to The Sun, “Preeyanuch had even sent revealing pictures of herself to massage parlors in the area while job hunting and worked for two nights at a sex bar – as clips emerged of her working on a explicit cam site.”
4. Merchandise Inspired by the Women Has Flown Off the Shelves in Thailand
The murder, and the manner in which the women have been turned into celebrities, have caused some in Thailand to examine the country’s media culture, according to ABC.net.au.
“Young girls wanted to buy the colorful striped bags the suspects carried in the CCTV footage, and souvenirs were produced in the poorest of poor taste,” the site reported.
One of the most tasteless pieces of merchandise? “A keychain of a tiny handsaw … packaged along with a photo of “Preaw”, or “sour” — the nickname of Preeyanuch Nonwangchai, one of those accused of hacking up the body with a similar saw,” reported ABC.net.au.
5. The Motive for Murder Is Allegedly a Boyfriend
Preeyanuch is accused of confessing to the crime, and the other two women are accused of helping her dismember the body. She is accused of telling authorities that the victim “had given information to police which led to the arrest of one of the women’s husbands on drug charges.”
“Preeyanuch insisted she met the victim by chance about 1am of May 25 after not having seen her for a year. So she asked her to get into the car to teach her a lesson but they had a row in the car and she strangled her,” authorities said, according to The Sun.
ABC.net.au reported that Preeyanuch’s “Facebook page documented a life of gaudy consumption — shoes, handbags, overseas trips and lots of photos of her posing with piles of bank notes.”