Have you heard about the confession of Ron “Mad Yank” Fanelli?
He’s a fairly well known poker player…but his days of playing (at least as a free man) are probably over.
I saw a news item recently about Fanelli. Apparently, he is now undergoing psychiatric evaluation after confessing to murdering and disposing of the body of Sweetheart Bar hostess Wanpen Pianchai in Thailand.
He disposed of the body in a particularly gruesome way.
Fanelli was arrested back in July for what he described at the time as “a horrible, horrible accident.”
Now I have to question the accident part of this because the woman was stabbed several times, before being stuffed into a travel bag and dumped by a remote Phuket roadside.
The poker player nicknamed “the Mad Yank” on account of his volatile temperament, has now had legal proceedings against him put on hold until he completes a psychiatric evaluation at Suan Saranrom Hospital in Surat Thani.
So we’ll see.
Fanelli, 37, has been undergoing a psychiatric examination there since early September and will only return back to Phuket Provincial Prison once staff are able to assess whether he remains sane enough to stand trial.
People who know him say the nickname was just a joke.
But now I’m not so sure.
Meanwhile, I hear that a concerned group of online poker players have already raised around 30,000 baht (US $1,000) for Ms Wanphen’s family and are hoping that figure will rise to 100,000 (US $3,350) in the future.
It’s a strange case and we’ll keep our eyes open on Thai web sites to see what happens.