Poker Player Ron 'Mad Yank' Fanelli Confesses To Chopping Up Thai ProstituteJuly 25, 2010 8:08 am
Ron Fanelli has just confessed to murdering, chopping up and disposing of the body of Thai prostitute Pianchai Wanphen, while living in the country.
In an apparent deal to avoid the death sentence, Fanelli confessed to the incident and said:
“It was wrong. It was a horrible, horrible accident, in my opinion. I never intended to do any harm to this person.”
The poker player nicknamed “the Mad Yank” because of his temperamental nature, was a long time resident of Phuket island. He had even taken a Thai wife and had a child with her, but it turned out to be just one in a line of broken relationships for the former Naval officer, who was also renowned for his drinking and brutal treatment of women.
After his wife returned back to Isarn in eastern Thailand, Fanelli is believed to have met hostess girl Wanphen at Sweethearts Bar in Kata-Karon on June 18th. He then apparently stabbed, chopped up and stuffed her body into a suitcase before disposing of her in an isolated spot.
As poker player and The Observer newspaper’s Victoria Coren explains in her column: “I have a photo of myself with the Mad Yank, from 2004. He was having a great time then: winning at poker, popular on internet forums, appearing on chatshows.”
His tournament wins at the time included a 2nd place finish at the £500 Gutshot Poker Festival Main Event for $19,314, and 1st place at £100 Harbour Lights Poker Festival for $15,720.
Ms Coren then continues: “[By 2006].. His hot poker streak had fizzled out; he was kipping on friends’ floors and borrowing money. His pride was dented. He was no longer the big success story. He looked for occasional work as a croupier, dealing cards to people whose money he had once won.”
That’s when he met and followed a Thai girlfriend out to the paradise holiday resort of Phuket. After she eventually left him, followed by his future wife and child, Fanelli starting using prostitutes.
Speculating on a growing resentment and hatred towards women, Ms Coren further speculates:
“He despised them for it. What he didn’t understand was that the more he degraded and punished the girls, the worse he felt about himself. And the further he had to go to feel masterful again. It was a dark, twisted cycle.”
Ron Fanelli’s downwards spiral has now culminated in the ultimate tragedy, and he is now likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars in the hot, cramped conditions of a Thai prison.