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Australian Birder Murdered at Doi Ang Khang, Thailand
Latest information, from an AFP report on 10 Feb 2000:
"Tribesman Sangthong Saeyang, 18, and In-thorn Saejong, 20, have confessed to killing Bourke, who died instantly when he was shot during the robbery.
"Sangthong has also been charged with attempting to rape MacFarlane, who suffered multiple cuts to her neck, head and face."
From the Bangkok Post, 7 Feb. 2000:
Chinese Haw charged with murdering Australian man
A Chinese Haw has confessed to attacking and robbing two Australian campers, killing one of them, at a national park in Chiang Mai last week.
Ching Yung sae Yang, 18, was captured by police and taken to be identified by Sheri MacFarlane, 25, at Chiang Mai Ram hospital where she is being treated for head injuries.
She was hit with a rifle butt after witnessing Ching and another assailant shoot her companion Kelvin Bourke, 23, who died on the spot.
The two had camped out in Doi Ang Khang national park on a bird-watching trip when they were attacked early Friday morning.
The assailants made off with two cameras, two watches and 600 baht cash.
Ms MacFarlane told police she recognised Ching and positively identified him. Ching, a worker on the Doi Ang Khang development project, confessed to the crime, police said, and was immediately charged with assault and murder. . . .
From the Bangkok Post, 5 Feb 2000:
Australian murdered in national park - Woman companion seriously injured
Subin Khuenkaew, Chiang Mai
Two men shot dead an Australian camper and severely injured his female companion at a national park in Fang district early yesterday.
Kelvin Bourke, 24, was killed and Sheri MacFarlane, 26, suffered a serious head injury when hit with a rifle butt during the 1am attack at Doi Ang Khang national park. The two Australians were camping by a stream. . . .
Regional Police Bureau 5 chief Pol Lt-Gen Aram Chanpen said Ms MacFarlane told investigators she and her boyfriend traveled to Chiang Mai to visit her brother who was married to a Thai woman in Fang and had been camping in the park for two days while bird-watching.
Mr Bourke was shot dead after resisting the robbery attempt and she was hit on the head by the assailants while trying to escape. Ms MacFarlane was being treated at Fang district hospital.
Excerpts from the initial wire service report follows:
"Officials at Fang Hospital in Chiang Mai province, 410 miles (650 km) north of Bangkok, said the couple was camping on [Ang Khang] Mountain, near the Burmese border, when two men attacked them late Thursday night, leaving Australian [Kelvin] Bourke, 24, dead with a bullet wound to the head. His companion, [Sheri MacFarlane], 26, suffered knife wounds during the attack but was expected to recover, said the officials.
[MacFarlane] was quoted as saying that she and Bourke were sleeping in their tent at the time of the attack. They tried to fight off the two assailants, who were armed with a crude rifle and knives, before she ran away and summoned forest rangers to the scene. Thai police have launched a manhunt in the area, which is known as a lawless region harboring several armed groups, many of them financed by heroin or amphetamine dealing." (UPI, 4 Feb 2000).
[JWW comment: While largely deforested, even when I visited in 1983,
Doi Ang Khang is an easily accessible site for a number of rare birds, including
Giant Nuthatch, Sitta magna, in patches of habitat among the opium poppy