Bangkok Police Say American Admitted to Killing Man Found in Freezer, Under Intense Interrogation

Herbert Craig La Fon reportedly said the killing stemmed from a dispute over an unsettled debt

Herbert Craig La Fon reportedly said the killing stemmed from a dispute over an unsettled debt



BANGKOK – Metropolitan Police in Bangkok have reported that the American suspected of leading a passport forgery gang has admitted involvement in the death of a man whose dismembered body was found in a freezer in Bangkok.

Herbert Craig La Fon reportedly told police that the killing stemmed from a dispute over an unsettled debt.

Mr La Fon, 63, reportedly broke his silence during a intense interrogation that began on Friday and lasted until 3am Saturday. Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn, chief of the Metropolitan Police Bureau said.


Herbert La Fon, 63 of the United States, is led from an interrogation session Friday in Bangkok - Photo Khaosod

Herbert La Fon, 63 of the United States, is led from an interrogation session Friday in Bangkok – Photo Khaosod


Pol Lt Gen Sanit Mahathavorn said he personally took part in the questioning.

Police said the Mr La Fon claimed he had colluded with another friend, who died of cancer several months ago, in killing the victim in 2008 over an unsettled debt, Thai media reported on Saturday.

“He admitted only that he dismembered the body but said he had no involvement in murdering the Hungarian man,” AFP quoted Pol Lt Gen Sanit as saying. “Police are not yet convinced.”

An initial investigation revealed the freezer had been bought in 2008 by Mr La Fon, leading police to believe the corpse had been put there seven or eight years ago.

Mr La Fon and two other Western men were arrested during a police raid at a shophouse on Sukhumvit Soi 56 on Sept 23. Mr La Fon allegedly fired three shots, wounding a tourist police officer, during the operation. Police subsequently discovered the body parts wrapped in black plastic in a padlocked commercial freezer.

The two others held with Mr La Fon are American nationals Aaron Thomas Gabel, 33, and James Douglas Eger, 66.

Mr La Fon has lived in Thailand for many years. When he was first arrested he was identified as Peter Andrew Colter, a UK citizen. But that passport turned out to be fake. It has since emerged that Mr La Fon has been wanted by the US FBI since 1979 on charges of credit card fraud.

Pol Lt Gen Sanit said on Saturday that investigators were not fully convinced by Mr La Fon’s statements about the killing, as some points contradicted the evidence. He declined to elaborate.

According to INN News, forensic results showed the man died of a lack of oxygen and some toxic substances were found.

Police plan to invite others who knew the suspect for questioning about his activities and behaviour. The investigation found that he liked to use violence and watched terrifying motives.

Doctors from King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital performed a series of forensic tests on the 11 body parts found in the freezer and concluded that the victim was possibly Hungarian in origin.

Dr Udomsak Hoonwijit said initial results showed the victim was a man aged between 40 and 50 and 179.5cm in height. He was believed to have come from Eastern Europe.

The city police chief declined to comment on the conslusions of the forensic examination as to the victim’s ethnic origin. However, he did say that the examination found no traces of bruises on the body. All issues related to the death would be analysed further, with a clear outcome expected next week, he added.

Police plan to interrogate Mr La Fon further. If he was found to have links to the murder or evidence to implicate him, officers would press murder charges against him, said Pol Lt Gen Sanit.

Thairath Online, meanwhile, said police investigators had obtained the identification of the victim and that he was a US citizen of Hungarian ethnicity. It gave his name as Charles Edward Littlesen but that has not been confirmed.

Source: Bangkok Post



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