BANGKOK (THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A confessed serial cat killer posed as a feline lover on social media so he could adopt his next victims.
Panuwat Singsahas, 26, did not arouse any suspicion when he responded to online requests for a good home for cats.
Records show Panuwat had offered to take care of many cats from feline-themed Facebook pages. However, the posters became suspicious after he never gave any updates on the pets' well-being.
"I was trying to find someone to adopt stray cats via Facebook when he came along," said Ms Wanwalee Wattanapiboon. "Initially, I didn't suspect that he would cause them any harm."
Ms Wanwalee, who advertises online to encourage the adoption of stray animals, said she tried to get Panuwat to return the cat but he refused.
"He claimed he had given the cat to his sibling," she said. Concerned cat lovers got together and traced him back to his apartment. His neighbours said they often found blood-covered cat carcasses.
The shocking discovery sent the cat lovers to the police.
Supported by Watchdog Thailand, they successfully brought Panuwat to a Bangkok court on Monday (Aug 15).
Panuwat, a motorcycle-taxi driver in the Thonglor area, admitted to killing nine cats but gave the excuse that it was out of rage for them biting him.
His lethal methods ranged from strangling and wall-banging to head-smashing.
He was charged under the Animal Cruelty Prevention Act.
"Without any sound reason, he tortured cats on nine separate occasions in July," a public prosecutor told the court.
Watchdog Thailand believes that the defendant might have murdered many more cats, and that more people would come forward to take legal action against him.
Panuwat was freed on bail of 15,000 baht (S$583).
The court has scheduled his next hearing for Sept 22.