On Tuesday, two Thai men confessed to the killing of Australian tourist Michelle Elizabeth Smith in Phuket last Wednesday.
Smith and another woman, Tammy Lee Lynn, had been walking down the street when Susarak Suwannachote, 26, approached Smith with a knife. He told police that he was only attempting to steal her purse.
I was trying to cut the strap of the bag. I didn't know [the knife] would actually strike her. I only found out the next day, he said to reporters, according to the Associated Press.
Surveillance video caught Suwannachote repeatedly stabbing Smith; he then threw the knife away and fled the scene without seizing the purse. Lynn suffered an arm injury, and Smith was bleeding from the chest. Both women walked away and were hospitalized, but Smith died of her wounds.
Suwannachote confessed to police along with Surin Tabthong, 37, who had been driving the motorcycle from which Suwannachote jumped before accosting the Australians. Tabthong also apologized.
I made a mistake that day, he said. I didn't think. I was reckless and things got carried away. It was a mistake.
The incident has merited much media attention since Phuket relies heavily on tourism; authorities there are concerned about projecting a positive image to attract more visitors. Smith worked for a travel agency and was visiting Phuket on business.