The Brutal Murder of David Crisp

It is one month since the brutal and utterly pointless murder of David Crisp in Chiang Mai, Thailand. David was the conductor of the Spirit House Singers, a madrigal group I sang with when I was in Thailand last year. I have been thinking a lot about David Crisp lately and feel the need to record his death and finally lay his ghost to rest. David was a good, kind man and a brilliant musician. Glynn, seen top right in the photo below, has been following David's case and I know he won't mind if I quote from his email, below.

David Crisp at the piano, as he will always be remembered.

31st January

"Police last night apprehended, arrested and took into custody three men who admit to the killing of David last week. Smart work on the part of Thai police and all credit to them. The murderers are all three hilltribe, two Shan and one Aka and all knew David. They led Police to a house outside Chiang Mai (not sure where but not far) where most of David’s stolen belongings were found. They then accompanied the police to David’s house and re-enacted the killing as part of police evidence in their coming trial.

Apparently one of them phoned David on Tuesday 20th and David told him that he would not be in that evening as he was going to see someone off at the airport. They then planned to rob his house because they had heard he had a lot of money there. In fact it turned out to be B5000, not even 100 pounds. When they got to the house they found David was in fact at home and he invited them in for a meal which he cooked for all of them: after the meal he asked them please to do the washing-up as he had work to do on his computer. This, said one of the criminals to the police (apparently) made them very angry and they felt insulted so decided to kill David. So instead of washing up they rushed in from the kitchen behind David sitting at his computer at the dining room table: one slashed his throat with a large kitchen knife , another bashed in his skull with a heavy teak vase and the third smothered him with a cloth which was covering his piano. They then dragged his heavy safe out to his car added anything else of value they could think of locked the front door (they had his keys) and drove off. One of the three apparently went over to Burma after the killing but then came back (stupidly but probably arrogantly thinking he would never be caught)) and he was the one the police had tabs on (somehow) and he then led them to the other two and the house where David’s things were stashed/being used. Mercifully it seems David would have known nothing about it: instant oblivion."

Glynn goes on to say, "The story is just too sickening for words: I do not believe any Thai person would EVER do that sort of a thing as neither the Shan not the Aka are known to be violent people nor regard life as cheap. We are wondering if they were maybe in a drugged state."

There have been many tributes to David, who was a fine composer, as well as a talented pianist and music teacher. He will be very sadly missed.

RIP David Crisp. Born: 1 October, 1954, in Derby, England. Died: 19 January, 2009 in Chiang Mai, Thailand

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