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


Search Recruitment Fair

Susan and Nancy, two of my co-workers at the fair.

From Wednesday 4th January to Monday 9th January I was working in London at the Search Recruitment Fair. Teachers and recruiters from all around the world gathered together for this very successful job fair. Although hard work, it was enormous fun and I met lots of interesting people there.

Among the recruiters (my daughters will be amused to learn), were Kevin Glass (left) and Gez Hayden (below), colleagues from the International School of South Africa days. Kevin is off to be principal of the International School of Atlanta, from his present position in Tashkent, and Gez is moving from his principal's job in China and will become a Search Associate, based in Thailand.

I also met Chris from Zimbabwe, who was a housemaster at Peterhouse, where we were for seven years - although not at the same time. I discovered that Chris is friends with David's brother, Terry. It is a very small world. Chris would love to return to Zimbabwe so he is hoping things will improve - we can only hope.

The fair had been organised by Harry and Margaret, who I stayed with in Thailand. (Glynn was holding the fort back at the office, so he wasn't there.) My co-workers were Susan and Nancy (both of whose husbands are Search Associates), Amelia (Gez's wife) and Michael (Harry and Margaret's son). We had such fun. I really hope I get to do this again!


A Happy Birthday Party at the Dinosaur Park

The Birthday Girls - Malia (on the left) and Jessica (on the right)

Sunday was the day of Jessica's shared seventh birthday party with Malia, a school friend. They had invited their whole class to the Dinosaur Adventure Park. The day was freezing cold with flurries of snow, but the children didn't seem to mind as, afterwards, many were heard to say that this was the best birthday party ever! On arrival the girls played in the Adventure Play Area for an hour before lunch. (See photo of Malia, Jessica and Emily above). Then we all followed the Dinosaur Trail through the forest. Huge life- sized models of the dinosaurs were scattered throughout the park and the girls ran excitedly from one to the next, stamping their identification booklets.

Malia and Jessica blew out their candles together.

Then we visited the live animals. in the Victorian walled garden. There they had wallabies, sheep, kune kune pigs and donkeys. Later, we headed to the Fun Barn to get closer to the animals. There they had iguanas, bearded dragons, millipedes, snakes, water dragons, cockroaches and other creepy crawlies for the girls to hold - if they dared!

Afterwards they got to ride on the pedal cars, play Jurassic putt putt, get lost in the scary maze and generally have lots of fun. Eighteen exhausted girls finally departed for home, each clutching their party bag, dinosaur gift pack and enormous piece of birthday cake. All-in-all a very successful day and no washing up or clearing away to do! Definitely to be recommended!

Today, Monday, it is snowing steadily and Clare decided to take Jessica to school on the bus as she didn't want to drive in such conditions. They waited for over an hour, but no bus came. By this time they were both frozen, so they came home again. We are all inside, warm and cosy, while outside the snow is falling with no sign that it is going to stop. Clare and Jessica have just decided to go out for a walk as soon as it stops snowing - I think I will give that a miss!

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