CCTV footage condemns Michelle’s killers

CCTV footage condemns Michelle’s killers
By admin

Two Thai men have admitted murdering Perth travel agent Michelle Smith as her sister told Travel Today she wanted the attackers to face the death penalty.

Surin Taptong, 37 and Surasak “Boy” Suwannachot, 26, pleaded guilty to murder at a hearing yesterday in Phuket Central Court.

By admitting the crime, the men will face a long prison sentence rather than execution.

But Michelle’s sister, Kaye Gordon Storch, said in an email to Travel Today that said she would never travel to Thailand and called for the men to be executed.

“Personally, I hope that the perpetrators are given the death penalty, even though Michelle would not want that,” she said. “But whatever the outcome, it won’t bring back our beautiful sister. RIP Michelle.”

The court heard how Taptong picked up Suwannachot – who had just been released from a Bangkok prison – on a stolen motorbike and headed for Kata Noi Beach.

After visiting a bar the men spotted Michelle walking along the road and attempted to grab her bag. She resisted.

Security footage then shows Suwannachot getting off the motorbike, wrestling for the bag and stabbing 60-year-old Michelle three times. Another travel agent, Tammee Lynn, 42, was also injured.

Suwannachot admitted the attack after being told the evidence was overwhelming. His partner in crime also pleaded guilty but only after watching the video footage which showed he was close by.

He had previously argued he was waiting on the bike 20 metres away.

Despite the guilty pleas, the case continues with the judge saying he intends to summon five witnesses, including medical staff.

No date was set for sentencing.

Email the Travel Weekly team at

Latest News

  • Aviation

Korean Air signs MoU with Boeing to upgrade and expand its widebody fleet.

Korean Air has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Boeing at the Farnborough International Airshow to upgrade and expand its widebody fleet. The airline has announced its intent to procure 20 Boeing 777-9s and 20 Boeing 787-10s with options for 10 more of the largest 787 Dreamliner variant today (Monday). The signing ceremony was attended […]

  • Technology

Australian agents responded quickly to Crowdstrike crash

Local travel professionals and businesses moved quickly into action to provide support to the many Australians whose travel plans were thrown into chaos on Friday and into the weekend. The chaos was the result of the flow-on effect of the suspension of check-in services and flights domestically and globally. A blue screen with the outage […]

  • News and Airbnb named as the preferred booking platforms of digital nomads

A new YouGov Survey has found that and Airbnb are the most popular booking platforms for digital nomads. For this poll a ‘Digital Nomad’ was defined as someone who travels freely for an extended period (at least one week), while working remotely using technology and the internet. YouGov Surveys have found that almost one […]

  • Attractions
  • Food & Beverage

Singapore Airlines has been announced as the first airline partner of Taste Port Douglas

Singapore Airlines has been announced as the first airline partner of Taste Port Douglas food festival presented by Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Port Douglas. The Taste Port Douglas Takeover Series now has a presentation partner in Singapore Airlines and features Michelin star chef, Michael Wilson from Singapore marking this the first time the festival has […]

  • Food & Beverage

Exciting culinary experiences across Asia

Here is a look at some exciting experiences across Asia to enhance traveller vacations in iconic cities across the continent. The Mai Restaurant at Meliá Chiang Mai Located on the 21st floor of the iconic hotel, the Mai Restaurant has launched a Thai-inspired afternoon tea for two that pays tribute to the Baan Tawai Wood […]

  • Regional
  • Tour Operators

On Foot Holidays launches Ligurian Hills hiking tour promotion

Australians can explore Italy’s Ligurian Hills on foot on a self-guided, inn-to-inn hike with Onn Foot Holidays new promotional rates. Liguria is a coastal region in north-western Italy near the French border, known for its mountains, rolling hills and seaside ports. On Foot Holidays’ seven-night holiday begins with two days of walking through vineyards and […]

  • Products

Mandarin Oriental takes a dive into swimwear with $360 board shorts

If you were inspired by The Inspired Unemployed’s Liam Moore limited-edition pair of Budgy Smugglers but want a bit more coverage, then here’s your chance. The Orlebar Brown brand has introduced an original design of the Bulldog swim short for Mandarin Oriental hotels – yours for a snip at US$242.25 (AU$360). They have been “designed […]

  • Health & Wellness
  • Luxury

Trisara showcases sustainable dining via wellspring program

Phuket-based resort Trisara is transporting guests from resort to farm to table then back again courtesy of a new limited-time program, Wellspring. The package is a collaboration with Tri Vananda, a US$182 million (AU $270 million) wellness community in northern Phuket, conceived by Montara Hospitality Group, the owners of Trisara. In addition to entitling guests […]