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Siam's New DetectivesVisualizing Crime and Conspiracy in Modern Thailand$
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Samson W. Lim

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780824855253

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824855253.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Siam's New Detectives

Samson Lim

University of Hawai'i Press

In 1986, a young Thai woman went missing. A few days later her body was found in a wooded area east of Bangkok. The police quickly arrested and brought four men to trial. The only thing connecting the suspects to the crime scene was the testimony of a trishaw peddler and photographs of a reenactment of that testimony. After deliberation, the provincial court where the trial took place found the men guilty of murder and sentenced them to death. They were later acquitted, but not before one had lost his life and the others had suffered serious health problems while in prison. This tragic example highlights a number of issues, including especially the increasing reliance on visual evidence by the police in particular and the legal system in general. This book is a critical look at the history of the visual practices of criminal detection.

Keywords:   Reenactment, criminal investigation, historiography, visual culture, aesthetics, diagrams

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