Teenagers Murdered Women in Crocodile River, Court Is Told

By Marks, Kathy | The Independent (London, England), August 4, 2004 | Go to article overview
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Teenagers Murdered Women in Crocodile River, Court Is Told


Marks, Kathy, The Independent (London, England)


TWO AUSTRALIAN teenagers confessed to murdering two Thai-born prostitutes by tying them up and throwing them into a crocodile- infested river, a court heard yesterday.

A post-mortem examination showed that Phuangsri Kroksamrang, 58, and Somjai Insamnan, 27, drowned in the Adelaide river, south of Darwin, last March. Their floating bodies were discovered by a tour group being taken on a crocodile-spotting cruise.

Rex Wild, the Northern Territory's director of public prosecutions, told a committal hearing that Ben McLean and Phu Trinh, both 18, had confessed to murdering the women in police interviews.

Mr Trinh claimed he carried out the killings by himself, strangling the women in the back of a car and then throwing them off a bridge into the river. But Mr McLean admitted that he was also involved.

Mr Wild said that, despite Mr McLean's account, "the cause of death in both cases appeared to be drowning, which indicated that both women were alive when they went over". He said they might have been unconscious at the time.

The court heard Ms Kroksamrang and Ms Insamnan worked as prostitutes in Darwin.

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