My Fair Lady
The Western culture has the enduring myth of the flower girl discovered in the gutter of London who is plucked out of her miserable life and transformed by a noble hearted man into a lady. Thanks to the movie, which adapted George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion you can call this state of mind: the My Fair Lady. As a fantasy goes, it is relatively harmless; until the person who has imprinted it takes to the road and ends up in Thailand.
The Nation reports on the front page (Wednesday 2 August 2006) about the murder of Englishman Toby Charnaud, aged 41, who fell in love with a bar girl in Bangkok, married her, and sired a son with her. The Wiltshire farmer had taken his bride back to England to meet the parents. He opened a couple of bars in Hua Hin. The problem was the wife’s gambling addiction. It finally drove Toby to divorce her. That should have been the end of the story.
But it isn’t. Last April his ex-wife reported to the authorities that Toby had gone missing. The family in England hired a private eye to investigate. What the private eye found Toby had been killed. The trial has produced evidence that the men in the ex-wife’s family first tried to kill him with a long-barreled hunting musket. But the musket backfired. Next them clubbed him to death with an iron bar and wooden staves. Then they used 20 kilos of charcoal to burn the body. The lawyer representing the family believes the motive was for the ex-wife’s family to inherit Toby’s wealth through the son.
The court renders its verdict on September 6th.
Toby Charnaud also had literary aspirations. His story titled “Rainfall” was about a farang who fell in love with a Thai woman and she ends up killing him. Apparently, according to the Nation, the story won first prize in a local short story contest.