Of all the things I’ve ever envisaged doing with my life writing the memoirs of a Thai state executioner was certainly not one of them. Chaverot Jaruboon shot dead 55 people during his career and decided that he would kill no more when lethal injection replaced the gun in Thailand, in 2003.
I was nervous. I knew absolutely nothing about Thailand and even less about the death penalty. Would I have the stomach for it? Should I be doing this from an ethical point of view?
Pornchai, the Thai researcher, sent me over the interviews that had already taken place and, inevitably, there was more to the man than his job. Over the next few weeks he began to remind me of my dad. My dad is a man with simple tastes who lives for his family. He is a quiet man who doesn’t seek friendship with his co-workers and prefers to come home at night to his wife, who he may - or may not – be a little frightened off. He had worked incredibly hard all his life but has no material wealth to speak off. His only wish was that his kids got a good education so that they could support themselves.
The executioner is a quiet man with simple tastes. At work he keeps himself to himself and the most important people in his life are his family. One of the biggest reasons for accepting his dubious promotion was that he would make enough money to send his 3 kids to a good school. To him education was the key to an independent life and his sons and daughter have done him proud. He is wild about Tew, his wife of 40 years, and may – or may not – be slightly afraid of her. They have had to scrimp over the years and today he is not a wealthy man.
I rest my case. - Nicola Pierce, author