‘Mad Yank’ ex-US navy officer/poker player to stand trial

Written By Janice Doughtrey

An ex-U.S. Navy officer who was nicknamed mad Yank while playing poker in Thailand by the people around him due to his volatile temper and opinionated nature, has been found sane enough to stand trial in Thailand charged with murder for the murder of a waitress there. It’s unknown whether Ron Fanelli’s bad temper extended to online gambling as well.

Fanelli, 37, has already confessed to the killing of the waitress who he allegedly stabbed and then dumped by a remote Phuket roadside. While in prison his behavior earned him the nickname and there were many who thought that his erratic behavior was his way of claiming the insanity card to get a lighter sentence.

After his successes at the poker table ended in 2004, he moved to Thailand and had a string of bad relationships which apparently ended in the murder of Wanpen Pianchai.

After five months of rigorous testing he was found capable of standing trial and now the man who once said the only thing he ever did wrong was to berate some players at a poker table when he had a losing streak faces the possibility of life in prison in a Thai penitentiary where there won’t even be the possibility for him to play online poker games there.

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