On March 26, 1967 Thailand’s “King of Silk” Jim Thompson went for an afternoon walk in Malaysia’s Cameron Highlands and disappeared without any trace, leaving behind one of the most intriguing unsolved mysteries.
Theories are abound over what really happened to the famous American, who prior to carving a name as a successful silk merchant in Thailand was a decorated secret agent with United States’ Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor to the present-day Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
After serving with distinction during the Second World War, Thompson turned his attention into reviving Thailand’s lagging silk industry where he managed to turn it world famous, counting Hollywood’s biggest stars as among his clients.
So what really happened to the 61-year-old American? Speculations are rife about his fate ranging from being eaten by a roaming tiger, lost in the confusing forest trail, fallen into a ravine or kidnapped.
Now, a new documentary titled “Who Killed Jim Thompson” which premiered in Thailand several days ago has made an explosive revelation, claiming that it finally knew what had happened to the former spy and famous silk trader.
“Jim Thompson was executed by the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM),” claimed its producer, Barry Broman from Adventure Film Productions here recently.
Speaking during a premiere of his documentary in Bangkok, he claimed the new information which had linked CPM to Thompson’s disappearance was discovered by his friend, Xuwicha “Noi” Hiranpruek about five years ago.
He recalled that Hiranpruek contacted him and told about the new information which he thought could potentially put to rest the mysterious disappearance of the famous American in Malaysia.
Hiranpruek, who was also present during the premiere, said the information which implicated the CPM with Thompson’s disappearance came about following his conversation with a Singaporean friend, Teo Pin who now lives in Shanghai.
How Teo, a surveyor, knew about CPM’s involvement which the Singaporean, who also attended the premiere, was revealed from the deathbed confessions of the former’s late uncle, Teo Pok Hwa who once served as a senior CPM cadre.
During his stay at Cameron Highland’s Moonlight Cottage, Thompson according to Teo as told by his late uncle, had made known his intention of wanting to meet Chin Peng, who was at that time CPM’s secretary general for reasons unknown to him.
“Thompson wanted to meet Chin Peng, who was then the most wanted man in Malaya,” he said, adding that a request from the American had elicited suspicions in Cameron Highland, which at that time was a hotbed for communist activities.
He also claimed Moonlight Cottage where the American stayed before his disappearance had once served as the CPM headquarters.
The dangerous request to meet the most wanted man in the Malaysia, said Teo, had forced the CPM and its sympathisers in Cameron Highland to dig more information about Thompson, which eventually unravelled his past as a secret agent with a western intelligence agency.
Broman said, it was not a good time for a westerner with a past history of being an intelligence agent to be asking to meet Chin Peng, adding the CPM later determined that Thompson was a spy and decided to put an end to his life.
“Jim (Thompson) should have known better than to ask for Chin Peng. He took a big chance which could possibly cost him his life,” he said.
This new piece of information which linked the CPM with Thompson’s disappearance according to Broman, was further corroborated with another newly-found information they sourced from Willis Bird Jr or better known as Billy among his friends.
Billy’s late father, Willis Bird Sr, he said, was Thompson’s colleague during their time in the OSS where both of them had cultivated close relationship with Thailand’s then Prime Minister Pridi Banomyong before he was ousted and sent into exile in China.
According to Billy who was present during the premiere, Pridi wanted his father to meet him in China but Bird Sr declined the invitation which was eventually taken up by the adventurous Thompson, who travelled to Cameron Highland for that purpose.
His father had told him that the American “King of Thai Silk” was killed by the CPM at the behest of Communist Party of China to impede his effort to meet the exiled former Thai Prime Minister in China. — Bernama
Read more at http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/cpm-responsible-for-jim-thompsons-disappearance-in-cameron-highlands-claims#xcXoB5ouy35eDorM.99