Ananda Mahidol, also known as King Rama VIII, is a controversial and mysterious figure in Thailand, even now, over 70 years after his death.  He became King as a young boy, living in Switzerland to study, and did not come to live in Thailand until after World War II.  In June of 1946, his death by gunshot wound shocked everyone — even to this day, it has not been determined who fired the fatal shot.

Initially, it was thought that the King shot himself by accident, perhaps when cleaning his gun.  However, it was later determined that his death was either murder or suicide.  It appears that suicide is unlikely — the gun was found in the King’s non-dominant hand.  However, there are many theories as to who may have murdered the 20-year-old monarch.  Even the possibility that the King was accidentally — or deliberately — shot by his younger brother has been put forward.

I don’t know what I believe to be true.

However, what we do know is that even 70+ years later, it is not something that can be openly discussed in Thailand, even after so many years — and after three men were executed (perhaps unjustly) for the murder.