Wat Promkunaram Temple Murders

Wat Promkunaram Temple Murders


August 9, 1991 was a date that will live in the minds of many Arizonians; The Wat Promkunaram Temple Murders. The killing took the lives of nine people at a West Valley Buddhist temple.

Investigators found nine victims lying face down and grouped together, their heads pointing inward like spokes in a wheel. Some had their hands clasped in prayer. The carpet was bloody from head wounds made by .22-caliber bullets and shotgun blasts to torsos, arms and legs.

Sheriff’s detectives over six days did exhaustive crime-scene work, taking thousands of photographs, fingerprints, footwear evidence and making scores of diagrams.

I was contacted the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab to assist Mr. Jim Serpa, in the examination and comparison of footwear evidence in this case.

We were able to positively identify a questioned heel print that was recovered from the crime scene using the Electrostatic Dust Print Lifters, to the heel of a pair of boots taken from one of the suspects.  This examination, along with other pieces of crucial evidence lead to the conviction of both suspects.