Trouble In Paradise? Suicide And Accidental Death Reach Epidemic Proportion On The Island Of Phuket!
Phuket on Thailand's South coast is a tropical island paradise, a romantic holiday destination with beautiful sandy beaches full of tourists that have come to escape the dreary winter months of Europe and North America. The locals have a reputation for their hospitality, and their charming Thai smiles, making tourists feel welcome and keeping them coming back year after year. Most tourists don't realize that there are an alarming number of unexplained deaths, and questionable suicides.
I was reading the local paper this morning, and I saw another story reported as a suicide, yet the circumstances seem to indicate that something more sinister is far more likely. This is nothing new, stories like this appear in the Phuket papers as often as weekly, with so many bizarre suicides reported in Phuket, it seems impossible to write them off as simply coincidence. Earlier this week, a prominent local media mogul was gunned down in the streets of Phuket Town, in an obvious assassination. Now it is being reported that the deceased journalist Wisut ''Ae'' Tangwittayaporn, first raised questions about the ownership of the Freedom Beach land, printing a story in his online newspaper. Today's report also suggests that a security guard who was questioned by investigators, and "had intimate knowledge of a controversial property at Phuket's Freedom Beach", has committed suicide just the day after the assassination of Khun Ae.
Now the official story is that the security guard felt pressured and depressed, and chose to end his own life, however his involvement in such a high profile land dispute has many people asking questions, and pointing fingers. The local law enforcement has a reputation for corruption, and it is believed that murders are often covered up, written off as suicides or accidental deaths. If you go back through the archives of the local newspapers, and read the reports of suicides and accidental deaths, the numbers are staggering.
QUESTIONABLE SUICIDES & ACCIDENTAL DEATHS IN THE PAST 13 MONTHS :
UPDATE - Feb 12 - The body found on January 26, has been identified as missing South African tourist Mark Robson. Despite the fact both Phuketwan and Phuketgazette had earlier reported the incident as a suicide, the Phuketgazette is now reporting that "The Gazette notes that photos taken from the crime scene suggest the possibility of foul play, especially bruises on Mr Robson’s back and the fact that he was found “hanged” in a sitting position." This has people questioning why this information was never provided in the original media reports, which had labelled the case as a probably suicide.
UPDATE - Jan 26 - Just 2 days after this article was published, a foreign man was found hanging from a tree at Freedom Beach. This is the 3rd questionable death with connections to Freedom Beach, after a journalist was killed after reporting about the case, then a security guard who was questioned about the case apparently took his own life the following day. Police statements have already hinted toward this most recent death being labeled as a suicide or accident "the man may have slipped and fell when trying to rig a nylon cord to a tree" Read More >
Jan 18 (2012) - Phuketwan reports that the body of an Italian tourist is found on the side of the road between Kata and Nai Harn. An examination of the body showed severe trauma to the head, yet police at the scene speculated that the victim had a heart attack while driving. The stretch of road where the body was found is well known as a spot where a where assailants have been known to attack unsuspecting riders, robbing and beating their victims. Read more >
Dec 27 - Phuketwan reports that a Kiwi tourist has died after having sex with two prostitutes, the 30 year old man from New Zealand was in Phuket mourning the death of friends who had died in the Tsunami of 2004. There has been a score of reports of tourists being drugged and robbed by local prostitutes in Patong Beach, and the women who would have been the last people to have seen the man alive have not been found. Read more >
Dec 23 - Phuketgazette reports that a body of a South African man was found dead on his sailboat in Chalong Bay, the man was found with a plastic bag on his head. Police at the scene concluded it was suicide. Read More >
Dec 20 - Phuketwan reports the suicide of a 28 year old woman, living in a luxury home, found in the bathroom hanging from a scarf. Very little information was given about a possible motive.
Dec 17 - Phuketwan reports another German man dies of an overdose of sex, causing him to have a heart attack in his hotel room. The police questioned a local bar hostess who spent the night in the man's room, and they are satisfied with her claim that he was alive when she left at 11AM.
July 14 - Phuketgazette reports that American Josh Steven Weitz, was found dead in his apartment, with a plastic bag over his head. Police originally said foul play was not ruled out, but eventually settled on suicide as the most convenient conclusion. Read more >
June 19 - Phuketwan reports that Russian tourist Evgeny Otrubyannikov, 25, was found dead in his cell in police custody, apparently having hanged himself with his T-shirt. He was arrested for a dispute over a motorcycle rental, a minor offense. Read More >
Jan 27 - Phuketwan reports that a Swedish man has been stabbed to death in his Patong apartment. The Phuketgazette and all other local media publish reports of the official police investigation that claimed the victim fell backwards on a whiskey bottle and died from his injuries. Phuketwan was forced to print an apology and retract their original report, however the editor refused to comment on the statements quoted from police officers at the scene that said "A SWEDISH man has been savagely knifed to death in the western beach resort town of Patong, Phuket police said tonight. Police are hunting his killer or killers." Read more >
Jan 16 - Phuketgazette reports that a "Hero" Lawyer hanged himself in his apartment, again from the doorknob (questionable). The lawyer, Khun Supachai Singjan, 54, was involved in land disputes defending poor villagers in land-rights cases – without remuneration. He won many cases, and made many enemies in the process. Read More >
Dec 27 (2010) - Phuketwan reports that 2 Swedish men have hanged themselves over the Christmas holidays, one in Patong Beach, the other in Krabi Town. Reports suggest that Felipe Gustavo Basualto Trincado was found hanging from a doorknob in his hotel room. Read more >
The list above is just a handful of questionable reports involving strange suicides or accidental deaths over the past year, there are many more that are not reported, these are just a few of the most obvious that stand out. The local law enforcement appear to draw conclusions immediately upon arriving at the scene, and it would seem that whenever possible, they quickly conclude that suicide or some bizarre accident is the most likely cause of death. There seems to be no accountability, no investigation, no due process.
The list of foreign tourists that die of apparent heart attacks is enormous, and I am sure that many of them are actually drugged and robbed. It has long been known that local sex trade workers, both male and female, or even shemale, are known to spike customers drinks in order to later steal their belongings. It is not so hard to believe that a mix of alcohol and sleeping pills, or knockout drugs, could cause death.
If you are wondering why I have not quoted statistics, such as the number of suicides per year, that is because no accurate statistics are ever made available. Every few months the Phuket police provide reports of expat deaths to foreign envoys, and each time there are names that are missing from the list, this is often reported by Phuketwan.com.
I have no interest in making Phuket look bad, or scaring people away from traveling to Phuket, I simply feel that the more people that know about these apparent coverups, the better chance there is that something will be done about it. The more stories that are published, the more people that speak out, the more pressure there is for local law enforcement to start doing their jobs, and conduct proper investigations as apposed to covering up murders.
- Phuket Gazette Reports: Chalong Police Hunt For Burmese Baby Killer In Phuket, Thailand
The official story in the Phuket Gazette tells a tale of a young Thai woman with a newborn baby, she returns home one day to find the lifeless body of her child, and no sign of the nanny.
- Phuket Newspaper Reports Murder, Then Changes Story. Very Fishy!
The original report was that a Swedish man was murdered in his apartment and the police were looking for his killers. Later the police issued a statement that the Swede likely fell backward on his whiskey bottle and bled to death.
- Unexplained Deaths In Chiang Mai, Thailand At The Downtown Inn
British tourists Eileen and George Everitt of the United Kingdom are among the 7 people that died in this Downtown Chiang Mai hotel in Thailand. All 7 of the victims died from heart failure, and while it is suspected that they were introduced to toxi
- Phuket Gazette - Bizarre Murder Report "Frogman Fracas"
The Phuket Gazette reports a bizarre case of a fouled robbery that ended in the would be robber being killed, and the alleged victim being shot with a homemade gun.