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Carter family group enjoys a night out in Thailand

Carter Family's Anger at Krabi Killing Better Directed at Telling the Whole Truth

Saturday, August 3, 2013
Phuketwan News Analysis

PHUKET: Making tourists safe must become the mantra for Krabi, Phuket and Phang Nga as the destinations become truly international. Weapons are a no-no.

The tragic killing of Texan Bobby Ray Carter Jnr in Krabi this week was another reminder that too many Thais still come prepared for trouble by carrying concealed weapons or having quick access to them.

While the Carter family have yet to give a clear account of what happened, access to sharpened steel rods, knives, machettes and swords remains an issue.

Plainly, there are aspects to the Long Horn Saloon rumble and stabbing that trigger other unpleasant memories.

Back in January last year, Phuket resort owner-manager Vorasit ''Wan'' Issara was badly hacked while out enjoying a night in a Phuket City bar with Hollywood star Jeremy Renner.

Khun Wan's parents made a plea the following week for action to take weapons out of places of entertainment and for police to remove them from the hands of young people on the streets.

While it appears that Phuket police heeded the message, the echo does not appear to have carried as far as Krabi.

Mr Carter's killing and the wounding of his son Adam was just the latest attack there in Krabi's holiday centres.

A young German woman had a thumb sliced off in an attack in Krabi Town last year and Briton Jack Cole was badly cut up in Ao Nang, the holiday town where Mr Carter was killed early on Wednesday.

The Americans who were with Mr Carter would be well advised to provide their account to the English-language media in Thailand as soon as possible.

So far, attempts have been made to accuse the Americans of starting the trouble. Reticence to speak publicly to the media in Thailand is usually taken as a sign of embarrassment at the least, and guilt at worst.

Unlike Phuket, Krabi does not have a strong English-language media corps so stories that involve wrongdoing and tourists tend to fade from the spotlight there quickly.

Nothing illustrates this better than the mysterious deaths of Canadian sisters Audrey and Noemi Belanger on the Krabi holiday island of Phi Phi in June last year and the earlier equally mysterious deaths of American Jill St Onge and Norwegian Julie Bergheim in 2009.

Krabi police did not exactly spring into action to investigate either of the double fatalties, one of the reasons why the four mystery deaths still remain unsolved.

The Carter family's reluctance to speak out is unfortunate, although Phuketwan did receive an email from a correspondent who said his name was Bobby Carter III.

He wrote perhaps the only family account of what happened so far:

''There is nothing that can justify the murder of my father. He was there spending money that he didn't have to spend there.

''He was just a customer who was leaving upset from a place he didn't feel gave him what he paid for.

''The band then should of took a different roal (sic) as they didn't they followed my family outside the exit door where they where leaving (hello leaving out the EXIT door...)

He wasn't stabed (sic) inside the salon he was killed outsid on the sidewalk... That means the band got off the stage and followed him outside (where again he was leaving) then got right up in his face and stabbed him where also my stepmom was hit by a shotgun (which they fail to mention) my brother tried to save my dad where then he was also stabbed in the arm...

''I mean come on since when is it ok to kill your unhappy customer...This is so low ... that other news are making it seem like my dad went to this bar picked a fight with band members .. and then dragged them outside to be stabbed by the band...))

''That's the way they make it seem... Hey its all about keeping it on the low so that the next family will still come to there (sic) stupid bar to sing with a stupid band who wants to get paid but not make the customer happy.. if it wasn't for tourist they would be begging for food from us...

''I mean how you going justify this.. Yes Bar+Beer+people= a night spot .. Do you really think there are sober people spending money at a s*** hole of a place..

''when your there you would want to relax and enjoy your Bday with your family ...I cant believe this has happened... My dad gone because of ungreatful idiots..RIP dad I love you..''

Phuketwan has no reason to believe that the email was not written by Bobby Carter III. But a more complete account of what happened is required to make sure that other accounts do not influence a just outcome.

Phuket's reputation is equally affected by shocking incidents in Krabi and Phang Nga and the region's police should be in total agreement in assiduously pursuing the truth.

Tourism officials know that's what has to happen. Justice must be seen to be done.

When a representative from Krabi's Tourism Authority of Thailand office spoke with Adam Carter at Bangkok Hospital Phuket, where he was treated for his stab wound, the impression was given that he was ''very upset'' and perhaps even angry at his father's death.

That's understandable. But if the events are genuinely being misrepresented, then it's best not to get angry, but to get even. Make sure the truth is told.

Adam Carter has since returned to Krabi from Phuket.

Meanwhile, although the reputation of the Andaman provinces as a holiday destination continues to grow, it's plain that the police have a lot of work to do to get weapons out of the hands of musicians, taxi and tuk-tuk drivers, bar staff and everyone else who deals with tourists.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Even. if the Thai was overpowered and the Texan was the wrong doer, he could have tried to say something like,
OK, I GIVE UP, STOP, a verbal tap out, no?
At least that was a customer he fought with.
And not stab him!?

Posted by Alfred on August 3, 2013 16:53

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Truth or not, a blue eye or a broken nose would have done it as well. Nothing justifies killing.

Posted by Jakub on August 3, 2013 17:18

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Here is the VDO on YouTube !!!!!!

Posted by Whistle-Blower on August 3, 2013 18:53

Editor Comment:

It's a reconstruction based on slim and unproven accounts and therefore we can't suggest it to readers.

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He was there spending money that he didn't have to spend there.
if it wasn't for tourist they would be begging for food from us...
Do you really think there are sober people spending money at a s*** hole of a place..

Top quality tourists

Posted by FS on August 3, 2013 19:21

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I have visited Phuket 8 times in the last 2.5 years. I will never return to South Thailand. Mai dee, maak maak.

Posted by No-el on August 3, 2013 22:02

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All the facts for this since less murder has not come out yet. Fact no matter what was said in bar. Fact they followed or waited for them the Americans outside the bar. Fact the musicians had weapons gun, knife or steel T Bar. Fact the American had no weapons. Fact the Musicians had intent to do harm to the Americans. Fact a man died and for what a disagree inside of a bar.

Posted by Anonymous on August 4, 2013 02:36

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Noel, 8 times in 2.5 year, if it is so bad here why 8 times in 2.5 year ????

Posted by Eric on August 4, 2013 06:48

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I have read PW articles every week for the last 2 yrs. I don't see phuket getting any better. Just more violent and I think locals don't want tourists any more.
I think I'll retire in Chang Mai area instead. No beaches but I'll live longer and more peaceful.

Posted by John on August 4, 2013 08:39

Editor Comment:

Most urban areas everywhere around the world have low-level crime - snatchings, rip-offs etc. Phuket's problems are well-reported because it has a vibrant international-oriented news media. Chiang Mai is less well reported but it has its problems, too.

Perhaps you'd be better off putting the bad news in a proper context, as Phuketwan and other quality news outlets around the world always strive to do.

As we discovered earlier this week when a reader nominated his Australian home city of Perth as being ''safer than Phuket,'' a bit of research turned up the following:

July 31: A man has been charged after he allegedly impersonated a police officer at a Perth hotel and assaulted an escort.

July 31: A Perth jury has found a woman guilty of deliberately setting fire to another woman.

July 31: Police in Perth have charged a 56-year-old man with the wilful murder of his wife six years ago.

July 30: An elderly taxi driver who indecently assaulted a disabled passenger has avoided jail.

July 30: Police are searching for two men who stole a large sum of money from an elderly couple in Swan View after carrying out repairs to their home.

July 30: Police are searching for a gang responsible for an attack on four tourists in the city. The gang attacked two couples near the Cultural Centre on James Street last night.

July 28: The level of alleged gang rapes, sexual assaults, and sexual harassment of staff and detainees in detention centres has jumped dramatically as the number of asylum seekers arriving in Australia swells to a 10-year high.

July 23: The two police officers accused of assaulting an Aboriginal man by repeatedly tasering him in a Perth lock-up will not go on trial until January next year.

As we have said often, Phuket is a wonderful place for a holiday and a delightful place to live, provided you avoid the obvious pitfalls. And there is no perfect, trouble-free place on Earth.

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to the editor. yes there is trouble evry where in the worldthe one thing u dont touch on is the justise,all those people in perth who do wrong will face the law they will not be given light sentence becauce of natianality all treated the same, here in thailand farangs are second class to thais when it comes to law and order. u are racist person in a racistist country shame shame

Posted by GT on August 4, 2013 09:59

Editor Comment:

If you think I am a racist person in a racist country, GT, then your views on every topic are probably equally foolish and misguided. But thank you for taking the trouble to type.

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@ED : Why you compare Perth at Phuket !! Perht is a Big City!! Phuket a Small Island! Compared to the size of land , Phuket Crime are much Higher, Phuket ED you like it or not become not safe!!! Phuket are Wonderful yes !Ed you not racist you just a not Open Minded Guy, who just like to have the last word! you do not do Professional Journalism!! you not Pro! why because you always take position and quick out every one! you take pleasure to Critical your guess loll Just think your self about your Attitude ! maybe your can't because you have not much Brain !! Thai brain are not high! ( Please ED Just Publish this Topic would be Kind! Thx ) Happy Sunday ^^

Posted by raider on August 4, 2013 10:56

Editor Comment:

A reader suggested a comparison between Perth and Phuket because Perth is his home town. He seemed to think Perth didn't have as much crime. Yet being larger, it clearly has more. In the absence of comprehensive statistics, our reporters have a pretty good sense of the crime levels on Phuket and you would be wrong to be a scaremonger. Judging from your response, you have far more problems than Phuket has: paranoia, the inability to think clearly, excessive use of exclamation marks . . . you're in big bother. And by the way, a hotelier who expressed those kinds of opinions without justification would struggle to hold a job.

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Anyone that has stayed in Ao Nang will confirm that the streets go quiet starting at 10pm and that it's dead come midnight. I know because I have stayed there a few times in high season. The town has a different demographic of visitor compared to Patong. The one area of Ao Nang which is slightly boisterous is the entertainment area is where the implicated bar is located. Compared to the sois off of Bangla, the place is calm. I am not making excuses, but this tragedy is a rarity in a town where one does not see the brawls, arguments, & disputes that characterize places like Patong, Karon etc.The touts are relatively non aggressive. Ao Nang is not cursed with the gangs that run the beach chair, jetski and related businesses and because of that the locals are not as likely to enter into disputes with visitors. My point here is that Ao Nang is a safe place to stay and the event at the bar should not discourage regular visitors who are respectful of local sensitivities. Visitors to Ao Nang are generally the quality segment the Phuket tourist authorities say they want to attract and the general ambience of the town reflects it.

Posted by Ryan on August 4, 2013 12:48

Editor Comment:

With perhaps one twentieth the tourist population, one murder in two recent hack attacks, plus a young female tourist losing a thumb in a third attack nearby in Krabi Town, seems out of proportion.

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Once again Thais bite the hands that feed them

Posted by slickmelb on August 4, 2013 20:40

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If you look at the Killers who attacked my father there is not a mark on these people ... NOT A WOUND ARE A SCUFF >>>>I never in my life have seen such a poorly investigated murder.. If it was like they said self defense ..UHHH wouldnt they show .. Like may be black eye broken nose are some scrape marks. something.. If this was a fight there would be injuries on both sides My dad was 6ft 235 lbs.. Not a small man by any means. there where no visble marks on these killers not even riped shirt or pants.. WOWWOWWOW does this take rocket science... R I P love you dad

Posted by bobby ray carter III on August 5, 2013 02:06

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@slickmelb: YES...they they will feel it soon

Posted by Michael on August 5, 2013 03:04

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Eric. I originally went to Phuket 4 times to complete a full dental reconstruction (600,000 baht). On the last of these visits I met and started a relationship with my now, Thai wife to be. She is the marketing manager for one of the most famous fashion brands in Thailand. I have travelled with her from Chaing Mai to Hatyai ( I was there the week Osama was "taken") and live (part time) in On Nut when I am not at work in Australia, (on an island in Western Australia). I am very well known in Phuket town and have sponsored 8 Thais to English lessons at the school near the central bus stop in town. I have always stayed at Joe Mansion in central Phuket and travelled extensivilly throughout southern Thailand. I have "supervised" 11 other Aussies during their 1st visits to Thailand, (so they understood Thai customs). My opinion is valid and represents a growing fear regarding ALL south Thailand. I read of the Tourism agent (from WA) who lost her life and personally witnessed the 2nd part of the Kitty Kat foolishness, and saw him earlier on that day on the beach start other trouble. Some tourists start their own trouble but others are dragged into it and cannot escape grave trouble. I have great sadness (Pom mai mee qwaam sook) for my true friends (from business people to taxi boys) from Phuket as reports seem to increase, and whilst other areas of Thailand also have crime, South Thailand has a problem with justice being done and being seen to be done. THIS LAWLESSNESS MUST STOP, and it starts with the authorities.
Thoughtful regards No-el.

Posted by No-el on August 5, 2013 06:38

Editor Comment:

Thanks for the response, No-el. It would be a mistake to assume that publishing reports of crimes against tourists indicate an outbreak of lawlessness. While we don't disagree with your central thought that ''this lawnessness must stop,'' we have found no evidence to show that there has been a recent surge in crimes against tourists or expats on Phuket or in the Andaman. Tragically, notable murders do occur from time to time and every effort should be made to make sure that there are no more killings. I think you will find a similar number of notable deaths in Bali and most tourists destinations. We have also been striking some unscientific comparisons between Phuket and Perth, WA, and to be frank, Perth sounds a seriously disturbed kind of place. Here's the latest news from Perth:

FORMER AFL star Ben Cousins has reportedly been bashed at a park in Perth. The 35-year-old Brownlow Medal winner was in the park when he was approached by a man yelling ''I am going to kill you,'' a witness told The West Australian.

THIS LAWLESSNESS MUST STOP. By the way, the English school near the bus terminal has closed or moved.

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Phuketwan. Your childish defensive emotionally out of control replies are hillarious..... You haven't a leg to stand on.... Its like you refuse to accept reality and are angry at Mr Carter for having being murdered...... And even angry at his families distress......

Posted by falang ting tong on August 5, 2013 07:54

Editor Comment:

No need for me to respond to such an outrageous claim. The many names you have used in the past show readers how seriously any comment from you should be taken: falang ting tong/ crocodile tears/ audit/ kylie minogue/ tourist/ widdl ee dee/ katoey/ tingtong thailand/ oz/ the great one/ nas/ peebaa.

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As an impartial reader of this page, I have noticed the "output" by the editor here is myopic and one dimensional and he appears to be a constant apologist regarding an ever increasing local violence and animosity directed towards tourists and visitors that is building over time. The editor is constantly dismissive of opinions and viewpoints that clash with his "rose colored" view of the overall conditions that are turning parts of Thailand into a not-so-user-friendly place anymore. I watched the same scenario unfold in Angeles City P.I. over time and the same forces are at work here with the same myopic apologists and dismissive local gadflies

Posted by Rogerramjett on August 5, 2013 11:37

Editor Comment:

Forgive my laughter, but Angeles City? You are setting one of the world's most notorious whoring havens alongside Phuket, a family tourist destination? Clearly, you're great at comparing rotten apples with wholesome mangoes, Rogerramjet, and not much good at reality checks.

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Ed, interesting stats, but hey, I notice many are not current, one is at least 6 years old, many others go back months, I know you only looked at what was in court that day, pretty pathetic really. The other thing you failed to inform your good readers is the fact that they at least made it to court, even after some time had past, something that other does NOT occur on Phuket... cheap shot, but you failed.

Posted by Phuket_IOC on August 5, 2013 17:21

Editor Comment:

Most murders are dealt with by Phuket's courts much faster than six years, Phuket_IOC. In the case of Michelle Smith, her killers were sentenced and jailed for life within seven weeks. Your ill-informed babble adds no value.

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ED, if you need to pick the cases, to justify your comment, go ahead, I think your readers are intelligent enough to know what you are like, it still does not change the fact that to make a point you use old cases and attempt to show them as current. What a loser you have become.

Posted by Phuket_IOC on August 5, 2013 18:17

Editor Comment:

I've got no interest in arguing with you, Phuket_IOC. I have better things to do. You won't be posted here again. Goodbye.

PS, if you wish, feel free to replace the court case with this one, just happening today:

PERTH: Police are investigating the discovery of a dead body on a vacant lot in East Perth. A section of East Parade is closed to traffic while detectives and forensic officers probe the scene.

Or, given your concerns about racism in Australia, this one:

PERTH: Police have described an attack on a foreign student in Bentley on Sunday night as "cowardly." Shaun Takenhara, 25, from Japan, was approached by two strangers and struck with what he believed was a bat or a metal pole when walking home from university.

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Glad that PW is keeping a close eye on this tragedy because my impression is that some tourists feel like to behave the way they want as long as they have money for tipping because otherwise "they would be begging for food from us... ". Sorry for your father bobby ray carter III. I never justify weapons used against verbal confrontation but now you might think about dos and don'ts when you travel to countries so different in culture and custom.

Posted by paul on August 17, 2013 18:19

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some tourists just dont understand that they are just a guest, forget to respect the locals. Spending a lot of $ dosent mean u own the place..
for eg, u come to my house and act like an a**hole, of course i'll give u the a**hole treatment..simple.

Posted by rizalio on October 24, 2013 01:49


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