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Mark Robson: speculation about his death led to false media reports

Phuket Death of Mark Robson Confirmed as Suicide

Wednesday, February 22, 2012
PHUKET: Phuket police and Phuket Tourist Police volunteers confirmed today that the ''mysterious'' death of tourist Mark Robson was a clear-cut case of suicide.

A search of the room at a small Bang Tao resort in which the young South African spent his last days in seclusion provided conclusive evidence that his death did not involve ''strangling'' or ''murder,'' as speculated in local tabloid newspapers.

Police had always considered the case was a suicide and documents and sms messages recovered on a mobile telephone proved they were right.

While reluctant to cause further pain to Mr Robson's family, Phuketwan can say that he suffered a romantic setback and decided to end his life rather than start afresh with a teaching job in Taiwan.

It was when Mr Robson, 27, failed to catch a flight to Taipei and a teaching job earlier this month that his family in South Africa revealed that he was missing on Phuket.

Days later, a journalist on a local newspaper compared Mr Robson's most recent photo with a photo of a body found hanging from a tree beside a creek near Freedom Beach, south of Patong, on Phuket's west coast.

The family agreed that the all-white t-shirt, shorts and shoes belonged to Mr Robson, who had been travelling for some weeks on his British passport.

His parents were shocked by the death because their son had been in a happy mood when they holidayed with him on Phuket in January.

It is understood Mr Robson's identity will be confirmed with fingerprints.

Speculation on Phuket about Mr Robson's death led to some remarkable distortions in the South African media.

Just yesterday, one outlet reported: ''The Robson family are battling to arrange for Mark's remains repatriated to South Africa. They also face a struggle to find out who killed him and why and to have the killer or killers brought to justice.''

Anyone feeling depressed on Phuket is advised to talk about their concerns with family or friends, or to consult a doctor.


Comments have been disabled for this article.



Posted by Zig on February 22, 2012 12:42

Editor Comment:

What a foolish and offensive comment to make, Zig. Are you really surprised to learn that tropical island holidays do not cure all the problems that assail individuals? Most thinking people would not be. One in five people suffer from depression or mental disorders.


I don't see the other tabloid newspaper retracting it's story? This whole case was a mess right from the beginning. No matter what the truth is, it was not handled well by the Police, nor the media.

Posted by Jesse on February 22, 2012 17:01

Editor Comment:

Phuketwan is not a newspaper. Our record on this tragic topic is flawless, Jesse, unlike yours. We can't speak for the other media. But I guess you can, as usual. Well handled or not, your opinion is, as always, pure guesswork and not worth consideration.



Posted by Jesse on February 22, 2012 17:19

Editor Comment:

Try rereading the article you mention, then read this:
PHUKETWAN hereby alters its policy on the posting of Comments and bans whingers, whiners, do-nothings, dingbats, doomsayers, carpers, harpers and kooks. This list may grow with time. Constructive ideas and new pieces of information remain welcome.


Isn't it nice that the Ed can choose not to print what we write, but has the gutless audacity to respond in a degrading way. No doubt he'll have a degrading response to this comment as well. Get off of your soapbox and let the readers decide if what some of us write is valuable or worthless slop..after all, isn't this section supposed to be a voice for the readers to express themselves?
We look forward to your "I am right, you are wrong" response!

Posted by zig on February 22, 2012 19:16

Editor Comment:

Zig, do you really want me to publish your previous comment?
OK, here it is:

''LOS...Land of Smiles???...........NO, how about...Land of Suicides''

Do I hear applause? Do I hear someone saying 'Too damn right?' I don't think so. Your attitude and your ethics are appalling and your own soapbox is too slippery for you to stand up on. Your opinion? Sloppy, ill-considered, tactless, and totally worthless.

Please read this: PHUKETWAN hereby alters its policy on the posting of Comments and bans whingers, whiners, do-nothings, dingbats, doomsayers, carpers, harpers and kooks. This list may grow with time. Constructive ideas and new pieces of information remain welcome.

Zig, if you want to add worthless slop, don't bother. If you can't tell if your top-of-the-head comment is worthless slop, don't bother. No brain cells, no publication.


Now I know why my post never appeared, as i spoke from the Heart of my Fears, as a returning guest, but i possibly fit into the new catagory of" whingers, whiners, do-nothings, dingbats, doomsayers, carpers, harpers and kooks.".

I dont mind being moderated, but would have liked to hear some reasuring from The Ed who i do respect and who knows what is going on. Very Sad that this Man from our Village took his life, but love does sometimes destroy lives, and with it families. I to have had sad moment in my past 29 trips to Phuket, but have to be strong and think of consequences to family and friends before ending ones life. No one is worth taking ones life and the stress put on the family of the lost soul.
Keep up good work Ed.

Posted by Gregg Cornell on February 22, 2012 19:28

Editor Comment:

Your previous six comments were all posted, Gregg, although I was a bit slow with one or two. Perhaps you never checked.


Thank you for giving us the truth. It has not been an enjoyable wait for this outcome. You guys, phuket police and tourist police did a good job considering it was suicide and this needed to be determined before sending his body back and before jumping to irrational conclusions of 'murder'. Millions of people suffer from depression and it is a sad truth that people are willing to give up their lives so they can 'get rid of the pain', what they leave in their wake is sometimes a lifetime of unhappiness and pain for family and friends to now deal with. My thoughts and condolences to the family. It is just such a pity that help is not sought after when you are in such a dark place...all it would've taken is for him to have spoken to his family and friends about his underlying issues. Thank you Ed

Posted by Anonymous on February 22, 2012 20:58


It IS just because the Editor is NOT a sweetie pie that HE CAN GET SO MANY READERS and WRTITERS here.....dont' you get it???/ ;)))))

Posted by Olly on February 25, 2012 14:22



Posted by Jenny on March 12, 2012 13:39

Editor Comment:

We may need to add ''scaremongers'' to the following list:

PHUKETWAN hereby alters its policy on the posting of Comments and bans whingers, whiners, do-nothings, dingbats, doomsayers, carpers, harpers and kooks. This list may grow with time. Constructive ideas and new pieces of information remain welcome.


I give zig my complete applause! It seems that every time I log on I read about some new suicide.

Perhaps it would be nice if news sources probed it and asked some questions.

Posted by Joel M on March 13, 2012 05:48

Editor Comment:

Suicides happen every day, everywhere, Joel M. What's remarkable is not that they happen, but that expats on Phuket are surprised that they happen. In many places, suicides are so commonplace that they mostly go unreported. Because there is no coronial system in Thailand, the English-speaking media here tends to report all deaths, self-inflicted or otherwise, as a safeguard. Sadly, people who have little understanding about life or death - or anything else, in many cases - tend to find an opportunity to make mischief in the midst of tragedy. Questions are asked by embassies and honorary consuls about the death of every expat on Phuket and in Thailand. If there were suspicions about the deaths, those suspicions would be pursued. The reason why you read about expat suicides in Thailand is because they get reported here. And they are reported here because there is no independent coroner to rule on the cause of death and ''demystify'' them.

Thursday December 9, 2021
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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