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Luciano Butti, Phi Phi restaurant owner and Phuket businessman

Phuket Murder: Laptop Clues to Killers

Wednesday, March 16, 2011
THE ITALIAN man shot dead on Phuket last night has been named today as prominent businessman Luciano Butti, 60, by Italian website tgcom.it.

From 1997 Mr Butti ran Ciao Bella, a popular restaurant on Phi Phi, and was the author of a book on the 2004 tsunami that devastated the region.

Phuket police were carefully examining a laptop found in his room at the Dara Hotel in Phuket City today for clues to his killers. He was gunned down late last night in a remote part of Phuket.

Police are looking for several men they believe fled the scene of the killing in a white sedan.

Police have yet to find the man's passport but it may be on Phi Phi. Mr Butti, who also had property-real estate interests, travelled frequently between Phuket and Phi Phi.

Mr Butti had lived in Thailand since 1991 and had a narrow escape during the tsunami, which killed more than 800 people on Phi Phi, more than 300 on Phuket, and about 5400 in Thailand.

''After the terrible experience he had written a book entitled 'Tsunami: Sorry I am not a writer but a survivor,' and donate the proceeds to the survivors of the island,'' the Italian online report said.

Phuketwan understands Mr Butti was in the final stages of reaching a court settlement after divorcing his second wife, a Thai. It is believed he has several children.

Mr Butti was shot at least three times about 10.30pm last night near the turnoff to Bang Pae Waterfall in Pa Klok. Police are focussing on a business deal gone wrong in looking at a motive.

On a dating site, where he gives his age as 48, Mr Butti describes himself this way: ''I am an Italian that and I live alone happily in a tropical island of Thailand where the sight flows serene. I work in my restaurant Italian-thailandese and I have some bungalows for my clients. I am a honest and sincere person, faithful (monogamous), practical sport (frisby, beachvolley and diving) I have written a book and I will perhaps write another. I like to travel. I have a beautiful life but I look for a young and beautiful women (for me important) that wants to share my life.''
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Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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I interviewed him in 2007 for TV11 and he put VDO on his website ciaobellaphiphi (dot)com under tsunami section. He was very friendly, active and popular, and will surely be missed by friends and family. RIP

Posted by GrantPhuket on March 16, 2011 20:48

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I knew Luciano very well. He was a truly honest, goodhearted person. He has one son and not "several children".

Posted by Lee Weingst on March 17, 2011 05:18

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And the wife is german
And not thai

Posted by Mostromarino on March 17, 2011 12:45

Editor Comment:

We've been told Mr Butti has been married twice. As he is now both divorced and deceased, it hardly seems to matter.

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"As he is now both divorced and deceased, it hardly seems to matter."

Editor, nice to know you handle facts so carefully...

Posted by theodor on March 17, 2011 13:50

Editor Comment:

Nice to know you are so concerned about this man's murder.

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Editor - good little topical site but you always let yourself down on your comments acting like a little dog snapping at your readers ankles, yap yap yap...I like many other knew luciano from his early time on phi phi, and he was great guy - thoughts to his son at this time.

Posted by david on March 17, 2011 17:35

Editor Comment:

6000 visits each day indicate we're probably good and topical, but not so little. Thanks for the put-down. Condolences to Mr Butti's relatives.

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Facts about his life are as important as facts about his death. I may not agree with the first part of Voltaire's quotation ("To the living we owe respect; to the dead we owe only the truth."), but the second part resonates.

Posted by Tanya Millibank on March 17, 2011 22:22

Editor Comment:

Would Voltaire have let readers have their say anonymously, right or wrong, on his website, Tanya?

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Police say they found 11mm unspent bullets at the scene. Such caliber is unusual and signifies a French made weapon once widely used in France, Belgium and Italy. The most common caliber would be from a .45 inch weapon which equates to 11.43mm.

Posted by Pete on March 18, 2011 10:06

Editor Comment:

There are conflicting reports about the murder weapon or weapons, which is why we haven't reported that aspect of the case in detail. You wouldn't be quoting something from some other site as fact, would you?

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I'm only surmising on something I read on another site. As it appeared rather unusual, I offered my opinion. It bears no relation to the facts of the case as I don't know any. Just an opinion.

Posted by Pete on March 18, 2011 10:57

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You should not be so f***ing smug with your readers comments.

Posted by Wow on March 18, 2011 13:26

Editor Comment:

We don't do ''f***ing smug.'' We try for accurate and incisive. Are you making a case for greater civility, Wow? Or for allowing people to say what they like, even if they have no idea? Plenty of sites would probably even carry your meaningless suggestion, without challenge. Sorry, we won't.


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