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Police Hunt Bar Girl Over Slaying of Expat Editor

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
POLICE are looking for a Hua Hin bar girl and her boyfriend over the vicious slaying of a well-known expat journalist who was the editor in chief of Asia Times online (Atimes.com).

Allen George Quicke, 57, was stabbed seven times and beaten about the head with what appeared to be a baseball bat at his home in Hua Hin, south of Bangkok. Originally from South Africa, Mr Quicke worked in Australia as well as Asia.

Thai media reported today that neighbors heard a commotion after Mr Quicke returned to his house last night with a bar girl. When the maid arrived at Mr Quicke's house this morning, she could not raise him by telephone.

His body was found inside the house. Police believe the bar girl and her boyfriend were responsible. Nothing appeared to have been stolen from the house.

In an obituary, Asia Times credited Mr Quicke today with boosting the readership of the online publication. He worked on the Natal Witness, the Rand Daily Mail, the now-defunct print version of Asia Times, and the Sydney Morning Herald.

He also enjoyed painting Australian bush scenes and became an illustrator of note in Bangkok

''Allen was a perfectionist and demanded the same from his colleagues; if there is a typo in this Allen, we know your ever-eagle eye would have spotted it,'' his obituary said.

Comments

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A sad day for alternative press and for all of those who demand freedom of information.

Posted by Horse Doctor on August 18, 2010 18:08

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And what possible connection has this with Phuket? Misleading sensationalist reporting as usual.

Posted by Frank Schmidt on August 19, 2010 14:44

Editor Comment:

Hello Frank. The reason we published this report is that no other English newspaper in Thailand had as of yesterday bothered to report this murder. If you don't find it interesting to learn that a leading member of the alternative Thai media, an expat journalist of some note, has been murdered, I really don't know what to say. The fact that you find it misleading and sensationalist reflects more on your judgement, not ours. We don't just report Phuket. We report anything we find of significance for our global readership.

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Thank you Phuketwan editor, if you had not reported this in Phuket maybe those of us here in Hua Hin would have never known. It's not like the local government wants the tourism to get any worse. Didn't know him personally, but sorry to hear it ever happened. My wife and I have been burglarised twice in the last year so we finally found a more secure place, but this guy brought the enemy home with him. I sure hope the police care more about finding these two than they do about finding burglars.

Posted by chris on August 19, 2010 15:57

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Two irrelevant comments. I don't see what this has to do with freedom of information, unless HD was implying that Mr. Quicke was someone who championed that, which might well be the case. Frank's comment is nonsense. Good on you for being one of the only news outlets in the country to report this story, which given the position of the deceased is an important one.

Has their been any suggestion as to motive and the exact scenario of what went on here? Seems fishy to me that the boyfriend would be over to the house unless the intent was to rob him.

Posted by Dingo Atebaby on August 19, 2010 16:00

Editor Comment:

At this stage it's a mystery. We are some distance from the scene and can only reflect what we see in the Thai-language outlets. Beyond the initial report, coverage has been slim. Asia Times Online takes an independent stand and recently published a contentious piece on the journalists killed and injured during the red shirt riots. We did not know Mr Quicke so we cannot offer any kind of assessment of his character. There is nothing at this stage to suggest it was anything more than some kind of personal dispute that got hugely out of hand. We just don't know enough.

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Very interesting point. I hadn't made that connection. I believe the piece you are referring to is titled: Unmasked: Thailand's Men in Black, and it was quite a contentious article indeed challenging many of the presumptions people have about the violent tendencies of a hard-core element of the red shirt movement. Allen didn't have a byline on that, but surely as the editor he is the ones ultimately responsible for it and a prominent name attached to the site.

For now it seems like a bargirl pickup gone bad. If I read one of the Thai stories on this correctly, neighbors had reported hearing an argument shortly after the girl's arrival then nothing until what would prove to be the fatal encounter. Perhaps they had this initial argument and the girl phoned her boyfriend at the time. While the fellow in question thought things were ok, the boyfriend was working up a rage and planning to get to the house.

This is pure speculation and I don't know if I have the neighbor thing correct.

As you say, so little is known that at this point it's all conjecture. If there is this added political dimension to the story, then it's downright irresponsible and against their own interests for central Thailand media not to pursue it.

Posted by Dingo on August 19, 2010 21:24

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Hit in the head by a baseball bat? Really? it's hard to find a baseball bat in Thailand.

Posted by Anonymous on August 21, 2010 13:57

Editor Comment:

Are there baseball bats in Thailand? If so, it's possible to get hit in the head with with one. Oh, and there are cricket bats in Thailand, too.

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Of course there are baseball bats in Thailand. Look for them in those shops that sell knuckledusters, catapults, crossbows, stun guns and replica guns.

Posted by Reg on August 21, 2010 23:17

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A foreign journalist working under Sonthi Limthongkul. Wonder if he'd gone to heaven or hell. We'll remember his deeds for the last years of his life.

Posted by ppp on August 24, 2010 10:14

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Editor, thanks both for reporting this story and for taking the time to reply to readers' comments. This is the first time I have read Phuket Wan, but it will not be the last.

Posted by Jon on August 27, 2010 18:15


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