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Police at the beach where the bodies were found on Thailand's Koh Tao

UPDATE Two Tourists Brutally Murdered, One Raped: Police Spark Thailand Holiday Island Manhunt

Monday, September 15, 2014
Updating All Day, Every Day

It's now confirmed that both the dead are British citizens, with confusion arising among island police that the man might be Irish because his passport was not a conventional British passport. Phuketwan has both names but will not release them until relatives have been notified. The man was aged 24, the woman aged 23.

Original Report

PHUKET: Two tourists have been savagely slaughtered in a murder and rape on a small Thai holiday island where residents are today blocking the pier to prevent the killer or killers escaping.

Details are still emerging but it's known that the bodies of a young British woman and an Irish man were found early today on a beach at Koh Tao, a small island near the full moon party destination of Koh Phangan, in the Gulf of Thailand.

Shocked residents have now blocked the pier at the island to prevent anyone leaving.

The woman was found near-naked on a beach and the man was found nearby, with his head severely battered.

Residents told police there had been a beach party for about 50 people, mostly foreigners, last night that went into the early morning.

Police were scouring the island for signs of the killer or killers.

They believe the young man may have been bludgeoned to death with a rock. The woman was still wearing a white bikini top, with her legs splayed.

One theory is that the killer or killers may have seen the couple on a beach together after the party, and then pounced.

The bodies were found between 4am and 5am.

The murders are likely to have a dramatic impact on tourism to Phangan and nearby Samui.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Frightening what's happening in Thailand
Used to be the land of the smiles seems
Now it's getting the land of the knives and guns
Soon people will stop holidaying there and that would be such a shame as most of the people so
Nice and friendly my thoughts go out to these poor murdered family and friends and to all the nice Thai people

Posted by David H . on September 15, 2014 14:28


I hope they get those killer or killers very quickly. If they get them lock them in and throw away the key!

Posted by volker on September 15, 2014 14:31


Shocking.. RIP
Hope those killers are caught fast

Posted by Mr. K on September 15, 2014 14:42


Thailand cant afford something like this... need urgent solution for stopping tourist being harassed in any way... The army need to put Police in action doing their job and prevent Thailand from fail big time .... its discusting ... Thailand cant represent themselves as a country that can't control safety....

Posted by frog on September 15, 2014 15:10


This is so sad.
Tourism will be effected.

Posted by Markm on September 15, 2014 15:23


I agree - this is beyond the pale. Good for the local residents for closing the pier.

Posted by Sam Wilko on September 15, 2014 17:18


Let's wait until they catch the offender/s before jumping in to blame the whole Thai nation.

Posted by Arun Muruga on September 15, 2014 17:20


This is indeed a very shocking double murder, even more so for a small community like Koh Tao. Thoughts and prayers must be with the family and friends of the victims at this time.

I think we all wish the perpetrator(s) are caught sooner rather than later and that they have not already left the island. Whoever is responsible must be apprehended and punished to the full extent of the law and if anyone has the slightest information that may help the police they should pass that on as soon as possible. I cannot stress how critical the first 48 hours are in such cases.

I would also urge that wild accusations, rumourmongering, finger pointing and speculation should be kept off this forum for the good of the victims family and friends. At this point little is known about the identity of those responsible, so please keep such speculation to yourself.

Believe me, once the next of kin and the victims friends are made aware they will scour any source for information and that will inevitably lead here. Let's all think of them before commenting.

Condolences to the family and friends of the victims and RIP to the two tragic victims.

Posted by Lord Melchett on September 15, 2014 17:33


Already front page news in the British press.
Very bad publicity.

Posted by Bob on September 15, 2014 17:43


I dont think tourism will be affected it seems that violence is happening all over the world Thailand is still the land of smiles compare to other countries. My guess is drugs and booze are involved in this matter thats almost 90% of all crimes committed now a days.

Posted by ThailandFan on September 15, 2014 17:54



Posted by Gregg P.Cornell on September 15, 2014 19:17

Editor Comment:

I think we've told you before, Gregg, that violence is not a solution for anything. We are opposed to violence and violent language, no matter what.


Arun Muruga: "Let's wait until they catch the offender/s before jumping in to blame the whole Thai nation"

No one is blaming the whole Thai nation, what they are doing is expressing their shock and horror at this barbaric murder. I'm afraid as a tourist destination you have to have the bad press along with the good! This is indeed all over the front pages of the British Press and also on the BBC, of course it will have a dent in tourism the same as good publicity can help increase tourism

Posted by Paul on September 15, 2014 20:03


Shocked to hear this. Especially as we were staying here just two days ago. My thoughts go to the family and friends of the victims.

Posted by Jim on September 15, 2014 21:20


"The murders are likely to have a dramatic impact on tourism to Phangan and nearby Samui."

I dispute that notion in general, with Thai tourist numbers up 80% since 2009, and foreigner fatalities escalating - even the negative fallout from fatalities in social media has not made a dent in tourism, and why?

Unless it happens to your own family - in this age of supreme entitlement - it seems no one cares enough to make a dent in tourist numbers.

Only political turmoil keeps tourists at home - and the turmoil has not killed a single tourist..

What's it gonna take to wake up those who have not yet been directly affected by a foreigner fatality in Thailand??

Someone in their family needs to die before they take note?

It's a me-me- me- me- me first world

Posted by farang888 on September 15, 2014 21:28


"Thailand is still the land of smiles compared to other countries"

With 40 types of smiles - try to tell the victim families in Australia, Britain, etc, that Thailand is the land of smiles - NOT

Posted by farang888 on September 15, 2014 22:15


What can anyone say, just arrive home, shocked to see either manipulating pictures of the victim or real ones. I seen some s*** during my years here in Thailand but I just start packing my bags. Im sick, discussed and really really hope those pictures not reach any of you or the world wide press. I dont know what to say, but all the best to Thailand, you really need it even if it was a farang that did this...I really hope this slaughter put the true agenda about what happends in Thailand. This is not the topping on the ice, it's just continue building a false picture of reality. Yes we all know the truth, you gamble with you life coming here, blame Burmese, blame farang, blame Thai...this is an island of diving, exploring, this island bigger than patong? I can't be bothered looking..authorities, police, army, whoever, I packing my bags, and will not be able to be taking care of the left overs that actually crazy enough to come regards a Thai family that really hope ALL of you delete the pictures of the girl if you see it..Dear ED dont delete me I just want to answer and express a shoking thing. All the best my fellow residences samuiaans...

Posted by cankendo on September 16, 2014 00:02


The lad was not irish,he is from jersey.

Posted by Darren walker on September 16, 2014 00:08


Paul, I agree, people should not jump to conclusions or accusations without knowing the facts.

There is indeed a great deal of media coverage in the UK and some offers more information. However, how much of that information is correct remains to be seen. Having worked in law enforcement I have my own theory on what happened, based in part on experience and additional information that is becoming available.

But that theory is mine without access to the full facts, so I chose to keep it to myself; to do otherwise would be counter productive and harmful. I would hope others exercise the same caution.

Posted by Lord Melchett on September 16, 2014 00:40


Let's not jump quickly to conclusion that thai people did murder this couple. It could be 'farang' as well. Koh Tao and Koh Phangan are well known as drugs islands. Drugs could have played a role in this rape/killing. RIP to the two young victims, my thoughts go to their families.

Posted by Kurt on September 16, 2014 07:51


Amazing, well not amazing really, the number of murders, death and violence relating to imbecile Westerners imbibing drink, drugs, staying out late.
Intoxication in Australia is bad enough, but doing it in Thailand is insane. It is the stupidity of human nature. Even the young Britpacker looking for the mythical perfect beach. I remember the case of the middle-aged Australian woman who was out at about only 9 pm, fatally stabbed because she did not release her handbag, had probably been drinking. Many deaths in Bali too. The risk level rises exponentially in Asia, but many Westerners especially the young are imbeciles.

Posted by BeAware on September 16, 2014 11:53

Editor Comment:

A shameful thing to say, BeAware, in the context of a brutal double murder about which you know only what you've been told. To blame the victims is something only the most shallow thinkers do. There is no suggestion that drink had anything to do with Michelle Smith's murder. You appear to be one of those warped souls who collect information and distort it to suit a lame theory. What's certainly true is that travellers in Thailand should always be wary about what they do and where they do it, much as they would at home. The risks are about the same. RIP.


BeAware. You sir, are a fool. To write such a comment is insensitive at best, down right stupid at best.

Whilst you may assume that drink or drugs were involved is speculation and not fact. A fact is something that can be perceived by the 5 senses, something you clearly lack.

You would do well to remember that we were all young once and prone to do foolish things. Clearly that's not something you have grown out of.

To imply that being young and foolish is reason enough to be murdered in cold blood is quite distasteful. If being stupid was reason enough, then you Sir would be at the top of the endangered list!

Posted by Lord Melchett on September 16, 2014 14:34


God Bless the parents, siblings and friends of these unfortunate youngsters. What an horrible way to leave this world.

Posted by Geoff on September 16, 2014 17:53


Taking drugs and drinking in Australia where I live is risky enough, where coward punch laws have been enacted; in Thailand it is imbecilic.
I was saying intoxicated behaviour raises the risk factors and yes violence occurs.
The behaviour of Westerners in Vang Vieng Laos, Bali, et al is a case in point.
Resorting to personal vituperation is the refuge of illiterates.
God Bless.

Posted by BeAware on September 16, 2014 19:24

Editor Comment:

I do hope you accept, BeAware, that quoting cases where alcohol is not an issue is deceptive and wrong . . . and that ''single punch'' outrages are not a problem in Thailand. Certainly, becoming inebriated anywhere is not a good idea. And once you are not sitting on the sofa watching television, the dangers increase.


Australia's mandatory sentencing laws for 'coward punches' are popular and good in theory but we are yet to see a case with the minimum sentence imposed. The greatest problem with legislation imposing a minimum sentence is the diminished role of the court system to establish the degree of responsibility and damage. To function properly there must be a separation of power between legislators and the courts role of interpreting law and hearing evidence.
The 10 year minimum sentence only relates to causing death and how it deals with issues such as permanent disability or damage remains unresolved until tested but in any case undermines the judges' discretion to consider the circumstances of each case.

Posted by Manowar on September 16, 2014 20:15


Words escaped me for a few moments when I read BeAware's comments, then a red haze of rage took over. How dare you compare Michelle Smiths murder and these two unfortunate souls murder on staying out late & drinking or drugs. You would have to be ignorant & stupid to even comment as you have done. How about you ask Michelle Smith's husband, her children & her friends feel & now two more families feel before you shoot your mouth off about things you have no knowledge of.

Posted by Perth. WA on September 16, 2014 20:28



1) Why you've posted here a post, that is irrelevant to the article topic? The one above on your objections to Australian law on a mandatory minimum sentencing for "coward punches" ? What it has to do with the event on Koh Tao?

2) "plumber-turned-lawyer":
not only the post is irrelevant , but its substance is derangedly incompetent:
"To function properly there must be a separation of power between legislators and the courts role of interpreting law and hearing evidence."
The legislature have done its job within its competence, and put into statutes a minimum sentencing requirement. In no way legislature operated here beyond its territory and most countries of whatever legal system introduced a mandatory minimum sentencing for various crimes.
If you disagree with this law, and consider it simply "bad law", it has absolutely nothing to do with the legislature violating separation of power principle.

Still it is relieving, that you didn't analyze minutiae news of investigation in the similar manner.

Looking for the skunk, causally referred here as "Manowar", equipped with a full canister of his staff, to demonstrate a content thereof to the world, with the staff stocked being in abundant volumes and of its proprietary distinctive pong.

Posted by Sue on September 17, 2014 18:10


Sue, you are the only person I know who could sue themself for violation of their own rights and still lose.

Posted by Manowar on September 17, 2014 19:09



The canister is still half-full, so?:

Posted by Sue on September 17, 2014 21:14


"The canister is still half-full,so?

If only your cranium had the same level of responsibility.

Posted by Manowar on September 18, 2014 03:42


Well I find strange that the poor girl was also a student at the same university than the Saudi girl stabbed to death a few months ago in Colchester!! Maybe the same killer travelled to kill her and maybe he s a teacher at the uni I am not joking there is a serial killer in Colchester and now a student from Essex also died but abroad....

Posted by Sherry on September 18, 2014 03:43

Editor Comment:

Coincidence is far more likely.



... the same unmistakable, noxious pong...

So the skunk's canister has been refilled overnight and now is full, go on? :

Posted by Sue on September 18, 2014 05:32


Sue, every post is just another injustice against the intelligence of your species, whatever that maybe. Surely sometimes silence will at least provide hope that some intelligence may exist.

Your infatuation with dung, skunks, plumbers and other forms of rubbish may result from you being displaced from your home during an annual septic tank clean out. The location obviously selected for being similar to your origins in Uranus.

It's very hard to engage in a battle of wits with somebody who turns up continually unarmed. So if you and the other like minded of your species can get together, breed and somehow live in a confused harmony, we may all achieve some peace.

Posted by Manowar on September 18, 2014 08:17


O m g

Posted by Krish on October 7, 2014 21:21

Wednesday November 29, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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