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June (right) was a mother but she loved people and a Phuket party

EXCLUSIVE: Phuket Mystery Death Ends the Love Between Expat Murder Suspect and Thai Girlfriend

Wednesday, February 29, 2012
PHUKET: I knew Stein Dokset and ''June'' Ratchasombut very well and they always struck me as a couple in love.

But at the time of her death, or at least, at the time of her disappearance, they had gone in different directions.

She had another husband, and she'd had a child, her third. Stein also had a new girlfriend.

Perhaps, in mid 2009, they were trying to get back together? It could be possible.

Back when Stein first met ''June'' it was January 29, perhaps 2000 or 2001, and he had just arrived off the plane from Norway. One of his friends, a Norwegian, dragged Stein along to June's birthday party.

It was love at first sight for Stein. At that stage, June had had two children - boys now aged 14 and 12 - and was living apart from the boys' father.

She was a delightful person who lived life to the full and it's easy to understand how Stein would be knocked out and fall in love with her.

The strange thing is that despite what happened, there was still much of June in the house that they once shared.

Her mobile telephone and many of her possessions were still there, even though Stein had a new partner.

It seems to me that perhaps he never stopped loving her. The couple I knew certainly had some great years together.

After Stein arrived on Phuket and met June, they set up a business together, constructing properties and then selling them, then constructing a new house all over again.

The house in which the green wheelie bin was found was one of the houses they built together.

Stein would put up the money, and June would have her name on the title, because foreigners can't own land in Thailand.

The partnership seemed to work well. Stein always semed very much in love with June and never appeared to be the kind of guy who would mistreat June, or any other woman.

They split, and June had a third child, this time by a policeman. Stein, I guess, found someone else, too. At least that's what I thought.

I was closer to June than to Stein.

I have no idea why they were together in the same house, and how she came to die. Perhaps they were trying to get back together again.

Perhaps it was, as Stein now says, an accident.

Perhaps he wanted to keep her close, in the house with him. It's hard to say.

Because I also knew her family, I helped them when they needed to talk to police and to continue to hunt for their missing daughter, their missing mother.

Her father was dead, so it was really her mother who pursued the case when everybody else was prepared to write it off as an unsolved riddle.

I hope the answer to where June went in 2009 is soon resolved, and I hope some of the other puzzles about June and Stein are answered, too.

Malai Srisawat is a pseudonym for a friend who knew the couple well but does not wish to have his real name used.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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In my 8 years here I only know of one Western male / Thai Female couple who are happily together for a long time AND where money plays no part whatsoever (he doesn't have any).

The cultural differences are huge and expectations don't converge most of the time.

I have no credible data but my gut feeling is that the failure rate of cross-cultural relationships, especially here on Phuket, is very high indeed.

For me personally the biggest problem has always been with my partners being very economical with the truth and my inability to accept and adjust to it.

I hope more people would understand when it's time to walk away so we could avoid tragedies like this.

Posted by Steve C. on February 29, 2012 23:25

Editor Comment:

To generalise from your own experience is usually unwise, Steve C. Couples who meet in the wrong places are as much at risk of parting as those in any other part of the world. Plainly, you have a problem. Not all Thai partners are so inclined.

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@Steve C
I have been with my Thai missus 14 years now. I know many mixed race couples that have been together longer than myself and the missus.
You must lead a sheltered life.

Posted by Sir Burr on March 1, 2012 11:48


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