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Pattaya Daily News

24 June 2008 :: 16:06:04 pm 6103

Real Circumstances Surrounding a Recent Suicide

"We are the creators of our own destinies and I am still unsure of what mine is. I know I have done the wrong thing in the past and I think we all have but God forgives us all, no matter what we have done."
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To our dear avid readers:

PDN is taking the bold step of publishing this poignant story of Mr. John Doe (real name withheld through consideration for his family) who committed suicide, as he is a typical example of the increasing number of foreigners who come to Pattaya, fall madly in love after 5 days with a bar girl, get cheated and find no alternative but to commit suicide as the only way out of their dilemma.

John Doe’s death was reported in the local press after he hanged himself in a popular Jomtien building. The media, however, gave no details of the circumstances surrounding his death, probably because he only divulged these to a few people, largely his family. Locals, including farang residents, have become so blasé and anesthetised to the almost constant reports of foreign suicide that they likely gave it little thought after the initial coverage.

However, we at PDN feel indignant at having to report these deaths almost on a daily basis, with absolutely no steps being taken to prevent them and virtually no attempt to follow up the consequences as the litany of suicides goes on and on. Perhaps there should be bold notices at Suvarnabhumi Airport giving stark warning of the consequences of falling in love with heartless, unscrupulous Pattaya bargirls.

This, for the first time, is the true story of what led a foreigner to commit suicide in our supposedly “Fun City”. In the case in question, that of John Doe, the publisher of PDN received certain letters from a friend of a friend, whose name cannot be mentioned, relating to the circumstances surrounding his death. We conducted some research and discovered the account outlined in the letters was apparently the truth and the participants in the story actually exist. Here is the real life story for once of one for whom Thailand was decidedly not a land of smiles, rather a nightmare of torment, betrayal and fear.

We also consider it extremely sad that his family did not choose to get involved after he had related his predicament and made a request for help and financial aid to extricate himself from his apparent nightmare. His family, though, apparently took no notice of his pleas for help.


He starts the first of his letters apologising to his children for being estranged from them and asks for their forgiveness for what he is about to do. He states in the letter that he had never been more frightened in his life and though approaching middle-age, felt that he had not achieved anything in his life. He apparently came to Thailand with the hope of a new start, but that was a very big mistake, as he puts it. He continues “I was completely naive and misled from the moment I took a business here and now it is no good.” He states that he doesn’t have any money for a flight home, nor money to pay for his visa and was afraid that if he was caught he would go to prison in Thailand.

John Doe complains that “I have to say this is one of the worst experiences of my life and in these countries we are robbed, stolen from, lied to, misled, misrepresented, but we have no rights. People here do not like to say ‘no’, but they lie to you instead. I feel scared. I have not slept for 3 days and do not leave the room and I think the easiest way for me is to end my life.”

Following this, he says he prays he’s successful in his suicide bid, because medical expenses in Thai hospitals are exorbitant! The first letter ends with a poignant plea to his children. I am empty, but have a lot of tears inside as I love you all and know I will not share those precious moments with any of you again and whether you believe or not have always respected and looked up to you all,” John says.

In his second letter, apparently to his brother, which he left on his laptop, but never sent, he says it is entitled “goodbye,” and continues “it might help you in understanding where my life isn’t at.” He also bemoans the fact that his children still won’t talk to him.

Next he says” We are the creators of our own destinies and I am still unsure of what mine is. I know I have done the wrong thing in the past and I think we all have but God forgives us all, no matter what we have done.”

He continues ” You know the bar in Thailand I was so excited about? I have never in life faced the problems with people that I have done in the past 5 weeks. Tell “X” from me to be very cautious and not even to trust his lady as they say they understand, but they don’t and not to trust women, especially Thai business people.” John advises X that he can even buy the police here in Thailand as it is very common.

Then John begins to relate the start of the main problem “Z set me up because we had argument and I told her I wanted a break and in the eyes of Thai people it is not the done thing, as foreigners for them are a way of life. She could not accept that I wanted time out. I came home one Friday night after we split and she was in my hotel room with a friend having a drink and she was let in without my knowledge. She (then) went into the bathroom and came out with slashed wrists and before I knew it, she was rubbing the blood all over my shirt. I went downstairs, got a man to call the ambulance but 5 hours later, she and friend said I did it. They set me up and I had no idea at the time, but these things are common here. ”

John continues that he also attached a document that he sent to the landlord of misrepresentation and deception. “The sad part is it goes on 500 times a day as there are fools like me that come to Thailand thinking it is a great place, as things are cheap and we can all make money,” John continues.

John then relates how he purchased a cafe’ where there were no bar girls. He says “we bought a cafe’ with 4 staff and in my ignorance and a lack of peoples’ honesty, we took the cafe’ on 1 week before the tourist season dies for 3 to 4 months. I was mislead and I am responsible for talking everyone into it and I want to repay them all if I get through this.”

The final letter was from John to the Thai person / landlord from whom he originally bought the cafe where he presents a litany of complaints of how “I have been cheated and mislead from day 1 by yourself and certain staff members,” as he puts it. He states that he doesn’t want to continue with the contract, which had been breached by the landlord retaking possession 4 days before the contract’s expiry, and also because the said landlord had been talking to all the employees about matters that concern him personally, their positions and the termination of certain employees.

The examples of how John was cheated are outlined briefly as follows:

· The company was set up incorrectly

· The accountant misled and persistently refuses to speak to John personally, but goes through the previous owner.

· He should have had a 49 % shareholding from day 1, but didn’t receive it · He should have been added as shareholder director, but after 2 weeks this wasn’t complied with

· He was lead to believe by the previous owner that the turnover was Bt8000 per day but the person failed to mention that close proximity of low season and resultant fall in daily takings to less than Bt2000 for a minimum of 3 months.

· He was told only 6 people would eat for free, but it transpired there were “15 people who eat and drink when and how much they want.”

· The previous owner and staff not only don’t pay for drinks, but there are no records kept

· He complains he has no say or control, but the previous owner still maintains control

· Staff members help themselves to money and fail to record anything

· The previous owner failed to disclose the fact that they would be losing approx 1 metre of their prime dining area as the council has claimed that for a road or foot path

· The previous owner interfered with John’s love life by denigrating his chosen girlfriend.

John concludes to the previous owner “It is obvious that you want to maintain control and have a hidden agenda, that is why I refuse to continue with the lease as your information prior to going in was misleading, and deceptive and took advantage of the fact that I am a foreigner. I am very disillusioned with your behaviour and not used to doing business this way as it seems that you can do what you when you want as I am not Thai and will be perusing this matter legally.”

week following this altercation with the cafe owner, John Doe committed suicide. There may well have been other determinants that we are ignorant of, this especially as he constantly complains of being afraid.

His family only reacted when we published his story on PDN and that was to demand that we withdrew his pictures from our publication. After, several communiqués, we complied, despite the fact that other media in Pattaya continued to keep displaying their photos of the unfortunate incidents surrounding John Does’ death. We heard no more from John’s family after this, but assume they reclaimed his body.

Anyway, the point of PDN publishing these confidential letters is because we feel that someone has to do something to warn the tourists to wake up and do their due diligence about the realities of life in Thailand, the Thai people and the Thai culture. If individuals who want to start a bar or business or buy a house or condo after falling in love with a person they barely know, take heed of this story, which is typical of how farangs get taken advantage of by unscrupulous individuals. If they take due heed, they might be spared much heartbreak and in the worst case scenario, see no other option but suicide. Remember, Thailand is all too often the land of shattered dreams!

Warina Punyawan

Reporter : Sirithanon   Photo : Internet   Category : Editorial

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