Stickman Readers' Submissions May 24th, 2002

Murder Of A Farang

The reason I am writing to you is to hopefully make available the dangers of a white man finding a "decent girl" in perfect little Thailand…

What follows is a true story of a friend who ended up dead because he picked the wrong girl to "date".

He Clinic Bangkok

I have changed the actual names, for obvious reasons.


Phil lived in the same building as me in Bangkok. I knew him from the UK and would occasionally sit next to him at our night classes for professional exams. I could not claim to be have been close to Phil, but I know his ex-girlfriend, she is a good friend of mine and have learned over a period of time that Phil was a very quiet, calm, intelligent man. He was the type you could pigeon-hole as a typical accountant / computer whizzkid…..but he was not boring. He liked a drink and to play pool etc. But still he was a quiet man. I once had a conversation with him which lasted for 10 minutes. I did most of the talking, Phil was quite a shy character. He was just a quiet man. Certainly not the type that would look for trouble.

CBD bangkok

At the beginning of May this year, I rolled up in a taxi, outside my apartment block in Bangkok. I paid the fare and on opening the taxi door I discovered Phil standing right there next to the taxi door. He was so close to the door, that if I had not looked before I opened the taxi door, I would have banged into him. Phil was looking rather drunk because he was swaying a little bit and his shirt was hanging off the shoulder. Well, we all like a drink don't we!! So I assumed he was drunk!!

On getting out of the taxi, I asked Phil if he wanted to "get in this one", rather than wait for another cab. This is where the night turned cold and my life will never be the same again. Phil had literally, some minutes earlier, been beaten up by a Thai guy. So Phil was not swaying due to alcohol. He was unstable because of the beating he had received from a Thai guy some minutes earlier. His face was swollen badly from the jaw to the cheek-bone. It was large, like a quarter-mango size. He was sweating profusely. I mean, it was leaking out of him. His Thai girlfriend (as far as I know she was not a bargirl) was crying and blabbing away saying that Phil had been attacked.

I begged Phil to jump in the cab and come to the hospital. His girlfriend begged too. But Phil was not interested. He just wanted to sit down on the doorstep. He did not want to go to hospital. So I buttoned up his shirt for him, put his necklace back down inside the front of his shirt and put my hand under his arm-pit to help him walk to the door-step.

By now, more white (I hate the word "farang") friends who live in our building had come downstairs and outside, and were asking Phil what had happened and asking him to go to hospital. These guys really cared for Phil. They were all friends for over 10 years. They all knew each other very well from the UK and were very close friends. That's why they all lived in the same apartment block in Bangkok.

wonderland clinic

After a few minutes, Phil insisted on going up to his room. We all accompanied him. It transpired that Phil's girlfriend's had an ex-boyfriend, and it was the ex-boyfriend that had beaten up Phil. Once in Phil's room it was decided that the police should be called. We again asked Phil to go to the hospital, but again he was not really interested.

The next thing I knew was the following day, Phil was in a coma and had 10% chance of pulling through. The damage to Phil was far more serious than one could imagine. He had a brain haemorrhage, broken ribs, punctured lung, broken jaw or cheek-bone….and the most sickening thing……his balls and dick were severely damaged due to the repeated kicks Phil had taken in the groin region.

As news filtered through about Phil, it was clear that he was fighting for his life. Well, to be precise – he was being supported by breathing apparatus, his mother was on her way from the UK and was having to be faced with a decision to let her beloved and only son try to pull through and live his life as a severely mentally damaged person, or turn off the life support machine and let her son be at peace with God. That's what she was faced with.

Last week, Phil died. He was only on his early 30s.

It hurts to know that the night he was beaten up, I was holding a dying man, when I did not even know it. It was not apparent to any of us that he was dying that night he was beaten up. Hindsight is a wonderful and sometimes bastard thing to have. If onlys…&….what ifs cross one's mind.

The bottom line is that Phil has gone now and he did not deserve to go that way. Some may argue that he should not have had a relationship with the Thai girl because it was her previous relationship with the attacker which led to the beating of Phil. Whatever one thinks, it is important to consider that "we are all in danger" of this happening to us. Many whites / blacks / yellows or any colour, creed, religion you care to mention – has had a relationship in Bangkok with a Thai girl, regardless of whether she is from the bar or not. That does not mean that we all deserve to be beaten up and end up in a coma.

If any lesson should come from the death of Phil, it should be that his particular death occurred as a direct result of a beating from a jealous Thai man whom could not handle the fact that his ex-mia noi was seeing another man. Doubtless, should I add, he was more annoyed because she was seeing a white man, or "farang" as we are all so well known as.

This should serve as a very direct and stark WARNING to all us guys out there who engage in relationships with Thai girls. Forget about whether your chosen girl is a "decent girl" or a "bar girl". As far as I know, Phil's girlfriend was holding down a regular office job. I don't know much else about her.

Of all the discussions I have engaged, of all the articles and pieces I have read about finding a "decent girl", it all pales to insignificance if Phil's tragedy is a result of a jealous Thai man, which it clearly is.

There is no argument of "is a bar girl better than a decent thai girl". That argument can now be buried with the headstone that reads "Phil…. R.I.P. His tragedy helped foreigners more seriously consider WHO they are really dating…..and buried the age-old argument of bar girl v decent girl."

My opinion of Thailand and Thai people has changed since the night Phil was beaten up. I doubt it will ever be reversed. I know all people of one nation are not the same, but I can't help feeling afraid, angry and upset at the whole incident. The only thing that helps a little to dissolve this "feel-bad" factor is "JUSTICE". But, as we may or may not agree, JUSTICE for expats and justice for locals are 2 different animals. I have heard that the actual attacker may only get about 7 years in prison!!

I wonder: –

1. If Phil was a Thai guy, would he have been beaten up in the first place by the attacker?

2. If the attacker was a white man, would the attacker have been captured sooner?

3. If the attacker was a white man, would he get a light sentence or a heavy sentence…..or would another commodity come into the equation.

4. If the attacker was a white man and the victim was a Thai…..exactly!!

Please all learn from Phil's complete tragedy. Be careful who you are dating. Just because she may appear to be a decent girl with a normal job, don't assume that you are "out of the woods".

Stickman says:

As visitors to this country – and I mean this of both tourists and expats residing in the country, it doesn't take one long to realise that there are many things stacked against us here. I have often felt that amongst many Thai men – particularly those who may not have done particularly well in life, there is a degree of hatred against foreigners. Whether this particular incident can be attributed to hatred of foreigners or what, who knows. But it is a disgrace, and it is a reminder that at times, even in Bangkok, we are only a few steps from the jungle.

nana plaza