Home' Greymouth Star : June 29th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, June 29, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1905 - The Automobile Association is formed
in London by 50 motorists to counter what they
see as police hostility towards the motor car.
1967 - Israel defies international protests and
unites the divided city of Jerusalem for first time
in two decades, following its victory
in Six-Day War.
1967 - Jayne Mansfield, US film
actress, is killed in a car crash near
1974 - Isabel Peron is sworn in as
president of Argentina, taking over
from her husband Juan Peron after
he fell ill. He died two days later.
1994 - Prince Charles admits on television
that he committed adultery during his marriage
to Princess Diana but says he has no plans for a
1995 - Lana Turner, the blonde bombshell
who was discovered at a Hollywood soda
fountain and rose to become one of America’s
most glamorous movie stars, dies aged 75.
2003 - American actress Katharine Hepburn
dies aged 96. She won a record four best actress
Oscars during a career that spanned much of the
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
George Washington Goethals, US builder of
Panama Canal (1858-1928); Ken
Done, Australian artist (1940-);
Mike Willesee, Australian journalist
(1942-); Colin Hay, Scottish-
Australian singer (1953-); Peter
FitzSimons, Australian rugby union
player and author (1961-); Bret
McKenzie, NZ comedian and actor
(1976-); Nicole Scherzinger, US
singer (1978-); Christopher Egan, Australian
“Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.”
— Lord Alfred Tennyson, English poet
“I will make of you a great nation, and I will
bless you, and make your name great, so that
you will be a blessing.” — (Genesis 12:2).
Day, now only six
shopping days away,
is a condition which few people in Greymouth
seem to have. Apart from shopkeepers, offices
and their employees, few are concerned that
the changeover date is so close.
The ring of, “I will wait until we start using
the stuff before I learn how to use it,” is still
evident among a large number of the public.
This is completely the wrong attitude, a
banking representative stated this morning. “ It
will only add to the confusion which will occur
on changeover day.”
Between a dozen and 20 Greymouth people
are walking to work or school because they
have lost their bicycles. But the Greymouth
police station is fast starting to look like a
bicycle shop itself.
Between 12 and 20 bikes, most in excellent
condition, have been gathered by constables
on the beat over a period, but what puzzles
the force are the people who do not bother to
inquire at the station when they lose a bicycle.
“I ’m not as ‘F lorrie’ type really,” she said
with a broad smile, but the traits of character
once belonging to Florence Nightingale,
the gentle woman who started it all — the
nursing profession — are strongly evident in
the present matron of the Grey Hospital Miss
Now, after seven years of steering the Grey
Hospital nursing staff through the peaks
and gullies of their profession, Miss Pattullo
has resigned, and will soon travel north to
be nearer ailing parents. The diplomat of the
hospital corridor has ser ved the Grey Hospital
uFood for thought
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t is an archipelago paradise so
pristine, so perfect, it draws
tourists from near and far.
The island of Koh Tao, other wise
known as Turtle Island, is a scuba
diver’s dream, and thanks to Sairee
beach, on the west coast of this Thai island,
tourism has flourished in recent years.
Adventure seekers rejoice in its
spectacular under water worlds, clear
turquoise water, lush jungles located in the
Gulf of Thailand near the party islands of
Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.
But behind the beauty lies a macabre
secret where local mafia allegedly rule,
backpackers flock to party and, according
to one report, there are “enough deaths
and suspicious disappearances to warrant
the island its own CSI franchise”.
One local newspaper, The Samui Times,
reported the island has been dubbed
‘Death Island’ amid wild speculation
regarding the cause of recent tourist
A series of unexplained events have
created havoc for this island paradise and
some now refer to this haven as a ‘tourist
trap’. As body parts are found floating in
its waters, and bodies pop-up in its swanky
pools, some within this small, untouched
part of the world fear a serial killer is on
“Koh Tao can be paradise but it can also
be extremely dangerous for the unwary,”
wrote Australian lawyer Ian Yar wood.
“Potential tourists to that island need to
be warned and not given a sense of false
The island is reportedly controlled by
ruling families where residents can “very
occasionally ... disappear.”
“The mafia here are not the sort who
carry guns in violin cases, or knock on
doors extorting people. They ’re the families
that go back for generations, and who
ran the islands before the police even got
here,” one resident told the Guardian.
Koh Tao was plunged into the
spotlight when the semi-naked bodies of
backpackers Hannah Witheridge, 23, and
David Miller, 24, were found on a beach.
Witheridge was raped before she was
Their battered bodies were discovered on
the southern diving resort of Koh Tao in
In the hours after the bodies were found,
officers failed to seal off the crime scene or
close the island’s port.
Gruesome pictures of the victims’ bodies
also quickly emerged on-line, piling on the
misery of their distraught families.
“Having been on the scene at the
murders of David and Hannah, I can say
that it was one of the most gruesome I
have ever attended,” Steven Drylie, and
ex-ser viceman and paramedic in the Koh
Tao Rescue Association, told the Samui
Despite claiming the island was a safe
haven, the Times published text messages
from Drylie that claimed: “Did he hit his
head while diving? No, unless he bounced
off the bottom of the pool several times
. . . I don’t think it was intentional, I think
there was a fight.”
The trial of two Myanmar migrants
accused of the murders has faced
heavy scrutiny in a case that sullied the
kingdom’s reputation as a tourist haven
and raised questions over its justice system.
Zaw Lin and Win Zaw Tun were
found guilty and sentenced to death for
murdering the pair of British holiday-
Investigators were accused of failing
to properly collect and preser ve DNA
samples and declining to test key pieces of
evidence, such as Witheridge’s clothes.
“He (David) was hacked down from
behind, dragged into the sea and left to
die. That will live with us forever. What
happened to Hannah Witheridge is
unspeakable,” Michael Miller — the
brother of the slain David — said outside
A friend of the victims fled the island
soon after the killings, claiming that he
had been threatened by local mafia who
were trying to set him up, according to the
Before running away, Scotsman Sean
McAnna wrote a desperate message on his
Facebook page: “ Thai mafia are trying to
kill me. Please help me.”
The police were also accused of torture
when the accused in the case of Miller
and Witheridge said they were beaten and
forced to sign confessions which they later
Less than two weeks later, another body
appeared at the same bar that the bodies
of Witheridge and Miller were found.
The body of British bricklayer Luke
Miller, 24, was found at the bottom of a
hotel swimming pool at Sunset Bar on
Sairee Beach after spending the prior
night drinking with friends.
Luke was no relation to David Miller,
but suspicion was aroused that Luke’s
death was somehow connected to the first
Miller flew to Thailand on December 22,
2016, with his friend James Gissing and
was to spend five weeks on holiday.
Gissing and his sister, Nichola, calling
for a boycott of the island, claiming their
friend’s death was no accident.
“O ur friend was murdered in Koh Tao
on January 8. He was beaten and dumped
into a swimming pool at Sunset bar on
Sairee beach. I know this message will
probably be removed but if one person
sees this who is considering going to Koh
Tao my advice to you is don’t.
“If you do decide that you want to risk
your lives despite the inherent dangers,”
Nichola reportedly posted days after the
“The island is dangerous and you are not
safe going anywhere alone, even in pairs
you are not safe. Safety in numbers at all
times. I am telling you this from personal
experience. I do not wish for anyone to go
through the pain and horror of losing a
loved one in similar circumstances.”
The night of his death, Miller became
separated from his friends and his body
was discovered the next morning.
Earlier this month, a coroner concluded
there was “no evidence” to suggest Miller
was murdered on January 8, 2016. But
those close to the case, along with Miller’s
family, have vowed to find answers in a
death that raises more questions than it
“ It has been suggested this was a cover-
up by the Thai authorities but there has
been a very thorough police report,”
coroner Caroline Sumeray told the BBC.
“ I can only record a conclusion based on
the evidence before me, I can not speculate
about what may have happened. ”
A post mortem examination carried
out on Miller’s body in Thailand revealed
he had died from head injuries and
But in a statement, Gissing said “police
were covering up as it was the death of
another foreigner on Koh Tao”.
Luke’s mum, Sara, said there were “far
too many inconsistencies in the police
reports” and vowed to uncover the truth.
“ We know what happened and we will
continue to fight for justice. Luke was
The cases are just two bizarre stories out
of this island that seems to be growing a
stockpile of sordid stories.
from her hostel
on Koh Tao in
sparking a huge
A few days later,
staff checked her
room to discover
her mobile phone,
camera had all
been left behind.
that six weeks
ago, “the body of
a young girl was
by animals and
In 2015 the
body of a French
tourist was found
outside his bungalow.
The death of Dimitri
Povse, 29, was ruled a suicide, with police
saying there were no signs of a struggle
and a suicide note was left in the room,
according to local media site Thai PBS.
However a photo claiming to show the
man’s hands tied behind his back emerged,
sending social media sites into a flurry of
Another British holiday-maker,
25-year-old Nick Pearson, was found
dead in the water with his death ruled a
drowning after falling.
His parents suspect other wise, in part
due to a large gash found on his head.
“ He would never have gone swimming of
his own accord,” his mother Tracy said.
“And if he’d fallen from his bungalow,
15m, his body would have been stopped by
the rocks or badly injured.
“ He didn’t look like someone who had
been in the water for hours — there was
still dried blood on his face.”
— New Zealand Herald
Paradise where people die
A tiny newborn foal no bigger than an
average cat is thought to be the smallest in
the world and is a candidate for a Guinness
world record title.
The little animal, which was born to a
miniature horse, is doing well despite being
half the size it should have been.
The horse measured just 31cm long at
birth, and experts think it will not grow
The horse, ironically named after the giant
Gulliver, is now being cited as a candidate
for the Guinness World Records.
His owner Elena Chistyakova, who lives
in the village of Skotnoye in north-western
Russia’s Leningrad Oblast region, said his
birth was a “miracle”.
She said: “ When I was told we got such a
tiny baby on our farm I did not believe it.
I was so happy, it is a miracle, the most
important thing is not that it is so small,
but that it is well-built.
“He is very friendly, and he behaves like a
star. Very at ease. He is one unique fella.”
Miniature horses are usually the size of
a small pony and do not grow taller than
Gulliver is thought to be the smallest
horse in Europe and America, and possibly
He is now one-month-old and is able to
be picked up by visitors.
Chistyakova said there are horses born
with dwarfism whose features are out
of proportion, unlike Gulliver who was
She said: “There is a concept of
‘dwarfism’in horse breeding. These animals
usually have really large heads, crooked
legs, a hump back, an incorrect bite, a short
— New Zealand Herald
Cat-sized foal is
Guinness world record
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