Henrik Rasmussen

This is a sad story that I touched on briefly the other day. Henrik Rasmussen, 47, was a Danish tourist holidaying with his cousin. Henrik suffered from Down syndrome and went missing from Royal Paradise Hotel in the early hours of January 28.

Despite a reward of 10,000 baht being offered and various search parties looking for Henrik, there was no news until his bloated body turned up in a khlong behind the hotel. He had, according to police, been dead for about five days.

Henrik had the mental capacity of a 12-year-old and, according to the cousin, he had become confused and disoriented and may have left the hotel thinking he was in Denmark to look for a lost cellphone. For about five days, he was somewhere in Patong. Four-hundred leaflets featuring Henrik’s photo were given out and not one person said they had seen him.

I find it hard to believe that a 47-year-old Danish man with Down syndrome wasn’t seen, especially staying in the heart of Patong. Police noted that the body was not reported until the reward had been raised to 20,000 baht.

There were three wounds to the body, although it’s unclear at this stage how they got there. We still don’t know whether this is a case of murder or just a tragic accident.

Before the body was discovered, the Danish family had said how outraged they were by the lack of support received from the local police. Obviously, the police weren’t looking very hard because the body turned up right next to where Henrik was staying.

Even before the body was found, I had said to our new sub editor that the police wouldn’t do anything and that there was no chance of them going out of their way for a missing-person case.

The Thai papers have been reporting all sorts of mistakes. Thai Rath reported in a front-page story that Henrik was a successful real-estate businessman whose head had been almost severed off.

I have little hope of there being any resolution in this case and I’m surprised that this hasn’t, to my knowledge, been covered in The Nation or the Post.

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8 thoughts on “Henrik Rasmussen

  1. ho hum… There'll be another massive face-saving coverup so as not to endanger thaialnd's delicate reputation as a safe destination for tourists. Thais dont give a shit about disabled people anyway so dont expect them to show much sympathy. They believe a disability is the result of bad karma and the victim, frankly, got what's coming. Only good-looking, rich people with shiny white teeth and fair skin are revered because, of course, they did some good stuff in their past lives and are now reaping the rewards. They are deserving of a good grovel and kowtowing deference in the hope that some of their good karma will rub off. The beaches are nice though.

  2. That's crap but sadly not suprising for Patong these days. Criticism shouldn't be reserved solely for the Thais either however deserving. How many tourists blinded to everything bar their own self indulgences were there at the time.

  3. I agree anyone including a bunch of drunken farang could have committed the crime. But my point is that we shouldn't expect the police to do too much about it because a) they dont give a damn about less-than-perfect people, and b) will accept a higher offer from the TAT to sweep it under the carpet.

  4. why is it that the source of this kind of information is always blogs, forums and international media? does the major English dailies in Thailand get some kickback of the tourism revenue or something? or they must be thinking if they report this incident, farrangs wold run away from thailand and nobody would buy their publications.

    Back home in India its exactly the opposite, thanks to (kinda) free press. There are so many independent media outlets, it is difficult for them to manipulate the news… if x newspaper releases such a story and y doesn't, it makes y loose face. here in thailand there are only 2, we r screwed, we don't have a choice but to consume what they feed us.

  5. Well, let me try answer that question, Sajal, as I have some direct experience of the two English newspapers in question. The problem is that they are unable to hire foreigh English-speaking reporters, so they have to rely on a local's 1) crap reporting skills, and 2) a local's acute sense of face in difficult situations. Not only does the reporter feel reluctant to report on something that will embarrass them in the eyes of their English-speaking (foreign) editors, but they are easily slipped a few hundred baht to go away by either the police or the TAT while at the scene of the story. All very sad really. The beaches are very nice though.

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