Taxi Driver Hacks to Death a Foreigner in Bangkok

July 7, 2013
By

20130707-071319.jpg
Some shocking news last night of a Bangkok taxi driver that stabbed to death a foreigner during an apparent argument. Judging by this still from CCTV footage, the taxi driver had a samurai sword. The incident happened at about 8:30pm on Saturday night at the top of Soi Sukhumwit 68 in Bang Na District. The man fled in a pink taxi with number plate ทว-6549. No other details are known yet but police have said that the victim was American. I will update this page once I hear more. Bangkok taxis are generally safe but it should be known that incidents like this have happened before. It’s best not to argue with your taxi driver as some keep a knife or gun under their seat.

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR UPDATES TO THIS STORY >>>

20130707-072206.jpg
RT @js100radio: 20.40น.คนขับแท็กซี่สีชมพูทว-6549 ใช้มีดแทงผู้โดยสารชาวต่างชาติเสียชีวิต หลังมีปากเสียงกันปากซ.สุขุมวิท68 แจ้งเบาะแสโทร*1808

RT @Dr_Prawut: 6ก.ค.56เวลา20.30น.โชเฟอร์แท็กซี่ใช้อาวุธมีดแทงชาวอเมริกันเสียชีวิต เหตุเกิดท้องที่ สน.บางนา

RT @191Thailand: CCTV footage showing a Bangkok taxi driver attacking a foreigner. He then stabbed the foreigner to death out of shot http://t.co/r96Ky5l9nN

UPDATE 11:20am – Thai police have caught the taxi driver. Press conference is this afternoon. Thai media reporting that the driver killed the foreigner because he refused to pay the fare.

RT @Rawangpai: จับแล้ว! แท็กซี่ สีชมพู ทว 6549 กทม. มือแทง ชาวต่างชาติ เสียชีวิต อ้างว่า โหโหที่ไม่จ่ายค่าโดยสาร

UPDATE: Press Conference 1:15pm

20130707-132116.jpg
RT @dekdue_03: นายเชิดชาย อุตมะชะ แท็กซี่ฆ่าผู้โดยสารต่างชาติที่สุขุมวิท68 สารภาพโมโหที่ถูกเบี้ยวค่าโดยสารและปากาแฟใส่หน้า http://t.co/7wKez5Hs4Y

UPDATE 4pm: Khao Sod has published the name of the foreigner killed by a #Bangkok taxi driver. He is apparently an American expat working in Thailand. They also name his company based on a name card found in his pocket.

UPDATE 9pm: The Bangkok Post finally has a story online here.

MONDAY 8TH JULY: Both of the English language newspapers in Thailand are now carrying the story –

64 Responses to Taxi Driver Hacks to Death a Foreigner in Bangkok

  1. tracy Shaffer
    July 7, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    That was my brother he killed over a few cents for a damn taxi fare

    • goulash38dd
      July 12, 2013 at 11:27 am

      Dear Tracy, I am very sorry to learn of your brother’s death. He must have loved Thailand and Thai people to have learned the Thai language so he could be a good employee at Caterpillar working with the Thai people. Please disregard all the insensitive remarks on the internet. I have ridden in Thai taxicabs many times and been ripped off. Even when I take the cab from the hotel, the Thais say they will use the meter, then after driving a few yards, start to tell me a high fare. The taxi drivers are poor farmers. Your brother’s murderer is from Roi Et. That and next to it, Kalisan, are the poorest areas of Thailand. After the crop has been planted, the farmers come to Bangkok for a few months to earn money before returning to harvest their crop. The rich Chinese Thais own the taxi licenses and cars. It is my understanding, the driver must rent the car for 24 hours. No one can stay awake 24 hours driving a car. So, if they do not have a friend to split into 12 hour shifts, they take amphetamine to stay awake. This makes them crazy. The drivers hate the rich foreigners. The driver must have jerked around with the meter or was trying to cheat your brother on the fare. If you rent a car, why do you carry a machete in the trunk? Because you intend to cheat passengers and threaten them with the machete. I was in Pattaya during Songkran riding in a songtau going out to diner. A 25 year old Thai threw a bucket of cold ice water on me at 7 pm. I shouted an exclamation. The Thai jumped on the back of the songtau and with a fist cocked, hit me with full extension in the side of the head. My neck snapped. I suffer permanent damage now from neck disk compression. I feel it all the time. Would a 25 year old Thai hit a 60 year Thai man? Those young Thais did not study hard in school. Perhaps they did not have opportunity. Thai men from 10-40 are nuts and to be avoided. It is tragic what happened to your brother. I understand it. I will pray for you, your brother, and family and friends. Certainly his Thai partner loved your brother and is grieving his loss. I wish it did not happen. P.S. The video is selectively edited. It shows a lot of nothing near the end of the attack. It should show at least 30 seconds more prior to where the video starts. May Our Lord bless us and forgive us our sins, amen.

      • Espinete
        July 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm

        Dear Goulash, I completely agree with what you have written, the Isan type of farmer family member driving a cab in Bangkok. Most of them are (still) okay, but a growing part of drugged idiots.

        The younger generation Thais do not care nor believe about an after-life. Previous generations still had great faith in Buddhism, earning merit, living a decent life and being rewarded in a (guaranteed) next life. The younger generation seems to opt for live fast, die young since drugs (and the war against….) are the failure here.

        Do you perhaps know which village / Amphur this taxi driver came from? I am eager to know. Thanks.

  2. tracy Shaffer
    July 7, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    He needs to die the same way he killed my brother

  3. tracy Shaffer
    July 7, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    he did not refuse the fare, the driver wanted way too much for driving him a few blocks. My brother said no. He would pay the regular fare and got out of the cab and the piece of shit taxi driver went after him

    • Kate
      July 7, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      My deepest condolences…I’ve had many a frightening moment in taxis here, more must be done regarding reporting the few bad ones….

    • Mark.S
      July 8, 2013 at 12:32 pm

      Way too much?

      51 Baht is less than US$ 2, he should have just given the driver 60 Baht and walked away end of situation.

    • August 19, 2013 at 2:58 am

      Damn. My first day in Bangkok, this taxi driver told me he would take me where I needed to go. I was told it was like 4 blocks away. I suddenly realize the meter is not running and he is telling me like 200 baht. So I was like, Um stop the car. He was also wanting me to go look at some shit. I then yelled STOP THE F-ING CAR and he did. I threw him 50 baht and he followed me yelling. Turns out, I was right. I only needed to go 4 blocks.

      • Espinete
        August 19, 2013 at 11:08 am

        Just leave a taxi, 11.00 am. At Bearing BTS to Sukhumvit 107, 15. The driver completely intoxicated with drugs. Driving with a skating clutch, from left to right. I have to ask him to switch on the meter. Can not talk properly and does not have change from a 100 thb. note.

  4. Thomas A
    July 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    That is disgusting, a worrying trend. May I ask what nationality he was?

    • Thomas A
      July 7, 2013 at 12:43 pm

      Sorry – didn’t read the article just saw your comments. It says he was American. My condolences.

      • Richard Barrow
        July 7, 2013 at 12:50 pm

        Waiting for that to be confirmed at the press conference

  5. David Schnneger
    July 7, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Oh when will stupid foreigners start boycotting Thailand and stop supporting the thai economy and also start to pressure your home governments and multinational companies to start boycotting everything thai. This people are so xenophobic and the only thing that is “good ” about thailand is cheap prostitutes that will do any trick for money but are often infected with all kinds of diseases.

    • Nick Harris
      July 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm

      How naïve ! This kind of terrible acts happen in every country ! Thailand is certainly not the worst.. I hope the perpetrator serves due justice for this terrible act. London, New York much worst !

  6. Muzz
    July 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    Sorry to hear this. A friend of mine was badly beaten buy a Bangkok taxi driver outside his house with a crowbar and hospitalized and needed many stitches in his head. For the few baht, it is not worth putting your life in danger just pay it and lick the small financial wound as it will not be for much even though you have to drop your pride. It is thier country and they literally get away with murder when it comes to foreigners. Sorry to hear about your loss. very sad.

  7. Dewi
    July 7, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    This is a shocking news. I’m sorry for your loss, Tracy. My deep condolences.

  8. sparhawkfan@gmail.com
    July 7, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    Tracy I will put this piece of shit in the ground for you.
    I am so sorry for your loss,
    my friend was crippled for life by the same type of scum that gives the good Thai people a bad name,we need to stand up,
    I live in Thailand and am serious in what I said,
    I will not go into detail for obvious reasons,
    but I am a Military CQB Trainer and have already helped people out where the non-existent Thai (In)justice system has failed,
    contact me if you need me and again my deepest condolences.
    Farang Justice.

  9. Jim
    July 7, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Scum deserves a slow and tortuous death…

  10. July 7, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    this is very sad, shocking and worrying I am really sorry for your loss Tracey, I hope that they catch him and bring him to justice.

    • tracy Shaffer
      July 7, 2013 at 8:39 pm

      He is caught and told the police what happened. Thank God we have connections in the family and police were told no key money is allowed. So it seems my brother was murdered because he was American and the taxi driver wanted to charge him more. My brother knew alot of Thai, he worked and lived and married a Thai. So he would not pay the extra and we can see what happened

  11. Espinete
    July 7, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    My deepest condoleances too for family Shaffer. I filed police report in 2012. Taxi driver took a base ball bat from under his chair. He was called / booked by my hotel but after 500 mtr. refused to drive me further since I didn’t step in his tourist-trap (my meter no work, broken). I politely asked him to bring me (due to heavy rain) to Sathorn from Banglumpoo and would pay 150 instead of normal 100. He insisted me to leave his taxi……but out of sight of the hotel. It was 15.00 afternoon, I was not intoxicated at all, kept being polite. Khao San Road police caught him but he apologized to me and the base ball bat was confiscated. End of case. Lunatic taxi drivers with Yabaa in their ‘brains’. Nana area, Patpong are, Khao San Road. Time for a huge clean-up and detox centres for lots of those idiots.

    • Ulrich
      July 7, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Yep, police in thailand is a joke, cannot wonder where the bad reputation of Thailand comes from…they blame tourists from their underdevelopment, welcome to the third world!

  12. Jagger
    July 7, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Disputing taxi fare is good and well, but does you little good if you are dead. One needs to tread carefully and always be polite no matter what. The taxi lads are for the most part hardworking and salt of the earth type people, but you piss off the wrong one and watch out.

    I’m guessing the dispute took a personal turn, and this was the end result. However with that I think I will check the front seats for swords on future taxi use. O.o

    • tracy Shaffer
      July 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      my brother worked over there for years. He knows when he was being ripped off and would not pay the extra. We do not need to tread lightly over there and be polite. We can be normal. Regular. This driver was trying to rip my brother off because he was American, not knowing my brother, both my brothers live over there and have for years. They know what the Taxi drivers and others want, money. Its all about money. My brother was married to a Thai and took care of her family and parents. He paid for his sister in laws kids to go to private school. Now the family will have no place to live. He had a huge house through his job. This is horrible for us in the states to deal with, but for my Thai family, it is just as horrible.

      • Kate
        July 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm

        My codolences again Tracy, to you and your Thai family, and as I said earlier I’ve had really frightening experiences with taxi drivers here. I’ve lived here for 15 years and tend to use taxis on a daily basis and can honestly say on the whole I am lucky enough to get good drivers however my most recent awful experience was on the toll way here when I politely asked a driver in Thai to reduce his speed as he was going 120km an hour…his reaction was to yell he was the driver, not the farang woman and to put his foot down….we reached 140+ with him yelling f*** you as he wove in and out of traffic…the minute we got to a second toll I jumped out and alerted the police who on seeing i was shaking like a jelly, took action. Other drivers we’d passed, including other taxi drivers came to my aid and the last I saw the police were dealing with the situation well. What I’m trying to say is there are good and bad drivers here so I am so sorry that your brother got the one he did….I hope your Thai family come through this too xxxx

      • Jagger
        July 7, 2013 at 10:58 pm

        Thai(s) have no clue on who is american and not – you are simply a farang at the end of the day.

        Prime example – you need to be polite and not make these muppets lose face. End result if you don’t there is a good chance for serious bodily harm or death. Is it really worth it over a few baht?

        Life is cheap here and one should never forget it.

  13. Robert T. Snow
    July 7, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    As some one fairly new to Thailand , before I accepted my assignment here I had several distinct notions pre embedded in my mind about the Thai people and way of life , a sort of glossy travel magazine land of smiles thing, mixed in with a dash of titillating tails of seedy night life , and laid back atmosphere . Soon after I set foot on Thai soil it quickly became apparent that I had arrived in a land that makes me wince rather than smile , a land where to most of the population the taking of a human life is of no real consequence , a land where all foreigners are considered fair game in the relentless quest for quick money , a land run by thieves in a sewer of corrupted behavior . You only have to read the first few lines of the Thai national anthem to get a gimps at the glue that binds a morally bankrupt nation together.
     

    Thailand embraces in its bosom all people of Thai blood.
    Every inch of Thailand belongs to the Thais.

    I have a feeling like my self that many people are some how persuaded to visit Thailand under false pretense of the advertiser’s dream image , an image that forgets to omit the daily bad press and ever present threats that can and are lying in wait for every foreigner , be it having your bag snatched ,being violently mugged , loosing your money to gem buying confidence tricksters , police planting drugs during body searches or being murdered by a taxi driver , the list of shame is endless .

    What ive seen and learnt about this country since I arrived has sadly dented my belief in human goodness , its now clear to me that the nation has forsaken Buddhism for Bahtism ,  where money is the new god and any means of acquiring it from selling drugs, tricking tourists and resident foreigners alike , is now fair game .

    Thailand has many shameful stains on its character, and the killing of this man is just another one of them .

    There seems not to be a day go by without some sort of news article concerning the robbing , beating or merciless killing of a foreigner . I can only express my sincere condolences to this man’s family , and just hope that justice will prevail .

     

    • David
      July 8, 2013 at 8:56 am

      I wonder do think the 88 people who die each day and the 170 people who are wounded by guns in the US is a better deal???

    • Nick
      July 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm

      A walk don the back streets of Bangkok or a walk down the back streets of New York… Give me Bangkok any day. Much safer generally !

      • Espinete
        July 8, 2013 at 3:07 pm

        Yes Nick, it looks safer here but it is hardening in an extremely quick mode. In 9 years time I have seen taxi drivers changing from normal customer friendly drivers to insane, drugs taking intimidators. So we can say, it is still ‘normal’ here. But it isn’t when you notice the tragedy around Chip Shaffer. And many cases do not even make the news.
        If Thailand wants to do sth. about its exposure, an immense crackdown on taxi drivers is necessary. A training, a diploma, a 6 months or 12 months refreshment. And carrying weapons in ‘your’ taxi; jail immediately.

      • Bigsoidog
        July 14, 2013 at 8:27 am

        Nick totally agree. Much safer then where Im from…Chicago

    • Jennifer
      July 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      You know nothing about Thailand and with your preconceived ideas of what “Thailand would be like” before you got here, why don’t you just go back to America?

      I’m a US citizen that left that country years ago and you couldn’t pay me to go back. I’d take most Thais over most Americans any day of the week. Kinder, more polite people. Much more humble, hard-working, family-oriented, welcoming and gracious.

      Honestly I can’t even read the comments on this site any more. It’s just the usual disgusting western men who treat Thais like dirt on their shoes and, although so many who come here are low-class losers, still think they’re better than Thais.

      I’m done here. Why waste my time with people like this.

    • Dumb American
      July 9, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Dear Robert, next time you visit Detroit, drop me a line, and I will show you the east side of Detroit, near 8 miles road. It’s sad for someone whose talk about other country, yet, their own country is much worse condition. If you are in BKK, get the f**k out. Go back where you came from, then make a comment about Thailand.
      If we (foreigner) are live, travel, or work in any countries and doesn’t understand their culture, and want to do or act like we’re back home? Stupidity will get yourself hurt, even lose your life! We all very don’t know what actually took place inside the taxi, the conversation leading to the incident, but for dumb American like me see the guy came after me with the sword? I would hand him the money or run for help! Life is worth more then few baht, or thousand of dollar here in east side of Detroit. Stupid is stupid does-Forest Gump. And the bad part is he doesn’t have a common sense. P.I.P

  14. JLR
    July 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    So for a few baht the cabbie does this? If this happened to a Thai overseas I wonder what the reaction would be here? Flag burning? Outrage?

    • LHill
      July 8, 2013 at 8:24 am

      Um, no. Did they do that when seven Thai monks were executed over here by robbers? So – what would you make you think that? Oh – I forgot. Nothing like this happens in America – the Land of Milk and Honey.

  15. Michael
    July 7, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Sorry to see this happen to this family. I read most comments and agree that this happens in other countries as well but the other countries are not 100% corrupt like Thailand is. This guy will bribe someone and nothing will be done to him. That is the problem with Thailand. If you pay you can get away with anything. Specially if you are Thai and do something to a farang.

  16. matt
    July 7, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    the taxi driver is just a criminal like every way wordl wide we can find ….. after 16 years i live in thailand i can see and im one get
    assault by thai …. with machete let me waiting out of hospital until i find 180,000 to get operation …. now i use only one arm i cant work and who pay ??? no body … im very sorry and sad to see the video …. my condolences .

  17. July 7, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    A terrible, terrible tragedy.

    One thing that amazes me is the cost of people’s principles. No-one likes to be overcharged. But to put your life on the line for (what has been reported to be) 51 baht (less than $2), is taking things to extreme. This poor guy could have paid 16 baht more than the usual (flagfall is 35 baht) and walked away, but stood on his principles in a land where principles are not valued. And for that, he was butchered by a man many years younger than him armed with a deadly weapon.

    Sincere condolences for both his Thai and Western families and a hope that other people learn that walking away isn’t losing.

  18. Whatever
    July 7, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    According to the Bangkok Post article the meter was at 51 baht ($1.63 US). This sounds right from Central Bang Na to there assuming it means Central City Bang Na (a shopping centre). I’ve taken taxis around there many times. But I also suppose this is the driver’s account; as how else would that info be obtained? So it’s certainly not a definite fact.

    I’m not trying to downplay the situation whatsoever. My absolute sincerest condolences to the victim and his family (American and Thai).

    I just wanted to put that info out there.

  19. Rob
    July 8, 2013 at 12:10 am

    My condolences to the family what a sad occurrence. I do take offense at some of the comments being made bashing Thailand but I guess it is purely based on emotion of a needless death. In my experience, Thailand is a wonderful place with warm and friendly people. Like every country there are those that try to scam foreigners but you have to use common sense and be well informed before getting off the plane, it is no different then almost everywhere else in the world. My dad was pick potted in Mexico and a my brother in-law was scammed in Italy, so bad things happen every. My wife and I spent a long time in Thailand and used the taxis quite often, like all countries you have to use common sense, try to use the airport metered taxis whenever possible, if not airport taxi try to negotiate price before getting into the taxi. I have had taxi drivers purposely take longer routes, others have purposely say they got lost and then tried to charge me an extremely large amount of baht, you have to keep your cool in these situations negotiate without showing any anger and yelling at the driver doing this will only cause the driver to lose face and he will react with anger, losing face for a Thai is a major insult and they take it very personally. If negotiating does not work then pay him what he asks for seriously it is not really that much baht when you think about it, mostly it boils down to the principal of getting ripped off. Most of my experiences with taxis have been positive. I have seen some go out of their way for me for very little baht. Taxis have to hustle because they are burdened in debt and have to get as many fares as possible just to break even, it is not a easy job. I once was stuck in Bangkok and needed to go to Khon Kaen and it was late at night and didn’t have many options, the driver feeling bad for our situation drove my wife and myself from Bangkok all the way to Khon Kaen for three thousand baht, at the time that would have been about ninety bucks, imagine having a taxi driver in Los Angeles charging you only a ninety bucks to drive you to SF, unheard of.

  20. Maxime
    July 8, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Taxis, tuk tuk and motorbike drivers …In Phuket , honestly, I avoid them. The last one i tried called me a “buffalo” when he realised my destination was a luxury villa (not even mine, and that he gave me a fair price.. I didn’t reply to him, my 11 years experience telling me he may have weapons in his car. That should be known, thus foreigner can avoid big big problems. It is the “smiling , always nice reputation of thailand that kills foreigner every year. The truth should be public: thais are just nice when the situation is favorable for them.

  21. Galib
    July 8, 2013 at 10:56 am

    Dear Tracy,

    I had the pleasure of working with Chip for the last 2 years. Still can’t believe he is gone, and in such a way. My deepest condolences to you and his family. He was a model of honesty for us. And he will remain the same.

    Galib

    • tracy Shaffer
      July 8, 2013 at 10:58 pm

      thank You Galib. We are still shocked and can not believe we will never see him again. I know he had some wonderful people he worked with at CAT. It is very hard for us because of the way this happened.

      • July 17, 2013 at 1:18 pm

        Hi Tracy,
        I just came to know that, he left us. I was travelling Germany and when returned, I heard about the incident of Chip. I just felt so sad that, It seems someone from my family passed away. I met him in a seminar in Bangladesh. He is a great man. May God rest his soul in peace.

  22. Quad
    July 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    I am following this story since post 1 here and on other forums, I don’t see where the source of the 51 THB is mentioned. Is it only the cabbie claiming this? Did a witness to the scuffle on the street here them yelling this? People are talking about 51 thb being a reasonable fare for that distance. You got a meter drop of 37 thb, so a distance charge of 14 thb seems impossible for that the passenger would become so enraged about an overcharge of what…. 5 thb?

    I’m sure it could be an overcharge situation, but how do we know it was 51 thb, how do we know the cabbie hadn’t driven him the long way and was trying to charge him 250 thb.

    Neither amount is worth what happened obviously, but why are we using the words of the cabbie as gospel?

    So very sorry for your loss Tracy.

    I hope the cabbie is put down in ‘old’ style Thai execution, he deserves nothing but a long sleep

    No more daily rented pink taxis for me.

  23. Jennifer
    July 8, 2013 at 4:33 pm

    Sad to see the usual nasty comments about Thais are being allowed on here. I’m amazed why some of you men (and it’s almost always western men) are still in Thailand. Why don’t you just go home if you despise Thais so much?

    I’ve lived here for 14 years and never had a problem with a taxi driver or a motorcycle taxi driver and I’m female. In fact, most of them are the nicest people you could meet.

    I have, however, come across rude, belligerent and aggressive western men more times than I can count. That’s why I rarely speak to any of them here anymore.

    Sad to see someone murdered like this, but there are always two sides to the story, and from my experience with western men in Thailand, too many of them treat Thais like dirt and get offensively rude over just a few baht.

    During the thousands of taxi rides I’ve taken in Bangkok and elsewhere in Thailand, taxi drivers have told me stories about rude farang men refusing to pay fares. That’s why some of them will no longer pick up farangs. Too much hassle they say.

    Others just get to a point where they snap and decide enough is enough. Think about that the next time you’re being an a-hole to someone who is just trying to earn a decent living.

  24. tracy Shaffer
    July 8, 2013 at 9:27 pm

    my brother would not have thrown coffee at anyone. My brother was not low class. He did not attempt to cheat the taxi driver, the taxi driver was cheating him because he was American. Its sad how people can read a news report and come up with some of these wild thoughts. My brother must have been drunk, mentally ill, confused low life, He was none of the above. He was married legally to a Thai lady and took care of her whole family.Personal driver, Kids which were his Thai nephews and nieces in private schools, parents were given money monthly. Now this Thai family is basically out in the street. They have to get out of the house because it was owned by the company my brother worked for. I know Thai people are angry when Americans come over to work because they make more money in a day that a Thai person would make in a month. My brother was a good person. He would not have ever thrown coffee or attacked anyone. He was just living his life and taking a taxi from a store to go home. We went to Thailand a year ago to visit.It was interesting. So different from the States I was amazed. I am not putting down Thai people for what happened, no reason to put my brother down for being the one that was murdered. Do not believe everything that the taxi driver has said. He took off after killing my brother, he knew he was wrong. He ditched the sword and clothes. Just because the taxi driver said this or that happened, does not mean it was that way. You would not understand, you did not know my brother. I can defend him, I can say anything and you wouldnt know the difference because you did not know him. it is sad for us to see the reports and know the driver is lying. It is over now. His remains will be brought home within the week. Now I feel bad for 9 Thai members of his family that will be basically homeless. If you want to talk shit about my brother and defend Thai’s, do what you have to do. But know even though he was JUST an American, now there are9 family members over there with out his support and money. They didnt have jobs and didnt have to. My brother took care of all of it. This whole situation should not have happened. It does not matter what country he was in or what nationality he was. This murdered should not have happened to anyone anywhere

    • Espinete
      July 9, 2013 at 10:15 am

      Dear Tracy, Thanks for your explanation. Sure the news reports are not always correct, taxi driver tries to blame it on a 51 Thb. issue. I have been living in Thailand long enough to know there was more scam involved. The Buddhist icons on his dashboard are pathetic. The guy is a murderer and I hope he is in Bang Kwang prison already. They will take “care” of him. Wish you all strength…..

    • Galib
      July 9, 2013 at 1:31 pm

      Dear Tracy,

      There is no need to pay heed to people like ‘Jennifer’, who takes the word of a murderer as bible… we knew Chip and what a wonderful man he was.

      I last met him about 2.5 months ago, when he came to visit the Bangladeshi Caterpillar dealership. He was cutting down on his weight after his surgery, and advised me to do the same.

      RIP my friend…

      • Espinete
        July 9, 2013 at 3:44 pm

        Dear Galib,

        Thank you for your post. Very wise and exactly the right words….

        DJ

    • joshua
      July 11, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      I am sorry for your loss. Nobody deserves to die just for throwing coffee in someone’s face. Or even over 51 baht. It’s just stunning and heart-breaking. It’s a savage murder that didn’t have to happen, and I’m not talking about anything your brother may or may not have done.

      I hope you can eventually get some closure and this taxi driver gets what he deserves.

      But I think anybody could have snapped in the heat of the moment and thrown coffee (or possibly an empty paper coffee cup, which wouldn’t have hurt him at all) in someone else’s face. It surely wasn’t his normal behavior but it’s not necessarily a conspiracy that the coffee story did not happen, as that’s the story of the witnesses. Many times we all do things that our friends and family would not believe as they have never seen us act that way. I know I have and I know most other people have as well.

      Regardless, it’s no excuse to kill someone and you have every right to be angry, devastated and to feel the greatest injustice has been done to your family as it’s simply inexplicable to kill someone over this situation. But there’s simply no taking back what’s happened and that’s why my heart breaks for you and your family.

  25. JLR
    July 9, 2013 at 11:06 am

    Jenny – If anyone is low class it is clearly you.

  26. Espinete
    July 9, 2013 at 11:30 am

    Jennifer, you are completely wrong. The victim can’t give his version (anymore). The taxi driver tries to save his skin.

    First; no taxi driver has to have a weapon on board. Second; it is a service industry, the taxi business. Even if a customer has a bad day, which we all have once in a while, no reason EVER to fysically attack a customer. Even if coffee would have been involved. Third; it is not only foreigners like me noticing that the taxi branche in esp. Bangkok is decreasing in quality and quickly. Ask Thais esp. Thai ladies if they suffer taxi driver problems.

    The discussion should never go the same way as the 16 year old Hi-Society daughter killing +7 students with the mini-van – Honda accident. Then it was said, police is investigating if perhaps the minivan driver made strange manoeuvres or road signs were not in order. NO, the girl should never have been behind the steering wheel and this tragic wouldn’t have happened.

    Similar for Mr. Shaffer. No need to seek for Baht discussion or coffee spills. This animal taxi driver should never have been behind a steering wheel nor carry a weapon. Or have the opportunity to launch his ‘excuses’. Coffee, for Gods’ sake…… Too pathetic to pay attention to.

    • David
      July 10, 2013 at 3:27 pm

      you no doubt have never driven a taxi. Even in Australia, big city taxi drivers who service red light area or the down town places need and and mostly have some sort of a weapon hidden to protect themselves late into the night if needed, I can understand as a past taxi driver in Aus this would often be the case in Thailand as it is likely all over the world. offcourse I never did it when I drove taxis???

      • Espinete
        July 10, 2013 at 3:54 pm

        Yes, I have driven taxi’s for 12 years. Amsterdam. And did not carry a weapon because weapons only result in excessive reactions by feeling ‘powerful’. If you have a sword in your car to grab, you are mentally sick.

        • David
          July 11, 2013 at 7:05 pm

          yes a sword, knife or a gun would be stupid for a driver to carry in a taxi but a nice short baton in a door pocket of a Taxi from my experience when you have 3 young drunk aggressive passengers on a lonely place is a great confidence builder

  27. Dumb American
    July 9, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I am somewhat agree with you and understand where you are coming from. When we live, work, or travel abroad and doesn’t unstand their culture, we need to be smart about it, use common scene. What we do back home, just can’t do it here! Law apply differently when you are a foreigner. Stupidity does not pay, and to argued over few baht, or for your principle, pay the man and walked away. Life is more important than your or my principle, especially if the person have a weapon in his hand, I will not try to take away from him, even if I am 5 feet taller than Thais. Common sense should kick in, rather then try to be a hero, or we American think we can bully them. Again, to all stupid American, you’re in a foreign land, law apply differently here, obey and suck it up, or pack your bags and to home! R.I.P

    • Espinete
      July 10, 2013 at 8:39 am

      Well Dumb American, by far now the dumbest post on this topic. Congratulations. So you think standing in front of a mentally sick taxi driver, the hand-over of a few baht would have cured the situation? I reported a taxi driver early 2012 for threatening me with a baseball stick because I didn’t walk into his tourist scam. he got arrested and hopefully sings another tune.

  28. David (Aussie)
    July 14, 2013 at 10:15 am

    I have visited Thailand for awhile to sus out living there for long term. Being a senior on a pension from Australia during these trips I mostly meet senior men from the US with limited income. Most are astounded by how safe the place is when compared with the US and all of them including me will either live semi permanent or permanently in the years ahead. We all think even with its warts and all problems which are few, are far safer and cheaper to live out your mature years, it’s the LOS (land of smiles). Yes it’s not perfect but its pretty good.

  29. Karen Davis
    August 1, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Dear Tracy, your mother and I are cousins. Just wanted you to know, that even though I have never met you or your brothers, I want you to know how sad I am for your entire family. The devastation that you all must feel, is hard to imagine. Sometimes at sad times like these, people have a tendency to say “I know how you feel” But, unless it is your loved one, you don’t. I just wanted you to know that there is one more family member here, who is thinking of you all with kindness and hope for you all to heal.
    Thanks for “Listening”
    Karen Davis

  30. Marc
    August 23, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    First of all I want to give my condolences to the family of the victim.

    Second I want to tell you are wrong to all these than say if don’t like it go away. If we see something not fear or bad we need to tell, I don’t care if I am foreigner.

    Completely agree with you, there is no any respect to the others here in Thailand. Every day I pass here I feel this is a country not civilize enough.
    I am not going to say that every single one thai it is same I am talking on a general way.
    People don’t respect pedestrians, motorbikes ride by the sidewalk almost touching you, not only motorbikes even people walking heat you constantly, people don’t allow passengers get out from the bts before get in, taxi drivers always try to cheat farang, etc.
    It is like a jungle where there is only one law, the big or more savage can survive.

    I liked Thailand few time ago when I came, but I changed my mind. I am really disappointed with the low ethic and bad character of the most of the people.
    It is really amazing I have read some people than try to justify that in other countries is same or worse.
    I can not imagine everywhere in the world where a victim turns to be guilty.

    Nobody can justify by any reason this criminal taxi driver who killed his passenger. It does not matter what problem they had.
    There is not any reason to face him up with a sworn.
    If this guy brings a sworn in the car is because is a little perturbed, a normal man don’t use to do this.
    There are so many cases of farangs killed by thais it is not a coincidence.

    Even someone don’t want to hear it somebody need to tell the truth of what it happen in the land of smiles.

  31. tracy Shaffer
    September 5, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Just to let everyone know…the taxi driver said my brother threw coffee on him. I can say there was no coffee in my brothers system as written on the autopsy report. This is something we had said before, he never drank coffee in the evening, ever. So this is one of the lies the taxi driver said and proved wrong.

    • Kate
      September 5, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks for sharing although I don’t think anyone believed it Tracy x





Richard Barrow on Instagram