Harborough journalist is fighting to get justice for families of backpackers killed in Thailand

The investigative reporter is still getting regular death threats as she inches closer to the truth

By Red Williams
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 4:18 pm
Suzanne Buchanan's book The Curse of the Turtle
Suzanne Buchanan's book The Curse of the Turtle

A brave journalist is fighting the battle of her life to get justice for the devastated families of a string of British and European backpackers brutally killed in Thailand.

Suzanne Buchanan, 51, spent 20 years living and working in the Far East tourism hotspot before being forced to leave for her own safety in 2016.

The investigative reporter, who now lives in the Harborough district, is still getting regular death threats as she inches closer to the truth.

But Suzanne said she’s turning up the heat on “police corruption” and terrifying organised crime gangs in Thailand as she’s just published an action-packed book on her dedicated quest.

Her highly-rated expose ‘The Curse of the Turtle: The True Story of Thailand's Backpacker Murders’ sets out to give readers the incredible inside track on the horrific killings.

This afternoon Suzanne told the Harborough Mail: “My new book tells the story of the relentless fight I have waged in Thailand to get to the truth.

“Thailand is a beautiful country. But it is also one of the most corrupt countries on earth.

“I spent 20 years living in Thailand and I met some amazing people out there,” said Suzanne.

“But I do wonder at times how I managed to get out of there alive because plenty of seriously bad people wanted to do me serious harm.

“I used to own and edit the Samui Times online news publication.

“Back in 2014 I investigated the terrible murders of Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, two young British backpackers brutally murdered on Koh Tao.

“I also investigated the subsequent suspicious deaths of a catalogue of young backpackers from the UK and across Europe on the island,” said the writer.

“I tell the sinister story of two Burmese migrant workers sentenced to death for the murders of Hannah and David.

“Their death sentences were lifted last year but they are still facing spending the rest of their lives inside a hellhole Thai prison.

“I am convinced from all of my investigative work that they didn’t do it.

“They are just scapegoats and I will carry on campaigning to try to prove that they are innocent because I suspect there’s been a massive cover-up.

“Were the all-powerful tribal families who run Koh Tao involved?

“And if so were these deadly criminals backed up by corrupt police officers?

“The whole thing stinks.

“As well as Hannah and David a host of other British backpackers have died in very mysterious circumstances on the remote island of Koh Tao over the last few years alone,” said Suzanne, who’s also taken part in high-profile TV documentaries charting her work deep behind the scenes.

“Visitors such as Ben Harrington, Nick Pearson and Christina Annesley have all met extremely suspicious deaths – leaving their families back home totally heartbroken.

“We’ve also got a rollcall of young victims from countries like Switzerland, France, Belgium and Russia.

“I had to flee Thailand for my own safety six years ago.

“There is currently an active warrant for my arrest should I ever set foot back in Thailand, would you believe.

“And I continue to receive death threats on a regular basis.

“But the thugs who threaten me and try to stop me in my tracks will never put me off or get the better of me.

“I am very careful and give out very little information about myself – but they don’t frighten me.

“I will go on fighting for all I am worth to get justice and the truth for the distraught loved ones of the young backpackers killed in Thailand,” said Suzanne.

“I have also tried to secure help and support from the British government and Foreign Office.

“They have been no use at all so far.

“But I will go on fighting for as long as it takes to find out once and for all what has happened here.

“We have to nail the real killers of the British and European backpackers who tragically never returned home to their families from Thailand.

“And we have to expose the deep-rooted corruption of the Thai police and the authorities because human rights over there are non-existent.

“And that shouldn’t be allowed to continue in 2022 for the sake of the many fantastic people who live there and for all the people who visit.”

You can read Suzanne’s story in her new book available on Amazon here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09QH854PCThe journalist has taken part along with the parents of some of the victims in a three-episode TV special Death on the Beach is now being aired on Sky Crime.

Suzanne also features in a documentary called Love in a Foreign Climate for ITV.