Austrian in bizarre suicide

PATONG: An Austrian tourist died of knife wounds to the chest at around midnight on Saturday. Police say that he purposely inflicted the wounds on himself.

The dead man was named as Wolfgang Rodlauer, 36, a ski instructor.

Pol Lt Col Prathung Pholmana of Kathu Police Station told the Gazette that Mr Rodlauer was seen walking about the streets of Patong looking at knives offered by vendors.

“A vendor told me that he grabbed a Samurai-type knife and ran away into Soi Seadragon, waving it about. Then he stabbed himself twice in the chest. The vendor, who was chasing him, saw it all,” Col Prathung said. He added that some security men in the area had also witnessed the bizarre suicide.

Mr Rodlauer was taken to Patong Hospital by local people but later died from loss of blood.

“We don’t know exactly why he committed suicide,” Col Prathung said. “The knife, which has a 30-centimeter blade, is not a real Samurai blade but it is still very sharp.

“I went to [Mr Rodlauer’s] room at the Chongko Guest house in Patong yesterday to look for more clues. Friends staying next door to him told me that the victim seemed to suffer from a nervous condition,” Col Prathung added.

The friends had told him that they and Mr Rodlauer had gone to Koh Lanta the previous week. There, Mr Rodlauer had become very nervous, and had told them that he feared someone was going to kill him and he wanted to return to Phuket.

Col Prathung said he believed something had happened on Koh Lanta that had triggered the suicide, but it was not clear what this was.

The body is being kept at Patong Hospital pending instructions from the Austrian Embassy.

Phuket News
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