Coyotee’s T.J. Hawley Died of Asphyxiation; Go-Go Closed Permanently ExclusiveA Bangkok coroner has ruled that Trevor ‒T.J.” Hawley, co-owner of Pattaya’s Coyotee’s a-go-go and a driving force behind some of Walking Street most-successful bars, choked to death on a roll of bread amid circumstances that leave those closest to him still suspecting foul play.

Former friends, co-workers and drinking buddies will bid the 52-year-old Australian farewell today at 4 p.m. during final rites and cremation at Chaimonkol Temple in South Pattaya. A farang-oriented wake has also been scheduled for Sunday night, but, ironically, at Sisterz, not Coyotee’s.

Even as Wat Chai monks spent three days chanting and preparing Hawley’s body for cremation, remaining majority partner Deano closed the Soi Marine Plaza go-go for good in a move that set off widespread anger among the Thai management and dancers, some of whom were heard making death threats against Coyotee’s two surviving partners.

Pattaya Police Report

Hawley was found by cleaners Oct. 1 in a second-story room at the Lido Hotel Guesthouse, a 400 baht-a-night hostel on the corner of Third and South roads that is part of the Tony’s Entertainment empire. In the week since, no Pattaya media outlets have reported on his death, fueling speculation that Hawley – in serious legal and financial straits – was either murdered or killed himself through an overdose of sleeping pills.

Pattaya Police, however, said Hawley checked into the Lido Sept. 28 alone, told staff he did not wish to be disturbed and did not leave his room. Two days later staff checked his room and found the body.

Investigators said there was no sign of struggle, no wounds to the body and no indication of drug use. The only initial indication of death were food remnants spilling out of Hawley’s mouth.

Hawley’s body was taken first to Banglamung Hospital where some Coyotee’s staff paid final respects. It was then sent to Bangkok for an autopsy. The coroner’s report, released late this week, indicated Hawley died of asphyxiation after a large chunk of bread became lodged in his throat.

Foreigners close to Hawley doubt it was an accident. The details of the death scene, they say, just don’t add up.

Unusual Circumstances

For starters, Hawley’s body was found ‒dressed inappropriately” in a way that, those who knew him said, would have embarrassed the former male exotic dancer who went on to either found or bring success to such bars as the Dollhouse, Carousel and Heaven Above.

The second was the obstruction itself. According to friends familiar with the details, an entire roll of bread was lodged in his throat. One person close to Hawley believes he was murdered by someone who forced the bread down his throat then covered his mouth.

But the thing that is vexing many is why Hawley was in the Lido Hotel in the first place. Hawley’s common-law ‒wife” rented the low-rent accommodations to house the ‒sexy Bangkok models” Coyotee’s put on the payroll for a short time early this year and, Hawley’s closest friends said, used them herself for trysts with her Thai boyfriend.

How then did he end up there? Hawley was known to often take working girls for short-time fun, but wouldn’t go that far from Walking Street, particularly if he knew his ‒wife” used the joint.

What’s clear is that the police report and the suspicion of friends don’t jibe. If the official story is to be believed, Hawley stayed at the Lido for two days, never left his room and died on delivery food. Skeptics who think he was forcibly suffocated must then contend with police reports the body showed no sign of struggle or trauma.

Some concede Hawley could, in fact, have died naturally. While he had no history of heart trouble, he did previously use steroids that could have damaged his heart. With the immeasurable stress the Aussie has been under since being arrested and charged with child prostitution and human trafficking last month, it’s conceivable, they said, he had a heart attack while eating and died.

With Hawley’s death, full ownership of Coyotee’s reverted to Deano and another minor investor from Malaysia. Immigration Police ruled that Hawley’s longtime companion had no legal claim to the bar, as they were not married. Once the ruling came down, the bar was locked up.

Hawley’s girlfriend and the Thai mamasan are irate and have reportedly taken entire control of the funeral, freezing out Hawley’s closest foreign acquaintances. Reports have also surfaced that the mamasan – who it was learned was the real target of last month’s raid on Coyotees – threatened that if the bar wasn’t reopened the surviving partners ‒would end up just like T.J.”

Not surprisingly, many involved with the go-go over the past four years will not be attending today’s services.

Pattaya media, which so far has been quiet on the incident, may begin to report the story in the next week. One Thai police reporter said the reason the story has not come out until now was not due to any blackout or conspiracy but simply because the body quickly fell under Bangkok jurisdiction.

41 thoughts on “Coyotee’s T.J. Hawley Died of Asphyxiation; Go-Go Closed Permanently”

  1. So the coronors report raises more questions than it answers.

    Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

    Great report ,Ghost.

  2. PG… Be smart.. get all the info, all the angles.. write a script and turn it into a TV movie. This has ALL of the elements. Get to it

  3. 1st and only rule for LOS:
    “Thailand is great for spending money, NOT making money.”

    Follow that and you will be a happier person here.

  4. Wow, crazy story. They ‘common law wife’ sounds like a real keeper. I think Phuket might have this one right.

  5. “Tonys” has always been associated with quality and service…”

    Gawd, when i clicked on the link for Lido hotel (in the story), I almost vomited hot bile capable of searing into the enamel on my teeth. Yeah, Tony thumb tacking posters to the walls of your hotel room’s is quality.

    Just browsing through that site gave me dementia.

  6. Just a question – what is meant by “dressed inappropriately”? What kind of apparel would embarrass a former male exotic dancer?

  7. Wow. Kinda depressing. WPD is right, the Farang always loses. The other comment was also right on: come to LOS to blow money, not make it. RIP TJ, you did not live a dull life.

  8. Has this chap got any claim to fame other than being an exotic male dancer?

    Didn’t know there were any coroners in Thailand, but I suppose you mean the forensic guys at the Bangkok Police morgue.

    Certainly the way you have collected the facts here points it to being foul play of the typical Pattaya variety.

    But if he was broke what was the motive? And seems he had a lot to be depressed about.

    People do die of eating bread sandwiches btw, particularly after drinking and/or drugs. Mama Cass did, I went to her inquest.

  9. Interesting that Coyotee’s partnership had right of survivor clause in agreement.

    Usually the death partner’s interest passes via the will.

    TJ had two children.

  10. Actually he had 3 children (daughter and son both grown in Australia) and JJ his son with Maw his common law wife…..I didn’t realize he never registered this marriage.

    Anyways, the coroner’s findings seem quite suspicious to me. TIT I guess. RIP TJ, you’ll be missed.

  11. Bangkok Bad Boy: Well me. You took me by surprise there.
    Perhaps I started the original myth. I remember hearing evidence about a ham sandwich. It was in the Coroner’s Court in Horseferry Road.
    But now perhaps my memory of the full proceedings are blurred.
    When it comes to stars of course people will argue about their deaths, and whether they are in fact dead even for ages!
    I am happy to point out that Mama Cass died of obesity, which had nothing to do with the ham sanwich she had been eating. The website you point out says that dying from eating a ham sandwich ‘is a pedestrian way’ to die for a star. Obesity is, I guess, not. Many thanks for pointing this out.

  12. I am looking forward to the follow up to this story. Seem to be an awful lot of people here not spoken to, like his partner Deano, wife, mistress, banker/accountant etc, least of all staff at the Lido who may have seen him check in with a bread roll, or not as the case may be.
    The police are not going to be asking any serious questions.
    This, and I think the author admits it, is all speculation and can lead us all to wrong conclusions.
    The only probably safe thing to say at them moment is that he has been screwed by ‘Pattaya’.

  13. Hi Andrew, good to see you here on TFS2M. Too bad TJ was not British. I’d have liked to see you take on this story.

    As you might imagine, I’ve had to obfuscate who my sources were for this story. More people were interviewed than you beleive, I think. And, despite what the publisher of one of the Pattaya “hooker catalogs” would have you beleive, it was not just a bunch of bar owners.

    In fact, I spoke to no managers or owners for this piece. I have a direct line into the police.

    I don’t think we’ll ever get much more than I already have. The Thai women involved can’t/won’t be interviewed and the other sources only have speculation or have told the cops what they know.

  14. @Andrew: Ha, the tangents on which we can veer, eh?

    I’ve heard that story so many times over the years, knowing it wasn’t true, that to hear it from someone who was actually at the inquest was a bit of a surprise! If I hadn’t been quite so drunk last night I probably would have phrased it more politely though 🙂

    Back on topic, I’m a little surprised that the Western press hasn’t picked up on this story yet, given their recent interest in shady dealings in Thailand…

  15. Ghost, I emailed a tip to Andrew Drummond to look into this about a week ago, but I assumed he wasn’t interested!

  16. Alan, I’m sure A.D. can answer for himself, but in an e-mail to me today he put it this way:

    . I sort of have a passing interest because I look after Australia occasionally, but it’s still a little tacky, and a reflection of what happens in this side of the industry.

    And in Auz nobody is gong to care much about a guy who runs a Pattaya Go Go bar.

  17. Thanks Ghost. If he was British this would be all over the UK papers for many reasons, and I’m sure Andrew would have coveed it comprehensively.

    Many people I know remains skeptical about even the fact of his death, because of the complete lack of reports so far. I don’t buy that some “Mr Big” has control over every Pattaya news outlet. Do you have any idea why no Pattaya based agency, paper – or any Thai agency for that matter – has so far not reported this?

  18. Alan, I work for one of the Pattaya newspapers and I can assure you there’s no conspiracy. As I wrote in my story, the reason the story has not come out until now was not due to any blackout or conspiracy but simply because the incident ws under Banglamung District, not Pattaya jurisdiction and the body quickly was quickly sent to Bangkok.

  19. Thanks Ghost, although that Banglamung point raises the “spectre” that in future suspicious foreigner deaths on Third Road won’t have Pattaya’s journos all over them because Banglamung get hold of Third Road bodies so quickly and ship them off to Bangkok?

    Do you know if Tony refused to allow press or Sawang Boriboon to photograph on his premises, as I would expect that at least – we see it every day here.

    And finally, do you think the funeral be covered by the local press?

    Many thanks,


  20. @PG-

    Can you please post the link when the story comes out? Would love to hear your take on what the Mail has to say about the situation.

  21. Good article. more information than I have recieved via texts from friends. Interestingly enough however Deano is not the sole partner. There are 6 partners surviving, although TJ and Deano were the only two seemingly touching any money. I haven’t heard from the “stiffed” partners and question where all the documentation of those interests quietly disappeared. I suspect there are many eyes on Deano these days.

    1. As I noted in the story, there is a minority partner from Malaysia who I met once. Deano said he owns 5 percent and TJ and Deano owned the other 47.5 percent. He neve rmentioned anyone else.

  22. RIP Mr. Hawley,
    Your Heavens above bar was very instrumental in changing my life the details of which I will not go into here. Thank you Mr. Hawley. You made many men happy and probably changed many men’s lives for the better I hope if one learns what to take and what to leave in Pattaya. Heavens above was so awesome at least in the beginning before the cops busted it for lesbian shows. So incredibly sexy and wonderful place. I would have to say my favorite. After Heavens above closed down Coyotees for me was the place to be if I ever dared going back to Pattaya again which was very little. And why you may ask? Ask Mr. Hawley now he knows. I wonder if he had it all to do over again if he would do so or at least do it much differently. You cannot play in the gogo bar scene as an owner without getting it in the end. If everyone didn’t know it then they should learn now. Sheesh. RIP RIP RIP RIP

  23. To,

    For your information there were only 3 registered directors of the business and that has always been the case.

    When Coyotees was first conceived TJ attracted a few investors.This was done privately with TJ and the other 2 directors did not give their agreement at the time.

    These investors didn’t abide by their agreements, and in fact, tried to enact a coup d’etat – very unsuccesfully. They were partially paid off over the following 3 years; whilst the bar made a profit.

    During the bar’s difficult last 12 months, these investors did not pay any share of the bar’s substantial losses (and under table pay-offs following Police attention) and so forfeited any agreement they made with TJ.

    The company was closed on May 19th 2009 in order to limit losses. TJ and his common law wife tried, in vain, to get the bar working again, without the other lease holders’ consent.

    The Police, Ampur and all council forces are aware of the history and fully support the remaining owners of the lease – which expires in 6 months.



  24. RIP TJ,
    first met you in caroussel and we had a great time in 2004.
    Will miss you when i come back to pattaya.
    Cheers Chris
    (havens above … maybe nomem est omen)

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