TFS2M.com Exclusive — A Bangkok coroner has ruled that Trevor â€’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.
For starters, Hawley’s body was found â€’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 â€’wife” rented the low-rent accommodations to house the â€’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 â€’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 â€’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.