The only reason I write this is because those who know I am here will be wondering what is going on and the media is having a field day turning the reputation of our tiny island paradise into the dangerous location of a gruesome double murder.

Yesterday, Monday, I got home around noon from a morning spent diving, got on Facebook, and read on the community board that two tourists had been murdered on Sairee Beach earlier that morning. Someone had posted an article on a Thai news source. I searched Google News and nothing came up. Maybe it was just a rumor.

An hour later 14 news stories showed up, all boasting mere speculations as facts. All that was really known was that two tourists had been found on Sairee Beach, naked and murdered with fatal wounds to the head. Their identities were still unknown and the community was being urged to check in on everyone they knew and make sure no one was missing. I sat in my room crying because something about this just hit too close to home. Sure, people are murdered all over the world every day, but this island is special. It is merely eight square miles and has a population of 1400. We are a close-knit community of scuba divers, brought here by our shared love of the ocean. This place is a little piece of paradise cut off from the outside world. The things that happen outside our bubble really don't affect us here. The worst thing that ever happens here is motorbike accidents.

Today 474 articles show up on Google News. They all speculate on whether the two tourists were a couple or had just met, what they were doing, if the murderer was Western or Thai or Burmese, whether there was rape involved... Please take everything you read with a grain of salt. The police are investigating what happened and everything you hear at this point is mere speculation. I've read articles linking our island to the debauched, hedonistic full moon parties that take place on Koh Phangan. My mom even managed to find an article going into detail about what a tragedy it is that the locals have discovered meth (first time I've even heard anyone mention meth since leaving the US). Many of the articles bring racial disputes into the equation, trying to blame the murder on the migrant workers here from Burma.

The media just wants a good story. Right now the story consists of two tourists who were found gruesomely murdered on a beach, so they are filling in the blanks as they please. Many of the things being said and published are an injustice to the deceased and their families. My heart goes out to all those affected by this horrendous crime.