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Wednesday, 13 February 2008

well-known hitman murders Dale George Henry has rocked the tight-knit expat community in Thailand

Dale George Henry, 48, was shot point blank in the head Feb. 3 in his home in Ranong, Thailand. His 27-year-old wife, a Thai woman who married him five years ago, is accused of hiring a hitman so she could collect on his $1-million life insurance policy.

Now, Mary-Jane Matheson is left worrying about making arrangements, not for funeral flowers, but her own safety.Hire security -- that's the first thing we'll want to do. I'm frightened of hitmen," Matheson said before boarding a flight Monday night to Vancouver"I've been told to go straight to the embassy. I'm going to ask them to have somebody pick me up."Family learned of Henry's death only last Tuesday, when his brother Richard was contacted by police at his home in Victoria.Richard has flown to the southeast Asian country and will sit inside a temple with his brother's body. A Thai funeral begins Wednesday.Henry had been living in Thailand for the past decade, frequently flying between there and Nigeria, where he worked for a U.S.-based oil drilling company.
His marriage to Manreet Nee, who is 20 years his junior, was his first.
Henry, a Canadian who spent much of his life in the Calgary area, worked about a decade ago as a firefighter and emergency medical technician in Cochrane before contracting as a safety consultant for oil companies.
"Our 10-hour days went by quick," said former Cochrane paramedic/firefighter Mike Lamacchia. He and Henry were partners in 1991 and 1992."He was a great health care provider, a lot of fun to be around. He wasn't a shy guy. He was definitely heard wherever he went."He could tell a ton of jokes. It was never boring being around Dale."Lamacchia said he was stunned when he learned of Henry's dramatic death.

In 1994, Henry started a Calgary-based consulting business, Panther Safety Services, specializing in safety audits, inspections, training and safety program development.

Henry was due to return to work in Nigeria Feb. 22 after recovering from a broken leg that became infected. The injury occurred during a fall while hiking in the jungle.
Looking back, Matheson said she believes that was the first attempt on her brother's life.
The crime has resulted in the arrest of Dale's wife, Manreet Nee, an alleged hitman and a third man, said to be Nee's lover.

It's believed the motive for the killing was a million-dollar-plus insurance policy Henry had through his company.
The murder has rocked the tight-knit expat community in Thailand, many of whom are speaking out online about what they say is a corrupt justice system.
Australian Mac McLeod said in a telephone interview Monday night that the alleged hitman has killed before.
"It is well-known that he is a hitman. That is his job," said McLeod, who left Thailand several years ago in fear for his own life after a run-in with the man accused of pulling the trigger on Henry.
He said the area where Henry lived, a town called Panong in the south, is not heavily populated by ex-pats.

"There are all sorts of nefarious characters. There are more hitmen around Thailand than anywhere. That's the way they do business there -- it's a buck a gun."
He joked that "Dracula once went and barely escaped with his fangs."
Henry is the second Canadian slain in Thailand in as many months. Calgary native Leo Del Pinto, 25, was shot to death Jan. 6 while he and a friend were walking home in Pai. A Thai police officer has been charged in that case.


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