Published November 25, 2013
Jeff Howe and Gary Knight traveled to Southeast Asia in 2012 to investigate the largest massacre of Chinese civilians outside of China in over half a century. The 2011 Mekong River massacre offered the backdrop too for the journalists to examine China's influence in other countries including Burma.
Now their reporting, supported by the Pulitzer Center, is the basis for an e-book on the Atavist platform, "Murder on the Mekong." Atavist offers its readers a brief description of the book, providing background on the incident and an idea of what the journalists found:
"At first, what happened on the Mekong River on October 5, 2011 seemed like a simple matter of rough frontier justice. A detachment of Thai military commandos reported that they had confronted a band of drug runners smuggling methamphetamines out of the Golden Triangle, the famously lawless borderlands between Burma, Laos, and Thailand. A gunfight ensued, the smugglers fled, and the commandos seized two barges and a haul of nearly a million pills. The story appeared to be over—until the bodies started washing ashore. There were thirteen of them, all Chinese merchant mariners—not hardened criminals. And they appeared to have been executed in cold blood.
"It was the largest massacre of Chinese civilians outside of China in over half a century, and Beijing quickly named the culprit: Naw Kham, a mysterious former guerrilla warrior turned river pirate who had haunted the Golden Triangle for years. Regarded as a feared terrorist by some and a local Robin Hood by others, Naw Kham was undoubtedly a skilled criminal—but was he a mass murderer? In Murder on the Mekong, Jeff Howe travels to the scene of the crime that transfixed East Asia and finds a tale of adventure, deception, and political intrigue."
Knight's photographs accompany Howe's writing.