Roatan and Bay Islands Discussion List Archive

    Posted On: 11-Dec-2004
    From: "erasmo1amigo" []
    Subject: [roatan] Violence and Murders on Roatan

    Hi group,

    I was shocked to read about the recent murder of a elderly Gringo on
    Roatan. Haven't seen comments about the BayIslandsVoice article
    here in the group.

    Is the story factual, and is Roatan getting more violent or safer?

    I've copied it from the Bay Islands Voice website.

    November, 2004 Vol.2 No. 13

    Brutal Murder of an American

    American builder shot at his home, an American retiree charged with
    the crime

    Tom Matulas, 62, a builder/developer who spent over 20 years on
    Roatan, was shot at his Milton Bight home. After hours of surgery,
    he died at Jackie Wood Medical Clinic.
    On the rainy, dark and thunderous morning of Monday, October 4,
    Matulas was shot while watching TV. Around 5:30am, an assailant
    fired a single pistol shot through the screen window. The bullet
    entered the base of Matulas' skull and exited through the nose/mouth
    causing major internal damage.
    Matulas turned off the television set, took his umbrella, daily
    planner, locked the front door and walked out. He then walked 150
    yards to the house of his neighbor, Bob Kable.
    "We heard a shot and twenty minutes later Tom came in," said Kable.
    Bleeding heavily and unable to speak, Matulas handwrote a note which
    read: 'I was sitting in my chair. I got struck by lightning in the
    back of my head.' Kable drove Matulas to Jackie Wood Medical Clinic.
    On October 8, Don Davis, 73, an American retiree and Roatan resident
    for five years, was taken into custody. "Heads up, 17 guys with
    machine guns in my yard and my dogs were going crazy," said Davis.
    Two local women waiting at a bus stop placed Davis in the vicinity
    at the time of the crime. For the past five years, Matulas and Davis
    were involved in a dispute over a 38-acre property in Milton Bight.
    A bullet and shell casing found on the crime scene are presumed to
    be 9mm (prior to forensic examination) and don't match any of the
    three firearms Davis claims to own: a .38 revolver, .25 automatic
    and .32 automatic. "I don't know what happened. I wasn't there. I'm
    a night person and I never get up before 8am," said Davis, "He
    [Matulas] was a good neighbor. We weren't social friends. We had
    mutual interests."
    For two weeks, Davis has been confined to the premises of the Roatan
    police station, but he has not been placed in the any of the jail's
    On October 22, Davis was arraigned in front of a Roatan judge and
    will remain under house arrest until the trial. An American Embassy
    consul was present during the proceedings.
    Matulas' home was burglarized several times prior to his murder. In
    August, two armed men broke into his home, blindfolded, tied-up and
    robbed him of several thousand dollars. Matulas took no apparent
    precautions after these incidents. He had no watchman, no guard dog.
    He didn't own a fire arm.
    "Tom was a guy that ranted and raved, but never had a gun," said
    Douglas Thorkelson, a friend of the victim. "Tom had a very small
    world that he lived in. He was quiet. You either liked him or you
    Matulas has been involved in purchasing and selling land and the
    construction of several homes on Roatan. "He didn't listen to
    anybody. It went from petty theft to robbery, assault, armed robbery
    and this," said Kable.
    Matulas' body has been flown to the US and a family member arrived
    on Roatan to take care of personal matters.

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