Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Kerry Hamill story

Just heard on the grapevine that Canadian broadcaster Dave Kattenburg is penning a book about the fate of two yatchsmen, a Canadian and a Kiwi, who sailed into Cambodia waters in 1978 and never returned home. It sounds very much like the book will be about the story of Kerry Hamill (pictured right, copyright Stuart Glass), the Kiwi, and Stuart Glass, the Canadian, who alongwith Brit John Dewhirst were captured on their yacht Foxy Lady in late 1978 just off the island of Koh Tang after sheltering from a storm. Glass was shot and killed instantly, whilst Hamill and Dewhirst were sent to Phnom Penh by their Khmer Rouge captors and tortured into confessions before being killed at Tuol Sleng. More about the book as I hear it. Kattenburg specializes in global environment and development issues with his own production company Earth Chronicles, and is no stranger to Cambodia having covered stories from human rights angles to the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
Talking of the trials and the case of Kerry Hamill, his brother, Rob Hamill, who gave testimony to the Tribunal a few months ago, is expected to return to Phnom Penh later this month when the verdict is expected to be heard in the case against Comrade Duch, the former commander of Tuol Sleng. Rob and director Annie Goldson are making a documentary entitled Brother Number One about Rob's journey to uncover what really happened to his brother. Other foreigners to lose their lives in the corridors of Tuol Sleng include Australians Ronald Dean and David Scott and Americans Michael Deeds and Chris Delance, as well as James Clark and Lance McNamara. For more on the documentary, click here.

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Blogger Cate said...

Thank you for writing about Kerry Hamill and his tragic death. I am a New Zealander who just tonight watch the doco Brother Number One. I have been interested in Cambodia and follow all news surrounding the trials of the Khmer Rouge, ever since I went to Cambodia in 2010. Interestingly I was in Phnom Penh on the exact day you posted this blog, yet haven't come across this post until today. I love Cambodia with a passion and am pleased to have encountered your blog. Thank you, Kate.

July 24, 2012 at 4:39 PM  
Blogger Gez Walsh said...

I visited S-21 last January and was taken by the photo of the lone Westerner amongst the fear-ridden Cambodians, named as David Scott. On my return to Perth my brother told me he had been a friend of David's at Muresk College. I teach at David's old school but had not heard this sad story. Dave and Ron Dean were sailing to Thailand in 1978 to have a yacht refitted, were arrested off Cambodia, accused of being CIA agents and tortured then executed. I wrote a letter to 'The West Australian' questioning why Malcolm Fraser had refused to intervene for 2 innocent yachties ye the current Government were 'chest beating' about 2 guilty drug runners in Bali. Then David Scott's sister contacted me to say that photo is NOT David. Certainly it seems a passport style photo...not the traumatised face of other victims. Julie Bishop's office have agreed to request the Cambodian Government to take down that incorrect photo and replace it. I am awaiting a response from his sister in law. It seems tragic that he was mistaken as CIA and executed and now mistaken for someone else. Hopefully someone out there will have a photo. David left behind a newborn daughter as he went off on a short job to deliver a boat. They had no idea what had happened for months although the Australian Government had heard. They were war heroes: innocently tortured and cruelly executed.

December 19, 2015 at 2:15 PM  

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