Thursday, April 14, 2011

Mistaken identity

It appears that this photo at Tuol Sleng is not of David Scott afterall
Whilst reading Dave Kattenburg's book Foxy Lady, one of the mysteries surrounding a photo that had been posted on the walls of Tuol Sleng for many years, appears to have been cleared up. The picture of a western male with a polka-dot shirt, that looks nothing like the usual mug-shot photos taken by the S-21 portrait team led by Nhem En, was tagged with the name of David Scott, one of the eight western yachtsmen who came through the doors of Tuol Sleng but never made it out again. He was captured on his boat, Sanuk, with Ron Dean in early November 1978 and murdered sometime the following month. The picture that still hangs in Tuol Sleng today, is actually a friend of Dean's, who was not on the boat when it was captured by the Khmer Rouge navy, though his picture must've been amongst the personal effects of the two Australian sailors. Dean seems to have survived the torture and forced confessions at S-21 until just three days before the Khmer Rouge were chased out of the city by the invading Vietnamese army and the horrors of S-21 became apparent. Two American prisoners, Mike Deeds and Chris Delance were also alive right up until the last few days before Duch, the prison chief, and his henchmen finished off all the loose ends, which included killing the westerners and burning their bodies, before they escaped from Tuol Sleng. The story of the western yachtsmen is told in Kattenburg's Foxy Lady, published by The Key Publishing House in Canada, though much of the book's focus is on the one sailor who didn't make it to Tuol Sleng, a Canadian by the name of Stuart Glass, who was on the Foxy Lady when it was captured by the Khmer Rouge navy but was shot and killed and thrown in the ocean. His shipmates, Brit John Dewhirst and Kiwi Kerry Hamill were both whisked off to S-21 where they perished sometime in October 1978.

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