Thursday, August 30, 2012

Unknown faces

Two western men, believed to have died at S-21. On the left is Chris Delance. Photos by Documentation Center of Cambodia
DC-Cam have released the portraits of two western men believed to have been amongst the eleven westerners tortured and killed by the Khmer Rouge at S-21 during the late '70s. The two portraits were amongst a cache of photos handed in recently to the staff at DC-Cam. Many of the passport-sized pictures had details annotated to the back, these two did not. That has left DC-Cam with the task of tracking down exactly who these two S-21 prisoners were. They even posed that question to Comrade Duch, in his prison cell at the ECCC headquarters, where he is serving a life sentence for crimes committed as the chief of S-21, aka Tuol Sleng, but he revealed nothing. One of the pictures is believed to be Christopher Delance (now confirmed as the photo on the left) but efforts to get his family to provide confirmation have been met with resistance. The stories of the eleven westerners killed by Duch and his team of interrogators have fascinated researchers and history buffs for many years. An excellent account of the life and times of one of the foreigners murdered by the Khmer Rouge but who didn't actually make it to S-21, Stuart Glass, was published by author David Kattenburg in his book Foxy Lady last year.
Update: I received an email over the weekend from a personal friend of Chris Delance, who confirmed that the photo on the left above was indeed the American, captured and killed by the Khmer Rouge just weeks before they were chased out of Phnom Penh by the Vietnamese.

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Blogger phnompenhpast said...

Intriguing stuff. The man on the left looks more South Asian than Western though.

November 27, 2012 at 11:12 PM  

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