FOREIGN TALENT FOUND DEAD IN $INGAPORE, 7 MONTHS AGO… AND NOW IT’S NEWS
The Feb 15, 2013 FT feature.
It is rare for a Financial Times UK article to fluster $ingapore. The island has an unbeaten record of winning every lawsuit thrown at the international media in $heep City. In fact the Financial Times was sued by $ingapore and lost its case in 2007. See a list of defamation suits here.
But on February 15, 2013, the FT ran an in-depth feature on the death in $ingapore of an American foreign talent, Dr Shane Todd, under the headline “Death in $ingapore” with this second header “U.S. electronics engineer Shane Todd was found hanging in his $ingapore apartment”. That got $ingapore netizens buzzing with comments for and against because the FT article said Todd’s family wanted the authorities to consider whether it was “foul play”.
Todd died on or around June 23, last year. His body was found on June 24, 2012. As far as we can tell, very few in $ingapore had heard of this case until the FT article surfaced on Feb 15, 2013, seven months late. Yahoo! Newsroom carried a story on its site after the FT article:
“American Shane Todd was found hanging in his $ingapore apartment in June last year, in a case local police deemed as suicide. But in a report by the Financial Times (FT) on Friday, Todd’s parents, Mary and Rick Todd, raised questions about their son’s death that remain unanswered.
“Todd, an electronics engineer, had just concluded an 18-month employment with $ingapore’s Institute of Microelectronics (IME). He had been developing, in collaboration with Chinese telecom giant Huawei, sophisticated radar and satellite technology for both civilian and military applications.
“His mother says that at work, he was ‘being asked to do things that made him uncomfortable’, FT quoted her as saying. His girlfriend knew that he was increasingly stressed about the nature of his research.
“Todd resigned from IME sometime later. Days before his death, he was offered a job by a US research firm working with the US defence department and NASA. On his final working day, Todd was last seen at a farewell lunch with his IME colleagues who described him as looking upbeat.
“After acquiring Todd’s external hard drive by chance and obtaining a second opinion on his autopsy report, the family now suspect foul play. ”
Since the Feb 15 article, $ingapore’s media, The $tate’s Times, has dragged the story out into its pages prominently on Feb 17 (via their Sunday edition) and again on Feb 19.
The response from netizens in $ingapore
We reproduce five comments from the sammyboy site.
$ingapore has never developed anything significant other than chicken rice and the $ingapore Sling and the latter is not fit for consumption. $ingapore’s A*Star despite registering a record number of patents have never got anything of value out of it. They are not about to start now. Even a tub of margarine has military value.
If this guy was working on a sensitive military related project or one that has military use, he would have come under the purview of a number of oversight bodies and he would not be able to download his files. Even commercial companies have sophisticated software that traces downloads. The storage governance for such things are highly regulated.
Reminds me of the case of an ex-RI boy who went missing for 3 years and the family told his friends that he was working for the government on a sensitive matter. They thought he was in Intelligence. Turned out that he was cooling his heels at Selarang Park DRC.
And why would anyone murder him? Bear in mind the prohibited technology is in US hands. The Chinese murdered him because he was disloyal to them? The $ingapore Govt murdered him because he did not like Chicken Rice.
For christ sake, the $ingapore Govt is an US ally and accommodates an American base, provides submarine pens, has rotating detachment of Eagles, does emergency repairs for allied warships etc. They do not do such things for Chinese military equipment. The only Chinese base is in Geylang and its all female formation.
I am well aware that FT is a highly respected publication but this is one that got carried away with the fairies. Suicide is one thing no parent will accept. To many western countries if a country detains people without trial, they are also capable of extra-judicial killings.
PS. FT and the parents forgot to ask his girlfriend who found the body first how he was hanging, the pulley, the drilled holes etc. or maybe they think that she was the hired assassin.
- scroobal, Feb 16, 2013
Guy got a history of psychological problems, before coming to $ingapore and while in $ingapore. Being treated here as well. Left 2 suicide notes but father claims not his son’s. These are easily assessed by a handwriting analyst. Family can engage their own analyst as well. Just wait for coroner’s inquiry. Suicide is one thing that parents find very difficult to accept. Reminds me of an article in the US press during the Michael Fay incident where an expert on $ingapore claimed that caning is done at the Padang with crowds chanting.
- scroobal, Feb 17, 2013
NOTE: The alleged suicide notes were allegedly found on the deceased’s computer, as such no handwriting analysis is possible.
dontcha just love the planted poppus distracters
- wendychan, Feb 17, 2013
- Golden Dragon, Feb 17, 2013
You think so? I read the entire FT story a few times. It is sensational, to say the least. Putting aside most issues, it is rather incredible that a person who is packing his belongings and about to leave for the States suddenly pauses and commits suicide. The other issue is the “suicide” note praising his employer. Does anyone who commits suicide do that? What makes it even more incredible is that he was known to dislike his employer intensely, and so writing a note praising his employer makes little sense.
Other aspects of the story I set aside as journalistic licence to make it a thrilling read. But the above are puzzling. To add to the mystery, this guy died in June last year in circumstances that can be considered strange, to say the least. Yet it did not make the press till now, and only due to the FT. There have been many other instances of foreigners dying in strange circumstances, including an American exchange student at NUS back in March 2009 and a rich Japanese national at a local hotel in, coincidentally, the same month of the same year. All were reported on in the local media almost instantly.
So, I keep an open mind. Maybe it was suicide. I don’t know.
- ray of hope, Feb 17, 2013
So was Shane Todd’s death a suicide or something else?
The full Financial Times UK report can be read here.
Your no B.S. comments will earn you a pass to free music.
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UPDATED: March 4, 2013
EIGHT MONTHS LATER… GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER?
LATEST: FBI TO AID $INGAPORE PROBE INTO AMERICAN’S DEATH
March 2, 2013: SINGAPORE - The Federal Bureau of Investigation will assist in the probe of the death of an American engineer in $ingapore last year following a request by the city-state’s police. $ingapore police started an investigation into the death of Shane Todd, who was an engineer at $ingapore’s state-run Institute of Microelectronics, after he was found dead in June.
Its request to the FBI comes after media reports said Mr. Todd’s family has disputed initial police findings that they say may point to suicide. The family has suggested in media interviews that Mr. Todd, who was found hanging in his apartment, may have been killed and that $ingapore police mishandled the investigation.
$ingapore police said Saturday that it has sought the FBI’s help to “engage the family” and “examine the evidence” that the family may have that could help its investigation. It did so because the family didn’t respond to earlier requests to share potential evidence, a police spokesman said in an email.
Comments on the above report from $ingapore netizens and “planted poppus distracters” GoldenDragon and Scroobal below:
“Invitation is to appease family of the deceased. End of the day, FBI will issue a statement that death was suicide. Embassy officials were satisfied much earlier that there was no foul play involved.”
- GoldenDragon, March 3, 2013
“There are numbers of answers that lie in the US and the local Police have no jurisdiction over there. The protocol is to request the agency in that country that has jurisdiction to assist. They certainly need to access his medical records as he was taking medication for depression. There is also the HD that has been mentioned plus the family pathologist findings. These are pretty routine all over the world. I am sure the US authorities know all this.
“As the coroner inquiry gives ample opportunity to the family, their lawyers and their medical experts to quiz, it will interesting how this will pan out. I can sort of guess the pathologist will not come as the family will not pay the money. Don’t be surprised if their lawyer also does not turn up. Only the embassy will be present for wayang.”
- Scroobal, March 3, 2013
NOTE: ‘Wayang’ is a local expression for suggesting the whole episode is all “for show”.
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UPDATED: March 11, 2013
U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE BRIEFED ON SHANE TODD DEATH
LATEST: WAS SHANE TODD MURDERED? U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY MEETS WITH SENATOR BAUCUS ABOUT IT
March 8, 2013: Fox has learned that Secretary of State John Kerry met Thursday with Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) over the mysterious death of Shane Todd, a Montana resident who was found hanged in $ingapore.
Todd worked with high tech chemicals for the Institute for Micro Electionics (IME) based in $ingapore. His parents have told Baucus that they believe he may have been killed by the Chinese after he came across some high-tech security info he was not supposed to be privy to.
His body was found hanging in his apartment in $ingapore. But there are multiple inconsistencies with that suicide theory. He told his parents before that he was worried that the project he was working on may endanger U.S. national security.
Fox is told that the meeting between Kerry and Baucus propelled the issue onto the secretary’s radar. Baucus had wanted to meet with Kerry but was unable to do so as the secretary was on a lengthy globetrotting trip. - by Greta Van Susteren, foxnewsinsider
This time the internet chatter in $ingapore was very limited.
Both “planted poppus distracters” GoldenDragon and Scroobal did not comment.
Read the Washington Post March 9 report here: “Shane Todd’s Parents call for U.S. investigation into American engineer’s death in $ingapore”
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UPDATED: March 18, 2013
AFTER NINE MONTHS, U.S. STEP UP PRESSURE ON $HEEP CITY
LATEST: U.S. SENATORS SEEK TO STOP FUNDING $INGAPORE FIRM AFTER SHANE TODD’S DEATH
March 18, 2013: CNN reports: A police investigation into one man’s death has now become an issue between two countries. $ingapore’s Foreign Ministry on Sunday said it was “deeply disappointed” by the attempt of two U.S. senators to block funding to the country’s state-backed Institute of Microelectronics after an American who worked there was found dead in $ingapore last June.
U.S. Sens. Max Baucus and Jon Tester of Montana recently introduced a measure to block U.S. funding to the institute until U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder certifies that the FBI had full access to all evidence related to the death of research engineer Shane Todd.
Todd’s parents, who are from Montana, had raised the issue with the senators in early March. Baucus told reporters in Washington that he will work until he is “satisfied that the parents have closure, and I am convinced there has been no national security breach or improper transfer of technology that puts America at risk.”
According to a statement from the senators, in 2010, IME received nearly US$500,000 from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, part of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technologies for use by the military.
It was unclear what proportion of IME’s overall budget the U.S. funds amounted to.
Shane Todd was found hanged in his apartment in June 2012, just days after resigning from a job at IME. His death was reportedly called a suicide in initial reports by a $ingapore coroner.
The senators’ latest move came despite a meeting between Baucus and $ingapore’s Foreign Minister K $hanmugam on Tuesday. In a statement from $ingapore’s Foreign Ministry, $ingapore also objected to the “pressure” in this case and said the country has “made every effort to be open and transparent in both the investigation of Mr. Todd’s death and the IME’s projects.”
The full CNN report here.
Due to U.S. pressure, $ingapore is now continuing investigations. The $ingapore coroner had previously declared the case closed. That Shane Todd had committed suicide.
Read CNN’s Shane Todd’s family disputes Singapore police probe into son’s death here.
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Updated: March 31, 2013
ARE RUSSIANS FOND OF JUMPING FROM TALL BUILDINGS?
In $ingapore on March 27, 2013, yet another foreigner was found dead. The local nation-builder press reported, “The body of a 33-year-old Russian tourist was found in Swissotel The Stamford on Wednesday morning. Officers from the $ingapore Civil Defence Force had to remove the body from a fifth-floor beam, where it was stuck. It is not known how the man’s body ended up there, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.”
Police were at the scene for 12 hours. It is unknown what the police were doing.
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Recent stories that have put $ingapore on the map.
$ingapore fights image as tax haven, Oct 15, 2012 (click here)
$ingapore in spotlight over soccer match-fixing, Feb 13, 2013 (click here)
Human trafficking in $ingapore, June 19, 2012 (click here)
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