American Dies in Singapore – Suicide or Murder?

blue pen 120Originally published in the Fenton Patch newspaper June 2013.

In June of 21012 Shane Todd’s girlfriend found him dead in his Singapore apartment. Singapore Institute of Microelectronics (IME) hired the young Montana man after he received his PhD in electrical engineering from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2010.

Police ruled his hanging a suicide. Todd’s parents believe someone assassinated him. Singapore started a judicial hearing into the case. His parents, Richard and Mary Todd, hired lawyers basing their conclusion on circumstantial evidence and the words of an American pathologist.

Despite a large amount of evidence and testimony contrary to their beliefs the parents appealed to the White House, Federal Bureau of Investigation and the American Ambassador in Singapore. They have attended every day of the proceedings in which forensic expert and police testified as well as colleagues and friends of Shane Todd. On May 21 the parents dismissed their lawyers and announced they will no longer attend the meetings.

Singapore government has announced that the couple will not testify as they would like to get to the bottom of some of their allegations. One contention is that the hard drive on their son’s computer contained sensitive information. The drive was inspected by both the Singapore police and the United States FBI. Both found no such information.

I am sorry for Rick and Mary Todd’s loss. Losing a child is not easy. And in their shoes I might do the exact same. However I am not qualified to judge if Todd committed suicide or was assassinated with a cover-up that involves Singapore police, Todd’s supervisor and the Chinese. That is for the court to decide. One important aspect to keep in mind is that Singapore takes corruption very seriously and prosecutes anyone involved in such. The bottom half of their flag is all white to stand for intolerance to corruption.

My beef therefore is with the American news. In my opinion they have not presented a fair and balanced account of the event. The majority of articles and news I have seen in the USA have slanted the stories. At the very least they are guilty of propaganda by omission.

The Asian news services have done a much better job of balanced reporting. They have stated everything that has been in the American news and more.

My research revealed American news reporting the fact that Todd died in Singapore, that parents believed their son was murdered because he thought his work involved technology that might be used for Chinese military applications. In another report they stated that American pathologist, Dr. Edward Adelstein, concluded from the forensic evidence that it was not suicide by hanging that the young man was murdered.

After watching the U.S. news report and reading the papers there is sufficient slant and missing information that Americans can easily conclude that the Chinese murdered Todd and the Singapore police, Singapore government and IME are covering it up.

One U.S. news report did put a few things in to make it look like an attempt at a balanced report. But still they took much artistic license to slant it.

Okay, so what did the American news miss that I believe tells a different story. Todd was on antidepressants. He accessed antidepressant web sites 19 times in the days prior to his death. The family medical expert never examined the body or came to Singapore. He based his changing conclusions from photographs. First Dr. Adelstein stated that Todd was garroted. After forensic evidence and tests showed that not to be the case Dr. Adlestein said that Todd was tassered to death. The 37 tests done by the Singapore forensic team were not in any of the U.S. papers. Also missing was that two American certified pathologists, Dr. David Fowler and Dr. Valerio Rao, came to Singapore and disputed Dr. Adelstein’s conclusions. “It was suicide,” said Dr. Fowler in court.

There is more that the U.S. press could easily have used to present a more balanced story to the American people. But their consistent slanted takes on things outside the country is nothing new. Previously I wrote about their handling of drug legalization.

Now let’s look at this in a broader sense. We make many of our decisions and elect our politicians based upon our knowledge. When it concerns what is happening in other countries, one has to wonder how much factual and complete news Americans really receive. There appears to be a consistent slant of the news by American media especially compared to their counterparts in many other countries. The idea should be considered that some of our country’s problems could be the fault, not of misintended Americans but of decisions made by well intended citizens influenced by misleading or missing information from American media.

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