True Detective October 1998


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Evil secret of the Rolex murderer. A devil in disguise – he took a man’s identity and then his life…

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SKU: 252-True Detective October 1998 Categories: ,


Celebrity slayings are nothing new. True Detective ran a series of them in late 1996 and 1997. The robbery-murder of Dr. Haing Ngor outside a run-down apartment in a squalid, graffiti-strewn side street in Los Angeles’s Chinatown slots into the celebrity slaying category – with one exception – the victim’s background. Dr. Ngor, an Oscar-winning actor for his portrayal of Dith Prin in the hit movie ‘The Killing Fields’, was a former refugee from a Cambodian slave-camp.

When the Khmer Rouge overran Ngor’s homeland he was arrested and tortured in an effort to make him confess to being a doctor. The Khmer Rouge – backed by China – aimed to eradicate the country’s elite. Anyone educated above the level of peasant was tortured and murdered. Ngor’s survival hinged on convincing his captors that he was an uneducated taxi driver. He stuck to his story even after his captors put him in a bag and beat him unmercifully. He smashed rocks from daylight to sunset and was made to wear a yoke and plough the earth like an animal. His tormentors put his head in a vice and cut off part of one of his fingers, whipped him and stretched him above hot coals for days on end with no food or water.

But Ngor survived. He made his way to Thailand and eventually to the US where life was a far cry from the appalling privation he suffered in Phnom Penn – until that night in 1996 when like so many of his contemporaries he found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time…Our report on this remarkable man and his untimely death.

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