The Case of Sean Flynn

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I would like to tell you of a real disappearance. – Timeline: Cambodia, April 6, 1970.

Sean-Leslie-Flynn
Sean Flynn on the left with Dana Stone, the day they went missing.

Born in 1941, Sean Flynn was the only child of the marriage of Errol Flynn and Lili Damita. After studying briefly at Duke University, he became a movie actor like his parents. When he retired from acting, Flynn became a freelance photojournalist.

On assignment for CBS, Sean Flynn and fellow journalist Dana Stone on assignment for Time magazine, were arrested at a roadblock on Highway 1, this was the last time either was seen alive. While the Vietcong admitted taking them, reports from government sources said the Khmer Rouge held him for a year before killing him.

Fellow journalist Tim Page has spent the last 40 years trying to find the remains of his late friends. Page’s book Requiem contains photographs taken by all of the photographers and journalists killed during the Vietnamese wars against the Japanese, French and Americans.

Requiem has become since early 2000 a traveling photographic exhibition placed under the custody of the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film.

Tim Paige in Vietnam

The exhibition was held in Vietnam’s War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, as well as in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., Tokyo, Hanoi, Lausanne, and London. In 2011, it was selected to be the main exhibition of the Month of Photography Asia in Singapore.

Page is the subject of many documentaries and two films, and the author of many books. He lives in BrisbaneAustralia and no longer covers wars. He is Adjunct Professor of Photojournalism at Griffith University.

2 Comments
  1. Rick Carufel says

    I remember seeing that on the news when it happened. At the time they were assumed killed within a few hours of being taken. Although the Khmer Rouge were our allies at the time they had a reputation for killing everyone they got their hands on. Good piece Al. 🙂

  2. Alan Place says

    Thanks Rick 🙂 It will forever be like D.B.Cooper, an unsolved mystery. Many think that as the US were not supposed to be in Cambodia they were killed as spies. A couple of bodies were unearthed about 10 years ago, at first there were hopes that it was Sean & Dana but it turned out to be two other Americans who had gone AWOL.
    My view is the had an accident and were attacked by animals. I base this on a few facts. Firstly, what a coup it would be to claim the death of a Errol Flynn’s son. As you say, they were allies but as the US wasn’t supposed to be there. What evidence that they were and what a big international scandal could have been caused by exposing them.

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