I have been fascinated by the fate of Sean Flynn, son of Errol, ever since I saw a made-for-TV film about it in the 1980s. The film was strong on drama and hypothesis but short on fact.
Sean flirted with Hollywood but turned his back on tinseltown to pursue a career as a news photographer. He arrived in Vietnam in January 1966 as a photographer for Paris Match. He had the advantage over many of his profession, being a skilled shot, proficient in survival skills and spoke fluent French. He was also reckless.
Sean Flynn in Vietnam
On April 5th 1970, Sean Flynn and his friend Dana Stone, the son of a Vermont postman, travelled by motorcycle to Chi Phou, where they spent the night before proceeding to the Cambodian border. On April 6th 1970, they approached a roadblock manned by the Vietcong and were never seen again.
Sean Flynn and Dana Stone last known photograph, 5th April 1970
There is an excellent and lengthy article on this subject in the Sunday Times magazine of March 25th 2001 which reports from documents newly discovered in Cambodia in 1999. These documents report that Flynn was still alive 14 months after being taken prisoner but in June 1971 was given a lethal injection in hospital after suffering a severe attack of malaria.
Will we ever know the truth?
Posted on Mar 29, 2001, 10:48 AM from IP address 126.96.36.199