Here is George Hamilton and I in Phnom Penh, at Hurley Scroggin’s Cantina on the Mekong River in February 2010. George came to Southeast Asia to attend the unveiling of a memorial honoring the memory of journalists and friends who were killed or went missing when the Vietnam War expanded into Cambodia in the early 1970s. Sean Flynn, the son of Errol and an ace photojournalist who disappeared in the Cambodian War, was a close friend of George’s, so he came to pay homage. George fit right into the Southeast Asia expat scene. He stayed at a modest hotel, frequented Hurley’s wonderful dive and motored about town in a flimsy Tuk Tuk while I followed, riding a moto with Tim Page as a passenger. Marianne Harris, Page’s better half, and Michael Hayes, the founder of the Phnom Penh Post, rounded out this memorable entourage.
The Disappearance of McKinley Nolan, an incredible documentary directed by Henry Corra and produced by actor Danny Glover is making another festival run. This article, Lost in the Killing Fields, which appeared in Penthouse in 2008, is a behind the scenes snapshot of the film before it was finished. Just so you get the picture, the greatest journalist of our generation, Jon Lee Anderson, who writes for The New Yorker, called the film “Profoundly moving. An unexpected reminder that in America’s closet labeled ‘Vietnam’ there are not only skeletons, but ghosts.” And globetrotting thespian George Hamilton, who saw the film at a sneak peek screening in Phnom Penh, called the film “A visceral road-run through a landscape of faces, emotions, pain and war. Michael Nolan is an incredible presence; he fills the screen with his tireless and noble spirit.” For more info check out: www.mckinleynolan.com
As promised, here is my unexpurgated full-length story of Zalin Grant’s 2002 search for Sean Flynn and Dana Stone in Cambodia. It was originally commissioned by Outside Magazine, which dropped it for unspecified reasons. I sold it on the rebound to Brit magazine JACK (now defunct), which didn’t have much room for the piece but the editor-in-chief really wanted it or at least some of it so he simply did a Khmer Rouge number on it – he butchered it, keeping the head and tossing the body. It was published with my original title The Continuing Search for the Son of Captain Blood (see previous posting). I’m posting it now in response to renewed interest in the Flynn case.
Everybody’s looking for Sean Flynn these days. The son of Errol Flynn left a middling acting career to become a war photographer in Vietnam and was captured and likely killed by the Khmer Rouge in 1970. Here’s a story I wrote about Zalin Grant’s search for his remains in 2002. This story was published in the now defunct British magazine JACK and the editor lobbed off more than 3/4 of the article to shoehorn it into the pub. I will post the full-length never-before-seen version soon. It’s a doozy! Stay tuned.