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The Death of American Shane Todd – Part I

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The Death of American Shane Todd – Part I
The following is an expose on the death of American Shane Todd. There are several reasons for pursuing the story although Dr. Todd’s death is over three years old. We at Top Secret Writers have been following the story since Shane’s demise and intended to report on the events at that time. Repeated attempts by Ryan to contact the family were unsuccessful. The case was still ongoing and the family was in the middle of writing a book about the mysterious death at that time.

The reasons for revisiting the topic are many. The facts show that the death of Shane Todd was most likely not a suicide, as reported, but a homicide. Both the Singaporean and American governments chose not to pursue the case. This leads to point two, which is that the death was a political land mine due to the parties involved. Dr. Todd worked for IME, a Singaporean think tank. He believed that the technology transfer and project was illegal, and involved Huawei (1) – a sketchy Chinese firm and could jeopardize American security (2). The Singaporean government didn’t want to be involved in a scandal of that magnitude.

Shane resigned and purchased tickets to return home. He never made it home because, within 48 hours of his last day of work, he was murdered. This brings up point number three; Shane specialized in working with gallium nitride (GaN), which has tremendous military potential. Shane’s project dealt with GaN, and he resigned early, leaving both IME and Huawei in a lurch. If he were murdered, his role with GaN and IME/Huawei would most likely be the cause. Based on the facts of the case and actors involved, it is time for Americans to push for a new investigation into the death of one of our own.

Which leads to the final point, Beijing is increasingly aggressive in pursuing its goals for control and military dominance by any means necessary (3). Tools used to achieve this include kidnap and even murder (4). And they have even done this on American soil.

Beijing’s Battle for Tech with Military Applications

In this work, I will first frame the discourse by explaining China’s thirst for technology with the potential for military use. The article will then discuss Shane, the nature of his work and expose the circumstances surrounding his death. Subsequently, you will be shown why it is reasonable to suspect that Shane was murdered and how it would fit with a disconcerting new trend emerging from the apparatchiks in Beijing.

Beijing is on a buying spree. As of February 24th of this year, China spent $23 billion in mergers and acquisitions of American companies. That is more than they spent in 2014 and 2015 combined. Hiding behind front companies, the communist party seeks to purchase or pilfer tech that it is incapable of producing.

Washington is alarmed by this increase (5), especially when it involves Chinese firms acquiring technology with a potential for non-civilian use. Such is the case when they pursue firms which specialize in dual-use civilian/military tech. Such a concern was at the heart of US scrutiny of a variety of deals as of late. China sought to acquire or control electrical stalwarts such as Western Digital and Fairchild Semiconductors, just to name a couple.

One deal, in particular, should have and did raise red flags. It involved a company called Phillips and its Light Emitting Diode (LED) division (6). While LED use is fairly common, Phillips has specialized expertise in gallium nitride (GaN) whose use is not. The potential applications of GaN run the gamut from commercial to military and are a game changer. Based on its potential to reform the military landscape, the transfer of GaN know-how is tightly controlled. Washington does not want such technology falling into the hands of the Chinese army. For years, Beijing has put relentless pressure toward acquiring and harnessing the power of GaN.

This brings us back to the death of Shane Todd and his untimely demise. A botched Singaporean “investigation” into what was called a “suicide” was little more than a comedy of errors. It seemed as if the Singapore Police Force (SPF), its government and Shane’s firm (IME) were more interested in proving a politically expedient alternative to a tougher question. Who killed Shane Todd?

Unfortunately, even years later, his death has left more questions than answers (7).

Shane Todd, Murdered in Singapore?

“Mom, I’m going to call you every week, and if you don’t hear from me for a week, call the American embassy.” Several times, he told his parents that he felt he was under threat because of his work with the Chinese (8).

In June 2012, the body of American scientist Dr. Shane Todd was found after what was called an apparent suicide. Like most families, his found the news disturbing if not unbelievable. He had exhibited no signs of depression.

If anything, he was relieved to be leaving his job in Singapore. This was especially true in light of Shane’s contention that he felt threatened and feared for his life there.

When told that Shane had committed suicide, they were doubtful. Why would he do such a thing when he’d exhibited no depression and had procured employ back home?

To them, the “suicide” merited further scrutiny. They contacted the police in Singapore, who tried to assuage the family and assured them a thorough investigation had been done, and Shane had, in fact, killed himself.

Shane Todd

Shane was an athletic scholar who wrestled, played rugby and won honors in science. After completing a degree in electrical engineering and then a master’s, Shane pursued and obtained a doctorate in “groundbreaking work on high-frequency, silicon-based transmission lines” from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

After graduating, Shane signed on with the Institute of Microelectronics (IME) in December of 2010. The institute was a think tank within the government’s Agency for Science, Technology, and Advanced Research.

Within months of his arrival, Shane was tasked with finding equipment vital to GaN research. He identified the product of an American firm called Veeco to be the best choice and Shane was tasked to train on it.

Most of what he did for IME in Singapore was little more than a mystery to his family. They only knew that as time when on, Shane was ever more uncomfortable working for IME and decided to end his three-year contract early. The possibility of jeopardizing national security and his well being played a paramount role in that decision.

It was with this backdrop that the Todd family traveled to Singapore to investigate Shane’s death. Based on what Shane had told them about his fears, they suspected the potential for foul play. The trip to Singapore was meant to help quell any doubts.

Upon arriving, they were greeted by the police and told that a thorough and impartial investigation had been done. They would be shown all of the evidence and facts of the sad event. Nonetheless, the SPF maintained that there was no hint of foul play.

Suicide or Murder?

After speaking with the police the Todds found more questions than answers. It appeared as if the SPF was more concerned with confirming the coroner’s assertion of suicide than to conduct an open investigation. This proved to be true as they gave the family conflicting stories of his death.

When facts were inconsistent with a suicide, the police merely changed them. For example, when they were shown photos of the crime scene which were at odds with other “facts”, those photos were doctored or even removed from evidence (7). The family was soon astounded at the shoddy police work and red flags surrounding Shane’s death.

Initially the coroner’s report stated that Shane had committed suicide by constructing an elaborate device, “The police said he had drilled holes into his bathroom wall, bolted in a pulley, then slipped a black strap through the pulley and wrapped it around the toilet several times. He then tethered the strap to his neck and jumped from a chair” (8).

After speaking to the police, the Todds visited Shane’s apartment; the scene of the crime. To their surprise little seemed to corroborate what they had been told by the SPF. This was especially true of the “elaborate hanging device” Shane had allegedly used. The Todd’s found no holes in the marble walls to support such a structure. Surely such evidence would not be destroyed.

Even more astonishing to them was the fact that there did not appear to be evidence of an ongoing investigation of any sort. It was as if the SPF merely considered it a suicide and did not entertain other options. The crime scene had not been taped off, the apartment was open to contamination and little care had been taken to preserve the scene.

The Todds confronted the SPF with their findings and various concerns. When faced with difficult questions, the SPF changed their story. After being shown that the suicide could not have occurred as reported, the police demurred. They explained that Shane had not hung himself via that elaborate device but merely used a laptop strap instead.

But even this “fact” could have helped determine if Shane had acted alone. Both the strap and towel allegedly used in the hanging were found to have the DNA of a Malaysian and ethnic Chinese on them. The SPF did not attempt to match that evidence to anyone associated with the crime and subsequently destroyed it. This typified the nightmare the Todds would find themselves in.

References & Image Credits:
(2) Hard Drive
(3) The Guardian
(4) Time
(5) Tapaei Times
(6) NYTI
(7) Justice 4 Shane Todd
(8) FT
(9) Images from Justice4ShaneTodd Facebook

Originally published on

  • Balance_in_Media

    The world may never know what happened to Shane Todd, but, in the interest of some remote semblance of balance in whatever Part II may be planned, consider the following points excerpted from the July 2014 Singapore Coroner’s Report:

    – “There have been only two incidents in his 31 years of life where Shane sought help for depression and anxiety. One was in 2003, when Shane was at the University of Florida where he worked on his Masters degree, served in the US Air Force, worked as a Resident Assistant (RA), and played rugby. He went on anti-depressant medication.” This is a quote in the Report from Mary Todd, Shane’s mother.

    (Note: The other incident was a diagnosis of depression in Singapore mere months before Todd’s suicide, a diagnosis for which he had been prescribed anti-depressant medication as treatment).

    – …the forensic examination conducted on the deceased’s HP Laptop showed that the deceased had started drafting a suicide note more than a month before he died…typed on or before 18 May 2012 at about 9.48 pm, and subsequently discarded.

    (Note: At this time, Todd was mid-way through his 60 day notice of resignation period with IME, and searching for a new job in the U.S.)

    – The deceased would have known from 29 May 2012 when he accessed the Nuvotronics (his prospective U.S. employer) webpage that applicants for the position of a Senior Process Engineer would need to be eligible to pursue security clearance from the US Department of Defense (“DOD Clearance”).

    – The forensic examination of the deceased’s HP Laptop also revealed that the deceased had visited…websites relating to DOD Clearance on 21 June 2012 from 7.57 am to 8.29 am.

    (NOTE: The gist of the web searches focused on clearances associated with people who had been previously separated from military service.)

    – On 22 June 2012 at 4.04 am (Singapore Standard Time), Ms Kate de Gastyne (“Kate”) from Nuvotronics emailed the deceased asking him if he currently held any level of active DOD Clearance, or if he was eligible to pursue such clearance.

    – Forensic examination of the deceased’s ACER CPU conducted by Deputy Superintendent of Police Sim Lai Hua revealed that the deceased had conducted further searches on DOD Clearance thereafter between 9.45 am and 11.15 am…

    (Note: This round of searches included focus on security clearances and dishonorable discharge from military service.)

    – Keyword searches on the words “noose”, “hangman”, “methods”, “knots”, “psychiatric”, “short drop”, “simple suspension”, and “suicide” made by the police during the forensic examination into the HP Laptop revealed that deceased had visited suicide-related websites on 19 different days between 10 March 2012 and 23 June 2012.

    (Note: Todd first notified IME of his intent to resign on March 2, 2012. His body was discovered June 24, 2012. There were over 140 searches conducted over this time period, most focused on hanging and nooses, but a number on “jumping” suicides, quite a few on American suicides overseas, some of which were specific to Singapore, including searches on related Singaporean law and suicide patterns.)

    Again, the world may never know what happened to Todd, but, a conspiracy theory in which someone knew of Todd’s past history of depression, his discharge from whatever military service his mother spoke of, his prospective new employer and his need to secure a DoD security clearance, and the fact that his prospective employer was pressing him to deliver on that clearance, well, that would be a tale worthy of Ludlum.

    That he became despondent due to a perceived inability to qualify for the U.S. government security clearance required by his prospective employer – all the more so for having already given notice to and stolen thousands of files from his current employer, as well as having broadcast to his family and friends his imminent homecoming – seems far more likely than the alternative cloak-and-dagger scenario.

  • Thanks for your post – I’m leaving this here for just a few days so that you can respond to my question. If you don’t respond I’ll be removing this post. Can you please email me at ryan @ and provide me with a list of sources/evidence to support all of the claims you’ve just made here. All of this is circumstancial – you’ve made claims about web searches and things people have said without providing evidence for that. I’d like to know where your information comes from (and why you feel the need to post using a anonymous email service)?

  • Balance_in_Media

    As communicated in parallel to your email address, the opening sentence of my original comment cites the source for the information presented as the 2014 Singapore Coroner’s Report, which is openly available online.

  • Pete Habel

    I remember seeing this story on a news show. I’m surprised this article didn’t mention the fake suicide email… Talking about events that never happened in a manner that was definitely NOT American. Referring to family members by nicknames he never called them… Completely weird.

  • CA_99

    Sloppy work on the cover up. They probably thought the family would just accept their conclusion and move on. If our FBI had any acumen and foresight, they would be following up on this lead with other potential security threats over GaN. Perhaps there are other engineers without Todd’s integrity who could be bought by the Chinese. Todd should’ve taken this threat seriously and bought a ticket out the day he made up mind to leave without letting the left hand know what the right hand was doing.

  • CA_99

    It is always dangerous to set a precedent that can later be used to create doubt against you. Perhaps this was researched to use as a motive. He could hardly just “disappear”. It had to look “natural”.

  • Balance_in_Media

    Or, more reasonably likely, he despaired at not being able to get the security clearance he needed for his Stateside job, and, perhaps, severely regretted his massive theft of confidential, proprietary data from IME his last day at work.

  • Ben Chen

    this bs shane todd is a lie shirley never met all photoshopped of them together.

  • Ben Chen

    Shane Todd case is a lie to write bookS making money out of it.

  • Ben Chen

    Autopsy photos are not Shane Todd’s,he didn’t wore long sleeves on hanging photos but autopsy had sleeves why put clothes if he was dead already. Shane and Shirley never together at that day or at all it was photoshopped photos.

  • Who has written a book about it?

  • Who are you and how would you know, Ben?

  • Ben Chen

    The story is bs he was hanged with short sleeves on autopsyphotos had long sleeves. the shaved head and other cut on neck is not the same.not same person at all.

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Top Secret Editors

Ryan is the founder of Top Secret Writers. He is an IT analyst, blogger, journalist, and a researcher for the truth behind strange stories.
Lori is TSW's editor. Freelance writer and editor for over 17 years, she loves to read and loves fringe science and conspiracy theory.

Top Secret Writers

Gabrielle is a journalist who finds strange stories the media misses, and enlightens readers about news they never knew existed.
Sally is TSW’s health/environmental expert. As a blogger/organic gardener, she’s investigates critical environmental issues.
Mark Dorr grew up the son of a treasure hunter. His experiences led to working internationally in some surprising situations!
Mark R. Whittington, from Houston, Texas, frequently writes on space, science, political commentary and political culture.

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