Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The FT’s Raymond Bonner and Christine Spolar this weekend published a mega-deep dive into the mysterious death of American materials engineer Shane Todd.It’s a strange, heart-breaking read.
Todd was barely 30 years old when he was found hanging in his bathroom at his Singapore apartment last spring.
He’d been working for a Singapore-based company called IME developing products using a substance called Gallium Nitride.
It has since emerged that IME was working with China-based Huawei to develop “an amplifier device.”
Huawei has been accused of spying on its customers, although a White House report concluded merely that its products were susceptible to hacking.
However, Bonner and Spolar talked to experts who say that while GaN devices “have commercial use in lighting as well as high-powered transistors for mobile phone base stations,” they also possess “tremendous military potential.”
… major US defence contractors – including Northrup-Grumman and Raytheon – have pursued significant research and development in GaN for use in radar and satellite communications.
In the weeks prior to his death, Todd seemed stressed by his work, his mum told the FT.
Mrs Todd said she didn’t ask specifics about Shane’s work. She didn’t even know the name of the Chinese company until after his death. But the stress made him come back to God, she said. “mum, can we pray?” Shane asked in April. “If I survive this, Father, I want to live my life to serve you.”
Upon his death, Todd’s family flew to Singapore and began pointing out numerous holes in the original investigation undertaken by Singapore authorities: The holes police claimed Todd had drilled to install a pulley did not exist, and the toilet was not where the police had said.
That’s just the beginning of the intrigue.
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