Did the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia Betray Murdered American William Bryan Glenn?

Gavinmac ponders the murder of William Bryan Glenn in Cambodia and asks whether the U.S. embassy in Phnom Penh was at fault for his homicide

glennLast week, the expatriate community in Cambodia learned of the shocking murder of an American teacher in Phnom Penh. The body of William Bryan Glenn, a 43 year-old native of Mississippi, was found dumped on the outskirts of the capital during the early morning of July 9.

The perpetrators remain at large, and the motive for Glenn’s killing is unknown. What is known, however, is that the murder was particularly brutal. Glenn was savagely beaten and strangled, and then his body was wrapped in a curtain and tossed in a garbage heap.

Glenn had only lived in Cambodia for about two months, after previously teaching in Thailand and China. Glenn’s estranged Thai wife, Nittaya Glenn, told the Cambodia Daily that Glenn had called her many times to tell her that he was afraid of certain Cambodian people and wanted to leave the country quickly. Mrs. Glenn offered to buy her husband a plane ticket to China.

Mrs. Glenn said that Glenn went to the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh on July 7 to get extra passport pages because he wanted to leave Cambodia immediately for China. Obtaining extra passport pages is normally a routine process that takes about 30 minutes.

It is unknown how long Glenn was in the U.S. Embassy on July 7. He apparently did not get the extra passport pages. In fact, according to his wife, Glenn told her that he was worried because the U.S. Embassy actually confiscated his passport. This made it impossible for Glenn to leave Cambodia, and he was brutally murdered less than 48 hours later.

There are only a few reasons why a U.S. embassy would revoke or confiscate an American citizen’s passport. One of those reasons is the existence of a criminal warrant for the arrest of that citizen back in the United States. U.S. embassies will often revoke the passport of an American citizen wanted for crimes in America, and then offer to issue a new limited passport valid only for travel to the U.S. This is a way that the government pressure fugitives to return to the United States to meet their obligations, thus avoiding the expense and difficulties of extraditing these fugitives from foreign lands.

The Phnom Penh Post has reported that Glenn was, in fact, wanted in the United States for “drugs charges.” A Cambodian police official confirmed to the Post that the U.S. embassy kept Glenn’s passport because he was a “wanted criminal.” The Mississippi press now reports that Glenn was wanted there for missing a 2002 trial date on charges of third offense DUI and manufacturing methamphetamine.

The embassy’s revocation of Glenn’s passport over these 12 year-old drug and DUI charges would been devastating to his efforts to flee whoever was hunting him. Obviously, without a passport, Glenn could not leave Cambodia. The sudden loss of his passport would have also impeded his ability to move to other accommodation in Cambodia in order to evade his pursuers. Most hotels and guesthouses in Cambodia demand a passport when a foreigner checks in, and the hotel staff them verifies the Cambodian visa contained therein.

Revoking Glenn’s passport would have also made it harder for Glenn to rent a car or motorbike to leave Phnom Penh, because rental agencies usually demand the original passport as collateral. Revoking Glenn’s passport would have also prevented him from engaging in certain banking transactions to obtain funds he may have needed to flee the city.

Importantly, the U.S. Embassy’s revocation of Glenn’s passport also invalidated Glenn’s lawful visa status in Cambodia, as the Cambodian visa is linked to the passport and the visa sticker is affixed to a page in the passport. Without a valid Cambodian visa, Glenn might be been less likely to seek needed assistance from Cambodian police.

A passportless American in a foreign country is somewhat paralyzed and helpless. A passportless American in a small foreign country who is being pursued by murderous foreign nationals is a sitting duck. William Glenn, blocked by his own government in his attempt to flee Cambodia, was brutally beaten and strangled to death here less than 48 hours later.

Volume 7 of the U.S. State Department’s Foreign Affairs Manual states:

“The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater responsibility than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas.”


Last year, during remarks at a U.S. citizen “town hall” meeting in Siem Reap, U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia William Todd stated:

My Embassy colleagues and I work to promote U.S. business, provide humanitarian assistance, strengthen diplomatic ties with our host nation counterparts, and much more. Of our many responsibilities, however, none is more important than serving our fellow American citizens. Your safety, health, and welfare are our number one priorities, and that’s why we traveled to Siem Reap to meet with you today. I even met with the tourism police in Siem Reap today to stress to them the high-level of attention that the U.S. Embassy places on protecting U.S. citizens.

Did the U.S. embassy make the safety and welfare of William Glenn its “number one priority” on July 7, 2014, when it denied him simple passport services that would have allowed him to flee a murderous foreign threat? Did the embassy place a “high level of attention” on protecting Glenn when it revoked his passport and pushed him back out into the streets of Phnom Penh, where he was viciously murdered within 48 hours?

The answer to both questions is obviously no. The U.S. Embassy’s highest priority on July 7 was not “protecting” or “serving” its citizen William Bryan Glenn, but punishing him for his alleged prior involvement with drugs in the United States more than a decade ago. The U.S. embassy put the U.S. Justice Department’s policy of relentlessly pursuing drug criminals ahead of the U.S. State Department’s own policy of having “no greater responsibility than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas.”

The manufacture of methamphetamine is undoubtedly a serious problem in America. But an arrest warrant for an American citizen on a 12 year-old drug or drunk driving charge should not also serve as that citizen’s death warrant, if he finds himself overseas and in need of passport services to flee a foreign threat. All American citizens deserve the same protection from their government when traveling in foreign lands, regardless of whatever legal skeletons they may have in their closets back home. A U.S. embassy’s deliberate obstruction of an American citizen’s attempt to leave a country where that citizen feels unsafe is disgraceful and contrary to U.S. State Department policy.

Some may argue that U.S. embassy personnel in Cambodia probably had no way of knowing of any threats to William Glenn’s life. But Glenn wasn’t just any U.S. citizen, whose troubles were completely unknown to the U.S. embassy. Cambodian police have reported that U.S. law enforcement agents requested Cambodian cooperation in monitoring Glenn as a “person of interest” in a criminal investigation. The U.S. embassy personnel who were monitoring Glenn as an alleged drug criminal would have known that drug criminals often get themselves mixed up in dangerous life-or-death situations. Glenn, while being monitored by U.S. embassy personnel, was murdered, quite literally, “on their watch.”

Moreover, Glenn was reportedly rather vocal with his Thai wife about his fear of remaining in Cambodia. It is likely that, at the moment he was informed by embassy staff of the revocation of his passport, he would have been equally vocal, if not positively frantic, with embassy staff about his urgent need to leave.

A full investigation should be conducted into the revocation of William Glenn’s passport and what transpired when Glenn visited the U.S. embassy in Phnom Penh on July 7. Interactions between citizens and consular staff at the embassy in Phnom Penh usually happen in a large hall, with each communication being spoken (or shouted) through bulletproof glass, within earshot of all the other people who are waiting to speak to consular officers. There may have been witnesses to the exchange between Glenn and the consular staff. There are undoubtedly surveillance cameras in the room where the interaction took place, and there may be audio recordings as well.

We should also ask: Is it the policy of U.S. embassy consular staff to inquire into an American citizen’s possible urgent life-or-death need to use a passport before they revoke it? If that isn’t the policy, then it should be. Changing the policy now would be too late to save the life of William Bryan Glenn, but it might save the life of the next American citizen with an old criminal warrant who finds himself in danger overseas and in need of passport services to flee a foreign threat.


Click here to discuss the murder of William Bryan Glenn in the K440 forums.

62 thoughts on “Did the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia Betray Murdered American William Bryan Glenn?

  1. Cecil Reply

    excellent article.

    Some answers are needed, but most likely it will be ‘no comment’, the last refuge of incompetent civil servants wining and dining at 5 star hotels in third world countries.

    Hope the taxpayers take note.

    • Octavio Reply

      I appreciated your article gavinmac and am quite concerned about what transpired within the confines of the U.S. Embassy the day Mr. Glenn requested additional pages for his passport. I’ve met several embassy staff here make no qualms about living the life of luxury here in Cambodia like Cecil mentioned. When I asked what exactly they do, the response was always “little to nothing.” Just because an individual is wanted for a prior DUI or drug charge doe snot make their life expendable. Furthermore, What baffles me is why they just did not detain Mr. Glenn until gathering more information. I’m sure the staff hears “cry wolf” stories often but should make an effort to look into every case more thoroughly. It’s their duty to do so and really hope they investigate the matter thoroughly.

  2. gavinmac Reply

    Cecil – Thanks for your comment. Any readers who have questions for the embassy stemming from this article can tweet them to @USEmbPhnomPenh. Not sure if you’ll get a response.

  3. Andrew Reply

    great article.
    Not sure if I agree completely with the notion that the embassy should have just given him new passport pages. He probably also needed his passport renewed because, if you look at the dates, his 10-year passport was probably expired.

    I lived in Phnom Penh and worked there for two years and a few of the expat Americans I met were running from skeletons in their closet as you mentioned, often involving multiple DUIs, for which most states institute a lifetime ban effectively crippling their chances of ever living a normal life (and almost baiting you to flee).

    Unfortunately this is not an uncommon enough scenario for an expat:
    -Runs from DUI and (probably) some trumped-up meth charges (if he was caught in possession of Meth along with some pills, that could explain the manufacturing charge).
    -Gets a job teaching in Thailand.
    -Marries, separates.
    -Decided to make Cambodia his last stop before his passport expired.
    -It went south (no pun) quickly

    The only issue I have is blaming the embassy. They *have* to confiscate the passport of people running from even a jaywalking charge. They probably get sob stories all the time and if they allowed even one “I’m not safe here” story from an expat they would have to change their policy–and then *real* criminals would be safe to travel about the world sparking uproar that the “US is letting loose” all their criminals. There is simply no way for the embassy to be able to verify the veracity of a claim that nefarious locals are out to get you.

    The only reason we’re spending our precious time on this is that he died hours after losing his passport. It casts suspicion on the entire event.
    But Glenn has surprisingly gotten a free pass here, if he were truly in danger, he could have informed the Embassy staff that he needed to be returned to Mississippi immediately to face the music–he didn’t so it’s understandable why they probably didn’t believe he was truly in a life-or-death situation.

    • gavinmac Reply

      I disagree with your suggestion that they have to revoke in every case or just let every criminal who claims to be in danger go free with a new passport. Foreign service officers are trained to make credibility determinations, and they do so all day long with visa applicants. A US citizen’s claim that he is in imminent danger should be evaluated like that of an asylum seeker.

      Embassy personnel are paid to use intellect, judgment, and common sense, not just to follow black and white rules, in furtherance of their primary mission of protecting the safety and welfare of American citizens overseas.

      • Disabuse Reply

        Did he request to be immediately issued an emergency passport allowing him to board the next connecting flight to the U.S., as he had a right to do? If the embassy officials delayed or denied such a request, it is indeed scandalous.

        If not, it isn’t the embassy’s responsibility, nor a sensible policy, to help a fugitive from justice run away to a third country.

  4. Joon Reply

    You should’ve been a journo, GM. It’s not too late, a lot of lawyers convert into being journalists and writers!

    The embassy seemingly has failed not only to bring him to justice back home but also to protect his life, as a still-then citizen, a defendant or both.

  5. chris Reply

    Your article seems to imply the embassy staff knew of the threat to his life; is this, in fact, the case?
    If not, then I disagree with your assertion the embassy betrayed this fellow.

    • gavinmac Reply

      Here’s what I just posted on page 32 in the discussion forum thread:

      It is likely that one of three things happened at the embassy:

      1. They asked him if the revocation would cause an extreme hardship to him, he told them he needed the passport to leave the country in an emergency, and they said “too bad.”

      2. They never asked him if the revocation would cause an extreme hardship, they just revoked it, and he silently walked out the door to his death, thinking he had no other options.

      3. They asked him if the revocation would cause an extreme hardship, and he said “No, I don’t really need to go anywhere right now.”

      If scenario 1 occurred, the US Embassy is very much at fault for deliberately interfering with a citizen’s flight to safety. If scenario 2 occurred, the US Embassy is somewhat at fault for failing to ask the right questions. If scenario 3 occurred, then by all means, the embassy is not at fault at all, but scenario 3 is so farfetched as to be entirely unbelievable.

      • Chuko Reply

        I had my passport revoked at the US Embassy when I registered the birth of my son and applied for his first passport. It was revoked because I owed a few dollars over 2500$ in child support back in the states.

        The way it went down, is that when I came in to pickup my kid’s passport, the American embassy worker, the same who a few weeks before took the application (along with my passport as proof of my identity) told me from behind the glass that there is good news and bad news. The good news he said is that here is my son’s US Passport which he put in the slot under the glass, but the bad news is that my passport is being (invalidated i think is word he used though perhaps it was revoked).

        At which point he pressed 3 holes length wise about 1/2 an inch from the edge into the passport, each about the size of the standard holes for binders. This part is a bit hazy in my memory since I was in a bit of a shock.

        At that point he handed my passport back to me and told me it is no longer valid but that I can get some kind of a passport id card that can be used just once to return to the United States. I don’t recall him ever pausing to consult with me first as to whether destroying my passport would cause any hardship, since before i had a chance to say anything the holes were already made.

        I still have that passport here. I tried using it to pickup a western union, and indeed not a single place would accept it. Made a 200$ payment for child support, and while i owed 2300$ got a new passport issued.

        • T Charles Reply

          And the moral of the story is pay your child support..? I would not have even posted that….you left the country owing your kid money. I know there are circumstances but to leave over that small amount? Can’t feel sorry for you mate…

        • Srey Nec Reply

          Is it safe to assume that you didn’t consult with your child’s mother the hardship she would face without your child support money?

  6. Breton G.S. Reply

    In this day and age, people are afraid of getting killed BY their government rather than being protected by it. Gavin you’re clearly of a different generation that has no fear of cyberterrorism or hellfire missiles fires from unmanned aerial vehicles directed against you. Kudos for this old school attempt at justice. Hats off to you!

      • Vic Matthews Reply

        I do not concur. This is nothing but a bunch of bleeding heart garbage thrown together by somebody who has admitted in earlier articles that he attempted to join the foreign service but failed. Anybody who has ever read more than one of his articles about the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh will see clearly a negative pattern reflecting the chip on GMac’s shoulder that he holds against the State Department for his own failure to be amongst its ranks.

        GMac makes a number of assumptions about what may or may not have happened between Glenn and the consular section when his passport was revoked but fails to address critical questions about the Glenn. GMac trivializes Glenn’s arrest warrants from over a decade ago (including the manufacture of methamphetamine) but does not ponder whether or not Glenn continued his criminal behavior. Instead Glenn is a tragic victim.

        GMac fails to adequately ponder what could have caused somebody to become angry enough with Glenn to do him harm. Once again GMac seems to imply that Glenn is a helpless victim through no fault of his own. From what we know of his past – 3 DUIs and a meth manufacturing warrant before going fugitive for a decade or more and bouncing around as an English teacher in several countries in China and Southeast Asia – it is spectacular to ignore that there may have been any sort of pattern or connection. This is most likely because Glenn fits into the mold of many expats in countries like Cambodia – dodgy!

        Placing blame on the U.S. Embassy for a sordid individual’s death with no credible evidence is silly and only succeeds in reflecting the anger of an individual embittered by his personal failure to enter the foreign service. Posting an edited photo of the Ambassador splattered in blood is childish. GMac is dead wrong and his article is lame.

        • gavinmac Reply

          Excellent comment!

          I addressed the claim that I have a “chip on my shoulder” regarding the embassy in the discussion forum, I don’t think that argument holds water, you can see my response here:


          To address a point you raise here, I don’t remember “failing” to join the foreign service, I recall taking the written exam 10 years ago, passing it, and then not continuing with the oral interview a few months later. In a prior humor article, I said in jest that I did not continue because I obviously would have failed the oral interview “miserably,” as I lack skills in interacting with other human beings.

          On a more serious note, I simply was not prepared to make the personal sacrifice that many foreign service officers make, including taking pay cuts from private sector jobs, committing to worldwide availability, and then spending their initial years doing tedious but essential work conducting visa interviews behind glass windows in undesirable foreign locations.

          I have great respect for what these guys do, but they don’t always get things right. Whether Glenn was “dodgy” or not, they owe his family a full explanation of what happened last week. I hope the family receives that.

        • Joon Reply

          Even if Glenn did something illegal or criminal which led someone to order his murder, this is still a fucking crime.
          No matter how “sordid” an individual is, a government’s duty is to protect its citizens against crimes and uphold justice when a crime happens no matter who the victim is.

        • clear eyes Reply

          “This is most likely because Glenn fits into the mold of many expats in countries like Cambodia – dodgy!”

          Thumbs up to the U.S. Embassy official on your opinion of us !! Congratulations on passsing the foreign service test and achieving a higher status than us mere citizens

        • TommyBkk Reply

          Your ALL HEART mate.
          I read a lot of forums here in Thailand from expats and you fit the description of the revolting sad b**stards I encounter everyday. No compassion/empathy or sympathy other than belting out discord in some cavalier fashion masquerading as some do-gooder. Personally, I think your American system is pretty sick, having you all under the rule of thumb. How dare you attribute this guy Glenn as a bad criminal ending up as his judge and jury.I’m Scottish and we live by our morals… you wouldn’t know how to abide by this trait considering you don’t have any. Hope one day adversity bites you in the arse… Sick demented prick ..

  7. vladimir Reply

    I’m with gavinmac on this one. Too many foreign posted civil servants get away with treating people in a way that would not be toletated back home.

  8. Louise Belhavel Reply

    As has been observed already, all tuk-tuk drivers know, or know of, one another and it is assumed (possibly wrongly) that a tuk-tuk was required to transport the body to the place where it was dumped, and subsequently found …

    Find the tuk-tuk and its driver (and – maybe – the accompanying motorbike, assuming that this existed) and all will soon become clear.

  9. Peter Fowlberger Reply

    I third the notion that American government bureaucrats that are posted out here develop imperial overlord complexes which apply especially to American expats because Americans know that they do not have to bow down to these redneck third rate knobs
    out here the servant mentality is lost as they are getting luxury accommodation, fine food, driver with armored SUV, security guards, and all other accoutrements that come with the public service. diplomatic immunity probably makes these guys feel really powerful too. They can kill someone here if they wanted and walk right away. That must give them head trips!

    absolute power corrupts absolutely regardless of nationality. Good luck getting them to comment for their sins.

  10. Felgerkarb Reply

    The ad hominem blood spattered ambassador picture detracts from your case.

    • gavinmac Reply

      I agree, but what were the odds that a google images search for an ambassador would have a blood splattered photo? I was too weak to resist it.

  11. A Reply

    I kind of disagree on putting the blame on the US embassy. All embassies here work the same way. They show off in news conferences, throw some nice meaningless sentences to the press as Ambassador Todd’s did. But when it comes to do their job, it’s all “we believe in the Cambodian police ability…” .
    I’m French, look at the way the embassy handled Laurent Vallier’s case “His decapitated head was found in a suitcase at the back of the vehicle, we believe the Cambodian police did a great job in calling it a suicide”, look at the girl murdered in Kampot “we are quite happy the Cambodian police did a great job in arresting this Belgian guy they have absolutely not proof against”… It goes on and on.
    Embassy staff are paid what, $5000 to $10000 a month. Why would they jeopardize that ? They are people who just are here for the money. Dogs (in the Khmer insult meaning) if you ask me.
    Give them 1 reason to care !!

    • A Reply

      Just to add, If I were sarcastic. 1 more American dead in Cambodia, relocation package goes up by $1000. Not a bad deal for just waving goodbye.

    • gavinmac Reply

      They are not “dogs,” and I disagree with your claim that they are “just here for the money.” Many embassy staffers are well educated and highly skilled and could be making a lot more money in the private sector. They genuinely want to serve their country, but sometimes their priorities get out of whack or they make bad judgment calls.

      • Prince toad Reply

        gM, I think you are wrong about that. Foreign embassy staff from wherever they are from often are married, have kids, and personal obligations which take their priority and time. Their job is a way that they can travel and live like royalty, and this is the culture that they bring to the job in many instances. If I were to guess for every one person that you describe there are 20 that I described. The private sector would never afford these people the benefits that they get for working for the embassy including that big salary, school for the kids, travel, holidays, and a pension for life after only a few years of work. In the meanwhile us working slags, will have to work till we die because nobody’s going to bail us out. Dogs is a very strong word, and the people that A has described would be more described as leeches, as dogs are actually very intelligent and caring creatures.

        K440 should next take a poll on the perceptions of ex-pats towards their public servants in Cambodia

        • gavinmac Reply

          Royalty? I’ve never seen Prince Charles spend day after day sitting behind a glass window conducting visa interviews in halting Spanish in a crap posting like Managua.

          US foreign service officers must commit to worldwide availability, and a lot of them earn their stripes spending years assigned to hellholes like Baghdad.

          They get things right most of the time. I’m just not sure they did right by Mr. Glenn.

          • Prince toad

            The kind of car prince c travels around in, the kind of fortified environment he lives and works in, servants, drivers, nannies, gardeners, security guards, the money that rains down upon his likeness just because he’s there is similar., the jet setting lifestyle of good food, holidays, kids in top schools, etc is what i was referring to, especially compared to how these highly secured and pampered diplomats would live if they actually lived in their home country.

            In Baghdad they’re working in the palace of sad dam Hussein! Of course he was pampered and corrupt so we had to take it over instead

            Mr Glenn was right royally screwed but we are not surprised.

  12. Phil Reply

    “Is K440 starting to use linkbaity attention-grabbing Betteridge’s-law headline questions? The answer might surprise you!”

  13. BarangBuddha Reply

    He had 12 years on the lam in Asia doing who knows what…in Cambodia only two months and already gets himself into a life or death problem. I say good riddance! I don’t want my tax money used to assist sods such as this; and let this be a lesson to others…you reap what you sow and all at. I bet he was thinking he should have lived life a little differently as he was being bitch-slapped around by a group of Khmer thugs. Better luck the next time around looser.

    • Beverly GlennWheeler Reply

      You know this looser you are talking about is my nephew that I Love very much and our whole family is heartbroken. He was a son, brother, father and grandson to our family. I am sure you have a few skeletons in your closet. No one deserves to be murdered….. not even you!!!!!!!

      • prahocalypse now Reply

        I am sure most people who have posted here are sorry for your loss. Your nephew’s death was a tragedy and we all hope his killers are brought to justice.

        But I think that if your nephew had lived his life differently, there would be more positive comments here.

        You’re right, no one deserves do be murdered. But do Africans deserve to be called N*****s? Do people deserve to have drunk drivers on their roads? Do people deserve to have meth labs in their neighborhoods? Do people deserve to have their children physically abused by their teacher? Do people deserve to have their children taught by a fugitive? Do people deserve to have their ears severed with a bottle?

        These are all things that William Brian Glenn- God rest his soul- allegedly did in his lifetime. It’s unfortunate that he’s not here to defend his reputation against such allegations.

        Yes, most people do have a few skeletons in their closets. But some people more than you’ll find in a cemetery.

      • gavinmac Reply

        Thank you for your comment Beverly. I am sorry for your loss. I hope the embassy does give the family an explanation of what happened. I also hope that they turn over his personal effects to his rightful next of kin. You mention that he was a father so I assume that would be his children.

  14. Jay Reply

    Regardless of the shortcomings of the embassy the man most certainly brought it on himself. He was an unstable character at best and a criminal at worst. Cooking meth is a serious crime in the U. S. and no matter how old the warrant it will be enforced whenever the fugitive enters U. S. territory. Obviously, the embassy did not know of his warrant but on running a check they simply withheld the passport, probably waiting for further instructions. If he got entangled with some shady people here within a relatively short time, you really can’t blame the embassy for not protecting him from them. How would they know? They surely don’t ask everybody whether they have problems with criminals here and I really doubt he would have told them. The last thing he would do is point out his wanted status. Gavinmac wrote another article full of conjecture which doesn’t really hold up to any logic in my mind.

  15. Jimmy Reply

    I guess the embassy has to accompany guys at 3am when they buy their drugs nowadays.

  16. GonzoBobH Reply

    “…a pension for life after only a few years of work.”

    You may be confusing embassy employees for U.S. Congressmen; the former are required to complete a full career before receiving their pension, while the latter need only serve one term/tour.

    And just my $.02, but unbridled, overarching vitriol tends to weaken an argument rather than strengthen it.


  17. Karl Hungus Reply

    If he truly had a “hold” on his passport from 12 year old legal woes, how the hell did he get in/out of anywhere up to and including Cambodia? From the Khmer witnesses replies to his lifestyle/demeanor, he was a drunk and likely got on the wrong people’s shit list. Either that, or tried to make new inroads into the local meth trade as his past exploits may suggest, encroaching on established turf. Bad move, whatever it was. Frankly, I’m amazed more of this lot don’t end up on the rubbish heap at 3AM acting the way they do over there.

    • gavinmac Reply

      My understanding is that your passport isn’t flagged just because you have a warrant. For low level warrants, your passport is flagged only if someone tells the State Department that you have a warrant and someone then makes the decision to flag you as a wanted person who can no longer receive passport services. I think.

      That’s how he got a passport in 2008 even though he had a warrant. Sometime after that, maybe his local cops heard he was out of the country and requested that his passport be flagged. Or maybe someone called the embassy here and ratted him out. I don’t know.

  18. potty Reply

    i think it would be important to know, why he left thailand in the first place.

    some report said something about a stolen tv from the SIL, but that sounds odd when his wife would pay for the flight to china.

    perhaps he was fleeing thailand already. and it/they caught him in PP.

  19. NotYetConvinced Reply

    Gavinmac wrote, “Glenn had only lived in Cambodia for about two months, after previously teaching in Thailand and China. Glenn’s estranged Thai wife, Nittaya Glenn, told the Cambodia Daily that Glenn had called her many times to tell her that he was afraid of certain Cambodian people and wanted to leave the country quickly. Mrs. Glenn offered to buy her husband a plane ticket to China.”

    comment: The guy had been in Cambodia for 2 months and then his life was ended…SAD! His wife said that he was afraid of certain Cambodian people. Is there a credible source for a confirmation of what Mrs. Glenn was saying? Does this mean that the foreign expats in Cambodia are all wonderful people and not into criminal activities? What other ethnic groups are currently residing in Cambodia? It seems this article is highly loaded. According to the comments posted on the discussion of the topic it seems that the general agreement is that the Cambodians are not even capable of doing that kind of criminal clean up work because they are “too dumb and lazy” in the first place.

  20. NotYetConvinced Reply

    Has anyone read what the deceased wrote at all?


    I’m doing pretty good. School just started back up, so I’m busy as hell. I’m working 2 jobs, so I work 7 days a week. I don’t know what’s going on with Noi. I’m looking for my own condo to rent near my school so I don’t have to commute so far. I guess me and her will be getting a divorce soon to make way for her new love she met on the internet. He’s from Nigeria and yes he’s a nigger. I don’t care a bit. I can’t wait to get away from her and her crazy f——- sister. They’re both nothing but liars and thieves. I will never have a life or money for retirement if I stay with Noi. She’s already illegally taken my name off of the chicken franchises contract. A business that I started and replaced my name with her sisters. I’m the one who found out how easy it was to start the franchises from a friend of mine. Noi didn’t believe how much money that could be made, but in order for me to get a contract with the company I had to have her sign the contract with me and because I’m a foreigner I’m only allowed to own 49% of a business here. When she saw how much money was being made she went behind my back and changed the contract without even telling me! This happens a lot to foreign men here, but they just created some new laws to protect foreign men from this kind of shit and now she’s scared I’m gonna have her ass and her sister locked up for what they did! That was supposed to be my retirement money and now she’s f———- me out of that. No problem though. I will start over with a new lady and because of the new laws this one won’t be able to screw me out of my money.”

  21. Pajama Reply

    1. That photo of ambassador Todd is from an article in the Onion, couple years old.

    2. Most embassy staff are nice, smart, competent, but there are definitely some that are the opposite. In this case there was obviously a screw up somewhere, though I imagine they didn’t see this outcome coming as a result of their actions and are pretty freaked out. Hopefully they’ll look into this properly.

    3. Don’t assume the severity of the murder was warranted or fit his “crime”, Cambodians go from 0 to 60 in nothing and kill each other in similar fashion over neighboring fence disputes and stepping on someone’s foot at a dance.

  22. Tim Lane Reply

    Thank you for having the courage to speak up and provoke discourse about the atrocities surrounding this nation and it’s inhabitants. Prior to one year ago this was unheard of and met with utter disdain. Let the expat community know they have blood on their hands each day they choose to live in this nation. The argument that they are helping families with their purchases is not strong enough to tip the scales. Please continue to express the sentiment that murder, rape, and theft are not acceptable on planet earth in 2014.

  23. Chris Z Reply

    I find it interesting people are blaming the US embassy here. The embassy is going to do the same thing for anyone. If the computer says confiscate the passport, then that is what they will do. After that, they will happily issue to any citizen an emergency travel document that allows them to travel back to the US only. They will also help you to call relatives to arrange financing for tickets if you don’t have any money, including payment services so you don’t have to use Western Union. In Glenn’s case, given his outstanding warrant, they almost certainly would also have arranged for a free flight back in custody where after landing in the US he would be delivered to jail. That option would be at the US government’s convenience though, but I am sure they would have arranged for him to spend time in a Cambodian detention center until such a flight could be arranged.

    It doesn’t really matter if Glenn’s life was in danger. The embassy staff will provide an emergency travel document to anyone on a non discriminatory basis. But that emergency travel document only allows you to return to the US. Glenn obviously did not feel his life was in so much danger that returning to the US was his best option. That is what got him killed, not the staff at the embassy. You can’t expect the US embassy to help him continue to be a fugitive from justice. That is a crime.

    • offal Reply

      Nice essay but the conclusion is wrong. If they let him out of the Embassy after taking his passport because he’s a fugitive, they let a fugitive run from an outstanding warrant and so the Embassy committed a crime. Oh wait, the Embassy can do what it wants to anyways so who cares??

      • Chris Z Reply

        The US Embassy is not a law enforcement agency nor a prison. Even if the embassy is technically US soil and even if there just happens to be a US marshal on site to arrest him, it will still require the permission of the Cambodian police to move him to the airport. A guy running from a 12 year old warrant on drug charges just doesn’t merit that kind of international effort. I’m sure they would help if he wanted to turn himself in, but it is not clear they have the resources to try and arrest anyone against their will.

        Arresting fugitives is not the charter of the US Embassy, so no, they did not commit a crime, anymore than you or I would have committed a crime by doing the same thing. None of us are law enforcement officers. Helping him to evade justice however is a crime. All of us, you, me and the embassy staff, break US federal law when we help or harbor fugitives.

        I guarantee you the embassy staff offered him an emergency travel document to return to the US, the same as they would to anyone else when they confiscate a passport. It was his decision to stay in Cambodia rather than returning to the US.

        • offal Reply

          The embassy had a choice. either they take his passport and take him into custody if he was a fugitive or they let him go let him go with his passport if he wasn’t deemed important enough to mount an international effort to apprehend him. by taking his passport and letting him return to the Cambodian street where he faced grave danger, they trapped him into the circumstances that led to his death.

  24. sea Reply

    I know of an American in another SE Asian country who was also wanted in the US. That was something like 10 years that he had been wanted.
    In that country, the US worked with local police. The local police had been staking out his work and daily life and finally got him.
    He was deported to the US.
    Shouldn’t they have done that in this case?
    Maybe Cambodia doesn’t have extradition laws with he US?

  25. Nameless observer Reply

    He could have simply returned to the US and face the criminal charges.

  26. lanzo Reply

    I am a retired consular officer (European country) Our first and foremost duty is to assist and help regardless…
    Once I saw one of those “banged abroad” TV stuff, the guy was in a Pak. jail, I believe he was innocent – but that is not the point, he received a visit from a lady – white American – who told him that he would be TORTURED, as a matter of fact and they could nothing about it !
    I don’t know how such assh.. manage to get in the “Service” or maybe he/she was a “local” American and British LOVE to let “locals” handle consular affairs.

  27. lanzo Reply

    It just come to my mind the “return OUR ? girls, Nigerian nationals, but there is not “return” our guys (Americans).

  28. Josh Reply

    The issue is that the conversation the deceased had with the consular staff is unfortunately hearsay, although I have no doubt they placed far greater importance on the outstanding warrant than anything he might have told them, which they must felt was for the sole purpose to do a runner.

    The lesson here is to not have to depend on your country’s embassy unless it’s for something basic and not to leave your country with outstanding warrants or trouble that may follow you.

    The main question for me is, why was he murdered after having only been in the country for such a short time and by whom? His estranged wife must have asked for details. Did he not give any?

  29. George Beach Reply

    I don’t see how the Embassy can be blamed.If he was wanted in America I would think that they would been making preparations to repatriate him.He apparently must have been associating with some shady charictors to have ended up in such a tragic situation.I know of people that have signed volountary repatriotation forms that have been repatriotated back to the states at the Embassy’s expense and had to repay the cost prior to being issued a new passport and have done it again and again.The American Embassy doesn;t usually leave people in the lurch.

  30. Richard Reply

    if he was in fear of his life in Cambodia he cold very easily have gotten across the border to Thailand where his ex lived an he could than deal with the illegal entry.
    Better than dealing with a fear of death

    US will not revoke your passport as i am told but will issue it only for travel tot he us if there is a warrant out of for back child support paymnets due.

    • Chuko Reply

      Yeh this part is a bit dodgy in this whole story. If you are a fugitive then why go to the US Embassy. The only thing I can think of is maybe he thought they were gonna arrest and detain him right there and then; and he was unwilling to enter Thailand out of fear of being arrested there (just a guess, since if not, running to Thailand is first thing anyone savvy would be doing). Perhaps he thought Lao was like Vietnam and didn’t provide a 30 day visa.

  31. T Charles Reply

    I really feel the tone of the whole article is a stretch. You have legal charges. You flee. It bites you in the ass. Not the embassy’s fault what kind of shit you get caught up in. Everyone who leaves their country knows what kind of stuff he is leaving. Not many people are shocked that they have priors…they know. It is only a matter of time. The embassy was just doing its job.

  32. Prince toad Reply

    And then there was Ferguson to show Americans what their authorities really think of them

  33. scot Reply

    The world is full of retards and this is evidenced by 95% of comments here. Its time for the genius to speak. In my opinion there is absolutely no reason for any country to put any of their citizens into a vulnerable situation, impede safe passage if they leave the embassy in a foreign land. By taking a passport off any man places them in a vulnerable situation. If an embassy could not or would not arrest a wanted man they were bound legally to return his passport – i.e. to do everything in their means to protect their citizens. I hope this clarifies everything to all the retards. I am always surprised how retarded 95% of the public is. We must wait for evolution. Do not confuse hatred of alleged criminals with the right for life and safety or saving tax payer dollars.

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