Scars of the Cane Gang; ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS

Daily Mail (London), August 9, 2013 | Go to article overview

Scars of the Cane Gang; ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS


Byline: Compiled by Charles Legge

QUESTION

What became of the U.S. citizen who was sentenced to a caning in Singapore?

MICHAEL Peter Fay (b. May 30, 1975) briefly gained international notoriety when he was sentenced to a caning in Singapore in 1994. He was the first American to receive such a punishment.

In 1993 a string of 67 cars were vandalised across the city. Tyres were slashed, bodywork was damaged and paint stripper was poured over paintwork. One of the victims was a member of the Supreme Court.

Eventually, nine foreign students were charged with vandalism. Two received punishment. Fay pleaded guilty to vandalising the cars and stealing road signs.

Under the 1966 Vandalism Act, originally passed to curb the spread of political graffiti, he was sentenced on March 3, 1994, to four months in jail, a fine of 3,500 Singapore dollars ([pounds sterling]1,514 at the time) and six strokes of the cane.

Andy Shiu Chi Ho, from Hong Kong, who pleaded not guilty, was sentenced to eight months in prison and 12 strokes of the cane.

Caning is a particularly painful punishment. The implement used is a rattan cane that is 4ft long and half an inch thick.

The sentence caused an international furore -- Fay's punishment was reduced to four strokes after President Bill Clinton asked for leniency.

On his release from prison in June 1994, Fay returned to the U.S. to live with his father (he had been living with his mother and stepfather in Singapore).

In a CNN interview with Larry King, he admitted taking road signs, but denied vandalising cars.

He said the four strokes with a cane he had received seven weeks earlier had left three dark-brown scar patches on his right buttock and four lines, each half an inch wide, on his left buttock.

He said the caning, which he estimated took one minute, left 'a few streaks of blood' running down his buttocks.

For the next few years, Fay led a troubled existence. Later in 1994 he suffered burns to his hands and face when inhaling butane. He was admitted to rehab. He claimed that sniffing butane 'made me forget what happened in Singapore'. In 1996 he was cited in Florida for careless driving, reckless driving, not reporting a crash and having an open bottle of alcohol in a car.

In 1998, while working for Universal Studios, he was arrested for possession of marijuana, but found not guilty.

He is now a real estate agent working in Loughman, Florida.

James Brightman, Birmingham.

QUESTION

Was Sammy Davis Jr a Satanist?

FURTHER to earlier answers, Anton LaVey's most famous celebrity association was with buxom actress Jayne Mansfield.

Notorious for her naughty behaviour and reputed 40D-21-36 physique, Mansfield loved to shock. Consequently, she arranged a meeting with LaVey and was pictured in provocative poses with the Satanist. It was also reported she had an affair with him.

In fact, publicity agent Tony Kent had arranged the meeting as a publicity stunt. LaVey was smitten with the actress. Mansfield, who made no secret of her many affairs (including the Kennedy brothers), denied knowing him intimately.

In a 1967 interview, she said: 'He had fallen in love with me and wanted to join my life with his. It was a laugh.'

Mansfield would ridicule him by calling from her Los Angeles home and seductively teasing him while her friends listened in on the conversation.

LaVey's public claims that he had an affair with Mansfield began only after her death in a car accident, which he claimed was the result of a curse he had placed on her lover, Sam Brody. …

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