Peter Caughley, the Australian expat behind the seditious website, Hanoi Watchdog, has been found dead in a house in Phnom Penh.
Responsible for a series of blogs at the beginning of the decade that terrorised both individual expats and businesses in Hanoi, at the end of 2012 under pressure from immigration police and the local community, Caughley relocated from his base in Hanoi to Phnom Penh.
Authorities were first alerted to a potential issue on August 7th, 2018 after neighbours reported to a security guard that no lights had been seen in his residence for four or five days. The security guard then contacted police who found Caughley dead in his bedroom.
It is believed that Caughley had been dead for a number of days. This was confirmed by a police autopsy which determined that the 71-year-old had suffered a heart attack. Caughley was known to be a heavy drinker.
The Site that Destroyed Lives
The Hanoi Watchdog first appeared as a blog in the summer of 2011 in response to a negative review of posted on The New Hanoian (TNH) website. The review slated Tracy’s Bar in West Lake, a tiny hole-in-the-wall establishment known for its burgers and cheap beer.
The Hanoi Watchdog’s response was to defend not only the establishment but to also attack TNH for its sales policy. At the time it was believed that if a business advertised with TNH, they would get a good online review. If they didn’t they would be heavily criticised and given a low rating.
What started as a criticism developed into an all-out war. TNH refused to respond to The Hanoi Watchdog in public, which lead to the blogger upping his attacks on the website. Over time the attacks began to include other businesses in the city including VIP Bikes and even this very publication, Word Vietnam. The blog also began to include nasty stuff about individual expats living in the city, articles that were illustrated with Photoshopped pornography and discussed rape and suicide. This led to the blog being removed from the web on a number of occasions, only to appear again with a slightly different URL.
Photos taken from Cambodia Expats Online
Vitriol and Disgust
For over a year speculation as to the identity of The Hanoi Watchdog was rife. It was only in October 2012, when Caughley finally moved from Hanoi to Phnom Penh under pressure from immigration police and local expats, that his identity was finally revealed. Although there are those who believe that Caughley had help from a number of other expats living in Hanoi.
Wrote Caughley in a blog at the time:
The Hanoi Watchdog reveals himself at last!
Hi all, my name is Peter Caughley and I AM The Hanoi Watchdog! Got a problem with that? Go fuck yourself!
Or rather I was The Hanoi Watchdog. To tell you the truth I'm a bit bored with it all now. Bored with this blog. Bored with Vietnam. Bored with the endless flood of narcissistic, hypocritical, asinine assholes that make up the vast majority of the expat community here. That’s why I'm leaving.
But I couldn't leave without saying a proper goodbye to you all first - face to face and in person so to speak.
The only reason I stayed anonymous all this time was to avoid the inconvenience of having drunken glory-craving idiots (like Nick or any of the many other TNH/VIP ass-licking lapdogs) constantly trying to make a name for themselves by confronting me about this in public when I am having a nice quiet evening out with friends. Now that I am leaving that is no longer an issue so please feel free to come up and say hi to me the next time you see me and finally get whatever it is you have to say off your chest.
I highly doubt that any of you will despite your endless big-talk on here but hey, prove me wrong about that if you like. I promise that I will not have bodyguards, or any other extraordinary means of defending myself against a verbal or physical attack, at my disposal if that is what you are worried about.
Which is not to say I will be defenceless by any means. On the contrary I am confident in my abilities to defend myself in a fair fight should the need arise. Glory-hounds take note.
As to the question of why? Well, I would think that was rather obvious to anyone who read the blog. My primary targets were TNH (slanderous pricks), VIP (criminal scumbag) and in the end The Word (friends of a criminal scumbag). My secondary targets were all people who supported or enabled them in some way or other.
I neither apologize for nor regret anything I have said or done here. On the contrary I am proud of it. There are far too many bullies getting away with murder in this world. There are far too many cowards turning a blind eye and letting them get away with it or even actively assisting them in their endeavours. I used this blog to stand up to a few of those bullies and give them a taste of their own medicine. Needless to say they did not like it very much.
The other thing I have to say is that I acted alone at all times. Unlike some others in this town who can't seem to wipe their own arses unassisted, I do not need a plethora of dupes and idiots to prop me up just so I can complete the simplest of tasks.
No doubt many in the community will now take this opportunity to let rip with a torrent of abuse towards me in the comment section below. But now that you know who I am for sure why not just say it to my face instead? Or at the very least put a name to your comment, reveal yourself and stand by your words as I have just done. Failing that I really don't care about what you have to say because you are nothing more than a coward who is too scared to face me.
In closing I would just like to say a big thank you to all my fans who kept the views for this blog so consistently high for so long. I would love to be able to continue it but all good things must come to an end sooner or later.
Thank you and goodnight.
Peter Caughley - The Hanoi Watchdog!
Posted 7th October 2012 by Watchdog
Caughley’s death ends an era of online hate. His slander caused irreparable damage to the careers of a number of expats living in Vietnam. He damaged several small businesses and it is claimed that two people committed suicide as a result of what was written about them on Hanoi Watchdog.
Much of the content of this article has been taken from the website, cambodiaexpatsonline.com