3. Did the two victims die tragically?
We have learned from past parts that details in case files contradict the statements of witnesses. Even the details in the case files contradict each other. According to the files, victim Tran Duc Linh died from exhaustion from fasting and being beaten, while Tran Tri Thanh died from electric shock and strangulation.
Contradictory details in the case file about the death of Tran Duc Linh
According to the investigation conclusion of the case, on December 27, 2018, a group of six people rented a villa in Ba Ria – Vung Tau. Here, Mr. Tran Duc Linh had applied fasting for 10 days, exhausted, and then beaten by Ha and Thanh, leading to death. Mr. Linh died on January 20, 2019, then on January 23, 2019, the above group brought Mr. Linh’s body from Vung Tau to house No. 90 in Hung Hoa commune, Bau Bang district, Binh Duong province and started shrouding Mr. Linh’s body with tea leaves in a plastic barrel (figure 3.1)
(Figure 3.1) Photo of page 3 of the investigation conclusion which is kept on the case file
However, the staff of the resort in Vung Tau checked the record book and said the group’s stay schedule as follows: “The villa registration process shows Le Ngoc Phuong Thao (born in 1990) has stayed 3 times. The first time, from December 27, 2018 to January 1, 2019. Second time, from January 15 to January 20, 2019. Third time from January 21, 2019 to January 23, 2019. During the 3 times of stay, the above group all stayed in villa V5″. (figure 3.2)
(Figure 3.2) Screenshot on Kenh 14 website
Here shows some inconsistencies between the case file and the reality.
1. According to the case file, the group rented villa V5 from December 27, 2019 to January 23, 2019. But in fact, according to the record book of the resort, this group of women had rented villa V5 for three non-consecutive times: The first time for 5 days, the second time for 5 days and the third time for only 2 days, no time for 10 consecutive days (the time length that the victim Tran Duc Linh went through fasting at the Villa).
2. The conclusion of the investigation of the case shows that Mr. Tran Duc Linh died on January 20, 2019 (figure 3.1). But according to a testimony of Le Ngoc Phuong Thao, Mr. Linh started fasting from January 2 (figure 3.3). If Mr. Linh died after he started fasting for 10 days, then the time of Mr. Linh’s death would be January 12. According to the record book, on January 12, this group of six people did not rent a villa, until January 15, the group came to rent villa V5 for the second time. (The first time they rented the villa from 27/12/2018 to 1/1/2019; second time from 15/1 to 20/1/2019).
(Figure 3.3) Phuong Thao’s testimony on May 20, 2019 kept in the case file
3. According to the case file, Tran Duc Linh died on January 20, 2019, after about 10 days of fasting, so the date Mr. Linh began fasting should be January 10, 2019 (the date that the group did not stay at villa V5).
4. According to a testimony of Pham Thi Thien Ha, Mr. Linh died a few days after the New Year. Thus, in the file, there are “3 times” when Mr. Linh died: After the New Year a few days (According to Thien Ha’s testimony) (Figure 3.4), January 12, 2019 (According to Phuong Thao’s testimony) and January 20, 2019 (According to the conclusion of the investigation).
(Figure 3.4) Thien Ha’s testimony on May 20, 2019 is stored in the Case File
How about the testimony that Tran Tri Thanh was killed on March 15, 2019?
In fact, the house where the murder took place is adjacent to another house. It is difficult for two feeble women to kill a 27-year-old, 5.68ft tall and strong young man like Tran Tri Thanh by electric shock and strangling without making a sound. However, this was explained in Thien Ha’s testimony as: While killing Tran Tri Thanh, the sound of rain falling and lightning obscured the victim’s screams. And the time of Tran Tri Thanh’s death was around 16:00 on March 15, 2019 ”. (Image 3.5)
(image 3.5) Page 6 of the investigation conclusion of the case and Thien Ha’s testimony on May 30, 2019
According to the testimony, Tran Tri Thanh was killed on March 15, 2019 when it rained heavily with thunder. However, mid-March is the peak of the sunny season in the south of Viet Nam, thus, the claim that in mid – March, the sound of heavy rain and thunder eclipsed a 27-year-old man’s screaming, no one in the neighborhood could hear him, is ungrounded.
VTC 14’s weather forecast showed that at noon on March 15, 2019, (the date Thanh was killed) the South was hot: “In the southern Tay Nguyen and the South, in the next three days there is no sign of rain, so the weather is stable, almost no rain, sunny days, with temperatures 30°C – 33°C (86°F – 91°F) in Tay Nguyen, and 32°C – 35°C (90°F – 95°F) in the South”. They even warned on that day, “it is hot and dry, so people need to take precautions against fire of electrical equipment”.
According to the report above, on March 15, 2019 the weather in the Southern region (including Binh Duong province) was hot, dry, and thus it contradicts with the testimonies in the case file.
According to the rainfall data from the General Department of Water Resources, on March 15, 2019, the recorded rainfall in Binh Duong is zero.
Thus, it can be seen that the testimony in the record of the case is inconsistent with reality. (Image 3.6)
Image 3.6: The rainfall data saved by the General Department of Water Resources on the website hochuavietnam.vn, on March 15, 2019,
The women’s testimony about the whereabouts of Tran Duc Linh and Tran Tri Thanh
In nearly 500 pages of the file, there is still an interrogation record at 10 am on May 18, 2019 (the time when the group of women had just been arrested) between Pham Thi Thien Ha and an investigator:
Question: When did your group of 6 people move out of the rental house in Hung Hoa commune? Where have you lived since then?
Answer: I do not remember exactly which day I left the house, it’s about more than a month ago. Because we no longer wanted to live in that house, my mother, Huyen, Thao and I packed our stuff up in the Ford Everest and rented a hotel room in Phu Thinh – Tiamo residential, Thu Dau Mot city. We’ve been living there since then. When the four of us left, Mr. Linh and Thanh still stayed in that house, we haven’t seen them again since. (Image 3.7)
Image 3.7: Pham Thi Thien Ha’s testimony in the morning of May 18, 2019 (when the group was just arrested) in the case file.
The question raised here is whether the testimony about the group of women killing the victims Tran Duc Linh and Tran Tri Thanh is true, or just a made up script.