Woman gets life sentence for murdering father with cyanide

By Truong Ha   December 15, 2022 | 06:49 am PT
Woman gets life sentence for murdering father with cyanide
Tong Thi Tung Linh stands before the Ba Ria-Vung Tau People's Court, December 9, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Truong Ha
A woman in southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province was sentenced for life in prison for murdering her father with cyanide.

Tong Thi Tung Linh, 21, was charged with murder, illegal trade of toxic substances and property destruction, the Ba Ria-Vung Tau People’s Court sentenced Thursday.

Tran Thi Ngoc Thu, 31, who sold cyanide to Linh, was sentenced to two years in prison for illegal trade of toxic substances.

Linh, the younger sister in a family with two siblings, was frequently scolded and cursed at by her father, 54-year-old Tong Hong Diep. Out of resentment, she plotted to murder her father.

On September 2021, she mixed a sleeping pill with a glass of water and let Diep drink it, but there was no effect to his health.

After searching for info regarding cyanide online, Linh traveled from Ba Ria City to the Kim Bien Market in HCMC’s District 5 to look for the substance. She told Thu that she needed the cyanide for "an experiment for studying". Thu believed her and sold Linh the substance.

When Linh returned home at dusk, she mixed the cyanide with three beverage bottles, before putting them in the fridge. About five minutes later, Diep took out one tea bottle to drink, noticed a strange smell and spit the drink out.

Diep then entered the bathroom to vomit. Once everything became silent, Linh thought her father was dead, and went to sleep herself.

On the morning of January 19, Linh used a saw to break down the bathroom door, as her father had previously locked it. She pulled Diep’s body outside and tried to dispose of it, but failed. So she bought bricks and cement to hide the body away. As night fell, Linh thought her crime might still be exposed, so she used a can of gasoline to burn down the house. She then ran to her grandfather’s house next door, telling people that someone entered the house and burned it down.

When the fire was put out, police found several abnormalities at the scene, before finding Diep’s body.

During the trial, Linh cried, admitting that her behaviors were cruel and wished for forgiveness from her family. Linh, her mother and her sister said Diep was the breadwinner of the family, but he usually beat and scolded his family. Despite feeling stressed, the other family members didn’t dare to speak up for fear of shame.

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