Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Vietnam Survivor Killed in Philly!

These people are animals should be executed on sight.
Survived Vietnam, only to die here
Man killed, wife raped in Upper Darby 'blitz'
By STEPHANIE FARR
Philadelphia Daily News

farrs@phillynews.com 215-854-4225
Hoa Pham, once a decorated second lieutenant in the South Vietnamese Army, survived seven years as a prisoner in North Vietnam after the fall of Saigon.

But Pham, 60, didn't survive two hours as a prisoner in his own "house of horrors" Monday night, after a robber broke into his Upper Darby home and conducted a "blitz" assault on Pham and his 58-year-old wife, according to police.

"To spend seven years in a North Vietnamese prison camp and then to come here and reach this kind of ending . . . it's a sad commentary," Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said.

Pham's wife, whose name is being withheld by the Daily News, was brutally beaten and repeatedly sexually assaulted, but survived the attack and remained in critical but stable condition at Delaware County Memorial Hospital.

As of yesterday, her family had yet to tell her that she would never see her husband again.
"She doesn't know about my dad yet," said Son Pham, the couple's 22-year-old son. "She's pretty weak right now, and we're scared it might shock her."

The "sadistic and brutal" attack began about 8:15 p.m., when a man broke into the couple's home on Copley Road near Sansom Street while they were asleep upstairs, Chitwood said.

The assailant beat the couple and demanded money from them, police said, and after they gave him all they had, he demanded more and continued to beat them.

Bound with electrical wires from their own home, the couple was dragged downstairs, where they were stabbed and beaten with objects that police declined to identify.

The assailant sent the wife upstairs to search for more money, but he caught her trying to use her cell phone instead. That's when he sexually assaulted her, Chitwood said.

After holding the Phams hostage for more than an hour, the man fled, leaving Pham bleeding from the head and face on a first-floor porch, where he was pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m.

"Detectives described it as a house of horror. . . . Blood was all over the first and second floors," Chitwood said.
Pham's wife, who suffered stab wounds and significant fractures to her hands, arms, face and head, was able to escape to a relative's home nearby, where she called police, Chitwood said.

Son Pham, the second-youngest of the couple's six children, said that he learned of the attack about 10:30 p.m., when he received an instant message from his sister while he was studying at Temple University, where he's majoring in computer science.

"I went home as quickly as possible," he said in front of his parent's house yesterday. "I've been waiting out here all day and all night to get in."

The couple's rowhouse, where they've lived for 14 years, is across the street from St. Alice's Church, which the family attended every Sunday, said Son Pham, who lives nearby with his brother.

"I lived here for so long, I would never think anything like that would happen," he said.
Son Pham said his family has a lot of support from the predominantly Vietnamese neighborhood. His oldest sister, who lives in Vietnam, also is being surrounded by friends and relatives there, he said.

All five of the Phams' other children reside in Pennsylvania, including a son who is a member of the Naval Reserves, Son Pham said.

Hoa Pham came to America with his oldest son by boat 17 years ago. His wife and five other children joined him two years later, Son Pham said.

For some time, Hoa Pham was employed as a steelworker, but most recently he worked at Alloy Surfaces, in Chester Township, his son said.

Son Pham said that his mother was a homemaker who often baby-sat some of her six grandchildren.
Although police believe that the attack was random, Son Pham thinks his parents had been targeted by someone who knew that they were an older couple alone at the time.

"Right now, I'm not sure of the story myself," he said.
"I just know my dad is not around anymore."
Upper Darby police are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer, who is described only as a muscular man in his late 20s or early 30s, around 6 feet tall. Those with information about the crime are urged to call 610- 734-7677. *

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