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Women in ‘corpse-in-concrete’ case admit to murder during cult-like activities

Sunday, May 19, 2019, 10:49 GMT+7
Women in ‘corpse-in-concrete’ case admit to murder during cult-like activities
Three of the four women being held are seen in this photo combination.

Four women who are involved in a ‘corpse-in-concrete’ case in the southern Vietnamese province of Binh Duong have confessed to murder, claiming that they and the victims were Falun Gong followers.

An official from the provincial Department of Police confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the suspects had admitted to killing one man, while stating that another had committed suicide.

“We are conducting further investigation to determine the exact role of each woman in the murder, as well as their motive,” the policeman stated.

The four suspects include Pham Thi Thien Ha, 31, her mother, 66-year-old Trinh Thi Hong Hoa, along with Le Phu Hanh, 54, and Le Thi Phuong Thao, 29.

The victims have been identified as Tran Tri Thanh, a Ho Chi Minh City resident, and Tran Duc Linh, who hailed from north-central Nghe An Province.

They were said to be between 30 and 35 years old.

Authorities break concrete at the house in southern Binh Duong Province on the night of May 15, 2019. Photo: Ba Son / Tuoi Tre

Authorities break concrete at a house in southern Binh Duong Province, where the murder happened, on the night of May 15, 2019. Photo: Ba Son / Tuoi Tre

According to the suspects’ statements, they and the two victims were followers of Falun Gong, a Chinese religious spiritual practice.

Their group rented a house on D2 Street in Ben Cat District, Binh Duong Province to practice the spiritual discipline.

After some members left the group, the other followers decided to relocate to keep their activities a secret.

Ha then rented the house of Nguyen Minh Vuong in Bau Bang District, also in Binh Duong, in October 2018.

During their practices, the two men developed some conflicts with the four women.

One of the men, Linh, eventually committed suicide by jumping off the house roof.

The other members then kept Linh’s body inside a room. As his body began decomposing, they put it into a barrel and covered it tightly with tape.

The house where the bodies were discovered. Photo: Ba Son / Tuoi Tre

The house where the bodies were discovered. Photo: Ba Son / Tuoi Tre

After a while, the women thought that Thanh was no longer a suitable member, so they planned on murdering him.

The suspects first rendered him unconscious by electrocuting him, before strangling him to death.

The women also kept Thanh’s body inside a room while they continued their religious exercises.

As the corpse started to smell, they threw it into another barrel and filled it with concrete.

In April 2019, they returned the house to Vuong, who then sold it in May.

The new owner discovered the concrete-filled barrel on Wednesday night and found Thanh’s body as he was breaking up the concrete.

Police officers then searched the house and found Linh’s body the following day.

The women were apprehended on Friday night when they were staying at a hotel in Thu Dau Mot City, Binh Duong, about 50km from the murder scene.

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