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Sunday, January 13, 2008

In Memoriam: Ryan Phan, 3 years; Hannah Luong, 2 years; Lindsey Luong, 1 year; Danny Luong, 4 months:

Before I go further, the ages shown above are correct. I did not know these children, and I do not know their family. They were from Bayou La Batre's Vietnamese community, and I'm not familiar with that town. However, their story has touched my heart, and it is with great, though cold, comfort that I report that, from what I've seen on television, the Mobile County D.A., John Tyson, and Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran look and sound angrier than I've ever seen them, and I doubt that anger will go away any time soon. The accused in this case, Lam Luong, the father of all but the oldest of the children, admitted to tossing them off the Dauphin Island Bridge, some 80 feet into the water. He later said that he had given the children to a stranger and that they were alive. Two of the bodies have now been found, one in Point aux Pins in the Mississippi Sound, and another on shore at Martin Bay, 5 miles west of where the first body was found. Mr. Luong has, since his arrest, tormented the mother of the children he murdered, Kieu Phan, even going so far as to say that there was still hope for the other three children after the first child's body was found (that of the youngest), and calling to ask for cigarettes. This is the type of story that makes you HURT. From what I've heard in the television reporting, he also admitted that he wanted to gain the same notoriety as the person behind the Virginia Tech massacre and other atrocities. With that in mind, if this has not made national news, or if your local news agencies are not covering this case, please, do not bring this to their attention. Mr. Luong is undeserving of even our contempt. What he did was monstrous on a level I cannot even begin to comprehend, but if it is national notoriety that he wants, then it is national notoriety that he should be denied. In addition, the family of the victims, especially their mother, Kieu Phan, do not need anything else that add to their immense pain, such as what would happen if this were to become a national story. Rest in peace, Ryan Phan. Rest in peace, Hannah Luong. Rest in peace, Lindsey Luong. Rest in peace, Danny Luong. And may their family find some peace in the days, weeks, months, and years to come. As for Lam Luong, I have the following comments to say to him: May the entire weight of the law enforcement and criminal justice system of the state of Alabama come down upon you, and may they, a jury of your peers, and your fellow inmates revisit upon you threefold the pain and suffering you have caused. And should Mr. Luong be sentenced to death, not even the capital punishment opponents will be too sorry to see him die. If any crime is deserving of capital punishment, it is this one.


Candace said...

Actually, I have heard coverage of this tragic story here (in Dallas.)

We have a case here of a cab driver of Middle-Eastern descent who shot his two teen-aged daughters to death because they were either dating, or wanting to date (the story wasn't clear) American boys.

I suppose this kind of thing goes on in almost every major city. What a damn shame.

Anonymous said...

Well said Fred. I am from the UK and saw this on Sky News via the Internet. It has not been given huge coverage, I happened to see it and am following it in sadness and the hope that they now find the final body. How someone can do this is so beyond me, I am a mother of 2 young children and I just cannot understand him. I want him to be sentenced as harshly as possible but to also gain the 'punishment' deserved from his inmates which I do hope will be long and painful.

My heartfelt sympathy to those that loved and cared for these poor, poor little ones.

Kate, Shropshire, UK.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

Thank you, Kate. I'm not a parent, nor am I an uncle. About the closest I come to either is the fact that I have cousins who are parents, and even the thought of anyone doing anything to them... There have been many times when I have been on the verge of tears watching this story unfold. The worst thing is that I know there's nothing that anyone will be able to do to comfort the mother. There's no healing this hurt. I've known parents who lost children, one to a traffic accident, and they were forever changed by the experience. I agree with you wholeheartedly. Personally, I hope they toss him in with the population at a prison, instead of a county jail, and send the guards home for a day. Let the worst, most violent criminals in our corrections system know what evil he has done, and give them leave to do as they wish with him. I'm sure they'll treat him properly.

Courtney said...

I am a resident of Theodore, which is a town not ten minutes away from Bayou La Batre. Everyone here is deeply saddened by what has happened to the babies. Yesterday at 9:30, the third body was found is Mississippi, however authorities are not yet able to identify which of the missing girls it is. I attended a candle light vigil for the children last night, and though I did not know the family personally, I felt that it was necessary that I attended. The mother looked numb. It is taking everything that she has to hold her composure until the last infant is found. I met a 12 year old girl last night, that attended the same daycare as the children, and she could barely talk through her sobs. All that I was able to understand was that she played with all of them, especially Danny, who she said always smiled. She said that he was a really good baby, and that she could believe this happened. I also saw a little boy that was four years old, being interviewed by an anchor from Biloxi Miss. He said that he was praying that the babies made it "all they way up to heaven". I believe that the whole crowd that heard him say that cry harder, myself included. I ask that anyone with a belief in God pray with us and the search for the last daughter continues.

Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

I'm also from Southwest Alabama, and though I've never said exactly where because I like to keep my virtual life separate from my real life, I'm a bit familiar with Theodore. I didn't have the opportunity to attend the vigil, and I regret that deeply. I echo your wish that anyone who believes in God in some form pray for the mother and other family and friends of the victims, and also for the successful search for the last daughter. Also, I ask that the atheists, agnostics, and others who stumble across this blog or otherwise become aware of this situation keep them in your hearts. I will certainly do one or both during the coming weeks and months.

I think the headline in yesterday's (Mobile) Press Register said it all: "Pray for this mother." I saw that a local cemetery donated plots for the babies and the mother. I can't begin to express my sorrow and compassion for those directly touched by this crime, nor can I put into words the depth of my contempt and anger towards Lam Luong.