A Mysterious Death
Early morning on April 8, 1975, my brother flew to Go Dau Ha to meet with Brigadier General Tran Quang Khoi to discuss about the coming VC attack at the Xuan Loc front.
Around 8:30 am the Presidential Palace was bombed. A military curfew was enacted.
Around 9:30 am, my brother flew back to Bien Hoa.
Around 10:00 am, my brother had a meeting with Colonel Nguyen Khuyen, III Corps Chief Bureau of Military Security. The meeting ended sometime before 11:00. After sending off everybody, he returned back to his office.
At 10:45 a.m., when my brother entered his III Corps Deputy Commander's office, the assassin jumped over from behind, delivered a chopping blow at the back of neck causing a temporary immobilization, then used a small Browning P6.35 mm caliber pistol to shoot at the chin. The bullet pierced the chin, traveled up to the brain and lodged inside the skull without exiting the head.
The assassin was General Toan's bodyguard, Captain Đỗ Đức, a third-degree black-belt Taekwondo.
After the killing, General Toan called President Thieu and reported back to him: "Mission accomplie". (see Shroud over General Hieu's Mysterious Death Unveiled)
Colonel Khuyen narrated:
General Toan kept secret the fact that my brother was killed around noon and covered up the assassination with the story of a suicide/an accidental death caused by self inflicted wound occurring at 7:00 pm.
The family in Saigon only then received the sad news and around 10:00 pm, my sister-in-law and my brother’s eldest son, Dung, were taken to the III Corps headquarters by car. Upon returning to Saigon, my sister-in-law told me father: “there was no blood anywhere-just a speck of it under his chin”.
The next day, the news of my brother’s mysterious death was announced on various newspapers.
- New York Times:
- Vietnam Press:
- The US Secretary of State’s April 9 Press Summary noted:
In 2011, when I asked Richard Peters what he knew about my brother’s death, he answered:
However, Charles Lahiguera, Deputy General Consul of Bien Hoa let me know that
I have been making efforts to get this cablegram, but I have not succeeded yet.
Nguyen Van Tin