Le Thanh Van

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Banned
Le Thanh Van




Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Poisoner - To steal money and goods
Number of victims: 13
Date of murders: 1998 - 2001
Date of arrest: August 2001
Date of birth: 1956
Victims profile: Men and women (including her mother-in-law, brother-in-law and foster mother)
Method of murder: Poisoning (cyanide)
Location: Binh Duong province, Vietnam
Status: Sentenced to death on September 1, 2004




Death sentence upheld for Vietnamese serial killer

February 3, 2005

Hanoi - A court of appeal in Vietnam upheld the death sentence on a 49-year-old woman from Ho Chi Minh City, who poisoned 13 people to death with cyanide, local newspaper Saigon Liberation reported Thursday.

The People's Supreme Court in Ho Chi Minh City on Wednesday upheld the verdict passed by the People's Court of southern Binh Duong province last September on Le Thanh Van who on the charges of murder, robbery and illegal possession of toxic chemicals.

The defendant appropriated nearly 20,000 US dollars in Vietnamese and US bank notes, a radio cassette player a mobile phone from the 13 victims, who were from the city and the southern provinces of Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai, between January 1998 and August 2001.

Taking full advantages of her lovely face, sweet voice and good command of medicine, Van tried to make friends with rich people, and then fooled them into drinking water or eating foods containing cyanide, the paper said.

Death penalty for Vietnamese Black Widow Poisoner

September 3, 2004

Hanoi - A woman from Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City was given death penalty for poisoning 13 people to death with cyanide, following an eight-day trial, said a local court official on Friday.

Le Thanh Van, 48, was also on the charge of robbery and illegal possession of toxic chemicals, said the official from the Binh Duong People's Court which passed the verdict on Wednesday.

The defendant appropriated nearly 242 million Vietnamese dong (VND) (15,400 US dollars), a radio cassette player a mobile phone from the 13 victims, who were from Ho Chi Minh City and the southern provinces of Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai, from January 1998 to August 2001.

Taking full advantages of her lovely face, sweet voice and good command of medicine, Van tried to make friends with rich people, and then fooled them into drinking water or eating foods containing cyanide. She even poisoned her mother-in-law and a brother-in-law partly due to family conflicts.

Van's accomplice, her 31-year-old husband without a marriage certificate, named Dinh Danh Quang was given a jail term of 21 years for helping her kill a motorbike taxi driver.

Local investigators are still looking into the case, since Van is suspected to have involving in eight other cases of poisonings, which killed three people, including her two ex-husbands, and injured 13 others, said the official.

“Serial killer” woman stands trial

August 26, 2004

A 48-year-old woman accused of killing 13 people stood trial for murder, robbery and keeping and using a poisonous chemical at the People’s Court in Binh Duong southern province yesterday August 25.

Le Thanh Van, living in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 10 was accused of murdering 13 people by putting cyanide into their drinks and food in order to steal their possessions valued at 300 million VND in total. Her boyfriend Diu Dang Quang, 31, and born in Dong Nai Province was also on trial for his suspected involvement in the murders. The list of victims included Van’s brother-in-law and Quang’s mother.

Van and Quang had previously admitted to the crime when arrested but both retracted their confessions when questioned by prosecutor Chau Thi Nga at the court on Wednesday. Van said that she was forced by police to confess.

The murders took place in HCMC and the southern provinces of Binh Duong, Binh Phuoc and Dong Nai from early 1998 to August 2001, according to the indictment of the Supreme People’s Procuracy.

In July 2000, Ms. Van was arrested as the prime suspect in the murder cases when investigators of Binh Duong Province’s Police Department found 2.8 grams of cyanide in her handbag. According to the Criminal Science Sub-institute under the Ministry of Public Security, cyanide is a highly poisonous chemical compound and a small dose of 0.15-2.0 grams can kill a person.

But, she was later released for lack of further evidence when investigators used the cyanide found in her handbag to experiment on animals. They could not detect the poisonous chemical when the animals died, thus there was no evidence to prove that the cyanide had killed the victims.

The 13 victims all had similar symptoms of dizziness, vomiting and headaches before dying. But, most hospitals could not determine the cause of the death. Some hospitals speculated that some victims may have suffered from pneumonia and others from coronary thrombosis.

Investigators from the Ministry of Public Security later became involved in the investigation.

During the trial, Van said the cyanide found in her purse was given to her by a friend of her father’s, Dr. Lam Thien Truong in Dong Nai Province.

“Dr. Truong asked me to bring it to HCMC for forensic tests.” she said. “I did not even know what the substance was until investigators told me that the yellow-color chemical found in my handbag was cyanide,” added Ms. Van.

“Dr. Truong has a friend working at the Binh Thuan Province’s Police Department who had an acquaintance poisoned with the chemical. The friend asked for Dr. Truong’s help and the doctor asked me to help,” she affirmed.

But, the accused could not give an explanation when prosecutor Nga asked, “Why couldn’t the provincial-level police department do forensic tests? Also, if the police couldn’t do it, Dr. Truong has the right to ask relevant agencies to do such tests and wouldn’t need to ask the accused to help out.”

The trial continues today.

Ms. Van is also suspected of being involved in eight others cases in which 16 people were poisoned and three of them died. But, there is no sufficient evidence showing that Ms. Van is involved in the cases.

Vietnamese serial killer on trial

Wednesday, 25 August, 2004

A Vietnamese woman accused of killing 13 people with poison has gone on trial in the southern province of Binh Duong.

Court officials said Le Thanh Van admitted she killed them so she could steal their possessions and money.

She is accused of poisoning her victims, who included several family members, by putting cyanide into their drinks or food.

She could face the death sentence if convicted for the killings, which took place between 1998 and 2001.

Fake wills

Le Thanh Van, 48, admitted killing her victims, including her mother-in-law, brother-in-law and foster mother, to steal money and goods worth more than $US15,000, said Nguyen Thanh Tung, an official with Binh Duong People's Court.

The state-run Phap Luat newspaper said she faked her victims' wills and other documents.

She was arrested twice between 1998 and 2000, but was later released for lack of evidence.

Van will stand trial alongside her boyfriend. They are both charged with murder and robbery.

Vietnam to try alleged black widow poisoner

August 23, 2004

Binh Duong - Vietnam is set to try a 48-year-old woman who confessed to poisoning 13 people in what might be the country's first prosecution of a serial killer.

Le Thanh Van, who will face a court on August 24, told police she used cyanide to murder her victims in order to steal their possessions, according to state media reports.

Van's victims allegedly included her mother-in-law, brother-in-law and foster mother, as well as
acquaintances and lovers.

The state-run Phap Luat newspaper says the killings took place between 1998 and 2001.

Police are also investigating whether Van, a mother of two who did not work outside the home, murdered her businessman husband.

Serial killers are practically unheard of in Vietnam, where newspapers have eagerly published accounts of Van's alleged crimes.

The newspaper report said Van took all the victims to hospital after administering the poison in an attempt to cover up her involvement.

After the victims died, she faked their wills and other documents to steal their possessions, estimated at a total of $26,000, the report said.

Van will appear in a court in southern province Binh Duong along with her boyfriend, who is 20 years younger and who is accused of aiding her crime spree.

They are charged with murder and robbery, both punishable by death by firing squad.






Le Thanh Van




Le Thanh Van



Le Thanh Van






Le Thanh Van



Le Thanh Van



Le Thanh Van



Le Thanh Van



Le Thanh Van and her husband Dinh Danh Quang





Le Thanh Van and her husband Dinh Danh Quang



Le Thanh Van and her husband Dinh Danh Quang



Le Thanh Van and her husband Dinh Danh Quang



Le Thanh Van and her husband Dinh Danh Quang

 
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