Trang Phuong Ho was murdered by her Harvard roommate, Sinedu Tadesse, on May 28 1995. The murder is discussed at some length in Tadesse's node.

What little I know about Ho comes from press coverage after her death, and from Melanie Thernstrom's 1997 book, Halfway Heaven: Diary of a Harvard Murder. Since nobody wants to speak ill of the dead, Ho comes across as being a combination of Mother Theresa and Marie Curie.

However, it would not be right to node the murder without also noding the victim, so here's what I know about Trang Ho:

She had escaped Vietnam with her father and older sister in an illegal boat, arriving in America after staying almost a year in an Indonesian refugee camp.

She quickly mastered English and excelled in school. Her high school teachers loved her and felt she was a natural leader with a deep sense of social responsibility. She held her family together after her parents got divorced.

At Harvard, she took pre-med classes and lived in Dunster House. She volunteered at a tutoring program for Vietnamese refugees, was active in the Harvard Vietnamese Students' Association, and went home every weekend to be with her mother and sister.

She was named one of "25 people who could save the city of Boston", and said

"We need more people to go out there and do something -- make a change. Because if people don't do something, things are going to get worse, and then they're going to blame it on each other. You have to be more optimistic than pessimistic, because pessimism doesn't change the world."

As a friend told Thernstrom, "When someone dies you always portray the victim as so perfect and good," said a friend, "but with Trang it's really true -- she really was that perfect."


The Radcliffe Quarterly
Salon Magazine
Harvard Perspective, May 1996. "In Denial: Mental Health at Harvard"

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.