Wednesday, March 24, 2004

March 23, 2004

...dragon soup...

Last Meal: Le’s last meal was dragon soup, two egg rolls, hunan beef and fried rice, all ordered from a local restaurant. It was the same one he ate before his previously scheduled execution.

The skinny: Le was executed for stabbing a man to death using a meat cleaver and a knife and then stole money from the victim's safe deposit box. The victim owned a beauty salon.

Le confessed to the killing the night he was arrested, saying the two had argued about money and a proposed business deal before the murder.

More skinny: Killer and victim first met in a refugee camp in Thailand after escaping from Vietnam during the fall of Saigon. Although they were friends, court documents indicate that Le, first went to the the man's home and stole stereo and karaoke equipment.

The Capture: After leaving the house, Le stopped at a ditch to wash the blood off his body, and then returned to Oklahoma City. Le went to the victim's bank and, assuming the man's identity, used the his safety deposit box key to open the safety deposit box. Le removed $36,000 in cash and two diamond rings, leaving the box empty. That day, Le also bought expensive new clothes and paid cash to a downtown travel agent for a one-way first class airline ticket to Cleveland. The ticket was issued under the name Paul Koring.

The following day--Friday, November 13, 1992--after placing bets at Remington Park, an equine racetrack in Oklahoma City, Le was apprehended at the Will Rogers World Airport by a police officer who recognized his description.

Last words and such: "Thank you all for being here today I would like to apologize to both families. I can't take back what happened. I hope my death will help replace the hatred for each other. Instead of hatred, love each other. Life is short. If you see a stranger on the street and he needs help, please help him with a smile. I wish i could take back the things I have done, but it's impossible. We all make mistakes in our lives. To my parents, tell them I love them very much. I'll be home soon . . . . I'll see you in Heaven when you get there. I will be there first. If you see a stranger on the street and he needs help, help him. I wish I could take back the thing I had done, but it's impossible. We all make mistakes in our lives."

Factoids: Last month,Okla. Gov. Henry had decided to postpone Le's execution until March 23 after the Vietnamese government asked Henry to review the case. It was the second time that Henry had decided to delay Le's execution.

Le's attorney said the inmate should have been given the opportunity to have the Vietnamese consulate help with his case, even though the United States and Vietnam did not have diplomatic relations in 1992. The two countries resumed relations in July 1995. Le was convicted in September 1995.

Le was the....
19th murderer executed in U.S. in 2004
904th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
4th murderer executed in Oklahoma in 2004
73rd murderer executed in Oklahoma since 1976