Longtime readers of OC Weekly may remember our 1999 expose on the Vietnamese Organization to Exterminate Communists and Restore the Nation (VOECRN). Based on highly-redacted FBI files, the story explored a series of still-unsolved murders of Vietnamese-American journalists across in the United States during the 1980s, including Orange County.
Tonight, Frontline, PBS' award-winning investigative documentary program, will air an episode that not only breaks more than a decade of national media silence on the murders, but presents dramatic new information that comes close to finally breaking the case.
Reported by A.C. Thompson of ProPublica, 'Terror in Little Saigon' features exclusive interviews with former members of the National United Front for the Liberation of Vietnam, a.k.a. "the Front," which raised cash in the U.S. and claimed to finance an anti-communist army based in Thailand that was supposed to overthrow the Vietnamese government in Hanoi. As Thompson discovered through newly declassified FBI files, the Front ran a secret death squad known as K-9, which carried out the killings.
As for VOECRN, which claimed credit for several of the murders, Thompson's investigation found that the group most likely was an invention of the Front meant to confuse authorities. The episode is particularly riveting when Thompson interviews former members of the Front and K-9 who have never before spoken to the press, including one who confesses his regret for the group's past excesses.
Here's a trailer for the program:
Watch Thompson follow the story from Orange County to Southeast Asia and back on Frontline tonight at 10 p.m. Meanwhile, you can read Thompson's story here.