Scary Battered Girlfriend Syndrome

Nam H. Nguyen is a little stumpy guy with a bad attitude, no expression and a violent streak from here to Ho Chi Minh City. Among his notable accomplishments: murder and mayhem. Nonetheless, beautiful women inexplicably love the nut.

In December 2002, Nguyen (wrongly) suspected that his ex-girlfriend slept with Ryan Truong Cheung, a 19-year-old Fullerton College student. In the wee hours of the morning, he tailed an unsuspecting Cheung from a Huntington Beach hotel parking lot to the Garden Grove freeway where he shot him to death. Then Nguyen attempted to murder Cheung’s best friend who was driving in another car. Luckily, bullets didn’t strike that person.

A fugitive in 2003, Nguyen was driving on Interstate 10 in Los Angeles when he got into an argument with Linda Tran, his next girlfriend. For some reason, Nguyen threatened to kill Tran’s brother. They argued more and Nguyen took out a gun and, while driving, shot the girl in the right thigh. He then drove behind a shopping center in Temple City, sprayed Tran with lighter fluid and set her on fire.

Like the coward he is, Nguyen fled on foot while the girl burned. An ambulance eventually took Tran to Western Medical Center. She was treated for serious burns on her face, neck and breasts.

Skip ahead to this year. The Orange County District Attorney’s office had Nguyen, 32, on trial for murder in the highway killing. Who did I see in court each day giving this thug emotional support?

Sadly, it was Tran.

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