The “riveting” true story of the Vietnamese gang that terrorized Manhattan’s Chinatown, from the New York Times–bestselling author of The Westies (Newsday).
They are children of the Vietnam War. Born and raised in the wasteland left by American bombs and napalm, these young men know a particular brand of cruelty—which they are about to export to the United States. When the Vietnamese gangs come to Chinatown, they adopt a name remembered from GI’s helmets: “Born to Kill.” And kill they do, in a frenzy of violence that shocks even the old-school Chinese gangsters who once ran Canal Street. Killing brings them turf, money, and power, but also draws the government’s eye. Even as Born to Kill reaches its height, it is marked for destruction. This story is told from the perspective of Tinh Ngo, a young gang member who eventually grows disenchanted with murder and death. When he decides to inform on his brothers to the police, he enters a shadow world far more dangerous than any gangland.
This sociological study and true-crime expose tells of the rootless young Vietnamese males sent out of the country by their families as the Saigon regime was collapsing and, after months or years in refugee camps, placed with foster families in the U.S. Some of these youths became the nucleus of New York City's Chinatown Born to Kill gang and were as violent as their name suggests. They made money ``protecting'' merchants and through holdups and invasions of homes, and their victims were always other Asians. One of their number, Tinh Ngo, was repelled by the gang's bloodthirstiness and became a police informant. Thanks to him and to city and federal officers, seven of the gang were apprehended, tried in 1992 and given long prison sentences, the leader, David Thai, getting life. English, who previously authored The Westies, an account of Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen Irish, has hit the bulls-eye again. Photos not seen by PW.