2 Dead, 1 Wounded in Dunster Murder-Suicide

Junior Stabs Roommate to Death, Injures Overnight Visitor, Hangs Self

A Dunster House resident went on a stabbing spree this morning, fatally wounding her roommate, injuring a visitor and then hanging herself in her bathroom early this morning, in what police are calling a murder-suicide.

Sinedu Tadesse '96 killed her roommate Trang Phuong Ho '96, with a knife at around 8 a.m. this morning in Ho's bedroom in their H-21 double suite.

Tadesse also stabbed Thao Nguyen, a 26-year-old resident of Lowell, Mass., who was visiting Ho at the time. Nguyen survived the incident.

Ho, 20, a resident of Medford, Mass. and a native of Vietnam, was pronounced dead at Dunster House at around 8:30 a.m. She was removed from the house in a blue body bag before noon today.

Tadesse, also 20, was cut down from a noose by police after she attempted to hang herself in her bathroom.


Tadesse was taken to Cambridge Hospital, but efforts to resuscitate her failed. She was pronounced dead on arrival at the city hospital at around 11 a.m., according to the Massachusetts Chief Medical Examiner's office.

Both Ho and Nguyen suffered "multiple wounds consistent with stab wounds," Martin F. Murphy, Middlesex first assistant district attorney, said at a press conference outside Dunster House early this afternoon.

Nguyen was treated and released from Cambridge Hospital this morning.

Approached this morning in the Dunster courtyard, Harvard President Neil L. Rudenstine termed the incident "devastating," but added that authorities are still searching for facts.

Murphy said it is unclear what motivated the actions of Tadesse, an international student from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

He said he did not know whether drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident, or what the students' activities were last night.

Both Ho and Tadesse were premedical students, according to Vice President for Government, Community and Public Affairs James H. Rowe III '73, who termed the killing "a tragic incident." Ho and Tadesse were both biology concentrators.

Rudenstine, Dean of Students Archie C. Epps III and Dean of Freshmen Elizabeth S. Nathans arrived at the house soon after the incident and stayed for several hours while dozens of state, Cambridge and Harvard police converged on the scene.

There were no Harvard security guards present when the stabbings took place, as all house guards generally leave houses by 7:45 a.m., said a source in the security division of the Harvard police.

Dean of the College L. Fred Jewett '57 and Dean of the Faculty Jeremy R. Knowles were on their way to the scene as this story went to press.

Recommended Articles