Dunster Murder-Suicide Remembered

Some House Residents Apprehensive; Dean Sends Letter About Facts, Advising

In it, he emphasized that "neither student was living outside the College's carefully woven advising system."

"Both students were in close contact with their academic advisor and seemed to be managing the ups and downs of college life," the letter continued.

Lewis added in the letter that he wants to ensure that "the College provide ongoing and strong support to all our undergraduates and...make them aware of resources to help students experiencing trouble of any kind, inside or outside the classroom."

In an interview last week, Lewis said that he wanted to take the opportunity to remind students of Harvard's advising system.

"It's a learning moment where I think ears might be open that might not otherwise be open," Lewis said.


Over the summer, Lewis received a few calls from parents about the murder-suicide, but they were mainly factual clarifications, he said.

What Happened

About 8 a.m. on May 28, the last day for students to move out of their houses, Sinedu Tadesse '96 stabbed her roommate Trang Phuong Ho '96 to death with a knife in Ho's bedroom.

Ho suffered about 45 stab wounds to the face, neck, chest, arms and legs.

Tadesse also stabbed Thao Nguyen, a 26-year-old from Lowell, Mass., who was visiting Ho. Nguyen survived.

The motive behind Tadesse's actions is still unknown and probably always will be.

But a letter The Harvard Crimson received five days before the stabbing indicated that the murder could have been premeditated.

Inside an envelope retrieved from a Crimson dumpster the night of May 28, a wallet-sized color photograph of Tadesse accompanied a cryptic note:

"Keep this picture," the typewritten note read. "There will soon be a very juicy story involving the person in this picture."

The envelope had no stamp or return address.