Robbing the Dead

Robbing the Dead

Vicki J. Henry, now a resident of Arlington, informed Fairfax County police on March 19, 2002 that her ex-boyfriend Edward Chen murdered his parents and brother in 1995, leaving their bodies decomposing in the Chen's house on Elmview Place in Great Falls. But Henry didn't tell police that both he and she benefited from the $800,000 that he took from his deceased parents' Taiwanese bank accounts.

Last week, Henry, who faces up to three years in prison and a $250,000 fine, pleaded guilty to witholding information about the theft on March 23 in U.S. District Court in Alexandria. Henry was released on a $10,000 unsecured personal recognizance bond. Until she is sentenced, Henry must remain at her current address in Arlington, not to leave the D.C. Metro area without permission from the court.

She is scheduled to be sentenced in late May, almost 10 years after the triple homicide of Chen's mother, Shieh Yeh-Mai Chen, father, Wu-Hung Chen, and brother, Raymond Chen. Henry was not involved with Chen at that time, and didn't find out about the murders until 2002. She contacted police on March 19, 2002 after "a falling out with Chen," according to U.S. District Court documents.

<b>CHEN SHOT HIS PARENTS </b>and brother on Aug. 17, 1995 in their home in Great Falls, soon after he returned from a trip to Taiwan he was forced to go on, according to Fairfax County Circuit Court documents. Chen was 19 at the time of the murders.

Chen's parents objected to his relationship with his girlfriend at that time, who he lived with while he was a student at the University of Virginia in Charlottsville in 1995. Chen married that woman after his parents' deaths.

"He reiterated that…we wouldn't have to worry about them any more, that they were finally going to leave him alone," according to his ex-wife's testimony in a May 2003 preliminary hearing in Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

Only after "none of his stories matched," she said, Chen told her about the murders and took her to his parent's house, where the bodies were decomposing. "Because of the smell, we had a painter's mask, with essential oils on it for the smell," she said.

Chen's father was "decaying, black, puffy," she said.

Chen later dumped the bodies in the Chesapeake Bay, and the bodies were never found.

"He told me if I ever told anybody, then apologized for the remark, but if I ever told anybody that he would kill [her older daughter from a previous relationship.]"

Chen later had a daughter with her, and the couple divorced in October 1999, 27 months after their marriage, four years after the murders.

<b>HENRY AND CHEN </b>began dating in late 1998. He told Henry that his parents and brother had died in Taiwan, according to U.S. District Court documents.

Chen was arrested 10 days after Henry contacted police and he admitted that he killed his family.

"I bought a rifle, a hunting rifle at Kmart and one night I really just lost my nerve, lost my mind and I did it. I shot them," Chen told detective Steven Shillingford, according to Fairfax Count Circuit Court documents.

Chen pleaded guilty to the three murders in Fairfax County Circuit Court on Dec. 9, 2002. He was sentenced to 36 years and one month.