BOSTON, MA – In a renewed bid to bring closure to a horrific crime that has haunted the city of Boston and its Chinatown neighborhood for 30 years, the FBI and Boston Police are hoping a $30,000 reward will help shed new light on the whereabouts of a lone remaining fugitive suspected in the execution-style murders of five men in 1991.
In the early morning hours of January 12, 1991, Hung Tien Pham, a Vietnamese national of Chinese descent, entered a social club on Tyler Street with two accomplices and allegedly shot six men at close range as they played cards. Five of the men died; one survived and identified the shooters. Two of the shooters were arrested in China in 1998 and were ultimately convicted in Suffolk County of the murders. But Pham, who had ties to an Asian organized crime network in Boston and beyond, remains a fugitive. He was last seen in Thailand in the mid- to late-1990s.
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“As alleged, this cold-blooded killer has been on the run for 30 years, and we’re hoping this reward will incentivize anyone with information on Pham’s whereabouts to come forward,” FBI Boston Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta said during a press conference on the 30th anniversary of what’s often called the Boston Chinatown Massacre. “We will not rest until Pham has been held accountable.”
Pham is now 60 years old. At the time of the murders, he had black hair, brown eyes, and weighed approximately 115 to 135 pounds. He stood about 5 feet 3 inches tall and was known to like flashy cars, spending money, and sipping cognac. In the early ’90s, Pham was a known associate of the Ping On crime syndicate and had ties to Philadelphia, Chicago, San Francisco, and Toronto.
“By all accounts, he was the linchpin of the execution of the homicides,” said FBI Special Agent Tom Zukauskas, who works on a violent crimes task force in the Boston Field Office. The FBI task force has been working closely with the Boston Police Department and local prosecutors with the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office to generate new leads in a case that has reverberated for years.