Somehow we missed this bit buried in the flurry of news about the quintuple murder that occurred a week ago Friday at 16 Howth Street: One of the victims, the patriarch of the household, was a chef at popular Chinatown restaurant R&G Lounge. As China Daily reports, Hua Shun Lei, 65, had worked the line at the Cantonese restaurant for the last eighteen years, having worked his way up from kitchen helper after immigrating here with his wife from Taishan, in Guangdong province.
Fellow employees at the restaurant said that Lei was an excellent cook who "was the best at preparing roasted duck in slices." Other co-workers say that Lei was a good man, spoke no English, and liked Cantonese opera, and he will be missed.
A 35-year-old Vietnamese man, Binh Thai Luc, also a Cantonese speaker, stands accused of the March 23 murders, which also took the lives of Lei's wife, daughter, and son. The motive, while not yet made official, is rumored to have been gambling debts incurred by the son.