Anecdotes and facts about the bandit general “The one without a surname”

Anecdote about a character in a novel

In 1983, the novel “People without surname” by writer Xuan Duc was born with a record number of publications at that time. The main character, Truong Soi (also known as Hoang Lang, Nguyen Viet Lam, Second forever martial arts) in this crime novel is considered by readers to be the embodiment of Toong (Truong Hien), a notorious bandit general. in Vinh citadel. The work “The person without the surname” was later adapted into a movie and shown widely throughout the country.

The novel “The person without the surname” and the movie of the same name, with the content about a young man named Hoang Lang, lived in Vinh Linh, Quang Tri and moved to the South before 1975. The life of this young man changed his life. changed last name many times. After months of wandering, he “joined the army” in Son Nam forever martial, specialized in performing martial arts, selling street drugs to make a living. In that process, Lam was entangled in the trap of love and hatred, and was defeated by the owner of Son Nam in the duel. “Second forever martial arts” left the field of wandering and wandering and the last stop was Vinh citadel.

Anecdotes and facts about the bandit general

Old Vinh market, where Toong was arrested. (Documentary photo).

In the novel and movie “People without surnames”, behind the thrilling action scenes, writer Xuan Duc and director Long Van deeply portray human fate. From a gentle and honest young man, Lam fell into a vicious circle of guilt, becoming a notorious bandit general with a new nickname: Truong Soi. After the feuds and hatred, in the end, Truong Soi was arrested by the police and sentenced to death.

After nearly half a decade has passed, from the novel to the movie “People without surnames” and the additions and subtractions through oral stories, in the memory of many people, Toong – a notorious bandit general in Vinh Ngoai citadel. In real life, Truong Soi was the leader of the gang, but used his high-level martial arts to rob the rich and give it to the poor in the novel and movie of the same name, “The One Without a Last Name”. And this true story has been passed down through generations. The character Toong is so famous that today the Nghe people still have a catchphrase “as stubborn as Toong”.

The truth about the once famous bandit general

To understand more about the famous robber general in Vinh citadel, I met Major Nguyen Van Trung, former captain of the Criminal Police Team, Vinh City Police at that time, one of the people who handled the case. this bandit. When I asked Toong and the main character in the novel “People without surnames” if they were the same, Major Nguyen Van Trung said: “It’s a disastrous mistake.” Toong, ie Truong Hien, also known as Truong Vui or Duc, is a criminal subject, convicted of robbery, property theft and murder, sentenced to death. As for the character Truong Soi in the novel “People without a surname”, after it was adapted into a plastic film of the same name, I don’t know where the prototype came from or if it was imagined by the writer, but definitely not Toong. Tong is a reckless and violent bandit, gathered under the command of dozens of close disciples. The property they robbed was used to play drugs and prostitutes. If the journalist wanted to know more, he would find Mr. Binh (ie Senior Colonel Nguyen Van Binh, former Deputy Captain of the Criminal Police Team at that time), the investigator directly involved in this case.

Once again following the instructions of Major Nguyen Van Trung, we found the investigator directly handling the case. Although the case has happened for nearly half a decade, but with the Colonel with many years of experience in criminal cases, who directly arrested Truong Hien, the memories of Toong are still intact. He affirmed: Toong ie Truong Hien was born in 1957, a native of Quang Tri province, had a criminal record, escaped from camp and drifted to Vinh City to hide and operate since the years after the liberation of the South.

Here he gathered a group of thugs and nomads in the area to continue to practice stealing and plundering. Their victims are passengers on trains from North to South. With a connoisseur in the elite world because of his previous convictions plus his recklessness and cunning, even though it was a new area, Truong Hien quickly gathered under the command of at least a few objects, sometimes up to a few. dozens of rogues to organize thieves and robbers. And Truong Hien was praised by his juniors as “big brother Toong”. Under the direction of Toong, the bandits spread terror throughout the city, especially in busy trading places and especially on the Vinh – Hanoi train route during the years 1977-1979.

Anecdotes and facts about the bandit general

Portrait of Truong Hien (ie Toong – documentary photo).

Colonel Binh recalled: One night, Toong and his juniors “cleaned” the warehouse in the Cua Nam flower garden area, including cigarettes, pipe tobacco, litchi…, brought it to the sandy beach along Cua Tien river to bury and then find it. Consumption source. Or there was a wave of soldiers coming out from the battlefield, Toong directed his juniors to wear army clothes, blend into the area of ​​the train stations or rest stops, rummage through their backpacks to get property, guns and ammo.

But petty theft was boring forever, money was not enough for him to treat his juniors and girls, so Toong turned to robbery. A group of thugs under the leadership of Toong often jump on North-South trains to rob passengers’ property. There are missions where they “clean up” the whole carriage.


After more than 2 years of presence in Vinh city, the band of robbers led by Toong became the horror of both locals and visitors who happened to pass by or stop here. Nghe Tinh Public Security Company directed the Vinh City Police to make a case to fight. After being hunted many times, Toong’s trusted juniors were arrested in turn. Particularly, Truong Hien was also arrested three times. Colonel Binh recalled: Once, Lieutenant Colonel Pham Hong Quang, at that time was in charge of blocking the gate in front of Vinh market, when he discovered Toong had just come out of the market. Seeing the police, Toong immediately fired two guns with both hands, taking advantage of the chaos to quickly escape.

In the face of this gang’s recklessness and recklessness, the Public Security Company proposed to their superiors for the provincial Military Command to join in and coordinate the pursuit. On March 9, 1979, Lieutenant Nguyen Van Binh and Second Lieutenant Nguyen Thai Hoc were ambushing at Vinh market when they discovered Toong coming out of the market. Although the brothers were dressed in plain clothes, but he was missed by many times, he recognized and pulled out his gun and fired consecutively. With skillful technique, the two brothers quickly curled up to hide. The opportunity came when the 4th shot he fired was stuck. In a flash, two policemen quickly approached the subject, controlled and arrested him.

During the struggle, Toong also confessed to having caused the motorbike robbery, murder, and dumped the body in the sewer in the area of ​​​​road 9 – Khe Sanh before hiding out in Vinh citadel. With the collected documents and evidence, Truong Hien and his accomplices were determined to commit a series of thefts, robberies, and murders.

In August 1980, the mobile trial for the great bandit general and 9 accomplices was opened and ended with 4 death sentences for Truong Hien, Dau Kim Son, Tran Duc Loi, and Doan Thanh. Truong Hien’s other juniors in this notorious band of thieves and robbers were also sentenced to between 15 years and life in prison. In June 1982, Truong Hien was executed by shooting at Dung Quyet mountain area, Vinh city.

The life of the once notorious bandit general ended forever at the age of 25 when he had to pay for his actions. But the echoes of the case as well as the story of the bandit general Toong (Truong Hien) being mistaken as the prototype in the novel and movie are not easy to forget by many people.

According to Thuy Anh

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