By Sam Stanton
May 11, 2021
Thien Ho came to the United States in 1976 as a refugee from Vietnam, a 4-year-old boy whose father used his toy pistol to bluff the family’s way through checkpoints and flee across the South China Sea on a fishing boat.
“My father had stolen a uniform from a communist officer and painted my toy gun black so we would be able to evade the military checkpoints,” Ho recalled. “We ran out of gas, ran out of food, ran out of water.
“Eventually, we made it to a refugee camp. I can tell you that we came to this country with nothing but the clothes on our back.”
More than four decades later, Ho prosecuted the largest criminal case in California history – the proceedings against Golden State Killer/East Area Rapist Joseph James DeAngelo – and secured a sentence of 12 life terms that ensure the disgraced former police officer will die inside a California prison.
Now, the 47-year-old Democrat and lifelong prosecutor plans to announce Monday that he is running to succeed Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert, who is a candidate for state attorney general.