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Spiritual Advisor Arranged Murder Of Couple Who Owed Her Money For Lifting Curse

Desperate to revive their company's finances, Long Nguyen and Huong Ly turned to Dephne Wright, a spiritual advisor who claimed she was able to lift curses — for a price.

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How Did Daphne Wright Manipulate Willie Guillory?
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How Did Daphne Wright Manipulate Willie Guillory?

Byron Stewart, a former Arlington police officer, discusses how Daphne Wright manipulated Willie Guillory.

Vietnamese immigrants Long Nguyen and Huong Ly came to the United States in 2000 for a fresh start. Unfortunately, an unscrupulous spiritual advisor would take advantage of them, leading to their murder. 

Nguyen and Ly brought their family with them when they moved to Arlington, Texas. The area is home to a thriving Vietnamese community whose roots stretch back to the 1970s. 

“The first wave of immigrants came after 1975, after the fall of Saigon. Some of them adapted to society very well. The parents try to carry on the heritage from Vietnam to America,” former Tarrant County District Attorney’s Investigator Dr. An Truong told “Snapped," airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen. 

The couple opened a commercial sewing business. Their son-in-law, Chau Tran, was the face of the business, as he had the best English speaking skills. Over the next decade, the business grew and eventually landed a contract with Disney. By 2011, however, their fortunes had dried up and they sought supernatural aid to put them back on top. 

“For a couple thousand years, the Asian people believed in the lucky god and the money protection god. If you pray to them you will have more customers,” explained Dr. An Truong.

The family believed a curse had been placed on their business and the only way to get rid of it was with the help of a spiritual advisor. In a Vietnamese newspaper they found an ad for Dephne Wright, who lived 250 miles away in Houston.

“She advertised that she could take bad curses off, she could put curses on, she could do all of that,” prosecutor David Alex told “Snapped.”

Tran traveled to meet her. Using a credit card attached to the sewing business, he paid Wright to remove the curse he believed was ruining the family business. 

Despite Wright’s supposed mystical powers, the company’s finances kept going south. Tran requested more help from Wright, eventually amassing a debt of $280,000, according to court documents

Then, at 7:30 a.m. on June 10, 2012, Tran called 911 to request a welfare check on his in-laws.

“Oh my god! You know what, ma’am? My son and my wife, they say they looked in there, they say they saw everything fall down,” Tran is heard saying on a recording of the call, which was obtained by “Snapped.”

Investigators discovered the apartment was a mess. In the bedroom, Arlington police officer Gretchen Weller noticed bloody handprints on the wall next to a small closet. Inside were the bodies of Long Nguyen, 72, and Huong Ly, 63.

“They were hogtied with duct tape, their head and mouth were duct taped. There was blood everywhere. In that split second I knew they were dead,” Weller told “Snapped.”

Police investigators were stunned by the brutality of the crime. The couple appeared to have been beaten by a blunt force object. The apartment showed signs of a life and death struggle and it was ransacked.      

“It appeared that an attack happened as soon as they walked into their apartment. Something did happen at the front door because there was blood there,” explained Arlington Police investigator Diana Brown.

Drug paraphernalia, including a partially smoked marijuana cigarette, were laid out on a table top. A blue bandana was wrapped around a beer bottle, suggesting gang involvement. 

“It was too perfect of a crime scene. It was too set up to the point where I had everything to believe that it was gang activity so we theorized that it was staged,” former Arlington Police Detective Byron Stewart told “Snapped.” 

Chau Tran told investigators the entire family was together the previous night to celebrate Nguyen’s birthday. He said his in-laws stayed until 10:30 p.m. before getting a ride home from a family member. 

An autopsy revealed both Nguyen and Ly had blunt force injuries. The ultimate cause of death, however, was suffocation from the literal yards of duct tape wrapped around their heads, according to the Toronto Sun newspaper.    

Investigators learned the deceased couple had $1 million in life insurance policies. Chau Tran was one of their beneficiaries. Detectives spoke with him again on June 13 and found him cooperative and his alibi was confirmed by multiple family members.

Dephne Wright Spd 3022

DNA collected from the crime scene produced no matches. With no new leads, the case went nowhere. 

But on Oct. 12, 2015, almost three and a half years since the murder, a DNA match finally came in that was pulled off the marijuana cigarette found at the crime scene. It belonged to 20-year-old Willie Guillory. He had recently been arrested for stealing a horse, according to Dallas–Fort Worth CBS-affiliate KTVT.

Guillory was 16 at the time of the murder and had never been arrested for a felony and was thus precluded from CODIS, the national DNA database of criminal offenders. He was arrested on a parole violation and brought back to Arlington for questioning, where he made a full confession.  

Willie told detectives that at the time of the murder he was living in Houston with his uncle, 49-year-old Bobby Guillory. On the night of June 9, 2012, his uncle brought him along on the 3-hour drive to Arlington. His uncle had been hired by Dephne Wright to shake down Long Nguyen and Huong Ly.  

“I met Dephne through my uncle Bobby. My uncle went into her office and started talking to her and she said that people owed her money and she wanted them to pay up and then she told my uncle, ‘If they don’t pay up I want them dead,'” Willie said in a 2021 interview, obtained by “Snapped.”  

They entered the apartment with a key Wright gave them which had been given to her by a member of the victims’ family. Bobby brought along the drug paraphernalia and bandana to try and mislead investigators. However, Willie smoked some of the marijuana, leaving behind his DNA. 

Bobby and Willie laid in wait until Nguyen and Ly got home. As they walked through the front entrance, Willie beat them unconscious with a baseball bat. His uncle then brought them to the back bedroom and duct taped their mouths shut, according to the Star-Telegram. 

Following his confession, Willie Guillory was arrested and charged with capital murder, according to Dallas-Fort Worth NBC-affiliate KXAS-TV

Detectives subsequently arrested Bobby Guillory and charged him with two counts of capital murder. He told detectives that Dephne Wright offered him $10,000 to collect money from Nguyen and Ly but that their deaths were an accident. 

“I didn’t really want to hurt no one. When I put that tape, I was scared, I really was. I know what I did,” Bobby told detectives in his video taped interview, which was obtained by “Snapped.”

Bobby said that Wright had called in the family’s $280,000 debt, but that they were unable to pay her. When she learned about their $1 million life insurance policy, she enlisted Chau Tran, who gave her the keys to his in-laws’ apartment, according to court documents. 

Detectives served a search warrant on the home Wright shared with her husband and children. They discovered a ledger that listed her clients and the sums she charged for a variety of supernatural services. 

“There were ledgers that purported to show that she was charging people 10, 20, 30, 40 thousand dollars for services rendered,” Alex said.

Dephne Wright was arrested on murder charges but refused to speak to investigators without a lawyer present. 

In exchange for immunity, Chau Tran agreed to cooperate with the authorities. He said his family was terrified of owing Wright money due to her supposed supernatural powers. Tran claimed it was his mother-in-law Huong Ly’s idea to sacrifice herself so that her life insurance policy could pay off the family debt, according to court documents. Wright, however, wanted the full amount and figured why stop at one life insurance policy.

In September 2018, Bobby James Guillory was found guilty of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

A year later, in September 2019, 47-year-old Dephne Nguyen Wright was found guilty of capital murder and solicitation of capital murder in the deaths of Long Nguyen and Huong Ly, according to KXAS. She, too, was sentenced to life in prison without the chance of parole.

Willie Guillory pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He will be eligible for parole in 2025 at the age of 29. 

For more on this case, watch "Snapped," airing Sundays at 6/5c on Oxygen or stream episodes here.

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