I went to Maison Kayser on Bleecker Street yesterday and started writing the outline for a new documentary. There are a lot of facts and information to cover. It's so extensive that it might actually become a documentary series. We'll see how it goes.
It's the story of Chai Vang, a Hmong man who served in the California National Guard and avid hunter from Minnesota. He went hunting in nearby Wisconsin. He accidentally (or knowingly) trespassed on private property to hunt. The owners, a group of white men and women, confronted him.
Supposedly, racial slurs were hurled at him and he felt threatened by a large group of men with guns (although hunters don't usually think about other hunters shooting you on purpose). He then shot the group multiple times, some in the back. In total, 6 people dead and 2 critically wounded.
He was convicted of murder in 2005.
However, my documentary will explore his father's role in the "Secret War" in Laos during the Vietnam War, which was funded and managed by the CIA.
Vang was also a Hmong shaman in his family. I will explore the practice and traditions he had.
This documentary will be very in-depth.
It's actually weird how I even learned of Chai Vang and this incident. I was looking up properties in rural coastal Maine late one night. I'm a hunter myself, so I wanted to buy a piece of raw parcel that is very remote and heavily wooded. During the course of my property search, I found an article in a local Maine newspaper about a rise in accidental shootings by hunters. I then thought to myself, "What if a few of these hunters didn't shoot their victims accidentally at all?" What if they got away with murder by making it look accidental, stating they mistakenly thought those people were deer, so they either get off with a homicide charge or simply get convicted of something lighter, like manslaughter?
I searched for cases such as these and found none. However, in the search results was the Wikipedia entry for Chai Vang. Now, his incident wasn't what I was initially looking for. He didn't shoot all those people on purpose and claimed he mistaken all 8 of them for deer. No, his case was more like he said he shot them in self-defense because he felt threatened, but they and everyone else (and the evidence) say that he committed multiple homicide.
However, once I started reading his Wikipedia entry and news stories connected to the case and trial, as well as racially-tinted bickering between Asian and white people on YouTube comments and forums, I knew I had to do a documentary on this.