Ronald Ebens says he’s sorry for the beating death of Vincent Chin on June 19, 1982, 30 years ago in Detroit. But for many Asian Americans, he can’t say sorry enough.
For the 30th anniversary, after writing and thinking about the case for years, I was hoping for some closure. I just wanted to hear him express his regret with my own ears, so that I could move forward and put the story behind me.
So I called him up. And he talked to me.
In an exclusive telephone interview, Ebens, a retired auto worker, said killing Chin was “the only wrong thing I ever done in my life.”
Though he received probation and a fine, and never served any time for the murder, Ebens says he’s prayed many times for forgiveness over the years. His contrition sounded genuine over the phone.
“It’s absolutely true, I’m sorry it happened and if there’s any way to undo it, I’d do it,” said Ebens, 72. “Nobody feels good about somebody’s life being taken, okay? You just never get over it. . .Anybody who hurts somebody else, if you’re a human being, you’re sorry, you know.”