A drifter found dead 11/2 weeks ago following an argument with his girlfriend over a bottle of vodka was haunted by his role in the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, relatives say.
"He actually was a casualty of the war," said Rebecca T'Souvas, estranged wife of Robert W. T'Souvas. "He had such problems from what was wrong in Vietnam. Nothing was ever right for him.""He was just a weak person," she said. "I'm sure it was because of Vietnam and because of what he had to endure there. But he was a gentle man and a very good person when he was not under the influence."
Robert T'Souvas, 39, was shot to death Sept. 3 beneath the Smithfield Street Bridge in downtown Pittsburgh.
His girlfriend, Kathlynn T'Souvas, 36, who took his last name even though he never divorced Rebecca T'Souvas, has been charged with criminal homicide and is being held without bail at the Allegheny County Jail. A coroner's inquest is scheduled for Thursday.
Army Spec. 4 T'Souvas, then 19 and a high school dropout in San Jose, was a member of one of three platoons that entered the village of My Lai on March 16, 1968, where, he told an Army hearing in 1970, he saw about 30 bodies, "old men, women and children."
The Army charged T'Souvas with premeditated murder of two unidentified Vietnamese with a machine gun. He was one of nine enlisted men charged in the massacre, in which more than 100 civilians were killed.
After two soldiers were acquitted at courts-martial, charges against T'Souvas and the six others were dropped. All were given honorable discharges.