Thursday, June 3, 2021

Today's Mass Murder Mystery

 Washington, D.C. (1919)

01/31/1919: Person or persons unknown murdered “three Chinese educators… in their luxurious home.”  Other reports describe one of the dead as “chief of the Chinese educational mission to the United States” and the other two as students at George Washington University.  “The pistol with which the men had been shot was found on a chair near  Dr. Wong's body. Traces of a death  struggle were in evidence. A heavy brass table lamp lay on the floor among the shattered remnants of the  shade and bulb. A chair in the dining-room adjoining was overturned, and a brown-colored elastic from a .garter was on the floor.

"The bodies of Hsie, who was secretary and treasurer of the mission and Wu, confidential secretary to Dr.  Wong, were found head to head in the furnace room, and evidently had been dragged there….

“Dr. Wong had a deep gash in the back of his head and two bullet wounds in the chest. The pistol had been held so closely that the vest was scorched. Wu had one bullet wound in the head and another in the chest, and Hsie had one wound in the head.  The police are at a loss for a motive for the triple murder.  There was no evidence that robbery had been committed, and so far as they were able to establish from the friends of the men, they had no enemies. The theory of the officers is that the two students were killed first by some one who lurked in the house and that Wong was murdered later when he returned home.

“This theory is based upon several facts. The first is that Li [a neighbor dispatched by the university to make a welfare check] went to the house Wednesday and upon ringing the bell was told by a strange Chinese that Dr. Wong was not at home. Another is that there were only two discharged cartridges in the pistol, whereas at least five shots were fired into the bodies.  The officers think that sufficient time elapsed between the death of the students and of Dr. Wong for the murderer to hide the bodies of the first two and reload the gun before Dr. Wong reached the house.”

Category: residential

Suicide: no

Cause: unknown

Weapon: pistol[1]

[1] “Hired Assassin Killed Chinese Police Theory,” Washington [D.C.] Herald, Feb. 2, 1919, 1; "China's Envoy Slain In Mysterious Crime," Richmond Times-Dispatch, Feb. 01, 1919, 1.

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