1903/18 Rex vs. D.L. Ray and Wing Wo – murder (Trail)
As part of the Chinese Historical Wrongs Legacy Initiative, the BC Archives has digitized a selection of documents related to criminal prosecutions against the Chinese community from 1866 to 1914, found in GR-0419. These are mainly records created as part of the preliminary hearing held before a judge in order to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed to trial. There are often lengthy witness statements, and cross examinations by both prosecution and defense lawyers. The eventual verdict is sometimes recorded on the outside of the docket. They offer a fascinating glimpse into 19th and early 20th century criminal activity around the province, and ways in which the Chinese community was stereotyped. The records offered for transcription here are a small selection; for additional digitized material from GR-0419 click here.
*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum. Some materials may contain content that is racist, sexist or otherwise offensive. In addition, GR-0419 records deal with subjects such as assault, murder and abuse, which may upset some readers. The Royal BC Museum is only the custodian of archival materials; the content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Royal BC Museum.
*All transcriptions are provided by volunteers, and the accuracy of the transcriptions is not guaranteed. Please be sure to verify the information by viewing the image record, or visiting the BC Archives in person.
house." At that time I didn't know there was a dead Chinaman at all. Q Then you went and examined the premises ? A I went in and examined the premises. Q What position was the body in then ? A Extended straight, lying broad on his back; hands in this position (Indicating/). Q Hands folded ? A Well, about like that (indicating) above the stomach. Q Which way was he lying ? A On his back. Q But I mean otherwise; what direction ? A His head was in that direction, and his feet this way (indicating). The streets are not altogether north and south here . Q He was lying parallel with Bowery street ? A Yes. Q (By Mr Devitt) Supposing this is the entrance — Mr. Gillan (Interrupting) The doctor has answered the question now. Q Now you examined him somewhat carefully then, did you ? A Yes; casual examination; i convinced myself, at least I felt fully imbued with the idea , that there was something wrong. Q . How long had he been dead at that time ? A. I could'nt say. Q About how long.? A. Well, there's a certain, state of certain tines after death— -. Q (Interrupting) Some five or six hours ? A (Continuing) Sometimes it is modified by climate and so on, Mr. Gillan, and the condition, the physical condition in which a man was, the nature and character of his death, and so on. BC Archives GR-0419 Box 95 File 1903/18 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Attorney General documents.