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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
Q Well could you give any idea as to how long the man had been dead ? A Well I could approximate it, although at the same time you can't always come within six or eight or ten hours sometimes Q Can't you tell within four hours ? A Well so far as four hours, evidence like that would'nt be much good every way. Q You can tell within six or eight hours, can't you ? A No; not always. Not unless you are an eye witness. Q There's no approximating then, the length of time he might have been dead before you saw him him ? A His chest was warm his arms and legs were somewhat stiff. Q Then mortification had set in in the arms and legs ? A They were stiff. Q How long, approximately, does it take before that sets in ?
A Sometimes it never does; as a usual thing it does, the.
Q As a usual thing it does ? A Yes, as a usual thing. Q It is a most unusual case when it does not set in ? A It occurs in every case except poisoning. Q In every case except poisoning ? A Yes; we can go further than that; it does in the case of poisoning sometimes. Q There are exceptional cases of poisoning where it does ? A Yes. Q Now you speak of those marks on the neck- how many marks were on the neck. A Four. Q You think they were divided by cutting of the skin ? A . How do you mean ? Q I mean as to the centre line down the neck-which side were they on ? A Assuming this is the median line, we will say; from there down there (indicating). BC Archives GR-0419 Box 95 File 1903/18 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Attorney General documents.