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*Please note that archival source materials are original historical documents that have not been censored, reviewed or otherwise altered by the Royal BC Museum.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.
Frank Isley, sworn, saith:- Question by Mr Devitt': Your name for the Court A Frank Isley. Q. You reside in the city of Trail ? A Yes, sir. Q What is your occupation . A Clerk. Q Did you know the deceased ? A Well, I can't say that I did; I think I've seen him numerous times on the streets. It's very hard to distinguish them. Q. Did you attend the postmortem ? A. I did. Q. That's the first time you saw him that you can remember distinctly ? A Positively, yes. Q What did you notice on the body of the deceased ' A In what way ? Q Did anything demand your attention, Externally, on the appearance of the deceased ? A Well, that's a very hard question for me to answer, not being a physician, but noticed the scars on his neck. Q You noticed the scars on his neck . A There were some scars, yes. Q What was the nature of the scars-across, transverse, or downwards. A . The way I would term it, it was downwards. I did'nt notice that particular. Q You did'nt notice that very particular ? A. Not very particular. Q Were they up or down ? A. I judge the distance something like that (indicating). Q As though he had been shaving ? A. I suppose — BC Archives GR-0419 BRITISH COLUMBIA. ATTORNEY GENERAL. Box 95 File 1903/18 Attorney General documents.