Tuesday, April 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Horrific 1928 mass murder in Fairfield

Left, mass murderer Leung Ying and right, the Suisun Chinese community three years before the massacre

Left, mass murderer Leung Ying and right, the Suisun Chinese community three years before the massacre

By
From page A2 | January 31, 2014 |

Note: The following account of a grisly Fairfield mass murder is graphic and not for the squeamish.

The most vicious mass murder in California until that time occurred in Fairfield on Aug. 22, 1928. A 29-year-old Chinese cook and narcotics addict named Leung Ying killed 11 people in a horrific murderous rampage.

A Chinatown had bloomed in Rockville near Suisun Creek as descendants of the first Chinese immigrants, lured to California by the 1849 gold rush, settled there.

Leung Ying was high on narcotics when he took a rifle and shot Wong Yee, who was smoking an opium pipe before work in a secret underground room. Another worker was shot there as well.

Leung Ying killed four more people in the cutting shed and laundry. He then went to Wong Gee’s home. There, he shot Wong Gee’s 15-year-old daughter Nellie in the abdomen. She held on to life for five days after the initial killings, but became the final victim.

Wong Gee’s wife was carrying her 10-day-old baby, then nameless. Leung Ying shot the woman as she tried desperately in her last dying act to shield her child. Next, he shot 4-year-old Johnny Gee in his crib.

The attack, already senseless and horrific, then became barbaric.

Evidently Leung Ying ran out of ammunition and got a cleaver from the kitchen. After splitting the head of 3-year-old Willie Wong, he returned to Mrs. Wong Gee, moved her lifeless body and finished off the infant.

The only members of Wong Gee’s family left alive were 7-year-old Ruthie and 9-year-old Helen, who were upstairs.

Leung Ying then stole the Gee’s car and escaped to Grass Valley, where he was later arrested in a confrontation with police.

The story of the drug-fueled massacre was nationwide news. When caught, Ying said the reason for the murders were that others in the village were plotting to kill him by poisoning his food. “I no eat Chinese cake,” Ling was quoted as saying in a Grass Valley Newspaper. “I know who want kill me. I kill them first.”

A different reason and perhaps more plausible came from an interview with Evelyn Lockie in 1981 that was published in the December 1985 issue of Solano Historian. Lockie, who grew up in the area and knew Wong Gee, covered the story as a Fairfield correspondent for The Sacramento Bee.

“As far as we could find out, and according to his own version, he had been the subject of much teasing. He was an ugly little man, whose face was deeply pock-marked, probably from small pox, and he wasn’t too bright,” Lockie said. “The teasing irritated him. He found out that opium swept away his unhappiness and became addicted to it. As ‘hopheads’ were not encouraged on this ranch, he couldn’t get any opium, and this coupled with his being teased so much led his warped mind to the path of murder. He knew exactly who his targets would be and methodically went about disposing of them.”

Leung Ying was never remorseful and in fact asked to be released from his cell to kill a certain elderly Chinese woman, swearing he would return after her murder.

He tried to commit suicide by hanging himself with a blanket the night after his arrest, but was stopped by guards then spent the night banging his head against the floor and the walls while crying out for narcotics.

On Aug. 31, 1928, Leung Ying pleaded guilty to the murders and was sentenced to death by hanging. The execution date was set for Nov. 9, but he hanged himself with a bath towel on Oct. 22 in his cell at San Quentin State Prison.

The Fairfield newspaper, the Solano Republican, reported the suicide with its style of mixing editorial comment in with news reports. It said that by taking his own life Ying “saved the state 15 feet of well-stretched hemp.” It ended by saying that “Chinese in Suisun Valley were satisfied with the results of the bath towel party.”

Tony Wade, Fairfield writer, wishes to thank Mary Lou Bowen for bringing this story to his attention. Reach Wade at [email protected]

Tony Wade

Tony Wade

Tony Wade is the slightly older yet infinitely more handsome brother of long-time DR columnist Kelvin Wade
LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 5 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Skeptic ScroogeJanuary 31, 2014 - 2:39 am

    If it happened in todays society, he would have pled not guity by insanity (he was bullied), entered a drug program, been out after two years, early release overcrowding! Very interesting article! I wonder where they lived...

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • archieJanuary 31, 2014 - 4:54 am

    Interesting article, thanks Tony.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rich GiddensJanuary 31, 2014 - 6:02 am

    I hate to sound less then sanguine but history has a way of repeating itself.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • CD BrooksJanuary 31, 2014 - 7:07 am

    Wow, never heard about this. Tragic but as history rolls along, the same patterns emerge bullying, drugs and violence. Great information Tony thank you for this article!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The MisterJanuary 31, 2014 - 10:29 am

    Sounds like a good reason to ban high-capacity cleavers. Should have done it years ago.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Explore habitat of bats at special Solano-Yolo event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
Train hits car, kills 1

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: | Gallery

 
Dollar Tree settles illegal dumping case

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A5

 
Man walks to bring awareness to need for divorce reform

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘The Mask You Live In’ set for Vacaville premiere

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Woman reported missing in Fairfield

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: | Gallery

Caltrans reminds motorists of Highway 12 bridge work

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
Thor, Iron Man, Captain America return to movie screens

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Chambers plans Cinco de Mayo celebration

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A7

 
Rio Vista to celebrate endive once again

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A7

Full slate of events on tap in downtown Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Fairfield police log: April 26, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: April 25, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Fairfield police log: April 24, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 26, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: April 25, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: April 24, 2015

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

 
Loretta Lynch sworn in as new US attorney general

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

GOP defense budget challenges Obama on Ukraine, Guantanamo

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Senate expands community colleges’ reach on sexual assault

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tuna company, 2 employees charged in death of worker in oven

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Woman convicted of murder after young daughter disappeared

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Ex-Guantanamo detainees in Uruguay protest at US Embassy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Cash handoffs, extortion fuel Mediterranean trafficking

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Suspect in woman’s shooting arrested after 5-hour standoff

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
High court rejects appeal from protester at military base

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Study blames global warming for 75 percent of very hot days

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Nepal quake death toll tops 4,000; villages plead for aid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Corinthian Colleges closes all 28 remaining campuses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
California teen confesses to fatally stabbing 9-year-old boy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

New Ellis Island center to complete US immigration story

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US, Japan boost defense ties with eyes on China, NKorea

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Coast Guard suspends search for 4 missing off Alabama coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tiny California tribe turns to adoption to boost revenue

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Yemen’s exiled government declares 3 disaster zones

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tuesday’s the day: Gay marriage arguments at Supreme Court

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Prosecutor: 2 exams found James Holmes to be sane

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Judge won’t delay order on inmate sex reassignment surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

UN: Israeli military killed 44 Palestinians at UN shelters

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Thousands attend funeral for Freddie Gray in Baltimore

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

.

Opinion

Time for multiple-county tourism, arts, downtown project

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
What’s Marco Rubio’s secret?

By Jennifer Rubin | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

Jayne Meadows, actress and TV personality, dies at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Winehouse family criticizes ‘misleading’ movie about singer

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Singer Jamie Barton wins the ‘Heisman Trophy’ of music

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Kim Kardashian: supports Bruce Jenner’s gender transition

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Rushdie chastises authors protesting Hebdo tribute

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
It’s nail-biting time on Broadway ahead of Tony nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

‘Black-ish’ creator set to write ‘Good Times’ movie

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Don Mankiewicz, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, dies at 93

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Salma Hayek hopes ‘The Prophet’ inspires new generations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
TVGrid April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

.

Sports

 
Dodgers pitcher McCarthy out for season with elbow injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Sharks near agreement to extend lease in San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders head into draft in need of receiver, pass rusher

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Pacquiao, Roach scheme on plan for Mayweather’s defense

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
A new format, more golf for all at Match Play

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Orioles’ game in Baltimore postponed due to safety concerns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors trying to stay sharp while waiting for 2nd round

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Kerr wins Rudy Tomjanovich Award from Pro Basketball Writers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Cards ace Adam Wainwright out for season with torn Achilles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Owner Ahmed Zayat takes aim at Kentucky Derby with 3 horses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Equestrian aims for more nations competing at Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Cavaliers move on without Love, out with dislocated shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Redskins to pick up 5th-year option on Robert Griffin III

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Rare Honus Wagner baseball card sells for $1.32 million

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Arrest warrant sought for UFC champ in hit-and-run crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Hamilton given back to Texas after troubled Angels stint

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
89-year-old former Kansas player scores in alumni scrimmage

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Arena talks underway in Seattle suburb with eye on hockey

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vegas sets up ‘concentric’ security for upcoming megafight

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Packers will retire Favre’s jersey on Thanksgiving

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies G Mike Conley has facial surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Peterson absent but still wanted back by Vikings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
.

Business

Ex-executive gets prison for $27M insider trading scheme

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
High court to consider lawsuits over personal data

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Discover discovers Apple Pay for its US cardholders

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
With economy uncertain, no Fed rate hike is seen before fall

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Change to Greek bailout negotiating team fuels market hopes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Burger King heats it up with spicy Whopper and sales surge

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Forget the watch: Apple’s iPhones are still the main event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
Truckers at huge seaport complex strike; impact minimal

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

ESPN suing Verizon over unbundling of its sports channel

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Industry tries to block genetically modified food labeling

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Garfield April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
For Better or Worse April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baby Blues April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Pickles April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Dilbert April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baldo April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Word Sleuth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Frank and Ernest April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Wizard of Id April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Crossword April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sally Forth April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Zits April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sudoku April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose April 28

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4