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-THE WASHINGTON TDIES: MONDAY; FEBKCARY 10, 1919.
The Men Who Solved the Chinese Mystery and Forced the Guilty to Confess
MAJOR RAYMOND W. PULLMAN,
Superintendent of Police, -who has worked sixteen hours a day
untangling the Chinese mystery. Pullman himself worked as a
detective, personally running down clues and doing the regular
work of a plainclothes man.
Only thirty-five years old and one of the youngest police heads
in the country, Pullman has gained nation-wide recognition for his
efficient direction of the Washington police. He was appointed
superintendent in 1915. His men say of him: 'He never stops until
his task is completed and then he begins on something else." He
lives at 55 Ivy street southeast.
INSPECTOR CLIFFORD L. GRANT,
Chief of detectives and Major Pullman's right-handvman, won fame
as a detective years ago, but the case just solved is one of his
Grant is fifty-four years old and lives at 62 Bryant street north
west. He was appointed to the police force in 1S92. In 1907 he
was assigned to the district attorney's office. In' 1915 he was
appointed chief of detectives. His success is largely due to his
ability to get information from people who do not want to talk.
DETECTIVE SERGEANT EDWARD J. KELLY,
One of the most skillful investigators in the country. Kelly started
working on the Chinese murder case as soon as Major Pullman
began and has made three trips to New York, returning the first
two times with the two Chinamen, Wan and his brother Van, and
the third time bringing back important information. Kelly, who is
thiity-six years old, lives at 1305 Ninth street northwest. He wa3
appointed to the police force in 1906 and promoted to detective
sergeant in 1915.
DETECTIVE SERGT. GUY E. BURLINGAME.
One c the veterans of the Central Office, who has handled some oi
the most difficult cases of the last ten years. Burlingame captured
"Orpheum Dick" several years ago and sent to the penitentiary one of
the most daring gangs of crooks that ever operated in' Washington.
Burlingame was appointed in 1896 and made detective sergeant
in 1906. He is fifty-two years old and lives at 1419 Twenty-second
IN TELLS 10
TORY F ER
(Continued from First Page.)
greetings. Almost immediately, Wu
took deliberate aim and fired at Hsie.
The shot went wild, and, Hsie start
ing up m alarm, ran around the ta
bic. Wu fired again, and again
missed his target. Hsie was mak
ing for the front exit of the base
ment when Wu took more careful
nira. This shot pierced Hsie's brain.
He fell in his tracks, directly where
th& police found him.
Wu and Wan than sat down and
discussed what to do," Wan says.
While they were still talking and
still very excited, they heard Dr.
Wong come in.
They could hear him taking off
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his outer wraps in the reception hall
upstairs". They knew he would
soon come dpwn into the kitchen.
They knew it was only a mat
ter of seconds when he would
inquire if his treasurer, Hsie, had
returned home. They knew they
had no time to conceal the ghastly
sight of Hsie lying in his own blood
on the basement floor.
"Vu Then Shot Wong.
Wu's decision seemed to come all
of a sudden, Wan explains. Quick
as a cat, he took up hl3 position at
the foot of the basement stairs.
Almost immediately Dr. Wong start
ed down. The moment he reached
the last step, a bullet from Wu's re
volver pierced his breast. He
wheeled around, almost fell, regained
himself and staggered blindly up the
stairs. His glasses fell and broke.
He gained the second floor, knock
ing a chair and a Jamp over as he
Wu waited only an instant Then,
revolver in hand, he darted up the
stairs and after his victim. Wan
says he heard one shot and then an
other and still another. When he
quickly followed upstairs, he saw
Wan bending over the prostrate form
of Dr. Wong. He had shot him clean
through tho heart. Together they
placed over the dead man's face the
overcoat he had removed only a few
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moments before. It was the Celes
tial's last mark of respect for the
Wan paused for a long time
when he had reached this stage of
the confession. He seemed, for the
first time, to be a little .overcome.
Sorry Wong Was Killed.
"Dr. Wong was my friend," he
said, by way of apology. "He
knew my mothar and visited her in
Shanghai. I feel vety badly that
he is dead."
With two dead men in the house,
Wu and" Wan then went back into
the basement kitchen. Wan de
scribes Wu as being iery deliber
ate. "He still carried his pistol in his
hand," Wan says. "He had fired
five shots. Suddenly he broke the
revolver and emptied the empty
shells on the kitchen floor. He
then laid the unloaded revolver on
the kitchen tabic."
Wan describes himself as being
very angry with Wu for killing Dr.
Wong. He says he felt the murder
was altogether uncalled for and very
cruel, considering Wong's- wife in
China, his five daughters, and his
Suddenly, he confesses, he seized
the empty revolver, put in two shells,
and turned the weapon on Wu. Wu
started to run towaid the front of
the basement. Wan hit him first in
the head Wu fell in his tracks.
Held Close To Heart.
"Then 1 went up to him, held the
revolver close to his treacherous
heart, and fired another bullet into
him," Wan concluded, without any
show of emotion.
Insists He Was Justified.
Wan insists the killing of Wu was
justified. He says he did not cover
Wu's face in death because Wu had
committed a crime. The faces of
both Di. Wong and Hsie were cov
ered. The circumstance that care
had been taken to cover the faces of
two of the dead men, in accordance
with Chinese custom, and that Wu's
face remained uncovered, which had
been puzzling the police, is thus ex
plained Wan declares his one idea from
the moment he murdered his friend
Wu, was to get money enough to
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Major Pullman Reviews the
Unraveling of the Mystery
By MAJOR RAYMOND W. PULLMAN,
Superintendent of Police.
"The investigation in connection with. the great triple Chinese
murder was perhaps the most intensely interesting case to occupy
the attention of the District of Colvfmbia Metropolitan Police or,
in fact, the attention of any police department of the United
States for many years. It was the first time in this country that a
very important crime had occurred in the circles of Chinese of the
iefined and highly educated class. There are comparatively few
members of this class in America. This greatly restricted our
source of information and made our investigations exceedingly
"For a week it was a case of members of the Police De
partment having to match their wits with the wits of cultured
Chinese, who have been educated in the best schools and col
leges of America and Europe and who have back of them thou
sands of years of the wonderful civilization of China. But as is
always the case, the men having any connection with the crime
make mistakes, and prove. the old truism that cvcd the desire to
commit a crime is evidence of stupidity.
"The main piece of evidence in this case was the handwriting
in the check stub from which was torn the check which was pre
sented at Riggs Bank. It was on this little piece of evidence which
we found two days after the discovery of the crime that step by
step the two Chinese were themselves convinced that then plea of an
alibi was futile, that their attempt to tell a half dozen stories,
proven false, about their movements, was foolish. In all of
the work of questioning the men who came here as friend and
brother of the friend of Mr. B. S. Wu, and who later made sus
pects of themselves by telling things which we knew to be untrue,
we realized that the task before us was like working low content
gold ore; wp had to labor hard and spend a great deal of time to
get the small but important connecting facts in the great story.
"The Chinese had their own ideas about interviewing which
we had to indulge, or we would not have gotten anything. When
they wanted to talk about the peace conference or some other
unrelated subject we had to talk on that subject, and when they
were anxious to talk crime naturally we were willing to listen
intently. All of us who have had a part in the questioning, In
spector Grant, Detective Sergeants Burlingame and rel!y and
myself, I am sure have keenly enjoyed their philosophy and
views of life and events.
"I greatly appreciate the co-operation which has been given
to the police by law-abiding Chinese.' by citizens of Washington,
and by most of the newspapers in the careful handling of facte
and for npt publishing information which the police knew would
retard their work and perhaps kill the case. This co-operation
has been almost perfect. To Mr. Frank P. Fenwick, proprietor
of the Dewey Hotel, who extended the hospitality of his establish
ment to the friendo cf Wu and the former guest of the mission,
I cannot express too hearty thanks. It was a great demonstra
tion of public spirit of the finest kind, and his tact and the care of
members of his staff in keeping the matter secret was the only
thing that made possible the careful police investigation, and
the courtesy is one which the police and the people of the whole
city of Washington must surely appreciate.
"I also greatly appreciate the courtesy and co-operation of
officials of the Riggs National Bank. Had it not been for their
alertness and care in handling the forged check for $5,000 and
promptly notifying the police as soon as this crime was discov
ered, we would have missed a very important piece of evidence on
which to proceed with our investigation.
"The interest taken in the case, toe, by Mrs. Mary K. Harris,
proprietor, and Mr. Charles Linkins, attorney of the 'Harris Hotel,
where Wan had registered during pail of the same period when he
was a guest at the Chinese Educational Mission, is also greatly
appreciated by the police.
"To Inspector Grant and the six or eight men who have
workod day and night on the case, especially to Detective Ser
geants Burlingame and Kelly, who were sent out on the midnight
tvain on tlir day of the discovery of the, murder and who promptly
located Wu's friends before 9 o'clock the next morning, I want
to extend commendation for their tact, great patience and efficiency,
especially for their patience."
Major Pullman said that the "premature" publication of the fact
that Wan and Van were being held at the Dewey Hotel was respon
sible for the actual arrest of the two men two davs earlier than was
planned. He charges an afternoon newspaper (NOT THE TIMES)
with violating the confidence of the police, and breaking an agree
ment joined in by all ihe newspapers not to disclose the location
of the two Chinese suspects.
charged with being an accomplice
after the fact
"It is up to a jury to decide
whether Van was also -guilty or not,"
the police say.
Pullman Is Satisfied. ,
Upon learning from Inspector
Grant of the confession, Major
Pullman declared himself confident
that Wan was telling the truth.
"Every detail offhIs confession fits
into the facts we have uncovered,"
he declared to The Times. "Wan has
nothing to gain by naming Wu, be
cause he is just as bad off with a
confession of one murder against
him as he would be with three. I am
certain tho mystery is solved at last
and that further elaboration of Wan's
confession will clean the thing up
The police know that a coolness ex
isted between Ben Sen Wu and C. H.
Hsie, the man Wan claims Wu shot
They have learned there was quite a
little jealousy between the men. Thv
have also learned that Wu led more
or less of a "gray" life, and did mnay
tilings which he concealed from his
patron and employer. Dr. Wong.
If Wu was a traitor to the men with
whom he lived, the police claim that
many heretofore perplexing points
will be explained. They have been j
amazed from the start that no one of
the three murdered men were able to
escape or Rive the alarm, especially
if there was only one assailant ln-k'
volvcd. They say they know thatj
Wu must have been at least a party i
to the murder if not an active par- j
The start of Wan s confession came
Taking Inspector Grant aside last
night. Wan declared he wanted to
tell, him a "secret"
Arter a loner preamble, in which
Wan said ho had had certain matters
"on hi3 soul" which he had not'
wanted to discuss with the police,
he told something of his newest and
most startling version of the triple
crhne. As a result. Inspector Grant .
decided to again re-enact the murder
Wan declared "he had helc' out so ,
long" for tho purpose of protecting;
the name of another man. He ex-'
plained that it is the Chinese cus-
torn never to talis of a crime or re-;
veal how it happened after its rom-1
mission. He said it was the Chinese j
theory that once a murder had been '
committed, it was best to say no
more, since the dead could not be re-j
called. He said this tradition was '
all the more imperative if one's good
friends are involved.
He claimed his long silence and
conflicting statements came through
his desire to shield Wu's name.
He insists his brother was not with
him and did not even know where he
was. This corresponds to "Van's own
claim, that he spent Wednesday even
irur In a picture house. When asked
how long he had stayed thehe, he said
he did not know exactly but that he
saw the show "over and over."
Wan explains the filling out of tho
check stub, after the check had been
forged, by the statement that he
wanted everything to look "regular."
When it was explained to him that
it was this ch,eck stub which led t'
the knowledge of the forged check,
he said that it wes his intention of
concealing the forgery by filling in
the stub, so as to make it appear that
Or. Wong had done it in -the usual
way. While the blank check was
stolen before the shooting, the forgery
according to Wan, did not take place
Wan'8 Many Theories.
Wan's confession comes after a
desperate effort on his part to mis
lead and confuse the police. He has
racked his brain to provide "theories"
to account for the killing. it was
Wan who first suggested to them
that Dr. Wong might have been killed
by political enemies. The police in
vestigation showed that the educator
had no political' aspirations or con
nections. Then Wan suggested that It might
have been a disgruntled student A)
police search Vailed to show that any
student ever threatened the director
of the mission or had any reason to
desire his death.
Then Wan spoke of the Chinese laira-
: dryman. who did Dr. Wong's work. He
tnlrT llift nnl1f that Tt- U'nnff Hail fari
words with the man. nad told him he
did not wapt him to come inside the
house because he was "too dirty looking.'
The police discovered that Ufe laundry
man was perfectly harmless and could
account for himself on the night of the
As a fourth theory Wan told the
police ofWu'3 many women friends,
insinuating that he had a great many
he would never have cared to intro
duce to his employer. Dr. Wong.
Helen Wong, the bereaved daush
tei'of tne dead director of tho mis
sion, was told of the arrests in the
case lata yesterday.
"It is a great relief from suspense,"
she said sadly when she had learned
briefly of tn,e evidence against tho
tw o men. "The uncertainty, the mys
tery, the fear that my father might
b.we had powerful enemies was very
Distressing. I shall be glad to see
the guilty men brought to justice.
Whoever did thi3 crime held life ter
ribly cheap, and my father's life was
po valuable to the country and to my
mother and us children."
An unmarked tablet is like an anonymous
letter seldom honest, sometimes dangerou
and always a thing to beware of
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.kc- himself and his younger brother j of murder was placed against him
ark to China. l on tnc police blotter. The younger
Seating himself at the kitchen ."brother, Van, is still marked, "held
! tabic, with hands trembling in spite for the detective bureau." Inspector
f"l of himself, Wan confesses he j Grant declares Van also will be
forged the check, which called ior!"
$3,000 of the mibsion fund?.
PHONE MAIN 382
Gala. Silver, sad PJatlaum Purchased
for Uauufauturtns VuroomM,
j "My brother is absolutely inno-1
cent, he repeats over and over
again. "He had no part in the kill- i
ing. I(c knew nothing of it. He
was only my tool in attempting to
pass the forged check."
Immediately following the full
confession by Wan, a formal charge
To Parents Who Have Given
With the object of creating; a unit of those who could not GO, but
have GIVEN, and so that we may participate in the coming demonstra
tion in Washington in honor of President Wilson, also in a later parade
to honor the boys and girls from overseas, parents of the boys who
gave or were willing to give their lives are requested to fill out and
mail the blank form below. This invitation is general.
A meeting will be called at an early date, so prompt action is desired.
Parent , .
Home address '.!.".. .";.
Washington address :
Name of Son or Daughter. Rank Company Division
i -I I
Mai! to KI.MKIl R. JOHXSO.V Chnmhcr of Commirrr, IVaahtnston,
T. V. r., rimlrmnn. Committer of Unrollittc-nt of I'arrnta.