Find Body Of Chinaman
The body of Tom Dak Kin, a Chinese, his head nearly severed from his body by a great gash which extended from ear to ear, was found under the carpenter shops in the Santa Fe yards here this afternoon (January 15, 1912). The body had been pushed through a hole in the foundation. It is thought that the murder was committed somewhere else and the body dragged to the place where it was found. There were no blood spots where the body lay, except on the clothes. Lawrence Daily Journal-World, Lawrence, Kansas. Tuesday, January 16, 1912. Page 2.
His Throat Cut From Ear To Ear
The body of an unknown Japanese supposed to have been murdered was found lying under the Santa Fe B & B department carpenter shop on West Third street by the young son of S. Hirshinger, a dairy man, while driving by the shop in a milk wagon this morning about 9:30 o’clock. The head of the murdered man was protruding from a hole under the floor of the shop and was in plain sight of the road. The man’s throat was cut from ear to ear by a bash that had almost severed the head from the body. His body was frozen stiff when removed from under the building by Doctors Grove and Smith who were called soon after the crime was discovered. Every indication is that the man was killed some distance from the place where the body was found and that he was carried to the spot by his assailants and placed under the building. No evidence of blood other than on his person and clothing was found near the building this morning. It is believed the murdered man was not an employee of the railroad company. Japanese workmen were taken to the scene this morning in an effort to establish the identity of the murdered man but none of the knew him. He was dressed in a light grey seater, light shirt, and wore light grey trousers. Neither his coat nor hat were found. Robbery was not the motive of the crime for when removed from the building the doctors found sticking from a pocket in his shirt almost $200 in bills. He had a silver watch and some small change on his person. The authorities are unable to find a clue to the crime. A number of Japanese workmen are being kept by the railroad in box cars in the west yards. Investigation of the men there have disclosed nothing. The Evening Kansan-Republican, Newton, Kansas. Monday, January 15, 1912. Page 1.
Tom Dak Kim Is Man Found Dead
The man found dead under the Santa Fe carpenter shop yesterday has been identified as being Tom Dak Kim, a wealthy Chinese laundryman of Honolulu, Oahu, T.M.The authorities learned that he was on his way from San Angelo, Texas, to Lodi, Calif., and had stopped over here several days ago. While about the depot he left two grips. They were found yesterday where he had left them. His passport into the United States containing his photograph was found near the spot where his body was first discovered and there is no doubt of his identity. Sheriff Slaymaker and a reporter of the Kansan accompanied by Orville Gray, interpreter of the roadmaster’s office, in an effort to look further into the mystery surrounding the death of the Chinaman, found evidence near the place where Kim was found which may prove that he committed suicide. A thorough search under the floor of the carpenter shop by these men disclosed the murdered man’s hat and coat covered with blood and a razor close to his clothing. These personal effects were discovered about twelve feet east of the spot where his body was discovered, under the foundation of the shop. The razor was open and it is thought to be the weapon which caused his death. The fact that very little blood was found at the place where Kim was first discovered, leads the authorities to believe that Kim was a victim of foul play. Another fact that points strongly to this theory is that the Chinaman’s throat was cut in three distinct slashes and it is thought that it would have been impossible to inflict such wounds on one’s self. In the Japanese and Mexican quarters in the west yards of the Santa Fe, it was learned that Tom Dak Kim had been about the city since last Wednesday and that he asked the men there to let him sleep in a small shanty near their buildings. The last seen of the Chinaman was Friday morning when he went to the ticket window of the depot and asked about his ticket. An inquest was held over the body last evening. The jury could not agree and asked for time to deliberate on the evidence. Doctors Smith and Grove yesterday testified that in their opinion it was impossible for the dead man to have died of a self inflicted wound. Letters found in his luggage showed that he was a member of several secret societies and that he was part owner of Quong On Café of Ft. Worth, Texas. Not satisfied with the evidence that strongly pointed to foul play against Tom Dak Kim, Acting County Attorney Ashton Morgan in company with one of the coroner’s jurymen, Don Johnson, made a thorough search of the floor under the building. These two men found evidence that make it appear that the Chinaman died by his own hand. Previous examination has shown that there was no blood surrounding the spot where the body was found. These two men with aid of a lantern discovered several clots of blood on the rafters of the floor about eighteen inches above the ground, above the place where the dead man lay. This bit of evidence and the fact that he was lying on his back when discovered is said to show that blood could not have reached the ground and that it spurted from his neck while he lay face upward. It is suggested that he might have cut his throat while face downward twelve feet from the opening and that in his death struggle groped his way toward the opening where he died face upward. Small spots of blood were found today a part of the distance over which he must have crawled to get to the opening.
A message was received today by L. C. Horst fro the ticket agent at Fort Worth where the supposed Jap had started for his trip to Lodi, Calif., stating that the man’s name was Tom Dodkim and asked that the authorities notify the dead man’s cousin, Wing Lee Yuen at Lodi, Calif., before making disposition of the body. A message from the proprietor of the café whose card was found on the dead man asked that the body be held for further instructions from relatives in San Angelo. Coroner Abbey wired relatives for further particulars. The passport found on the man showed that he was either a native born Hawaiian or a naturalized citizen of Hawaii and that his occupation was laundryman The Evening Kansan-Republican, Newton, Kansas. Tuesday, January 16, 1912. Page 1
Is It Murder Or Is It Suicide?
Coroner’s Jury Couldn’t Decide About Death of Tom Dak Kim. May Never Be Known. The second coroner’s jury in the inquest held over Tom Dak Kim who was found dead here Monday morning brought in its verdict but failed to arrive at any definite decision as to the cause of the man’s death. The verdict reads: “Tom Dak Kim, Chinaman, whose body was found under the Santa Fe bridge and building shop in Newton on the morning of January 15, 1912, came to his death by his throat being cut by a sharp instrument in a way and manner unknown to this jury.” The jurymen were E.B. Bonham, Dave Bennett, Don Johnston, S.R. Smith, Dr. S. Stanley, and James Monahan. In the inquest Henry Akido, a Japanese employed in the Arcade Hotel, interpreted a portion of the letter which was in the post office addressed to the dead man. Contrary to what was expected it failed to shed any light on the murder. The letter was from a friend in Fort Worth, Texas, and was in the nature of congratulations over the fact that the dead man was on his way to Lodi, Calif., where he is supposed to be going to meet his future wife. There were Chinese characters in the letter, however, Akido could not decipher, but it is thought they did not have any bearing on the affair. It was learned yesterday that the Chinaman that was seen a couple of days ago with Kim was only in this city a short time and from here went to his home in Waco, Texas. He purchased a ticket at the station here for that place. Dr. Abbey, coroner, celebrated to Kim’s cousin in Lodi, Calif., to find out what the disposition was to be made of the body. He received a reply from Wing Lee Yuen, the dead man’s relative of that place, to ship the body there. The body will probably be sent to that place tonight or tomorrow morning. The Evening Kansan-Republican, Newton, Kansas. Wednesday, January 17, 1912. Page 1.
May Send Dak Kim’s Body To Hong Kong
The body of Tom Dak Kim the Chinaman who was found dead here Monday with his throat cut will in all probably be shipped to Hong Kong, China. Dr. Abbey, received a message from the dead man’s cousin, Wing Lee Yuen, of Lodi, Calif., asking that the body be shipped there. Later, however, the doctor received word from the relative asking about the expense that would incur in preparing the body for shipment to San Francisco and thence to China. Word was sent to the cousin but he has not yet ordered the body to the coast. Shipment to China will necessitate the body being scaled in a metallic casket at this place. Possibly we may never know whether Tom Dak Kim killed himself or whether he was hurried into the great hense by some person who is unknown. The mystery of Tom Dak Kim will never attain national prominence but Tom has done as much as any Chinamen in this part of the country to attract attention. The Evening Kansan-Republican, Newton, Kansas. Thursday, January 18, 1912. Page 1.
Tom Dak Kim Is On Way To China
Dr. Abbey, coroner, has received word from relatives of Tom Dak Kim the Chinaman found dead here Monday that the body would be buried in Hong Kong, China and to send the remains to San Francisco at once. Relatives of Kim are said to live in China although his residence was Honolulu, Oahu. C. H. Northfoss, undertaker, who has had charge of the body sent it to the coast today. Tom Dak Kim’s relatives must think a lot of him or they would not want to stand the expense of shipping his body back to Hong Kong. Possibly Tom was a bigger man than his appearance caused us to believe. The Evening Kansan-Republican, Newton, Kansas. Friday, January 19, 1912. Pages 2, 4.
C.H. Northfoss accompanied the body of Tom Dak Kim as far as the coast. Relatives of the dead man had wired, that they desired that the body be accompanied rather than having it expressed as might have been done. The Evening Kansan-Republican, Newton, Kansas. Saturday, January 20, 1912. Page 5.
Believe He Was Murdered
The Chinese whose body was found under the Santa Fe carpenter shop with the throat cut was identified by his certificate as Tom Dak Kim, owner of the Quong On Café in Fort Worth, Tex. He came here several days ago while the trains westbound were blocked. He went to the Japanese quarters and asked permission to sleep in a shack there. Nothing had been seen of him until found dead. He had left his baggage in the depot. He belonged to several Chinese secret societies. Two hundred dollars was found in his pockets. The fact that there was no blood near where the body was found causes the authorities to believe he was murdered, but not for the purpose of robbery. The Chanute Daily Tribune, Chanute, Kansas. Friday, January 19, 1912. Page 7.
Still Asking About Death of Chinaman
Attorney for Chinese Board Trade Now Wants Information. John Cummings, chief of police, received a letter from O.P. Stidger, attorney of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in San Francisco asking the full details surrounding the death of Tom Dak Kim, the Chinaman who was found dead here Monday, January 15. Relatives of the Chinaman are making every effort possible to uncover the mystery surrounding his death and have referred the matter to the Chinese council of San Francisco. Following is a copy of the letter received from the attorney yesterday. Dear Sir: It has been brought to my attention by one of the Chinese merchants of this city that his brother Tom Dak Kim, the owner of the Kwong On Café in Fort Worth, Texas, was brutally murdered in a shack at Newton. I would be obliged if you will send me full police details concerning the murder of this inoffensive Chinaman and as to whether or not the person or persons concerned in the commission of the deed have been apprehended. Thanking you in advance for the courtesy in the premises, I am very truly yours, O.P. Stidger 628 Montgomery St. The Evening Kansan-Republican, Newton, Kansas. Monday, January 29, 1912. Page 1.
(c) Excerpted from the book, Deadly Encounters: Murder in Harvey County, Kansas by Darren McMannis. www.PrairieTales.US. Used with permission.