John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Asian Interlude and the rise of Organized Crime in Connecticut

In 1927, two were Chinese men, Chin Lung and Soo Hoo Wing, were convicted of murdering, Ong Ging Hem, 36, a member of a rival tong, the Hip Sing tong, in Hem’s cousin's laundry on Oak Street in Manchester early on the morning of March 24, 1927, the very day that a shaky two-year truce in the tong wars abruptly ended. Not only was Hem murdered that day in Connecticut, other killings were carried out with military-like precision in Brooklyn, Newark, Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Chicago.

The executioners, Chin Lung and Soo Hoo Wing, members of the On-Leong Tong, took a train from New York to Meriden where they hired a cab, for the handsome sum of $15.00, to take them to Manchester and then return them to Meriden. The driver noted that both men barely stood over 5 feet tall and that one of them carried a copy of the New York Daily News. The paper was later found, covered in blood, in Ong Jing laundry.

The state's star witness was the victim's cousin, Ong Jing who testified that he and his cousin were still in bed when Chin Lung, the stoic leader of the two assassins, knocked on the door that morning.

"I thought some people were bringing in wash," he said.

Chin Lung said he wanted to borrow money, “He wanted,” Ong Jing said, “to clean out my money drawer."

Once inside and finding only $9 in the drawer, Chin Lung went into the next room and woke up Ong Ging Hem and shot him three times in the head, shove the murder weapon, a 32 caliber Smith & Wesson revolver, into a barrel of rice near the laundry exit and then ran from the building. 

Ong Jing chased after them and yelled to a group of men working on Oak Street Chinaman shot my cousin - catch him." The men gave chase, but the two killers leaped into their waiting cab and sped off.

A woman on her way to work phoned the police from a payphone and gave them the cabs description and taxi number. A few hours later, a traffic policeman in New Haven arrested the two when he spotted the cab in traffic.

They were tried and convicted of murder. Chin Lung refused to confess to the murder or to repent for it while Soo Hoo Wing insisted he was innocent, and, according to reporters. “Seemed bewildered and uncertain, his eyes bloodshot from crying."

They received last rites of the church and shortly after midnight on Nov. 8, 1927, they were hanged at the state prison in Wethersfield.

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