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September 27, 1926[edit]



SEPT. 27, 1926




Is china-town reverting to its ways of yesteryear? Just barely forty years ago the streets of china-town ran red with the blood of those killed in the “tong-wars”. Factions of Chinese once roamed the streets with hatchets attempting to murder their brothers. While their brothers were about the same task.

China-town has always been known for its violent ways. Opium wars, sing-song girls, gambling, illicit liquor trade and black market goods have all been causes of killings in the streets there.

Perhaps though, none as shocking or as senseless as the murder of Chan Kui San last night.

While the “tong-wars” were fought over property, or trade rights (no matter what the goods), this murder has no reason behind it. Chan Kui San was well respected; and elderly gentleman, who had never taken part in the seamier side of china-town.

Somewhat frail, unable to defend himself from his attacker, Chan was tortured to death in a horribly gruesome manner. Only an insane mind, one unbalanced; could have perpetrated this savage means of killing.

Due to the fact that the Journal-Times is widely read by many families, the details of this terrible deed cannot be printed. (However, for the more mature, this reporter will make available upon request, copies of the city corner’s report.)

This reporter was on the scene soon after the police last night. Chan Kui San owned the House of the Happy Tea Moon, a restaurant, and made his home on the upper floor. It was here that the killer found his helpless victim; and here where Chan was slain.

There are no words to convey the horror of what the police found there. The murderer is not only cunning, but has a streak of pure evil as has never been witnessed by this city previously. The thing that took Chan Kui San’s life, is no longer human, but a fiend that only wears a human face.

A city wide man hunt has begun for a suspect linked to the killing. Indeed speculation is that this man may be the murderer himself. Wanted for questions is Mr. Alexander Chase, a lawyer who has offices in Sacramento.

Alexander Chase is described as being approximately six foot, three inches tall and weighting about two hundred pounds, having blue eyes and blonde, slightly longish hair. Anyone seeing this man should call the police immediately, as he is considered to be armed and dangerous.

According to local residents, Mr. Chase was seen frequenting the neighborhood and was often seen in the vicinity after dark. His presence in the area may have been to locate various paths of escape from the scene of the crime.

Adding further to police suspicions is the fact that Chase’s whereabouts have been unknown for the last three years. The law office in Sacramento was closed in 1923, and just recently reopened. Officials are beginning a detailed investigation into the suspect’s background and clients. The possibility of ties to gangland organizations has not been dismissed.

No motive has yet been determined for the murder of Chan Kui San. Yet the way in which this thing was carried out, perhaps bespeaks its own motive. For in the minds of the insane, the smallest slight may be motive enough. It is certainly no sane being that kills in this manner.

There have been small outbreaks of violence against whites in china-town. Police may, if it continues, impose a ten o’clock curfew in the area. (The late edition will carry further details as they are available.) Whites are being advised to stay out of the china-town district until further notice.

Reporters have attempted to contact the suspect’s wife, Mrs. Violette Chase, at their private home in Stockton. However there has been no answer to either telephone calls, or to the door. She has refused to speak to anyone in person.

The area around the Chase home has the atmosphere of a circus. Writers from all areas of California have converged on the house. Hopeful for that “exclusive interview”, the home is now literally under siege.

However, this reporter has been able to speak directly to Mrs. Chase, and the full text of the interview will be published in the late edition of today’s San Francisco Journal-Times.