5 January 1923 – Lee Doon
Chinese laundryman Lee Doon hid his grubby secret in the cellar when he killed his boss.
Doon was sentenced to death for murdering Sing Lee, the owner of a chain of Chinese laundries and stuffing him in a trunk in the basement.
Doon who lived above one of the laundries in Crookes, Sheffield raised the suspicions of a fellow employee after she’d been asked to do some overtime one morning by Lee. Lilly Siddall dutifully turned up for work only to be told by Doon that their boss had gone to China and left him in charge. But that was the first she’d heard of it and her suspicions were further fuelled by workmen digging a hole in the basement and Doon seen lugging a big heavy trunk.
What capped it off was when a girlfriend turned up saying that Lee had not turned up for a date. Together the two ladies called the police, who in turn forced open the chest to find the battered corpse of Sing Lee.
Doing the dirty
Doon had no choice but to admit he caused Lee’s death. But he tried to wash his hands of the whole thing by maintaining that it was an accident and that he’d been trying to stop Lee from taking drugs. He then pegged his defence on the idea that they struggled and Lee fell.
Of course, that didn’t explain the multiple gaping head wounds that had been made with a blunt instrument, or indeed why Doon had then tried to clean up the so-called accident. Naturally under the piling evidence stacked against him the 27-year-old was sentenced to death on 2 December 1922 and hanged roughly a month later on 5 January 1923 by Thomases Pierrepoint and Phillips at Leeds.