Wednesday, 14 March 2012

On This Day in Murder... March 14th, 1910

The Murder of Michael Redmond
On March 10th, 1910, Michael Redmond, a 32 year old "woodsman" (lumberjack) who was born in Ireland and had emigrated to Ontario, Canada, was savagely attacked and beaten by two men after returning to his rooming house in Fort William, Thunder Bay.

Photo of Fort William, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada in 1892.  Image Courtesy of the City of Thunder Bay Archives.

 According to a newspaper article appearing in Toronto's 'The Globe and Mail' on Tuesday, March 15th, 1910, on Thursday the 10th of March, Mike Redmond returned "from the bush to civilization", and went out for the night to celebrate intending to get drunk, which he successfully accomplished.  When he returned back to the rooming house, and stumbled into his room, he apparently "upset some water" before he made it to his bed.  The water then leaked through the floor of his room and through the ceiling of the Vancouver Restaurant below.  The proprietors of the restaurant, Lee Wing and Lop Lee Loy, the two men who were also responsible for running the rooming house, became very angry and went upstairs to confront the drunken man.

It is then that the altercation between the three men occurred.  It was alleged that one of the men, most likely Lop Lee Loy (based on their sentencing), held Mike Redmond while the other beat him over the head with a glass bottle.  To the credit of his attackers, a doctor was called to examine Redmond, but due to the fact that he was so severely intoxicated, the doctor concluded that his injuries were not very severe.  The doctor was apparently called out of the city before he could report the attack to the police.  Michael Redmond did not improve, and in fact took a turn for the worse.  He was taken to the hospital on 4 days later, where it was found that his skull was cracked, and a blood clot was removed.  Despite the effort of the hospital, on March 14th, 1910, Mike Redmond died as a result of a the injuries he sustained after the brutal attack by Wing and Loy.  

According to his death registration record, found below, Redmond died from a fractured skull and compression of the brain.  An interesting bit of information included; the doctor noted at the bottom that "This man went under several names".  This indicates that Redmond himself was not likely a very, shall we say, 'upstanding member of society'.  People do not have usually multiple aliases for law-abiding reasons.

Death Registration Record for Michael "Mike" Redmond, March 15th, 1910.  Courtesy of the Ontario Archives.

After his death, both Wing and Loy were arrested by police, and charged with his murder.  According to an article that appear in 'The Manitoba Free Press' on April 21st, 1910, when it came time for their trial, their defense lawyer offered for them to plead guilty to the lesser charge of assault, and their pleas were accepted.  Perhaps the fact that Mr. Redmond was likely not-so law abiding himself contributed to the decision to allow the two men to plead guilty to lesser charges, or the fact that they did call a doctor after they beat the drunken man up.  Either way, the judge sentenced the Lee Wing to one year, and Lop Lee Loy to three months in prison for their roles in the death of Mike Redmond.

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