Wah Mee massacre
The Wah Mee massacre was a mulitiple homicide
Mass murder
Mass murder is the act of murdering a large number of people , typically at the same time or over a relatively short period of time. According to the FBI, mass murder is defined as four or more murders occurring during a particular event with no cooling-off period between the murders...

 on February 18, 1983, in which Kwan Fai "Willie" Mak, Wai-Chiu "Tony" Ng, and Benjamin Ng gunned down 14 people in the Wah Mee gambling club. Thirteen of their victims lost their lives, but one survived to testify against the three in the high-profile Seattle trial. It remains the deadliest mass murder in the state of Washington's history.

The Wah Mee club operated illegally in a basement space on Maynard Alley South, just south of South King Street in Seattle's Chinatown. The club's regulars included many wealthy restaurant owners, several of whom were among the victims. Security at the club was based in part on a system of passing through multiple successive doors, which had been used in similar Chinatown gambling dens for generations, and had usually been quite effective. Mak and his accomplices defeated the system only because they were known and trusted by the people at the club. Their presumed intent was to leave no witnesses, since club patrons could readily identify them, as, in fact, the one survivor, Wai Y. Chin, did. In fact, Mak had been planning the robbery for weeks, and he enlisted Benjamin Ng, and later Tony Ng.


On February 24, 1983, Benjamin Ng and Willie Mak were charged with 13 counts of aggravated first-degree murder. Benjamin Ng was represented by famed Seattle defense lawyer John Henry Browne
John Henry Browne
John Henry Browne is a criminal defense attorney practicing in Seattle, Washington.-Background:Browne has represented defendants in a number of high-profile criminal cases...

. Mak was represented by the Associated Counsel for the Accused lawyer Jim Robinson. The State was represented by William Downing and Robert Lasnik. Tony Ng became the third suspect, charged in absentia on March 30, 1983 with 13 counts of aggravated first-degree murder.

In August 1983 Benjamin Ng was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Two months later, Willie Mak was convicted of murder and sentenced to death.

On June 15, 1984 Tony Ng became the 387th person to be listed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Bureau of Investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is an agency of the United States Department of Justice that serves as both a federal criminal investigative body and an internal intelligence agency . The FBI has investigative jurisdiction over violations of more than 200 categories of federal crime...

's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives
The FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list arose from a conversation held in late 1949 between J. Edgar Hoover, Director of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation, and William Kinsey Hutchinson, International News Service Editor-in-Chief, who were discussing ways to promote capture of the...

 list (see FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, 1980s
FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, 1980s
The FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives during the 1980s is a list, maintained for a fourth decade, of the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation.-FBI headlines in the 1980s:...

). He was arrested October 4, 1984 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police , literally ‘Royal Gendarmerie of Canada’; colloquially known as The Mounties, and internally as ‘The Force’) is the national police force of Canada, and one of the most recognized of its kind in the world. It is unique in the world as a national, federal,...

. Tony Ng was acquitted in April 1985 of murder, but convicted of 13 counts of first-degree robbery and a single count of assault with a deadly weapon. Each robbery charge brought a minimum sentence of five years, to be served consecutively.

In February 17, 1987 the Washington State Supreme Court issued a stay of execution a month before Willie Mak's scheduled execution, but on May 2, 1988 the state Supreme Court let Mak's murder conviction stand. However, then on November 10, 1988 Willie Mak's execution was delayed indefinitely by a federal judge. On January 8, 1991 U.S. District Judge William Dwyer overturned Willie Mak's death sentence, saying Mak's attorneys failed to present evidence on their client's background that could have saved his life. On July 16, 1992 The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to reinstate Mak's death sentence.

On May 3, 1993, Wai Y. Chin, the survivor of the incident, died of natural causes.

On November 9, 1994 a King County Superior Court judge denied Mak's bid for a new trial but allowed prosecutors to hold a new sentencing hearing. On February 15, 2002, a King County Superior Court judge scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 2002. On April 29, 2002 a King County Superior Court judge ruled that Mak will not face the death penalty because the 1983 jury wasn't asked to determine how much of a role he had in the crime. On September 6, 2006, a parole board met to determine whether Tony Ng should receive parole on his 12th robbery term. If given parole, he would begin serving his 13th term, and be eligible for parole and potentially freed in 2010. Both former King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng
Norm Maleng
Norm Maleng served as the King County, Washington, Prosecutor for 28 years. He was also an architect of Washington's Sentencing Reform Act.-Career:Maleng was born in Acme, Washington, and grew up on a dairy farm...

and former Seattle Police Chief Patrick Fitzsimons asked the parole board to deny parole on the 12th count. Relatives who came to the hearing expressed outrage that they were not made aware of previous parole hearings and that Tony Ng was so close to possible release because of it.

On February 2010, a parole board unanimously decided "now is the time to parole Mr. [Tony] Ng to his final count", which will allow him to be released as early as 2014.

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