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Colonial Cases


North China Herald, 23 May 1884
  We regret to have to record a sad tragedy at Macau, the victim being Mrs. Susan Wood, widow of the later Mr. John Wood, chief engineer of the Hongkong, Canton, and Macau Steamboat Company's steamer Yit-sai, who perished in the sad disaster by which that vessel was blow up on the 24th February last.  It seems that Mrs. Wood rented a house on the Praia Grande, and let out a portion of the house.  The lodgers lived on the first floor and Mrs.  Wood occupied the store above.  The lodgers had their suspicions aroused that something was wrong in consequence of seeing and hearing nothing of their landlady or her servants on the 14th inst., and upon going upstairs, on the morning of the 15th inst., to see if anything was the matter, the body of Mrs. Wood was discovered on the floor of her Bedroom stretched out lifeless.  The servants were all missing but there was nothing to indicate whether they had taken any property.   At 2 p.m. on the 15th inst. The Coroner opened an inquiry as to the cause of death.  The medical opinion was hat a murder had been committed. A post mortem examination has been held by two doctors, and they found all the organs in a healthy condition.  There were three small wounds or cuts in the throat which the doctors deposed could not have been self-inflicted; they were not, however, considered to be serious.  The doctors gave it as their opinion hat death was caused by asphyxia, but, so far as we can learn, there was no evidence to show how this resulted.  Probably it as caused by violence independently of the wounds in the throat.  The doctors said the ceased must have died on the night of the 13th inst.
  A kerosene lamp was found broken in the room, and other things had been disturbed by the perpetrators of the crime. Some of the servants of the unfortunate woman have been arrested, and lodged in gaol, but others are still missing and may have got clear off.  The body was buried yesterday morning (16th) at the Protestant Cemetery by the Rev.  G. Hargreaves, who happened to be on a visit to Macau.
  The motive for this crime - it is too evident a foul murder has been committed - was doubtless the possession of a considerable sum of money, the deceased having the day previous to the tragedy fetched several hundred dollars from Hongkong. - Daily Press.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School