|7/27/1920 Sac Union Archive|
With hopes to have a good time, the three traveled up to Locke (Lockeport) to play their hand at some card games. Expecting to win big, Chisholm literally had "a few cards up his sleeves." According to Chin Wing Dong's statement to District Attorney Hugh B. Bradford, the three men had come to play 'blackjack'. After winning about $800, the dealer noticed that two "8 of Hearts"cards were laying on the table. Knowing he had just got caught cheating, Chisholm grabbed the bag of winnings and booked it out the door with his friends behind him.
Chin Wing Dong and George Shinn ran after the three men. The pair chased them about 200 yards. That is when the guns came out and shots were fired. According to statements, both men admitted to shooting at Maher, Brodie and Chisholm, but neither one wanted to admit which one actually shot Chisholm, with both blaming the other for his death. According to Dong, he started shooting at them but missed, when Shinn took the gun from him and pointed it straight at Chisholm, shooting him in the back.
Deputy Sheriffs Bryant, Wittenbrook and Cook made the arrest of George Shinn, Chin Wing Dong and Sam Jee, for their role in the crime. Although Dong and Shinn were involved in the shooting, Sam Jee, a stage driver, assisted in helping Chin Wing Dong escape Lockeport after the murder and was prosecuted for aiding and abetting.
The August 5, 1920, issue of the Sac Union newspaper stated that Judge Glenn refused to reduce the bail of "William Chin Wing Dong" from $10,000 to $7,500. Dong was indicted for "assault to murder" of Fred Chisholm, while it states that George Shinn was actually the one charged with the homicide. Shinn was tried on October 25, 1920, in Sacramento. As the article in the newspaper states, Shinn ignored the advice of his attorney, S. Luke Howe, to stick to their original plea, withdrawing it and instead "declared that he had killed Fred Chisholm."
Howe claimed that he "believed he had a fair chance of freeing the man or at least saving him from the extreme penalty of the law."- Shinn's criminal defense attorney, S. Luke Howe, had once been City Attorney in Sacramento, between 1902-1909, and was reported to be the only former city legal officer to have ever served jail time. He was also said to have been Lee Bing's personal attorney.
|Prison Records of George Shinn|
As one of the Assistant District Attorney's noted, the State felt that under the circumstances, a life sentence was fair, rather than the alternative. He stated that if Chisholm had not been cheating he would not have died. Although I agree that Chisholm shouldn't have been cheating, I do not think it was okay for the two men to shoot him in cold blood. The wild west days were over, and although it is true that there are always consequences for your actions, that didn't give them the right to end his life over a card game.
|(Copyright: J'aime Rubio)|
The papers noted that Fred Chisholm had a wife and children in Klamath Falls, and that the authorities were unable to immediately contact them about his death. Instead of being brought home to Oregon, he was buried at the Odd Fellows Cemetery on Riverside Drive, next door to the Masonic and Sacramento City Cemeteries. After speaking to staff at the cemetery and looking over his burial record, I found that there is a mystery as to just who paid for Chisholm's burial and marker. According to their records, whoever paid for the plot put it completely in Chisholm's name posthumously. Oddly enough, whoever it was, also gave the cemetery Chisholm's primary residence as Washington. Newspapers claim he was from Klamath Falls, Oregon.
There is no way to know exactly who covered the costs of his burial and headstone, but one thing we do know for certain is that Chisholm's grave is within viewing distance of the Locke family plot in the adjoining cemetery just feet away. I don't know about you but it makes me wonder if the Locke family took care of the burial cost? We may never truly know.
Fred Chisholm is buried in Section G; Lot 18; Grave 6 at the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Sacramento.
---UPDATE (5/3/2016) Since I posted this story back on 10/29/2015, I was contacted by someone representing the Ghost Adventures show who asked for help with their historical information on this story. Despite the fact that I provided the historical sources and dates, the true facts were omitted from the television program that aired in 2016 several months after I had published this blog. Instead they chose sensationalism over truth and fabrication over fact.
Fred Chisholm could not have been shot in the Dai Loy Casino, that building is located on Main Street in Locke. The story was reported that Chisholm ran from a gambling hall onto River Road and was chased 200 hundred yards before falling onto the road fatally injured. He was brought to Walnut Grove where he died. The distance from the Dai Loy Casino, if running towards River Road is a lot longer than 200 yards. There were reportedly 8 gambling halls at that time period according to the Sacramento Bee. It was more than likely one of the buildings facing the river, on River Road, not an inner building on Main Street.
Another thing I would like to point out, I was the first person to ever publish the photo of George Shinn on an online blog, which I retrieved from searching archived prison records. The photo used on the Ghost Adventure show clearly came from my blog without their asking permission to use it. That was not only rude but very unprofessional. ----
(Copyright 2015- J'aime Rubio)
Photo of George Shinn and criminal record c/o California Prison Records via Ancestry.com
Photo of Fred Chisholm's grave by J'aime Rubio (Copyright)
(Sacramento Union Archives: 7/27/1920, 7/28/1920, 8/5/1920, 8/31/1920 &10/26/1920
and The Morning Oregonian Archive: 7/27/1920)