Published On: Tue, Feb 18th, 2014

This Day in History: Wah Mee massacre in Seattle Washington leaves 13 dead, Tony Ng freed in 2013

Considered to be the largest robbery motivated mass murder in US history, the Wah Mee massacre occurred on this day in 1983.

Kwan Fai aka Willie Mak

Kwan Fai aka Willie Mak

Kwan Fai “Willie” Mak, Wai-Chiu “Tony” Ng, and Benjamin Ng gunned down fourteen people in the Wah Mee gambling club in Seattle.

Thirteen of their victims lost their lives, but one survived to testify against the three in the high-profile trial.

It remains the deadliest mass murder in Washington state history.

The Wah Mee club operated illegally in a basement space near Seattle’s Chinatown. Mak and his accomplices befriended security at the club, planning the robbery for weeks – all with the intent on never leaving witnesses.

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.

Tony Ng was still at large until 1984 after being the FBI’s Most Wanted List.

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, on November 10, 1988, Willie Mak’s execution was delayed indefinitely by a federal judge. After several appeals and hearings it was ruled Mak will not face the death penalty.

Tony Ng served on lesser charges and was paroled in October 2013 to ICE, set to be deported to Hong Kong.

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