When the owner of the Chinese laundry where Lily Siddal worked in Sheffield suddenly disappeared, she became suspicious. She last saw Sing Lee on the evening of SEPTEMBER 9th, 1922, and the next day his other employee, 29-year-old Lee Doon, told her that he was now running the laundry as their boss had gone back to China.
This seemed odd to Lily because Sing Lee’s suitcase was still on the premises, as well as the hat he always wore when he went out. The following day she found two workmen digging a hole in the cellar floor, and the day after that she noticed that Lee Doon was wearing Sing Lee’s trousers.
After checking that her employer hadn’t gone to see his relatives in Liverpool, Lily went to the police. And on September 16th officers raided the laundry and discovered Sing Lee’s body in a trunk buried beneath the cellar.
Charged with murder, Lee Doon claimed at his trial that he had killed Sing Lee accidentally in a fight on the night of September 9th. On realising that he was dead he panicked, put the body in a trunk, and buried it after the departure of the workmen he had engaged to dig a hole in the cellar floor.
But the court heard evidence that Sing Lee had been hit on the head with a hammer while in bed, and had then been strangled with a rope. Lee Doon’s own appointment with a rope followed with his hanging on January 5th, 1923.