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Crime History: Gunmen assassinate 'King of Chinatown'

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe,Crime History

On this day, Jan. 23, in 1897, the "King of Chinatown" was assassinated in a San Francisco barbershop.

Fung Jing Toy, or "Little Pete," as he became known, had started a shoe business as a teenager before getting involved with gangs and rising to the top of the Wild West's underworld. He led a secret society, known as a "tong," and was rumored to have at least killed 50 men.

Little Pete became a marked man. He wore a coat of chain mail, a metal-reinforced hat and slept in a windowless room guarded by vicious dogs.

Little Pete was killed in a barber's chair. Two men came in, and one stuck a gun down his back, under the gang leader's armor, and shot him five times. He was 33.

No one was ever convicted in his slaying.

- Scott McCabe

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