Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Port Adelaide: The Ghost of Lee Pao Sung

In October 1944 Mr Lee Pao Sung was found floating in the Port River, he was wrapped in a red blanket with a hessian bag over his head. Upon removing the bag, police found two 3-inch nails, driven into Mr Sung’s skull.
 His body was badly beaten, and around his neck, a coil of cord had been tied.

Mr Sung and another Chinese sailor, Mr Wu Su-ling, had “jumped ship” in September 1944, and had been reported missing.
 The only clue the Police had to identify Mr Sung’s killer was the expertly coil of cord, which detectives believed only a seasoned sailor could tie in such a way.

An autopsy revealed that the nails had been driven Into Lee's head after his death. Tied to his body was a small, oblong piece of bone.
The cord around his throat was coiled twice, knotted, coiled another four times, and tied in a reef-knot.

Lee Pao Sun - source : Truth (Brisbane newspaper 1944)
 Two Chinese Seamen, Mr Wu Su-ling (the ships Engineer, from Tientsin in northern China) and Mr Low Yung-fui (Captains’ Boy, from Hong Kong) were reported for the crime.
In 1944 Port Adelaide homicide detectives became the first in Australia to extradite the two suspects for the murder of Lee Pao Sung. Both men, who worked as sailors had left South Australia, with one moving to Newcastle in New South Wales, and the other to Sri Lanka (known as Ceylon in 1944).
During an interview with Detective Sergeant Gill, Wu Su-ling pointed the finger at Low Yung-fui. He claimed that Lee Pao Sung had threatened Low Yun-fui with a knife, and he had killed him in retaliation.
 When Low Yun-fui was told this story, he denied it, and then said it was the other way around, Wu Su-ling had committed the murder and that he, Low, had helped dispose of the body into the Port River.
"I did not; it was the other way round. Low killed him and forced me to help. When I woke up at 3.30am he was in my cabin, and the body was there. He threatened to put me in trouble if I called out." Low stated.
Low also claimed he had seen three nails in Wu’s possession and heard him say he was going to kill Lee Pao Sung.

After intense interrogation, and the dismal of Low’s claims, both men were eventually cleared of any wrong doing.

The death of Lee Pao Sung took an interesting twist when it was revealed in The Advocate (a Tasmanian newspaper) that the three nails in a triangular pattern had been seen before in other murders in China.
It is believed the pattern was a sign from a secret Chinese political party who used an equilateral triangle as their secret symbol.

Lee Pao Sung was buried in the Cheltenham Cemetery on Friday the 6th of October 1944. His funeral was presided over by the Rev H. C, Cuthbertson, chaplain of the Port Adelaide Mission to Seamen.
His funeral rites were provided as to those pertaining to the Church of England (Mr Sung’s actual religion was unknown).
 His funeral was attended by Detective L Bond and by Mr M McLennan, a representative of the Melbourne Steamship Co.
The Melbourne Steamship Co also paid for Mr Sung’s funeral expenses.

Since 1944 many people have claimed to see the spirit of the Chinese Sailor Lee Pao Sung at Port Adelaide. Sometimes he is seen near the Birkenhead Bridge, and other times walking along the pier near the lighthouse. Descriptions of a Chinese man roaming the pier, sounding in pain have been numerous in recent years.
Weirdly, the reported sightings do not have Mr Lee with a bag over his head, rather they report a sailor style of clothing, and a neat appearance.

Have you experienced the ghost of Lee Pau Sung at Port Adelaide? Let us know over on facebook at The Haunts of Adelaide

If you are interested in learning more about Hauntings in Port Adelaide, and doing a free tour, please visit Ghosts of the Port – Self guided walking tour – written by our own Allen Tiller for the Port Adelaide Enfield Council – find it here: https://www.portenf.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?c=51325

Or on facebook here:


Williamson B, 2015, Port Adelaide’s policing history reveals gruesome and groundbreaking past, ABC Radio Adelaide, viewed 1 Aug 2016, http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-05-26/port-adelaide-policing-history-reveals-gruesome-past/6495578

1944 'CHINESE SEAMEN CHARGED WITH SHIPMATE'S MURDER', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 21 December, p. 4. , viewed 01 Aug 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article11375795

1944 'Victim Of Murder Buried', News (Adelaide, SA : 1923 - 1954), 6 October, p. 3. , viewed 12 July 2015, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article129877030

1944 'Brutal Murder Of Chinese', The Mercury (Hobart, Tas. : 1860 - 1954), 5 October, p. 5. , viewed 01 Aug 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article26042054

1944 'MURDER OF CHINESE SEAMAN', The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954), 13 October, p. 4. , viewed 12 Dec 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article17924067

1944 'Murder Charge', Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser (Qld. : 1860 - 1947), 14 October, p. 5. , 12 Dec 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article151403550

1944 'Possible Victim of Secret Society', Advocate (Burnie, Tas. : 1890 - 1954), 7 October, p. 3. (DAILY), viewed 12 Dec 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article91744640

1944 '"Nail" Murder's Accessory ?', The Daily News (Perth, WA : 1882 - 1950), 7 December, p. 6. (CITY FINAL), viewed 07 Mar 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article78761197

1944 'Tong Theory In Murder Of Chinese', The Sun (Sydney, NSW : 1910 - 1954), 4 October, p. 3. (LATE FINAL EXTRA), viewed 07 Mar 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article229271221

1945 'Two Chinese For Trial For Murder RIVER FIND', Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900 - 1954), 7 January, p. 18. , viewed 07 Mar 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203756833

1944 'BIZARRE THEORY IN CHINESE MURDER', Truth (Brisbane, Qld. : 1900 - 1954), 8 October, p. 19. , viewed 07 Mar 2017, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article203757634