Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thriller Thursday - Slain Girl's Leg Found in Ocean at Keansburg, N. J.


Slain Girl's Leg Found in Ocean at Keansburg, N. J.

Upper Part of Right Limb Washed Ashore, Unwrapped, Many Miles from Place Torso Was Picked Up.

Surgeons Say Member Shows Expert Use of Knife and Saw - Carved Away Close to Hip, with Lower Cut Just Above Knee.

Ella Sternemann Living

Woman Thought Murdered Traced to Long Island by Tribune Reporter - Eccentric Father Sent to Psychopathic Ward - Police Seek Armenian.

The upper part of the right leg of the young woman whose torso, in two parts, was found in the Hudson River last week was washed ashore from the ocean at Keansburg, N. J., yesterday afternoon.

The leg showed the same skilful use of the saw and knife that characterized the cutting of the torso. It was cut away from the body close to the hip, and the lower cut was just below the knee.

This caused the police to believe the murderer carved his victim into seven parts. The torso was cut into two parts, and it was evident that each leg was cut into two parts, making six. The head would make up the seventh.

Unlike the parts of the torso, the leg had no wrapping about it.

The two young men who found the fragment of the leg, Irving Brounder and Norman Carhart, told Coroner H. R. Fay, and this official, after examining the limb, said it was without doubt that of a young woman approximately twenty-five years old, and had been in the water not more than a week.

Clean Amputation.

Dr. Edwin Fields, head surgeon of the Monmouth Memorial Hospital, at Long Branch, made an examination of the thigh at the Red Bank morgue. He said there was a clean amputation with a saw of the thigh in the upper third section at the small trochanter, and another amputation through the leg just below the articulation of the knee joint.

The thigh was fourteen inches long and seven inches wide at the thigh end and five inches wide at the knee end. While preserved to some extent by the salt water, Dr. Fields said it could not have been in the water many days.

Detective Charlock, of the staff of Prosecutor Hudspeth of Hudson County, last night said the description of the leg seemed to indicate that is was severed from the torso now lying in Volk's morgue, in Hoboken. Coroner Fay, who ordered the leg taken to Red Bank, gave permission for the Hudson County authorities to take it to Volk's morgue to-day.

Inspector Faurot, who is in charge of the New York detectives working on the case, as soon as he learned of the find, sent two of his men to Keansburg. They had instructions to hire a boat and make an all night search of the shore where the leg was found, in the hope that other parts of the body were there.

Armenian Being Sought.

An effort was being made last night to see H. Baloin, an Armenian carpenter who lived with his daughter at No. 2527 Eighth avenue, in order to find out something in regard to the stains which a laundress at the Princess Laundry, Seventh avenue and 147th street, saw on a shirt: But at his home it was said he was away and left no word when he would return. His twenty-year-old daughter, who kept house with him, also was absent.

He was said by his neighbors and a brother, who lives at No. 310 East 40th street, that Baloin owned a farm on Staten Island, which was worked by his wife and children. He occasionally visited the farm at night, and had general supervision over it. Early each day it was his habit to return to the city and work as a carpenter. The description of Baloin, it was said, resembles to a degree that of the man who bought the tar paper from Hurwitz, the druggist at 147th street and Eighth avenue.

The stains on the shirt were like those made by blood, but it was said by Baloin when he took the shirt to the laundry that is was "mahogany" stain.

The police are anxious to find the Armenian.

Inspector Faurot yesterday said there was little hope of solving the murder until the slain woman's identity was established.

"There is one chance of our solving this mystery to-morrow afternoon," Inspector Faurot said last night. "What this clew is that we are at work on I am not at liberty to say. It looks good."

From a source close to the inspector it was learned that this clew had its origin in the neighborhood of George Sachs's second hand furniture store, at 147th street and Eighth avenue, where it is believed the pillow was purchased which was used by the murderer.

Ella Sternemann Found.

Faurot is banking his hopes on this clew, now that the police have found Ella Sternemann, whose father, Peter H. Sternemann, insisted was the murder victim.

Sternemann, who was arrested in the office of "The New York Herald" early yesterday morning as a material witness, as told exclusively in The Tribune, was committed to have his sanity determined.

Sternemann was taken to Volk's morgue in the afternoon by Detective Wood, of District Attorney Whitman's staff. He looked at the torso and said he "surmised" it was the body of his daughter Ella.
"But Ella is alive, and has just been seen at a relative's home in Fresh Pond, Long Island," said a reporter for The Tribune.

"That's funny," was the eccentric millinery pedler's reply. "I don't quite understand it."

"Why not go down there and see for yourself?"

"That's a tough bunch down there," he said, shaking his head. "If I went down there they would finish me."
He said he did not know if his daughter had a birthmark on her shoulder, such as possessed by the murdered woman.

"But I can find out from Mrs. Haimer. She lives somewhere around 27th street and Eighth avenue, New York. I can find out just where if I make a canvass of the Swiss stores in New York. She's a Swiss and everybody knows her."

Sternemann then rambled about his "enemies" and said he wanted a revolver, so that he could kill them if they bothered him. Then it was that Detective Wood suggested that he go to the men's night court to get the permit.

When he was arraigned before Magistrate Corrigan he shouted:

"I want a summons for my half brother, Henry Sternemann, of No. 304 North Terrace, Yonkers. I want him to produce the body of my daughter, Ella, whom I saw in the morgue to-day."

At the request of the District Attorney's representative Sternemann was committed to Bellevue's psychopathic ward for ten days.

Found by Tribune Reporter.

Ella Sternemann was found by a Tribune reporter at the home of John Rustmann, a distant relative, at No. 1583 Silver street, in the Fresh Pond district of Brooklyn.

The girl, nervous and hysterical, did not wish to talk about why Peter Sternemann, her father, was possessed of the idea that she was dead.

"I haven't seen my father for four years, since I left Schaeffer's place, in Third avenue," she said. "I didn't want him to know him to know where I was, for I was afraid of him on account of his 'queer' ways. I never tried to let him know where I was for that reason."

She was asked why her half-uncle, Henry Sternemann, had not sent word to her father that she was alive.
"My father was always bothering everybody in whose homes I worked, and I lost two or three jobs on that account. I was afraid he would find where I lived."

Paper Buyer Excited.

It was established almost beyond a doubt yesterday that the paper which was used to wrap the part of the woman's body was of the same make as that bought from S. H. Hurwitz, a druggist, of No, 2755 Eighth avenue. It was here that a man came one day early last week and called for two sheets of tar paper.

Significance is given to this from the fact that the druggist, while not able to give an accurate description of the purchaser, recalled that he seemed excited.

The druggist also recalled that the man asked the size of the paper. When told it measures 40 by 48 inches he without hesitation paid for two sheets. The fact that he did not make many sales of tar paper at this time of the year created an impression on the druggist. He said the man was in his early thirties, about 5 feet 11 inches in height, weighed about 150 pounds and was of dark complexion and in need of a shave. He was in his shirt sleeves, hatless, and his general appearance was untidy.

Byrd Walker, president of the White Tar Company, the manufacturers of the tar paper, said yesterday afternoon after examining the paper found around the second part of the woman's torso that he felt sure the paper was of the same make that was bought from Hurwitz. His opinion was shared by Jacob Scheuch, also an officer of the company.

"Tar paper is manufactured in a paper mill up the state." Mr. Walker said, "and is known as 'kraft' paper. This paper (referring to the piece of paper which had been used by the murderer) is of the identical fibre and texture as our tar paper.

"As to what effect the water might have on the printed brand and name of our firm on the paper I am not able to say. We have never had an occasion to put it to such as test. Offhand, however, I would say that water would not have a perceptible effect on the print, since the paper is stamped before the [illeg.] and tar preparation is applied."

This neighborhood, the police recalled yesterday, figured in the newspapers at the time the search was being made for the four gunmen, "Gyp the Blood," "Dago Frank," "Lefty Louie" and "Whitey Lewis," the murderers of Herman Rosenthal. Two of these man occupied a flat in Seventh avenue, a few blocks from the stores which so conspicuously figure in the present murder mystery. West from the Eighth avenue neighborhood in Colonial Park, which is on a slope between Bradhurst avenue and Edgecomb avenue.

Slain Girl's Leg Found in Ocean at Keansburg, N. J., New York Tribune, 11 September 1913, page 1, column 1, and page 3, column 6.