I just added more cities, including Parkersburg, West Virginia, and years to the City Directories database on the Harless Homepage at Harless Homepage City Directories
Thursday, July 24, 2014
This photograph was taken around 1908 in front of the old fire department headquarters on Broad Street, Rome, Georgia.
"Brack" would have been around 21 years old and is on the front row at the far left.
I do not know how long he was a fireman or for how long he was a member of the running team - by 1917 he was working as a painter employed by Carl Von Burnham and had a "stiff foot" according to his World War 1 Draft Registration Card.
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Priest Forged When Boy
Schmidt Gained Entrance to School by Fraudulent Certificates
The letters sent home by the young priest are said by his relatives to have been written in a confused and hazy style. Local physicians consider that the murderer's perverted instincts were accentuated by forced study. It is known that he resorted to forged certificates even during his boyhood and by their means was enabled to enter the classical high school at Mainz where he was educated. He was arrested and charged with the offence, but released by the court as weakminded and irresponsible.
Priest Forged When Boy, The Tribune, 17 September 1913, page 2, column 2.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
Muret on Dentists' Roll
Was Member of Association, but Unknown at Headquarters.
Chicago, Sept. 16. - President Crouse, of the Dental Protective Association, said to-day:
"I find Dr. E. Muret's name on our membership list, but I do not remember the man. He joined our organization two years ago from New York City. I have been unable to find any of the profession who know him"
Muret on Dentists' Roll, The Tribune, 17 September 1913, page 2, column 2.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Father Schmidt Master of Crime
German Priest Shown To Be a Jack-of-All-Trades in Murder, Counterfeiting and Illegal Medicine
Police Find Flat Plant
"Doctor" Muret, Arrested in Case of Anna Aumuller, Released in $5,000 - Girl Tells of Women Visitors to Apartment
Father Hans Schmidt, the priest of St. Joseph's Church who is in the Tombs charged with the murder of Anna Aumuller, stood revealed yesterday, after Inspector Faurot's investigations resulted in the arrest of his associate, Ernest Muret, as a criminal jack-of-all-trades.
Murderer, counterfeiter, fake medical practitioner, forger and impostor were the terms written after his name in the police record, and the detectives who disclosed this pentateuch of crime insisted that the priest, far from being insane, in reality was the possessor of a master mind.
Alphonse G. Koelble, his lawyer, after a talk with the priest in the Tombs last night, said Schmidt admitted that he committed the murder, or, as he termed it, "performed the sacrifice", that he was preparing to manufacture counterfeit $10 and $20 bills, and that he had another impersonation in which he posed as "Dr. Emil Moliere," in which capacity he was working on a medicine which "would reduce the number of children in the world."
Admissions by the priest also established the other charges, and as to the counterfeiting and illegal medical practice, Koelble said, Father Schmidt insisted that he was following out those lines under God-given commands.
Alone in Crimes, He Avers.
Ernest Muret, a man who was practicing dentistry at No. 301 St. Nicholas avenue, was associated with Schmidt in the counterfeiting affair at a flat they rented at No. 516 West 134th street, according to the police, but Schmidt told both Koelble and Father Luke J. Evers, the Tombs chaplain, that Muret was not an accomplice in the counterfeiting business and that he knew of the murder.
Inspector Faurot is not entirely satisfied at this point, however, and while he had Muret held in $5,999 bail on the technical charge of a violation of the Sullivan law, he is actually holding him for the purpose of investigating his entire association with Schmidt. Faurot has received information tending to show that Muret was in the Bradhurst avenue that after the murder of the Aumuller girl there.
There is a striking resemblance between Schmidt and Muret, which Inspector Faurot believes may lead to establishing the fact that their association was predicated on blood relationship, but so far nothing has been learned from either man to substantiate this theory.
The United States Secret Service will take Muret in hand on the counterfeiting charge if the New York police decide he cannot be of any service to them in the murder case. According to William J. Flynn, chief of the Secret Service, some poor imitations of $10 and $20 bills recently were passed at several places in New England, and in a general way the descriptions of the men who circulated them correspond to those of Schmidt and Muret.
In this connection Koelble asked Schmidt where he spent the three months intervening between his service as a priest at St. Boniface's Church and his later service at St. Joseph's. But Schmidt insisted that he remained in New York in that time, except for two or three short trips into New Jersey.
Inspector Faurot's investigations yesterday disclosed that Anna Aumuller threatened to kill Father Schmidt in the presence of a doctor on whom they had called a month ago. The doctor told Faurot that the threat, while given in a sort f half-serious way, might be taken into account as bearing on the motive for the murder. When Schmidt called on this physician he was in citizen's clothes and the doctor had no idea that he was a Catholic priest.
Bertha Zech, the servant in Muret's flat, who was taken into custody early yesterday morning under Faurot's orders, was released upon her promise to hold herself in readiness to testify as a witness.
Shamming Insanity, Says Coroner.
Coroner Feinberg, who participated in the examination of Father Schmidt Sunday, yesterday said that in his belief the priest was shamming insanity.
"He appears to me to be a man who is perfectly sane." said the Coroner, "He is an Unscrupulous man with a master mind. Think of a man who was able to qualify for the priesthood, who was a forger of great skill, mechanic enough to coin money, who dabbled in medicine, and who was the possessor of the ability to commit the crime with which he is charged. A man of his versatility easily could sham insanity in his own defense."
The arrest of "Doctor" Earnest Arthur Muret and the linking of another charge against Hans Schmidt, the Roman Catholic priest who confessed he was the murderer of Anna Aumuller, was brought about by the persistency of Inspector Joseph Faurot.
Late Monday afternoon, Faurot with Lieutenant James O'Neill, while examining the effects of Schmidt in the St. Joseph's parish house, found a copper engraved plate of a $20 gold certificate. In addition Faurot came across receipts for the rent of a flat at No. 516 West 134th street. These were in the name of George Muller. Pictures, which greatly resembled the priest, along with pictures of a young girl, apparently of German birth, also were found.
A receipt which showed that $38 was paid by Schmidt to a Dr. Earnest Arthur Muret, of the Alpha Apartment House, of No. 391 St. Nicholas avenue, was among the effects. The writing resembled in some degree, other missives found from Muret.
Since the arrest of Schmidt and from the discoveries in his room, which tended to show that he was implicated with some physician in illegal practices the find of a counterfeiting plant caused the inspector to investigate the flat in West 134th street. Detectives Cassassa, McKenna and O'Neil were sent to the flat. They waited until a few minutes before midnight, and then forced a rear window and thus gained an entrance. The card on the door bore the name "George Muller." Inside they found an elaborate counterfeiting plant.
There was no furniture in the place. A camera, press type, inks, chemicals for the development of negatives, mechanical tools of the most delicate kind, copper plates and the finest of linen paper were found, in fact, everything necessary to produce counterfeit United States currency. The shades of all the windows were drawn, with the exception of those of the bathroom which was used by the counterfeiters as a "dark room."
Scattered about the room, as though they were in constant use, were found books pertaining to photography, engraving and the manufacture of paper - such literature as might be placed in the library of an expert on any of the subjects represented.
Women Identify Muret.
"Doctor" Muret's practice at his St. Nicholas avenue office was spoken of yesterday as remarkable. Many persons with dental appointments called at the office yesterday. One patient said Muret did $40 worth of work on his teeth and was not yet through with the job. City detectives, aided by P. A. Rubano and Morris Manassa, United States Secret Service agents, spent the day in going over the personal papers of the "dentist."
His office was well furnished. It contained a library, principally works of fiction and books n professional subjects that any regular practitioner would be proud to boast.
After her discharge in the Harlem court yesterday, Bertha Zech, Muret's servant and office assistant returned to her home in the St. Nicholas avenue house. She was employed by Muret in December, she said, through an advertisement in a newspaper. She came from the northern part of Germany a few weeks before Muret employed her. She appeared to be surprised when asked how a photograph of herself came into the possession of Schmidt. This was a photograph which was found with several of Muret in the priest's room at St. Joseph's. It shows her in a white dress.
"There were several women who came to the house at night,: she said. "Father Schmidt was a frequent caller, and he often stayed late. I do not know anything about the affairs of Dr.Muret, nor of Father Schmidt. I stayed in my room when my work was done.
When told that many of the tenants complained to the janitor of the late hours at which the bogus dentist entertained his visitors and that when she was told about this by the janitor she replied that "the Father was the doctors brother." Miss Zech said she never told the janitor any such story.
The first time she saw the priest, she said, was when he came to the office to have his teeth fixed.
Postcard in English
A postcard written in English and signed "Hans" evidently from Father Schmidt, was found among the effects of Muret. It was of the souvenir type, with a picture of Napoleon, under which was written: "Impossible is only found in the fool's dictionary." On the reverse side was written: "Let us pray that our children will have rich parents." It was dated May 23, 1913, and posted in a Harlem sub-postoffice station. Real estate pamphlets also were found in quantities.
The telephone records made from the apartment of Muret show that frequent wire conversations were held between the apartment and the parish house in which Schmidt lived. There were some telephone called made to wholesale liquor stores in the vicinity and to the Colonial Hotel, at 125th street and Eight avenue. John Tonjes, the owner of the hotel, said he did not know Muret or Schmidt, nor could be account for the telephone calls.
One call was made August 28, to Dr. Arnold G. Leo, of No. 506 West 125th street. Dr. Leo last night said he knew Muret in a professional way, and also had called the priest to the bedsides of some of his patients. He came there September 2 or 3, he was not sure, to have a cut finger treated. It was at midnight of September 2 that Schmidt committed the murder and began to dispose of the body, after cutting it in pieces. Dr. Leo said Schmidt's hand was much swollen. Schmidt explained to him that he got the cut by crushing a drinking glass. The cut was on the index finger of his right hand.
Muret came to Dr. Leo's office and was treated for an ear trouble. The telephone call of August 28 was accounted for by Dr. Leo. On that day he telephoned to Muret in regard to the administering of gas to a patient. Another call, the significance of which could not be learned, was made to the District Attorney's office - Franklin 2204 - on August 13.
Another Call About Patient
Dr. Aldred Michaelis of No. 15 West 88th street, who was called on the telephone on August 25, last night could not tell the nature of the call, but he said that in all probability it related to a patient Muret was treating.
William F. Reith, a policeman of the West 125th street station, who seeks credit for the arrest of Muret, was in the Harlem court yesterday morning when the alleged counterfeiter was arraigned. He said he called the attention of Faurot to the acquaintanceship of Muret and Schmidt.
He was in court to identify Muret, but he was not called. According to the policeman, he saw Father Schmidt and Muret in the office of the agent of the flathouse in West 124th street on June 30, he said, was then dressed as a civilian. The policeman is a member of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, of which Schmidt was assistant pastor. He said he readily recognized the priest.
Father Schmidt Master of Crime, The Tribune, 17 September 1913, page 1, column 7 and page 2, column 1.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Met Schmidt On Liner.
Woman Received Strange Letters From Murderer of Aumuller Girl.
When he reached Louisville he sent his photograph to the Manchester woman. The picture shows the murderer as he appeared when he came to this country wearing a full beard. Written in German script on the back of the photograph is the following:
"A motherly friend in her album. What makes life worth while living lies on the other side of eating, drinking and sleeping. There is no greater joy than the knowledge of spiritual companionship with a human being with whom you have found a sympathetic nature. With best wishes to you and your family. Dr. H.S."
Mrs. Davidson received numerous letters from Schmidt. They were written in a rambling style, her husband declares, and she destroyed them as fast as they arrived.
"The man who wrote this stuff is not right in his head." said Mrs. Davidson.
The latest letter from Schmidt to Mrs. Davidson came about two years ago. She never responded to his many communications, and when they ceased to arrive she decided he had tired of writing without receiving any replies.
Met Schmidt On Liner, The Sun, 17 September 1913, page 5, column 2.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Deeper Tangle in Girl Murder
Schmidt Criminal Posing as Dead Priest, Tombs Chaplain Thinks.
Coiners May Be Kin.
Inspector Faurot Suspects Slayer and Muret Are Brothers.
Federal Authorities Will Act Against Pair as Bogus Money Makers.
Hans Schmidt, the former assistant priest of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, who killed Anna Aumuller, cut up the body and dumped the pieces into the Hudson River, and Ernest Arthur Muret, fraudulent dentist of 301 St. Nicholas avenue, will be formally charged with counterfeiting to-day by the Federal authorities. The arrest of Muret early yesterday morning as Schmidt's partner in a counterfeiting enterprise was reported in late editions of The Sun yesterday.
John J. Henry, head of the New York district secret service, said last night that warrants would be issued by United States Commissioner Hitchcock this morning on the strength of complaints which have been drawn against both men.
The warrants will be served immediately on Warden Fallon of the Tombs and the strong hand of Uncle Sam will be used against them at the proper time, future actions depending upon what happens in the gruesome case involving Schmidt.
Muret was arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Krotel in the Harlem court on a charge of violating the Sullivan law. A revolver was found among his belongings when he was arrested and the charge was made as the easiest formal way of holding him. The Magistrate committed him in default of $5,000 and Muret was sent to the Tombs, which houses Schmidt.
Secret Service Men Visit Flat.
Four secret service men went yesterday to the flat at 516 West 134th street, which Muret, as "George Miller," and Schmidt rigged up as a counterfeiting plant, and confiscated everything in sight that had not been seized already by the police in their early morning raid.
Chief Henry declared after the visit of his men that elaborate plans had been made to add to the output of bogus money.
In the complaints subsequently drawn up it was alleged that Muret and Schmidt had been engaged in making counterfeit money and making in part counterfeit money. The latter allegation was based on the discovery in the flat of partly burned "proofs" of unfinished bogus bills bearing an imitation of Uncle Sam's red seal and "X" marks indicating the denomination of the bills.
Muret and Schmidt bear a striking resemblance to each other, a fact which has led the police to believe that they may be related, although each man solemnly avers that different blood runs in their veins.
Inspector Faurot was very much impressed with the peculiar likeness, and believe it to be much more than the coincidence that Muret tried to make him believe. The inspector went so far as to express the opinion that the strange pair might be brothers.
Schmidt, however, wouldn't have it that way. He repeatedly told Father Evers, the Tombs chaplain, that the dentist wasn't a brother, of whom, he said, he had two in the village of Schweinheim auf Schaumberg, where live his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Heinrich Schmidt.
"Scoundrel," Says Muret.
Muret, according to Father Evers, looks upon Schmidt in the light of a "consumate scoundrel," and called him such, while Schmidt expresses great sorrow that his friend Muret finds himself involved in trouble.
"It is only a personal opinion of mine," said Father Evers to a Sun reporter yesterday, "but I have no idea that this man who says he is Schmidt isn't Schmidt at all but an impostor. He had many fake papers and fake seals. That we know. It has happened in some countries that after a priest died his credentials were stolen and others, in some cases students dismissed from seminaries, have masqueraded under them. I want to solve this mystery if I can, and this afternoon I will send two or three photographs of Schmidt to his parents in Schweinheim with a request that they send me word if they are the pictures of their son, the priest."
Father Evers took to the Tombs yesterday afternoon a German priest who talks with the tongue of the southern Fatherland, with which Schmidt is familiar. The chaplain declined to make public what was said in the cell, although he admitted that Schmidt was apparently acquainted with certain names and places referred to by the German visitor.
In an earlier talk with the self-confessed murderer yesterday Schmidt ceased placing the responsibility for his actions upon St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Abraham and repeatedly assured Father Evers that the voice of God had directed him.
"Did the dentist help you cut up the body of Anna Aumuller?" asked the chaplain.
"No," replied Schmidt. "I acted alone as a priest at the sacrifice. Muret had nothing to do with it."
"Where did you get your counterfeiting outfit?" asked Father Evers.
"God gave them to me."
Then the chaplain asked: "What were you going to do with all the money that you made?"
Money for Poor, Explains Schmidt.
"The condition of the poor is had," responded Schmidt. "It's the few who have all the money. I was going to give half the money I made to the poor in this country and half to the poor of Germany."
"When you left Germany," continued Father Evers, "all your priestly function had been withdrawn. Pray tell me how did you get your letters to the Bishop?"
"God above gave them to me." was the reply. "God is greater that all the Bishops."
During the interview Schmidt lay on his back in his cell with his eyes straight ahead. He was stolid and apparently unconcerned."
"To my mind," said the chaplain, "he is a man of two faces; the right is the face of a large man; the left is that of a small man. The right eye is up and the left eye is down."
Schmidt's counsel, Alphonse G. Koelble, had a talk with the prisoner in the afternoon and came from the interview more convinced that ever that Schmidt is insane.
"He told me," said Koelble, "that he is a trinity. First, he is the 'Dr. Emil Moliere' whose cards were found in such great numbers. Second, he is the priest, and third, he is the money maker.
"I asked him if he was engaged in counterfeiting and he said 'Yes, that was our plan to make money. God gave me the idea.' I asked him who gave him the copper plates and he replied: 'God gave them to me.' 'The lack of money,' he said,'is one of the sources of great evil in this world. God gave me the idea to make money so that I could distribute it among the poor.'
Schmidt Shields Muret.
"Schmidt told me," continued Koelble, "that Muret had 'nothing to do with the sacrifice of Anna.' 'I did it all by myself.' he said."
As for the cards of "Dr. Moliere, formerly assistant surgeon to the Municipal Woman's Hospital, Paris, France," found in such great numbers among Schmidt's effects, the lawyer said that Schmidt replied: "That was another inspiration of God."
"He said." continued Koelble, "that another cause of the great social distress in the world is too many children. So as Dr. Moliere he said he made a medicine to prevent children from being born. He declared he didn't make the medicine to sell and insisted that it was perfectly harmless. Asked if it proved successful, he told me that it didn't help Anna Aumuller. He denied that he is insane and refused to talk about the report that he had uncles who were crazy."
Among the things found in the property of Muret yesterday was a postal card bearing the picture of Napoleon and the printed inscription "Impossible is a word found only in the dictionary." It was signed "Hans" and bore this written message: "Let us hope that our children will have rich parents."
The police believe that Schmidt had their counterfeiting plans in his mind when he sent the postal to the dentist.
Telephoned to Doctor.
In their investigations yesterday of the dentist and his career the police found that among the persons to whom Muret had telephoned during the latter part of July was Dr. Alfred Michaelis of 5 West Ninety-first street.
Inquiry at the physician's office elicited the fact that Muret was treated by Dr. Michaelis. The physician's wife said that he spoke with the accent of a man who had lived in Germany and that he had neglected to pay his bill.
Neighbors in the vicinity of Muret's dental office at 301 St. Nicholas avenue said yesterday that after the dentist took up his residence there and started practising they noticed that he was in the habit of keeping late hours. There were folks also who told stories of a woman who called on him so frequently that her face became very familiar.
Once, it was said, a violent scream was heard in the dental office and a woman ran into the street. Off course no one knew that the screamer wasn't a woman who couldn't stand the pain of having a tooth pulled and fled into the night.
Bertha Zech, Muret's maid, who was taken by the police at a material witness, was discharged from custody yesterday. It is understood that she has made a full and free explanation of all that has taken place in the house. Miss Zech slept in the kitchen.
The fact has been established that Muret telephoned St. Joseph's rectory on August 1 last and the assumption is that he communicated with Schmidt there. He also talked over the telephone on August 11 with the District Attorney's office, but what his business was could not be learned there yesterday. Assistant District Attorney Deacon Murphy is looking that up.
Murphy Confers With Faurot.
Inspector Faurot announced that the seven inch length of bone found in the debris of a bonfire in which a man burned a bundle on the afternoon of September 5 on a lot in 152d street, between Seventh avenue and Macomb's place, had turned out to be the bone of an animal. The ends of the bone had been sawed off, just as were the legs and arm bone of the river victim, but Dr. Palmer, the police surgeon, who examined it, said he was very sure it was not the bone of a human being.
Messmer, the wife slayer in the Tombs, who had been Schmidt's cellmate, went on strike yesterday morning. He said he had asked the priest why he killed his wife and Schmidt replied: "For love, and I love you too" Messmer, alarmed, sent a hurried message to the warden asking to be transferred. The frightened murderer was moved to another cell.
Deeper Tangle in Girl Murder, The Sun, 17 September 1913, page 5, column 1.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
U. S. Agents Search Schmidt Evidence
Expect New Clues in Materials at Counterfeiting Plant of Priest and "Dr." Muret.
Latter Now Under Fire
Detectives Seek a Link Between Him and River Murder - Schmidt Admits All Charges.
Complaints were drawn yesterday by Capt. John J. Henry of the New York district of the United States Secret Service, charging Hans Schmidt, the priest who killed and dismembered Anna Aumuller, and his friend, Ernest Arthur Muret, a pseudo dentist of 301 St. Nicholas Avenue, with having possession of the means of making counterfeit money. The entire counterfeiting plant in the apartment at 516 West 134th Street was seized and carried off by the police and Secret Service men.
Muret insisted yesterday that he was an innocent man. He said that he knew nothing of the coining, except that the priest, whom he blamed for all his troubles, was a man of a great deal of mechanical skill, combined with criminal instincts that might readily lead him into making imitation money.
The pseudo dentist denied that there were any printing presses, engraving plates, or bond paper in the apartment in 134th Street when he visited it. The new prisoner was willing to admit, however, that he was interested in photography, and he visited the apartment often to do fine camera work.
Schmidt was willing to let Muret's plea of innocence stand. The priest in his cell yesterday told Father Evers that the guilt rested alone with him for the counterfeiting as well as for the murder of the girl.
Inspector Faurot, however, gave little attention to Muret's statement or Schmidt's endorsement of it. Word was received yesterday from Meriden, Conn., that Muret, under the name of George Miller, had bought a small press there on July 3 of this year and ordered it shipped by express to 516 West 134th Street. No type was purchased with the press. When Muret was arrested a letter was found in his pocket, addresses to Dr. George Muret by the Chelsea Press, notifying him that the price of ink rollers for the Excelsior press was $1.25.
The Secret Service agents were unable to learn yesterday whether any counterfeit bills had been finished and put into circulation. Chief William Flynn of the United States Secret Service, who was on a visit here from Washington yesterday, said that several ten and twenty dollar counterfeit "yellowbacks" had been discovered recently, and that is would be known to-day whether they could have come off the press in the apartment in 134th Street.
Thinks Two Are Related.
Inspector Faurot, who noted the strong resemblance in face and build between Schmidt and Muret at the time of Muret's arrest early yesterday morning, made a detailed comparison to-day of the features of the two men, and asserted confidently that the two men were cousins or brothers.
"I have questioned Muret," said Inspector Faurot, "at length regarding his remarkable resemblance to Father Schmidt. He would have me believe that this is a mere coincidence. I have devoted much of my life to the study of methods of identification. I went abroad last year to study identification by the facial features, as it is practiced by the police in France. This is the most perfect method in the world. It is as certain as the taking of finger prints.
"when I first saw Dr. Muret I observed that the resemblance was more than a coincidence. I have a firm belief, fixed deep in my mind, that these men are related. There is, unquestionably, some blood connection. I have a strong suspicion that Father Schmidt and Muret are brothers. I am convinced that it will be established very soon that they are closely related - cousins, at least."
A circumstance that supports this theory was the possession both by Schmidt and by Muret of Business cards introducing "Dr. Moliere." In the course of the long questioning of Schmidt on the night of his arrest he told Inspector Faurot that his mother had been Gertrude Moliere.
Muret told the police that he was born in Chicago and educated in this country until he went to Berlin in 1903 to study medicine. Muret's German accent in speaking English, according to the police, is too strong to have been acquired by a short residence abroad. Little is known of Muret's past, but it was learned yesterday that he had said he was born in Hamburg. A few weeks ago Muret, who was suffering from earache, was treated by Dr. Alfred Michaelis of 5 West Ninety-first Street. His German accent was noticed by Mrs.Michaelis, and in reply to a question from her he said: "Yes, I was born in Hamburg."
Would Testify Against Schmidt.
"Schmidt was one of the cleverest men I ever knew and one of the shrewdest," said Muret to Inspector Faurot.
Schmidt admitted yesterday to Father Evers, the Tombs chaplain, that he had had a part in setting up the counterfeiting plant. The prisoner nodded affirmatively.
"Yes." he said. "God gave me the plates. I acted under inspiration."
"Why did you do such a thing?"
"There are so many poor people in the world." replied Schmidt."There are so many who are sick and in dire need. I was going to helm them. I wanted to better their condition. Half the money I was going to devote to the poor people of the United States and the other half to the poor people of Germany."
Schmidt then said that it was he, not Muret, who had posed as Dr. Emil Moliere. He explained to Father Evers that he had acted under inspiration in pretending to be a physician.
"There are so many poor and miserable people in the world." said Schmidt. "It would be better if fewer were born. My mission was to prevent children from being born to a life of misery."
Father Evers said yesterday that he still believed that Schmidt was not a priest, in spite of evidence that he had been ordained in Germany and suspended from the priesthood.
"I am going to send a photograph of this man to the parents of Hans Schmidt in Aschaffenburg, Germany. If they say it is a photograph of their son, then I will believe it. In the meantime I remain in doubt."
Schmidt has at different times given the first name of Hans, John, and Johannes. John Schmidt is signed on his marriage license, Johannes Schmidt is the name given him in the papers acquitting him of fraud on the ground of insanity in a court in Munich, and Hans Schmidt is the name he has signed to his letters and other papers while a priest in this city.
Dispatches from Aschaffenburg yesterday said that Schmidt's criminal career had begun in early manhood when he resorted to forged certificates to get a degree. He was arrested for that offense, but discharged as weak-minded and irresponsible. Schmidt's propensity to forge led Inspector Faurot to believe that the plan of equipping a counterfeiting plant might have originated with him.
When the warrants charging the priest and Muret with counterfeiting are issued to-day by United States Commissioner Hitchcock, they will be served on the Warden of the Tombs, who has the custody of the two men. Muret is at present held only on the charge of violating the Sullivan law in keeping a revolver on his premises.
Mass of Evidence Found.
A representative of the Grand Paper Company at Dalton, Mass., called yesterday at Police Headquarters and saw pieces of the paper on which the counterfeit bills were printed in the apartment on 134th Street. He said the paper was "Strathmore parchment," manufactured in 1911, as the trademark showed, and distributed in this city by J. Linde & Co. in Beekman Street.
In the Harlem flat Inspector Faurot found a score of negatives, showing that the counterfeiters had taken photographs of $5, $10, and $20 bills. The Inspector, who is an expert photographer himself, said that the camera was of unusual workmanship and was capable of taking a picture of United States currency without losing the slightest detail. On the other hand, he said that the engraving tools were of the type which an amateur, rather than an expert engraver, would work with.
According to Chief of the Secret Service William Flynn, Schmidt and Muret resemble and nearly answer the description of two men who have recently passed counterfeit $20 bills in Boston and New Haven and smaller places in the vicinity of those two cities. The government agents have in their possession thirty-five of the bills passed in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In the majority of cases the counterfeits were given to bartenders of saloons.
"The bills of which I speak," said Chief Flynn, "were made by a photo-mechanical process. Two pieces of paper, printed separately, were pasted together after silk threads had been distributed between them. The work was not done entirely on the printing press. The bills were finished in pen and ink. The job was deftly done, but nevertheless the bills were not the kind that would deceive persons expert in handling currency. In the cases of bartenders and other uninitiated in detecting bad paper, they passed muster easily. Only men who have acquired the 'feel' for bogus paper would detect these counterfeits.
"These bills may have been run off in the Harlem flat. That questions will be determined finally to-morrow."
Capt. Henry said yesterday that the indications were that no counterfeits had been completed in the Harlem flat. Creditors of Muret said yesterday that the pseudo dentist had appeared short of funds for some time.
Muret's Telephone Calls.
"I may have been embarrassed temporarily," said Muret over the telephone to Dr. Michaelis, "but I am expecting to get a good deal of money in very soon now, and you won't be kept waiting for more that a day or two for your money."
The call sheet at the Alpha, 301 St. Nicholas Avenue, where Muret carried on his illegal dental practice, showed that he had telephoned several times to 1532 Morningside, the number of the rectory of St. Joseph's Church on West 125th Street, to which Hans Schmidt was attached as a curate. The last time Muret called up Schmidt on this telephone was Sept. 6, the day when the finding of the upper part of the torso of a woman in the Hudson River was published for the first time. He had not used that telephone before in calling up Schmidt since Aug. 1.
The detectives believe this goes strongly to show that Muret knew of the murder and dismemberment of the girl, and that he telephoned to warn Schmidt of his danger. It throws light also, according to the detectives, on the hurried destruction by fire of most of the half-completed bills, which was evidently the work of a man who scented the danger that the police might soon be on his trail.
Inspector Faurot said that he would be in a better position this afternoon to say whether Muret had a part in killing or performing a criminal operation on Anna Aumuller.
"A twelve-year-old boy," said Inspector Faurot, "saw a woman and a tall man walk out of the apartment at 68 Bradhurst Avenue, where Schmidt murdered the woman. The boy said the man was taller than Schmidt. To-day he will be taken to the Tombs to see Muret, who is several inches taller than Schmidt. The boy will also be asked whether Bertha Zech, the servant of Dr. Muret, was the woman he saw visiting the apartment."
A number of obstetrical instruments and books on gynecology and other medical subjects not connected with dentistry, were found by police yesterday in Muret's dental office. Secret Service Agents P. A. Rubano and Morris Manasse, who searched Muret's effects yesterday, found a postal card dated May 23 bearing a picture of Napoleon with the printed inscription: "Impossible is a word only found in a fool's dictionary."
On the other side in ink was the message: "Let us hope that our children may have rich parents." It was signed "Hans."
Emerick Becha, the janitor of the West 134th Street apartment, said that Muret entertained woman in his office at late hours, and that on one occasion a young girl, who was having dental work done, ran out of Muret's office and said that he had put his arms around her.
Assistant District Attorney Murphy was interested yesterday to learn that the call sheet at the apartment house showed that on Aug. 11, Muret had telephoned to Franklin 2304, the District Attorney's office. An unsuccessful effort was made yesterday to learn what business the pseudo-dentist had in the Criminal Court building.
Defines Schmidt's Insanity.
"We have no money to employ alienists," said Mr. Koelble, "but I am certain that any competent commission will agree upon Schmidt's mental disease. My talk with him yesterday convinced me that this was the case. The was before I knew his history. After learning of his acquittal in Germany on the ground of insanity, and after reading that he had at various times been considered weak minded by the church authorities, I do not see how any one can contend that he is in his right mind.
"I tried to learn from Schmidt what he had done during the three months from the time he left St. Boniface's till he received a position at St. Joseph's. He said he could not remember, but thought he was over in New Jersey most of the the time. I got a sharp denial when I asked him if the report was true that he had been a real estate speculator."
Muret was held in $5,000 bail in the Harlem Court when he was arraigned before Magistrate Krotel for violating the Sullivan law. The bail was not furnished, and if it had been, Muret would have been immediately re-arrested by Secret Service men on the charge of counterfeiting. Muret, who had been studying law with a correspondence school in Chicago, showed in answering questions that he knew what was best for a man in his situation.
"Muret knew just what questions to answer and what not to answer," said Inspector Faurot yesterday. "I asked him a number of questions which almost any other prisoner would have answered. He was remarkably shifty for a correspondence school lawyer."
Warden Fallon of the Tombs yesterday ordered that Thomas J. Messmer, the wife-murderer, who has been Schmidt's cellmate, should be transferred to another cell, and that Schmidt, who is regarded as dangerous, should remain by himself. Messmer told the authorities yesterday morning that he had spent the night in terror of his life. He became frightened Monday night at Schmidt's answer to the question why he had killed Anna Aumuller.
"I killed her," said Schmidt, "because I loved her."
Then he caught Messmer by the hands and added: "I love you, too."
Messmer freed himself and jumped to the far end of the cell, drawing the conclusion from these words that his own life was in danger. During the night he begged guards to remain within the cell if Schmidt became violent.
On the recommendation of Inspector Faurot, Commissioner Waldo late yesterday afternoon conferred honorable mentions and commendations on four detectives and a traffic patrolman who were active in clearing up the murder mystery. These were Detectives James O'Neill, Frank L. Cassassa, Richard M. McKenna, and John J. O'Connell, and Policeman Thomas H. Horgan of Traffic Squad A.
U. S. Agents Search Schmidt Evidence, The New York Times, 17 September 1913
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Schmidt Was Priest Here Through Forgery
Suspended by Bishop of Mainz for Crimes. He Came to United States.
Message to Mgr. Lavelle
Murderer of Girl Once Declared Insane by Court, According to Cablegram from Germany.
Monsignor Lavelle asserted, however, that there were incidents in Schmidt's past which, if they had been known to the head of the Diocese of New York when the recreant clergyman came to this city from Trenton, N. J., would have barred him from all local churches.
In answer to a cable dispatch sent to Germany at the instance of Monsignor Lavelle, the following message was received yesterday afternoon:
"Vicar General Mooney, Diocese of New York: J. Schmidt was born at Aschaffenburg. He was a priest of the Diocese of Mainz, ordained in 1907. He ran away from Mainz because of attempted frauds and his arrest by the police. He was declared insane by a court and discharged. He was suspended by the Bishop of Mainz for his acts and for presenting falsified documents regarding the studies he pretended to have made. Then he left the diocese. BENDIX.
"Secretary for the Bishop of Mainz."
It was believed in Germany, according to Church officials here, that when Schmidt was suspended by the Bishop of Mainz, following his arrest for criminal offenses, that his career as a priest was at an end. Schmidt left the country after his exposure, and the German Church authorities didn't know that he came to the United States.
Schmidt presented to Monsignor Lavelle a document alleged to have been given him by the Bishop of Mainz testifying that his service with the German Church had terminated creditably.
Father Mooney, vicar general of the diocese, on receipt of the message from abroad yesterday, sent word to Mainz, asking that all papers and information in possession of the German Church relating to Father Schmidt be forwarded at the earliest moment. The desired documents and facts, it is believed, will be here not later than a week from to-day.
According to dispatches by cable, the Mainz "Journal" yesterday said that John Schmidt served in the Mainz diocese, but was under suspension by the Bishop. He disappeared from Mainz, the German newspaper said, and later was arrested at Munich, where he was held for committing a umber of frauds. He was acquitted by the Munich court on the ground of weak-mindedness and then left Germany.
The Mainz episcopate, the newspaper said, was not aware that Schmidt was exercising the functions of a priest of the Catholic Church in New York.
Schmidt, it was said, studied at the Mainz classical high school and was ordained a priest in 1907. Later he served as a curate at Darmstadt, Seligenstadt, Gnsenheim and Buergl near Offenbach. It was from the last named church that he disappeared when it was found that he obtained his place on forged testimonials.
Schmidt Was Priest Here Through Forgery, The New York Tribune, 16 September 1913, page 2, column 5.
Guiltless in Louisville
Schmidt Not Connected with Slaying of Little Girl.
Louisville, Sept. 15 - Investigation here to-day failed to establish any connection of the Rev. Hans Schmidt, held in New York for the murder of Ann Aumuller, with the murder in Louisville of eight year-old Alma Kellner, whose mutilated body was found in the basement of St. John's Catholic Church on May 20, 1910, almost six months after her disappearance. Schmidt was visiting in Louisville as the guest of the Rev. H. B. Westermann, pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, at the time of the Kellner girl's disappearance.
The manner in which the girl's body was cut into pieces and disposed of, being similar to the methods employed in the murder of Anna Aumuller, caused the suspicion that Schmidt might have been connected with the Kellner murder, for which crime Joseph Wendling, former janitor of St. John's Church, is serving a life sentence in the penitentiary at Frankfort, Ky.
Guiltless in Louisville, The New York Tribune, 16 September 1913, page 2, column 4.
Terrible Shock, Cardinal Says of Priest's Crime.
By Telegram to The Tribune
"All that I know of the case at present is what I gained through the newspaper accounts," the Cardinal said, "but to-morrow I expect a communication from Monsignor Lavelle, of the archdiocese of New York, giving me complete information.
"As to this co-called Father Schmidt, I know nothing, and, in fact, never heard of his before this time. The ordination papers spoken of may have been forged, as it is not customary to doubt the sincerity of such credentials when they are presented.
"It seems peculiar to me that he should be assistant rector of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church and I not know of it. Until I hear further I will say that he has never been a member of the diocesan clergy of my charge."
"I will aid in any way possible to sift this matter to the bottom."
Farley Talks of Murder, The New York Tribune, 16 September 1913, page 2, column 3.
"God and Abraham on My Side," Says Slayer
Schmidt, Held in Tombs for Murder of Aumuller Girl, Thus Informs His Lawyer, Who, Sure Client Is Insane, Will Enter Not Guilty Plea.
Alphonse G. Koelble, the lawyer retained by Schmidt, said yesterday, after a visit with the prisoner, that the priest seemed to be utterly unconcerned whether he had a lawyer or not.
"He declared over and over again," said Koelble, "that God and Abraham would take care of him, and it was only by way of concession on his part that he finally agreed to accept counsel. Even then he intimated that it was only a temporary arrangement, or, as he put it, 'until God or Abraham directs otherwise.' "
Koelble said that he had come into the case as the result of a conference with a few of Schmidt's friends, who were convinced that if he did commit the revolting murder he was out of his mind when he did it. The lawyer declared, in response to questions, that the friends of Schmidt in question were all laymen, and he added that no church authority had spoken to him about the case in any way.
"I wired Father Schmidt on Sunday night," Koelble said yesterday, "telling him that I would be glad to assist him in any way possible, and that I would see him Monday morning at the Tombs. I had known him, in a casual way, for about two years. I think I met him at some German-American gathering.
"When I went to the Tombs this morning, however, he told me first that, while he was glad to have my assistance as a friend, he did not need any lawyer, because God and Abraham would take care of him. I told him that while that would be all right, he should have some one to appear for him in court and protect his rights.
Shows No Dread of Penalty
"Finally he admitted that might be a good idea and said he would retain me until God or Abraham directed otherwise. I showed him a newspaper, pointing out the headlines charging him with murder in the first degree, and, thinking to bring him to earth, I told him that he was facing the electric chair.
"That did not seem to affect him in the slightest degree. He simply did not take any notice of such startling words, and then I told him that his friends were convinced that if he committed this murder he must have been insane when he did it.
"He insisted there was nothing in any such theory, that there was no trace of insanity in him, and that he was just as sane as any one.
" 'If there's one thing that's sure.' he said, 'it is that I am not insane.'
"I asked him it it was not true that his uncle in Germany had committed suicide, and he said that was true, but the the uncle was not insane, and that there was no insanity in the family.
"All great men had been called insane, he said, and he referred to the Biblical story of Abraham's plans to sacrifice his son Isaac. People would not understand his case, he said, but he was satisfied in every way, and he added that he did not fear death.
"When I showed him the newspaper he brushed it aside with the remark that the newspapermen could not understand his position either, and he did not care to read what the papers said of the case. He got up though then and, taking the paper from me for a moment, he kissed the picture of the girl and murmured, 'She was a good girl, she was a dear girl.' "
Invokes "God and Abraham."
Koelble says that he advised his client of his rights and advised him not to talk to any one, police officials or any one else, except after talking to his lawyer about it, but Koelble added that Schmidt appeared to pay no little attention to his advice, and he seemed to be so docile, that if any one came to him and told him to step into the next room and go to the electric chair he would probably get right up and walk to it, if it were there.
"God and Abraham will take care of me and give me their counsel," Schmidt told Koelble again on this point, and the lawyer decided that it was useless to talk to the priest until his mental attitude became more practical.
Along at least one line, however, the priest's mind did become more practical during the day, and that was when he sent to the St. Joseph's rectory for some heavier clothing.
Koelble said that so far as he knew the priest had no relatives or intimate friends in this country, and he did not believe he had any money. The lawyer said he knew nothing of the stories that Father Schmidt led at times a life in which he presented himself as a medical man, owning stock in a concern that specialized in illegal practice among women.
Schmidt is doubled up in the Tombs with one Thomas J. Messmer, who is charged with the murder of his wife on May 14 last. Messmer, the police say, was about to begin dismembering the body of his victim, in the same manner in which the body of Anna Aumuller was dismembered, when he was arrested. A special guard was installed yesterday outside the door of the cell to guard against attempted suicide.
Sure Priest Is Insane.
Koelble says that his talk with Father Schmidt yesterday convinced him that the priest was insane. The lawyer added that he had always thought the priest was "a little off" and "queer," and that it was his intention to make the state prove that Father Schmidt was sane before the trial of the case begins.
"I will plead not guilty on the ground of insanity when the priest is arraigned," said Koelble, "and will then apply for a commission of alienists to be appointed by the court, to determine as to his sanity. I do not propose to delay the case in any way."
The lawyer went on to say that is the commission of alienists agreed unanimously that Father Schmidt was sane it would be his disposition to accept that verdict, but if there was any disagreement, or if there remained any doubt as to his sanity, he would insist that the state prove Schmidt sane.
While Koelble was not ready to go into the details of his case yet, it can be positively stated that is Schmidt is declared sane, or if there is a verdict from the commission which leaves any doubt as to his sanity, the defense will offer to plead guilty to a lesser degree rather than go to trial.
"God and Abraham on My Side," Says Slayer, The New York Tribune, 16 September 1913, page 2, column 3.
Thursday, January 30, 2014
Postcard to Parents Said He Would Return Soon.
Schmidt's parents and other relatives living here consider him abnormal and say there were numerous cases of insanity in the family. According to the records, he was born in 1881 and was ordained in 1904. He showed no signs of abnormality, so far as can be learned, before his twentieth year, and then his character appeared to undergo a strange transformation. He became unsociable and was unable to agree with his superiors. He occupied a number of curacies during the three years following 1904, but remained only a few months in each place.
Schmidt, it is stated, took holy orders against his own wishes and only to satisfy the desires of his mother.
Priest Expected Home, The New York Tribune, 16 September 1913, page 2, column 3.
M'Faul Banished Schmidt.
Trenton Bishop Gives Out Letter He Wrote to Priest.
"You are hereby notified that you must leave this diocese immediately. It is evident to me that you are wanting in common sense, and therefore I do not desire to have anything more to do with you."
Bishop McFaul said Schmidt was banished from his charge in this city because he disobeyed the rules of the Church in performing a marriage ceremony without a proper dispensation.
M'Faul Banished Schmidt, 16 September 1913, The New York Tribune, page 2, column 2.
Dentist and Woman Held in Schmidt Case
Counterfeiting Charge Made Against Them After Police Find Bad Bills in Room of Priest Who Slew Girl.
Dr. E. Muret a Prisoner
Evidence in Hands of Inspector Faurot Shows Clergyman Was Plying Bogus Money Trade While Planning to Rid Himself of Anna Aumuller.
"Plant" in 134th St. Flat.
Young Man Accused as Accomplice Says Curate Was Instigator in Counterfeiting - Instruments for Illegal Operations Found in Quarters Occupied by Friend of Priest.
Prima facia evidence, according to the police, that Father Hans Schmidt, held for the murder of Anna Aumuller, was a counterfeiter and had been actively plying his trade while he was scheming to rid himself of the incubus which his life with the young woman had placed upon him, was obtained by Inspector Faurot at an early hour this morning in the arrest of Dr. Ernest Arthur Muret, of No. 301 St. Nicholas avenue, a dentist, who was captured in a flat in West 134th street.
Muret, caught, the police believe, in the midst of his attempts to rid the flat of the counterfeiting equipment, offered no resistance when his captors came upon him. He was placed in an automobile and hustled away, while other members of Inspector Faurot's staff went to his apartments, where they found Bertha Zech, a servant, and took her into custody as a material witness.
The events following the discovery of the new criminal feature of the priest's activities were swift in their disclosures. In going through Schmidt's effects at the parish house Inspector Faurot came on some bogus $20 bills hidden away in a box, which also contained the 134th street address and a $48 receipt for dental services signed by Dr. Muret.
Find Counterfeiting Plant.
The detectives left the parish house and went to the 134th street flat. As they ascended the stairs and arrived opposite the door to the apartment it was opened by Dr. Muret. While the inspector engaged him in conversation the others entered and began an examination of the room.
At once the evidences of counterfeiting operations became apparent. A die bearing the impression of a #20 certificate was one of the first objects the detectives encountered. It bore a carefully engraved representation of the bill, and was marked with the serial letter "A" and the number "12,436,782." All about the room were scraps of bogus bills, some of which had been partly burned, and a small printing press.
The arrest of the dentist and the examination of the flat next gave way to an examination of Muret's quarters in St. Nicholas avenue, and there, the police say, they found evidence which may furnish a basis for a new criminal charge against the doctor. Mixed in with the instruments the dentist employed in his trade were others commonly employed in illegal operations and which, it is suspected, may establish the man's connection with the priest in another capacity that that of fellow counterfeiter.
The latest arrest came after Faurot employed translators to go over some documents written in German which were found in Schmidt's papers. Among the documents was an affidavit reciting the details of Schmidt's acquittal of a charge of forgery in Munich, on the ground of insanity.
After the examination of Schmidt's property Faurot and Detective James O'Neill, advised through an anonymous communication, went to a vacant lot at 152d street and McComb's Dam Place, where they found further evidences of the murder of Anna Aumuller - details which were not mentioned in Schmidt's first confession.
Bone in Charred Pile.
It developed that a laborer saw a man enter the lot at 3 o'clock in the afternoon of September 5. He carried a large bundle and a small tin pail. The pail contained kerosene, which the man poured over the bundle before he set fire to it. Faurot and O'Neill found the remains of that bonfire, and in the charred pile they found some feathers, some pink pillow covering, splattered with blood, and a small piece of human bone.
They found also a portion of a photograph, from which the face had been torn, and which seemed to be a picture of a man on a photographer's model of the observation platform of a railway train - such pictures as are taken and sold at Coney Island. The detectives were satisfied, from the small part of the picture left, that it was a photograph of Father Schmidt in civilian clothes.
George Sachs, the dealer at No. 2762 Eighth avenue, who furnished the police with the list of persons to whom he sold the peculiar pink pillow covering, identified the scrap of that material the detectives found in the lot yesterday as part of the pillow covering from that order.
The confessions made by Father Schmidt on Sunday did not include any reference to a destruction of evidence in the lot on which the pillow covering was found yesterday, nor did it include any mention of other persons being concerned in the case as developed later by the second arrest in the affair, which Faurot's men made late last night.
Defense To Be Insanity.
Meanwhile, Father Schmidt's defense, according to his lawyer, Alphonse G. Koelble, was announced as the expected insanity plea. Koelble, who is engaged in German-American matters, and who is the man who precipitated the riot in Carnegie Hall at the big peace meeting a year ago, said he would interpose no delay of any kind and would be ready for trial as soon as the state was prepared to put the case on.
It was intimated by former friends of Schmidt that the priest would welcome the chance to plead guilty, and would forego the insanity defense if the state would accept a plea of murder in the second degree.
The first official move in the case is set for Thursday night, when Coroner Schlem will hold an inquest at Volk's morgue, Jersey City, on the portions of the body recovered from the river. It is likely that after that formal proceeding the New Jersey authorities will surrender possession of the body to Coroner Feinberg, in New York, and the inquest and grand jury presentation of the case in this city will follow.
Monsignor M. J. Lavelle, rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral, announced yesterday that a message from Germany said that Schmidt was regularly ordained as a priest there, but later was suspended for attempted fraud. His dismissorial papers, by which he obtained a priest's standing and position in this country, are believed to be forgeries.
The announcement of the arrest of a second person in the murder case of Anna Aumuller was made by Inspector Faurot at Police Headquarters at 11 o'clock last night. Detectives assigned to lay in wait for the person, whose identity Inspector Faurot would not disclose, communicated with the detective bureau by telephone. A few minutes later Inspector Faurot, in a high state of mixed excitement and glee, entered his automobile and was driven swiftly uptown.
It was 9 o'clock last night before Inspector Faurot, who had been out all the afternoon, returned and said he had obtained evidence which led him to believe that Father Schmidt had not covered all his movements in disposing of the dead girl's body in the written confession he made to the District Attorney's office yesterday.
The laborer who gave the tip to Faurot told a detailed story of the man's actions in the park.
Glancing furtively in all directions to determine whether any one was paying particular heed to his actions, the man, who detectives learned yesterday was without doubt the priest, set the package on the ground and removing the cover from the small pail, poured the contents on the bundle.
After setting fire to it and lingering beside the blazing package until he was sure if would be consumed by the flames, the priest walked rapidly to the sidewalk and paced up and down 152d street while the flames destroyed the bundle.
The informant of the police said his curiosity was aroused by the queer actions of the man who had lighted the fire, and that he lingered in the near vicinity that he might watch him further. When the fire gradually died down, however, the observer decided that the man was evidently disposing of some rubbish, as many residents of that neighborhood are in the custom of doing, and he left the scene while the priest lingered nearby.
When the story was told to Inspector Faurot yesterday, he assigned Detective O'Neill to the vacant lot to search for the remains of the fire and to gather whatever evidence of the burned objects that remained uncharred.
Tallies with Schmidt.
The description of the man who had burned the bundle tallied exactly with the description of Father Schmidt, although the man was not attired in clerical clothes. His wildest expectations of obtaining further evidence which might be used against the murder of the Aumuller girl were greatly exceeded with the stuff turned up by O'Neill.
The spot where the fire had been made was found without difficulty, and one of the first things to meet the eye of the detective was a four-inch square of the peculiar pillow ticking with which the police had come to be so familiar. O'Neill poked about among the embers, and at the bottom of the heap was rewarded by finding a mass of unburned feathers.
On close examination it was found that large handfuls of them were clotted together with blood. The heat of the fire had not penetrated to the bottom of the pile and the color was unchanged.
The most gruesome part of the find, however, was a section of bone which looked as it it might have been sawed from a shoulder blade of the victim. The flames had come in contact with the bone and burned all but the mineral formation away. It was impossible to tell, Inspector Faurot said, if the bone came from a human body. It would have to be inspected by a physician, he said, before he could tell positively.
Two Boxes of Feathers.
In all, there were enough feathers found to fill two pasteboard shoe boxes, in which they were carefully gathered and brought down to Headquarters. While sorting over the feathers, Detective O'Neill came upon what the police also considered an important find - parts of a photograph of a clergyman.
It was evident that the picture had been torn into a number of small pieces before being placed in the package. Parts of the photograph evidently had been destroyed by the flames, for only two sections of it were found.
The most important piece of the picture, the part on which was printed the face of the subject, was missing, and careful search of the feathers failed to reveal it. The photograph was creased and torn below the chin, and the only distinguishable part depicted a white collar of medium height and a clerical vest.
The general appearance of the man, taking into consideration his breadth of shoulders and chest, indicated that the priest attempted to dispose of a photograph of himself which the Aumuller girl may have had among her effects.
The blue enameled pail which Schmidt brought to the lot also is in the possession of the police, an employee of the McKnight Construction Company having picked it up in the lot where the priest threw it into the weeds. It smelled strongly of kerosene.
Dealer Identifies Slip.
In order that there could be no mistake as to the owner of the pillow Inspector Faurot yesterday caused George Sachs, the dealer who sold Schmidt the goods, to look at the charred remnants. Sachs positively identified it was one of the pillows he delivered to the apartment on Bradhurst avenue.
In the confession made yesterday Father Schmidt made no mention of disposing of any of the dead girl's body or the furnishings of the flat in the lot at 152d street.
While searching among the priest's effects in the rectory of St. Joseph's Church, in 125th street, Inspector Faurot came upon an affidavit in German sworn out in the court at Munich on January 29, 1909. It said Schmidt was discharged by the court for forgery and fraud, and when translated read as follows:
"Fourth Court, Munich, January 29, 1909, 10 a.m.
"Held secret session; presiding judge, Royal District Director Hezner; judges, Heuser and Leitz.
"In the case of Johanus Schmidt, of Ganzenheim, charged with forgery of private papers.
"After examining and reading the private documents in the case, in the private hearing, according to the opinion of the district attorney, under date of January 21, 1909, regarding the complaints against the defendant, ordered his acquittal and the return of all papers and documents to him.
"First - That accused Johanus Schmidt, priest of Ganzenhein, who was accused of having forged private papers, attempted fraud, charges have been dismissed against him.
"Second - That the royal court will bear the expenses of this trial.
"Third - That all property is to be returned to Johanus Schmidt."
The document said that Schmidt had been discharged because the court held that he was not sane and, therefore, not responsible for the acts for which he was arraigned.
Morbid Crowd at Church.
The parish house adjoining St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, at Morningside avenue and 125h street yesterday attracted thousands of the morbidly curious. It is one of the oldest churches in Harlem and was dedicated in the old days, when that section was known as Manhattan Valley. The congregation is the largest of any of the uptown churches.
Persons in automobiles and the many surface cars that passed the church door all turned their faces toward the three story building in which Schmidt served for the last seven months as an assistant pastor and in the office of which he was arrested.
Throngs of pedestrians were kept on the move by policemen assigned to the church for that purpose. All requests there for permission to see Father Huntmann, the pastor, were refused. It was said that Father Huntmann has been in poor health for a long time and that the shock of the murder and the arrest of his assistant priest caused him to collapse.
The telephone connection with the parish house was discontinued yesterday.
Father Kessler, who was the pastor of the church fifteen years ago, lost his life aboard the La Bourgogne when that vessel went to the bottom off the Newfoundland coast.
The apartment house at No. 68 Bradhurst avenue, in which the crime was committed, also was an object for the eyes of the curious to feast on yesterday. Many women and children of the thirty families in the house were in a nervous condition from thoughts of the murder so near to them. Many went in search of new homes.
Opposite the house in Bradhurst avenue, which is the easterly boundary of Colonial Park, was the scene of a murder a few years ago. Joseph Ferrone, while walking with his wife, cut the woman's throat with a razor. Ferrone was arrested after a long chase through the city, tried and convicted. On the night the jury found him guilty Ferrone became a maniac and tried to slash the face of one of the jurymen with a broken piece of glass.
"John Schmidt" on License.
The records of the marriage license bureau at the City Hall show that a license was issued to Schmidt on February 26. Accompanied by Anna Aumuller, he went to the license bureau and filled out the usual marriage license blank. The priest wrote his name as John Schmidt. After swearing to the statutory questions, Schmidt paid the fee of $1 and left with Miss Aumuller. The license was handled by Edward W. Hart, Deputy City Clerk.
Annie Hirt, the other servant at the St. Boniface's rectory when Anna Aumuller was employed there, went to Volk's morgue in Hoboken yesterday and identified the torso and the leg of the murdered girl as parts of the Aumuller girl's body. The birthmark on the left shoulder and a brown spot beneath the left breast convinced Miss Hirt that there could be no mistake in the dead woman's identity.
Returning to Manhattan, the Hirt girl went to Police Headquarters, where she repeated the story of her knowledge of the murdered girl's life which she told to a Tribune reporter Sunday, and also identified some clothes and a gilt picture frame found in the Bradhurst avenue apartment as having belonged to the Aumuller girl.
Dentist and Woman Held in Schmidt Case, 16 September 1913, The New York Tribune, page 1, column 7, and page 2, column 1.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
Cardinal to Aid Justice.
Farley Says He Never Heard of Hans Schmidt.
"I am unspeakably shocked and grieved to learn of this affair. As to this Rev. Hans Schmidt, I have never heard of him. All I know about the case is what I have read in the newspapers, but my assurance is given that I will myself take a part in this investigation.
"It is possible that the so-called Father Schmidt forged his papers. It is not the custom to doubt the sincerity of ordination papers, and the rector of the St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church could have been misled by an unscrupulous person. I expect a letter to-morrow conveying full particulars."
Cardinal to Aid Justice, 16 September 1913, The Sun, page 2, column 2.
"Dr. Molliere" Unknown.
Schmidt's Card means Nothing to Paris Hospital Authorities.
Special Cable Despatch to The Sun.
"Dr. Molliere" Unknown, 16 September 1913, The Sun, page 2, column 2.
Schmidt Planned to Sail.
Priest Murderer Intended to Return to Bavaria.
The parents of Schmidt consider him abnormal morally. There is said to have been several cases of insanity in the family. Schmidt was born in 1881 and was ordained a priest in 1904. When he was 20 years old, it is learned, his character seemed to undergo a peculiar transformation, and during the three years following his ordination he occupied several curacies, but remained only a few months in each place.
According to information here, Schmidt only took holy orders in accordance with the wishes of his mother.
Schmidt Planned to Sail, 16 September 1913, The Sun, page 2, column 2.
New Arrest in Girl's Murder
Dr. E. Muret, Dentist, of 301 St. Nicholas Avenue, in Hands of Police.
Complete Outfit Found in Flat He Shared With Priest.
Say Schmidt Bought It
Maidservant in Dentist's Employ Arrested as Material Witness.
A new arrest was made early this morning in the river murder mystery which was solved by Hans Schmidt, an assistant priest at St. Joseph's Catholic Church at 405 West 125th street, who confessed that he killed and cut up the body of Anna Aumuller, a servant in the rectory of St. Boniface's Church, because he loved her.
The prisoner was Ernest Arthur Muret, a dentist, living at 301 St. Nicholas avenue. He was arrested at 1:20 o'clock, taken to the West 125th street station and thence to Police Headquarters. He was charged with counterfeiting.
At the same time Bertha Zeck, a maidservant in the dentist's employ, was locked up as a material witness.
Inspector Faurot said that on June 30 Muret, under the name of George Miller, with Father Schmidt rented a flat at 516 West 134th street, consisting of four rooms and a bath, for which he paid $23 a month.
Muret was identified by the agent, Mrs. Margaret Bowye, and the janitress, Mrs. Margaret Rutledge, as Miller.
In this flat, on the top floor, was found what was apparently a counterfeiting plant. There were a printing press and type. The detectives fished out of the bathroom a white paper the size of a bill on which was the seal of the United States printed in red. It was apparently a $10 bill. There were Xs in each corner.
Say Schmidt Financed Plant.
The receipt for the flat was found among Schmidt's belongings in the rectory, together with a copper plate for one side of a twenty dollar bill. Inspector Faurot's information is to the effect that Schmidt financed the outfit, that he bought a camera and other things and paid the rent. An engraving outfit was found in Muret's dental office, also an obstetrical instrument. Faurot said that Muret admitted that he had no diploma to dentistry, having failed in his examination.
Muret was born in Chicago twenty-nine years ago. He spent his earliest boyhood in a public school in Berlin. At the age of 12 or 14 he began the study of dentistry at the Berlin Dental College and came to New York on the Hamburg-American liner Bluecher in 1903. He acted as an assistant to various dentists in New York until a year ago last December, when he opened his dental office in St. Nicholas avenue.
The dentist said he first met Schmidt in his office last December, when the priest had $58 worth of work done. He denied emphatically knowing anything about the murder of Anna Aumuller.
The arrests were made by Detectives Cassassa, O'Neill and O'Connell.
At the flat the detectives found the printing press set up in a bedroom. The kitchen had been converted into a dark room and the camera was in the dining room. There were many books on engraving, photography and kindred subjects.
Paper With U. S. Seal Found.
Ten pieces of sheet copper such as is used for engraving purposes were picked up in the flat. The detectives rescued from the bathroom twenty-four pieces of white paper bearing the seal of the United States and numbers. The white slips had been partially burned.
When Inspector Faurot showed Muret the copper plate found in Schmidt's room at the rectory he said that he didn't know anything about it.
He strenuously denied also that he had been engaged in counterfeiting operations, although he admitted that he had participated with the priest in the purchase of supplies.
The dentist admitted that a pair of shoes found in the flat hired by "Miller" was owned by him, Muret.
Asked who proposed the scheme of things, as was seemingly outlined by the things found in the flat, Muret evasively replied:
"I was a good man until I met the priest."
He denied that he had been in the flat within the last two weeks.
In Muret's dental office was found a certificate as a notary public bearing the name of Muret. It had been issued by County Clerk Schneider. There was also a certificate of membership in the Dental Protective Association.
Two pictures of Bertha Zech were found in the priest's room at the rectory and two duplicated of the same pictures were found in the dentist's. In Muret's office also were found three pictures of the priest himself, and one of them looked so much like Muret that Inspector Faurot asked him if there was any relationship. He denied that there was.
Four printing press rollers that fitted the press in the flat were found in the dental parlor.
The woman agent and janitress of the flat said that the priest, whom they recognized by his photos, paid the rent for the flat on August 25. By a strange coincidence it was on August 25 that Schmidt rented the murder flat at 68 Bradhurst avenue.
The woman said that "Miller" and his make friend represented themselves as students when they rented the 134th street flat. They never remained in the apartments, she said, later than 9 o'clock at night.
Asked it Schmidt wore his clerical garb when he visited the flat, Muret replied that he didn't exactly remember, but he thought the priest wore a dark coat and kept his collar up around his neck.
Never Met Anna Aumuller.
Muret said that he had never seen the Aumuller girl, but had heard of her and had asked Schmidt to bring her down some time.
Faurot has a boy witness who says that he saw a tall man and a short woman leave the murder flat in Bradhurst avenue. The boy was taken before the priest, but was unable to identify him.
Faurot said for obvious reasons he would not make the boy's name public yet.
Muret is 6 feet tall and his maid Bertha is short. Miss Aumuller was comparatively short.
Inspector Faurot said he first heard of the "counterfeiting" flat when he found in the priest's room at the rectory yesterday morning a receipt for the rent of the flat.
The police went to the flat and were told by the janitress that it had been rented by men calling themselves students. One the strength of the description the detectives went to the dentist office on St. Nicholas avenue.
When Muret finally came back early this morning Detective McKenna held him in conversation while Cassassa went to get the janitress.
As soon as she saw Muret she said: That's the man," according to Inspector Faurot.
The inspector says he believes that the priest forged Muret's dental certificate.
Inspector Faurot said that Muret told him it was Schmidt who first suggested to him the business of counterfeiting. He said he had been a good man until he met Schmidt. He admitted that he had bought a camera and brought it to the flat for the purpose of counterfeiting.
Watched Him All Afternoon.
The inspector said he had had his eye on Muret all afternoon; that he and his detectives had gone to the office in St. Nicholas avenue and that he had sent one of his assistants inside, pretending to have a toothache. Dr. Muret was not in, it was said. Thereupon the inspector planted Detective McKenna outside the door of the office and the detective arrested Muret when he came in early this morning.
Inspector Faurot said that two months ago there was a flood of counterfeit ten and twenty dollar bills about the city.
There was also found in Muret's flat a letter from the Kelsey Press Company addressed to George Miller, which Inspector Faurot says is one of Muret's aliases. The letter said in part:
"Dear Sir - Replying to yours of the 8th inst. we beg to state that the prices of ink rollers for 5x7 Excelsior presses are $1.25 per pair in any quantity ordered."
Faurot asked Muret if he believed Schmidt was insane.
"Don't you believe it," replied the dentist.
Burned Contents of Can.
The police found last night a man in the employ of a contractor named McKnight who said that on September 5, between 3 and 3:30 o'clock in the afternoon, he saw a man carrying a bundle under his arm and a new tin can in 152d street between Seventh avenue and Macomb's place.
This man, according to Inspector Faurot, was also seen by a resident of 152d street in the act of putting the bundle down in a lot. The man then poured the contents of the can over the bundle and set fire to it, tossing the can away. The man was apparently much excited and passed up and down the street until the fire burned out. Actuated by curiosity McKnight's employee stole across the lot, rescued the can and caught the strong odor of kerosene.
Detective James O'Neill got the can and took it to Police Headquarters last night. He made a careful examination of what was left by the fire and found among other things what is apparently a human bone, six or seven inches long, partly charred and evidently sawed off at the ends. The detective also found several pieces of ticking of the same pattern as the pillow case in which a part of Anna Aumuller's body was picked up on the Jersey shore. This piece of ticking, although partly consumed, was readily identified by George Sachs of 2768 Eighth avenue, who had sold it.
Wore Clerical Collar.
In the debris also were found several pieces of a photograph of a man. The head in the picture is missing, but enough was left to indicate that it was a picture apparently representing a man standing on the platform of an observation car of a train. Inspector Faurot said the photograph indicated that the man wore a clerical collar.
There was also a lot of feathers in the debris which are supposed to have come out of the pillow.
The police found among Schmidt's personal effects at the rectory yesterday a legal document in German showing that Johannes Schmidt of Ganzenheim had been charged with attempted fraud in Germany, but the charges had been dismissed because Schmidt had been adjudged insane.
The fact that Schmidt had been declared of unsound mind was also made known yesterday to Mgr. Mooney, vicar-general of the New York diocese, in a cablegram from the secretary of the Bishop of Mayence.
The document, as translated, set forth that the proceedings were before a secret session of the Fourth District Court of Munich on January 29, 1909, before Presiding Judge Hesner and Judges Henser and Lietz.
Accused of Forgery.
The decree read as follows:
"Prisoner Johannes Schmidt of Ganzenheim, charged with forgery of private papers, examined. After the examination and reading of private documents at preliminary hearing, according to the opinion of District Attorney dated January 21, 1907, regarding the complaint against the defendant, his acquittal and return of all papers and documents to him is ordered.
"Resolved, First, the accused Johannes Schmidt, priest, of Ganzenheim, accused of forging papers and attempted fraud, charges dismissed.
"Second - The Royal Court bear the expenses of trial.
"Third - All property to be returned to Johannes Schmidt.
"Reasons - On December 20, 1906, District Attorney accused Johannes Schmidt of forgery private documents and attempted fraud.
"By agreement of Court of Fourth Division he is acquitted for the reason he had been examined by sanity experts who declared that he was not responsible for his acts."
Schmidt spent a day of comparative quiet in the Tombs with Thomas J. Messemer, accused as a wife murderer, as his cellmate. He passed much of his time in prayer, and told his counsel, Alphonso G. Koelble of 29 Broadway, that there was no need of his services, as God and Abraham would look after his interests. Talks with Schmidt convinced Tombs officials that he was insane.
Mgr. Mooney, vicar-general of the diocese of New York, received a cablegram sent at the instance of the Bishop of Mayence, Germany, that Schmidt had been arrested for attempted fraud in that country and had been declared insane by the courts.
Anna Hirt of 301 East Eighty-fifth street, who had been employed as a servant with Anna Aumuller at St. Boniface's rectory, Second avenue and Forty-second street, visited Volk's morgue in Hoboken with Detective Casassa and positively identified all that the water has given up of the dismembered girl. The establishing of the corpus delicti was particularly satisfactory to the District Attorney's office, as it will simplify the work of prosecuting the priest in the event that Schmidt should recant abd declare that there is no truth in his confession or in the case the confession should be thrown out by the courts.
Recognizes Birth Mark.
Miss Hirt recognized a birthmark on the dead girl's right bosom, which had escaped the eyes of the doctors, morguemen and police. As soon as she saw the pillow case in which part of the body was encased she said she made most of the letter "A." Anna's initial, on the pillow slip, and had herself done much of the fancy scroll work. The dead girl's chemise she also recognized.
Miss Hirt made a long statement to Assistant District Attorney Deacon Murphy, telling all she knew about the murdered girl.
The cablegram from Germany about Schmidt's record there was signed "Bendix, secretary for he Bishop of Mayence."
It was in Latin and was translated as follows:
"Schmidt born at Aschaffenburg. Priest of diocese of Mayence. Ordained May, 1907. Ran away from Munich because of attempted fraud. Arrested by police. Declared insane by court and dismissed. Suspended for act and for presenting falsified documents regarding studies he pretended to have made. He then left the diocese."
Father Luke E. Evers, Catholic chaplain at the Tombs, showed the cablegram to Schmidt.
"Isn't a fact," he asked, "that you were suspended by the Bishop of Mayence for falsifying documents?"
"They believe them false," replied Schmidt, "but God gave them to me."
"What reason did you have for coming to this country?" asked Father Evers.
"I ran away without the knowledge of my parents." was the reply.
Father Evers then asked Schmidt what he knew about the death of sixteen year old Anna Kellnerr, whose body was found buried in the basement of St. John's School, Louisville, Ky., while he was in that city. Schmidt answered:
"I don't know anything about it. If I did I would gladly confess all."
Attorney Offers His Services.
Attorney Koelble went to the Tombs yesterday and offered himself as counsel for Schmidt. He explained that he volunteered his services in aid of the priest at the request of Catholic laymen.
"We didn't discuss the murder at all," said Mr. Koelble. "I simply suggested that he needed an attorney and that unless he was represented in court the Judge would assign someone to defend him.
"Schmidt looked at me and replied: 'God and Abraham will reveal themselves in due time to take care of the case. I have no need of an attorney.' "
" 'You have got to have some one to look after the worldly end of this,' I told him.
" 'There is no need,' he answered. 'God and Abraham and St. Elizabeth will appear. They may reveal themselves to you if you appear for me.'
New Arrest in Girl's Murder, 16 September 1913, The Sun, page 1 column 7, and page 2, column 1.