Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thriller Thursday - Priest Expected Home


Priest Expected Home

Postcard to Parents Said He Would Return Soon.

Aschaffenburg, Germany, Sept. 15 - Hans Schmidt, the priest who has confessed to the murder of Anna Aumuller in New York, intended to return to his home in Bavaria at an early date, according to a postcard which his parents received from him a day or two ago. Schmidt wrote that he rejoiced to think that he would see them and Aschaffenburg soon again.

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.

Thriller Thursday - M'Faul Banished Schmidt.

M'Faul Banished Schmidt.

Trenton Bishop Gives Out Letter He Wrote to Priest.

Trenton, N. J., Sept. 15. - Bishop James A. McFaul, of the Diocese of Trenton, made public to-day a letter written by him to Hans Schmidt in 1910, while the latter was serving at St. Francis's Church in this city, during the illness of the Rev. Dr. Rathner. In his letter Bishop McFaul said:

"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.

Thriller Thursday - Dentist and Woman Held in Schmidt Case


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.

"Resolved.

"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

Thriller Thursday - Cardinal to Aid Justice.

Cardinal to Aid Justice.

Farley Says He Never Heard of Hans Schmidt.

Mount Clemens, Mich., Sept. 15. - Cardinal Farley of New York, who is here for a rest, said to-day concerning the Aumuller case:

"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.

Thriller Thursday - "Dr. Molliere" Unknown.

"Dr. Molliere" Unknown.

Schmidt's Card means Nothing to Paris Hospital Authorities.

Special Cable Despatch to The Sun.

Paris, Sept. 15. - "Dr. Emil Molliere, formerly assistant surgeon Woman's Municipal Hospital, Paris, France." the name on some of the cards found among the effects of Hans Schmidt, the confessed murderer of Anna Aumuller, is not recognized here. "Municipal Hospital" does not convey any meaning, as all the hospitals are municipal organizations and all have specific names.

"Dr. Molliere" Unknown, 16 September 1913, The Sun, page 2, column 2.

Thriller Thursday - Schmidt Planned to Sail

Schmidt Planned to Sail.

Priest Murderer Intended to Return to Bavaria.

Aschaffenburg, German, Sept. 15. - The parents of Hans Schmidt, the priest who has confessed the murder of Anna Aumuller, received a post card from him a few days ago indicating that he intended soon to return to his home in 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.

Thriller Thursday - New Arrest in Girl's Murder


New Arrest in Girl's Murder

Dr. E. Muret, Dentist, of 301 St. Nicholas Avenue, in Hands of Police.

Counterfeit Charge

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.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thriller Thursday - Arrest Dentist as Schmidt's Aid in Coining Plant


Arrest Dentist as Schmidt's Aid in Coining Plant

Detectives Find Complete Outfit in Rooms Rented by Slayer of River Victim.

Two Often Seen Together

Dr. Muret Traced by Receipts Found in Priest's Rooms - Woman Servant Also Held.

Dentist Makes Confession

Admits He Was Engaged in Coining and Asserts That Schmidt Bought Equipment.

It Is Shown That Schmidt Was Suspended and Had Presented Forger Credentials Here.

Part of Body Burned.

Charred Bone of Anna Aumuller and Bits of Pillow Case Found in Vacant Lot.

Dr. Ernest Arthur Muret, a dentist of 301 St. Nicholas Avenue, was arrested at Midnight last night by Inspector Faurot and several detectives on the charge of running a counterfeiting plant with Hans Schmidt, the curate of St. Joseph's Church on West 125th Street, who was arrested early Sunday morning for murdering Anna Aumuller, parts of whose dismembered body were found in the Hudson River.

The counterfeiting plant was found yesterday afternoon in a four-room apartment at 516 West 134th Street. Rental receipts for these premises were found in Schmidt's room at St. Joseph's rectory. Detective McKenna paid a visit to the place, with several color-printing presses, engraving plates, and cameras.

Find Bills Partly Printed.

A bundle of ten-dollar bills in the process of manufacture were found in the apartment. Only the first imprint had been made in red, and the bills had seemingly been put aside to dry, before successive impressions were made in other colors to bring the bills to the right shade. The number "A 1234567829 A" was on each bill. A copper plate engraving of a twenty-dollar bill was found in the room. No impressions had been struck from it.

The apartment had been rented in the name of George Miller by the priest. The superintendent of the building said that Miller, or Schmidt, had a companion in the work. From the description of the accomplice, Detective McKenna was able to trace Dr. Ernest Arthur Muret to his dental office at 301 St. Nicholas Ave.

There was no one in when the detectives called there early this evening. A search was made of the dental rooms, though, and much paper for making the counterfeit bills was found there. The detectives continued to watch the premises until shortly before midnight, when the dentist returned. He was arrested at once.

Doctor Admits Counterfeiting.

The prisoner admitted his counterfeiting operations and said that the priest had been his accomplice. Schmidt, he said, had furnished most of the money with which the expensive apparatus had been purchased.

He confessed to Inspector Faurot that he had never been licensed to practice dentistry, although he insisted that he had studied for two years in Berlin. He said that he had come to this country in 1903 and had obtained employment as an assistant to dentists whose names he refused to disclose. Early last December he rented the office which he then occupied at 301 St. Nicholas Avenue.

One of his first patients, he said, was Dr. Schmidt, who came to his early this year and had dental work done for which he paid $58. They became very friendly, and on June 3 the priest rented the flat for Muret under the name of George Miller. It was a four-room and bath apartment and the rent was $23 a month. A receipt found among Schmidt's effects put the police on the trail of this flat.

Mrs. Margaret Bowye, janitress, and Mrs. Margaret Rutledge, Superintendent, of the 134th Street apartment, identified Dr. Muret, when confronted with him, as the man who had been with the priest at the apartments.

The women identified a picture of Schmidt as a man who visited the dentist at the apartment, where they would stay together for several hours. Sometimes, they said, the dentist would be there for days at a time, and then he would be absent for a week. The men had purchased a stock of chemicals used for developing photographic plates and making steel engravings. The camera was specially constructed with powerful lenses for the purpose of reproducing bills.

Hold Servant as a Witness.

Bertha Zech, 21 years old, a servant, was held as a material witness. According to Muret she had been in his employ since last November. She obtained employment with him through an advertisement.

Detectives traced the man to the house in West 134th Street. Here, on the fourth floor, was a fully equipped counterfeiting plant. There were four rooms full of counterfeiters' tools, acids, and presses.

After tracing Muret to 301 St. Nicholas Avenue, Detective McKenna stood outside and waited until he came in. At midnight Muret arrived and Detective McKenna seized him. A search of his rooms revealed a loaded revolver, which was in his bureau drawer. In his possession also were several pictures of Hans Schmidt.

There was a dental sign over the door. This letter was found, which had been written recently:

Dr. George Muret
Dear Sir: Replying to your favor of the 8th inst., we beg to say that the price of ink rollers for the Excelsior press is $1.25. Hoping to receive your esteemed order, we are,
Chelsea Press.

Muret was taken by surprise when he was arrested. Then he became indignant.

Detective O'Neill found in a bowl in the apartment the burned edges of a $10 counterfeit bill which had undergone several impressions in the printing press. The number of this bill was "A12456782A."

Inspector Faurot was asked if Dr. Muret would be charged with being an accomplice of Father Schmidt in the murder of the Aumuller woman. He said:

"I will not be quoted as to that. I will say, however, that surgical instruments were found in the apartment on 134th Street and that there may be other charges than counterfeiting against the prisoner."

Dr. Muret told the police that Schmidt had done all of the actual purchasing of apparatus and supplies.

Inspector Faurot said last night that further arrests were to be made.

"I do not think that was a one-man shop," he said. "All four rooms were given over to workshop. The bathroom was used as a darkroom for developing the photographic plates, the kitchen for the storage of chemicals, the dining room as a drying room, and the parlor as the pressroom. In the bedroom were stored the supplies of paper for printing."

Muret bears a striking facial resemblance to Schmidt, and he was asked repeatedly if he and the priest were relatives, but he denied that there was any family connection. Muret is about six feet tall and weighs 145 pounds. He dresses fashionably and is of good appearance and address. He speaks French, German, and English perfectly.

Burned Part of Body.

Inspector Faurot announced last night that his detectives had discovered evidence that Schmidt had burned one of the sections of the leg of the murdered woman in a vacant lot in Macomb's Place, between 151st and 152d Streets.

"This tip was given to police," he said, "by an employee of a contractor named McKnight. On the night of Sept. 3 a man was seen walking into the vacant lot carrying a can and a large bundle.

"A few minutes later flames appeared in one corner of the lot. The man remained beside them, pouring on oil from time to time, when the flames seemed to be dying out. He continued to do this for nearly an hour.

"Detective O'Neill investigated this clue to-day. He found that the can with a little oil in the bottom had been left in the lot. Bits of pillow ticking were lying about. It was the same pattern as that in the pillow which contained part of the torso of the murdered woman.

"Finally Detective O'Neill found a fragment of charred bone six inches long. Both ends of the bone had been sawed off. In the middle was what seemed to be the knee joint. It was charred to badly, however, that this could not be ascertained definitely.

"In the debris left by the fire Detective O'Neill found part of a burned photograph. The only thing that could be made out in the picture was the head and shoulders of a man wearing a clerical collar who stood on the rear of a train of cars. The name "Frisco" appeared near the platform of the car on which the man was standing."

Had Forged Credentials.

Hans Schmidt, it was established yesterday, obtained his connection with Catholic churches in this country by the use of forged credentials. He was suspended from the priesthood in 1909 by the Bishop of Mainz, Germany, for obtaining a chaplaincy in the village of Buergel by presenting fraudulent documents concerning his educational qualifications.

The Bishop of Mainz, in a cable message to the Vicar General of the Diocese of New York, said yesterday that Schmidt had been arrested by the police in 1909 for frauds, and that he escaped punishment by being declared insane by the courts.

Soon after he was suspended Schmidt came to this country. In spite of the fact that his priestly function had been taken away, he succeeded, with the help of his fictitious credentials, in being assigned to serve as pastor of St. Francis's Church on Green Street, Trenton, N. J., during the illness of the pastor. Bishop James A. McFaul of the Diocese of Trenton made public yesterday a letter which he sent to Schmidt in December, 1910. The letter said:

You are hereby notified to leave this diocese immediately. It is evident that you are wanting in common sense and, therefore, I do not desire to have anything more to do with you.

The offense committed by Schmidt directly before his banishment from the Diocese of Trenton was that of performing a marriage ceremony without the proper diocesan dispensation, The diocesan authorities at Trenton suspected that many of Schmidt's letters were forged.

Bishop of Mainz Cables.

Father Luke Evers, chaplain of the Tombs, showed Schmidt yesterday this cablegram from the Bishop of Mainz:

Vicar General Moody, Diocese of New York.
J. Schmidt, born at Aschaffenburg, priest of Diocese of Mains, ordained 1907. Ran away from Mainz because of attempted frauds and arrest by police. Declared insane by court and discharged. Suspended by Bishop for acts and presenting falsified document regarding studies he pretended to have made. Then left the dioceses.
Bendix, Secretary, Bishop of Mainz.

When Father Evers asked Schmidt to comment on the telegram, the prisoner said:

"They believed the documents false, but they were given me by God."

A cablegram was received yesterday from Schmidt's native town of Aschaffenburg, Germany, saying that his parents and other relatives living there considered Schmidt abnormal morally, and that there were numerous cases of insanity in his family. In his twentieth year, according to this story, Schmidt underwent a strange transformation, and since that time was looked upon as unbalanced.

One of the papers which the detectives found last night among Schmidt's belongings was his discharge from custody in the Fourth District Court in Munich, Germany. This document showed that on Jan. 29, 1909, Hans Schmidt, charged with forging private papers and with frauds, had been acquitted for the reason that insanity experts testified that he was not responsible for his acts. The court ordered all his property to be returned to Schmidt and the costs to to be paid by the State. The papers showed that this had been ordered in a secret session of the court.

The dispatches showing that Schmidt's mental qualities have been called into question before was good news to Alphonse G. Koelble, a lawyer of 29 Broadway, who has been retained by Schmidt. Mr. Koelble said that, when his client was arraigned, he would ask for a commission of alienists.

Mr. Koelble is President of the German-America Citizens' League, and became prominent when he took a leading part in breaking up the peace meeting at Carnegie Hall on Dec. 12, 1911. At this meeting he led a number of German-Americans in a violent protest against the ratification of arbitration treaties with France and England.

Insane, Counsel Thinks.

"I am a German Catholic," said Mr. Koelble, "and I interested myself in Schmidt at the request of a number of German Catholic laymen who had been friendly to the prisoner. I have talked with the man, and am certain that he is insane. I do not see how any one hearing him talk could escape that conclusion."

Schmidt's lawyer thought yesterday that the prosecution might be unable to establish the corpus delicti. Only the torso and a part of the leg of the dismembered body have been recovered, and the only positive means of identification that the autopsy physicians found on the remains was the birthmark on the right shoulder. This has led to three erroneous Identifications and made it seem probable that the prosecution would have a great deal of difficulty in proving that the remains at the Morgue were those of Anna Aumuller.

This danger seemed so real to Coroner Feinberg and Assistant District Attorney Deacon Murphy yesterday that they planned to use Schmidt himself to establish the corpus delicti. Yesterday morning Lieut. Clinton Woods was sent over to take the body from the Hoboken Morgue to the Bellevue Morgue in this city. It was intended to take Schmidt from the Tombs to identify the body. Schmidt told Coroner Feinberg on Sunday that he would be able to make the identification.

When Lieut. Woods arrived at the Hoboken Morgue, however, Coroner Schlemm refused to permit the body to be taken away. Even though the crime had been committed in New York State, the laws of New Jersey, he said, required that an inquest should be held there because the body had been found there.

Schmidt has passively done whatever the police have requested of him, without making any effort to build up a defense for himself, unless the prosecuting authorities are right in believing that he is shamming insanity. Probably Schmidt would have done what he was told without demur if he were asked to identify the remains.

"I tried to impress upon him," said Mr. Koelble, "that his life depends on his following instructions, But he paid no attention to me. He will do nothing to protect his rights, and I cannot force him to obey me."

Girl Identifies the Body.

Without using Schmidt, however, the prosecution obtained an identification of the body which is believed to be Sufficient to establish the corpus delicti. Anna Hirt of 201 East Eighty-fifth Street, who was a servant in the rectory of the Church of St. Boniface, where Anna Aumuller had been employed, visiting the Hoboken Morgue. Before seeing the body she said there was a brown mark on the chest of the Aumuller girl. When she was shown the torso by County Physician G. W. King she pointed out the mark she had described.

"That is Anna," she said. "I could not be mistaken about that mark."

Miss Hirt did not remember seeing the blue birthmark on the dead woman's shoulder. The mark which Miss Hirt pointed out had not been noticed by the autopsy physicians and other authorities who had seen the body.

Coroner Schlemm said last night that he would hold the inquest on Thursday night. The only witness who will testify at this time will be surgeons, to show the cause of death; Miss Hirt, to identify the body, and detectives to tell of Schmidt's confession. It is believed that at the end of the hearing the body will be turned over to the authorities of this city. Coroner Feinberg will probably begin the inquest immediately, though he said last night that nothing would be determined upon until after the arrival to-morrow of District Attorney Whitman.

Mr. Koelble said yesterday that he would seek no delays, and would be ready for trial as soon as the State was. Mr. Koelble intimated that, in view of the doubtful mental state of his client, the best outcome might be his pleading guilty to murder in the second degree and receiving a sentence of life imprisonment. He said:

"If a lunacy commission comes unanimously to the conclusion that Schmidt is sane. I would be disposed to accept that verdict and give up the insanity plea. If there were a shadow of doubt in the commission's findings, however, I would undertake to prove him insane before a jury. I am sure, though, that a commission would declare him legally insane.

Replies of the Prisoner.

"When I asked him to-day if he wished to retain me as his lawyer, he said that he cared for no one to take up his case but Abraham. But finally he agreed to retain me until Abraham appeared for him."

"I told him that he faced the charge of first-degree murder and the electric chair. He simply looked at me wearily. Not a muscle of his face moved.

"Next I suggested to him that his friends thought he must be insane if he committed this act. The suggestion aroused him. He denied vigorously that there was anything wrong with him.

" 'That is absurd.' he said. 'If there is anything you can be sure of it is that there is no trace of insanity in me.'

"I asked him if an uncle of his had not committed suicide. He admitted that this was true, but said that his uncle was quite sane, and added that no member of his family had ever been insane. Then he talked to me for a while about the intended sacrifice of Isaac by Abraham, and contended that he himself was under inspiration when he murdered the girl.

"I offered him one of the morning papers and asked if he wanted to read what it said about him. He shook his head. I read the headlines to him, but he showed no interest. Suddenly he leaned forward and took it out of my hand. A picture of Anna had caught his eye and he looked at it for a long time and then kissed it.

"I took this case largely to show that a sensational case like this can go through the courts, with justice to the defendant and justice to the people, and without scandalous delays. The trial will not be held up by any technical controversies, if I can help it. On the other hand, I wish to make sure that the man will have all his rights.

"I used to know Schmidt fairly well, having met his several times when I lectured at gatherings of German Catholics. I am acquainted with many who were his friends, who thought highly of him, and who were amazed beyond belief when they read of his crime and of the life he had been leading. Schmidt has not a cent, as far as I know, and no money will be raised for his defense. No church authorities were among those who asked me to interest myself in his case."

Schmidt's cellmate is Thomas J. Messmer, who on May 15 stabbed his wife to death at their residence at 219 East Sixty-ninth Street. The police surprised Messmer in the act of dismembering the body.

Schmidt ate with a hearty appetite the three meals which were sent up to his cell. He complained that his cell was cold until his lawyer procured more clothes for him from his room in the rectory of St. Joseph's.

Asked About Another Murder.

Another visitor Schmidt received yesterday was Father Evers, the Tombs chaplain. Father Evers asked him if he knew anything about the murder of Alma Kellner, a little girl, whose dismembered body was found in the basement of St. John's Catholic Church at Louisville, Ky., on Dec. 8, 1909, while Schmidt was in Louisville as the guest of the Rev. H. B. Westermann, pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

"No," said Schmidt. "I don't know anything about that. I never heard of her."

Dr. McGuire, the Tombs physician, examined Schmidt yesterday and said he would keep him under investigation for several days. He said he had already come to certain conclusions regarding the man's condition, but that he would say nothing till he examination was completed. Warden John Fallon of the Tombs and Deputy Commissioner of Correction Wright, after talking with the prisoner, said they were convinced that he was insane. Warden Fallon said that Schmidt appeared to him to be the most dangerous maniac ever confined in the Tombs.

Assistant District Attorney Deacon Murphy, Coroner Feinburg, and Inspector Faurot all expressed themselves yesterday as being strongly of the opinion that Schmidt was at least legally sane, even if he was under certain religious delusions.

"I talked to him for two hours yesterday," said Assistant District Attorney Murphy, "and I am convinced that his reason is not impaired. he talked consecutively, always replied directly to my questions, and never wandered. If a commission of alienists is asked for by his counsel the prosecution will probably consent to it. At the same time we will make a strong objection to the insanity defense at the trial.

"The trial will probably not take place for a month. The inquest will take some time. The confession which Schmidt made to myself and to Inspector Faurot are both admissible in evidence, and they will constitute the major part of the people's case."

Coroner Feinburg said that his long examination on Sunday of Schmidt convinced him that the man was sane. The fact, he said, that Schmidt was suffering from religious delusions at the time of the murder made no legal difference.

Holds His Marriage Legal.

The record in the Marriage License Bureau at the City Hall showed yesterday that Schmidt had changed his first name from Hans to John in making out the licenses. The lines for the date of the marriage and the name of the officiating clergyman, however, are left blank. There was no return of the officiating clergyman's certificate. Both Schmidt and Miss Aumuller wrote that the marriage was their first.

Schmidt told his lawyer yesterday that he believed the marriage to be a legal one. As a matter of fact, according to Mr. Koelble, their marriage was probably a valid one in common law, as the license, made out by both parties, was evidence of mutual consent.

Coroner Winterbottom went to the Hoboken morgue yesterday afternoon and made a second request for the body of the murdered woman. This was refused, however, by Coroner Schlemm, who insisted that the New Jersey law compelled him to keep the body until the inquest had been held.

After the cablegram had been received establishing that Schmidt had been suspended from the priesthood and had used forgery to gain a status in churches in this country, Mgr. Lavelle said yesterday:

"The man presented what seemed to be good recommendations, and we found a place for him, as we always try to do for men in his position. It was expected that he would not remain in this country. We had not taken any steps, however, to send him back to Europe.

"He was dismissed at Trenton for a technical offense. This was not held against against him, and a place was found for him here. No adverse reports had been made regarding him to me. If there had been an investigation would have been made at once."

The work of the detectives on the case was commented on yesterday by Police Commissioner Waldo, who said:

"Detective ability of a high order was shown in this case by Inspector Faurot and the men associated with him. Detectives Frank Cassassa, Richard McKenna, and James J. O'Neill. All are first-grade detectives. The only thing I can do to show my appreciation as head of the department of the effectiveness of the work done by these three detectives is to give them commendation, which will be of material aid to them if they stand civil service examinations in the future."

Arrest Dentist as Schmidt's Aid in Coining Plant, 16 September 1913, The New York Times.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thriller Thursday - Slayer Suspended Priest, Arrested for German Frauds.


Slayer Suspended Priest, Arrested for German Frauds.

Mainz, Germany, Sept. 15. - The Journal to-day says that Johannes Schmidt, belonging to the Mainz bishopric, has long been under suspension by the Bishop.

He disappeared from Mainz and later arrived in Munich, where he was arrested on a charge of committing several frauds, according to the newspapers. He was acquitted by the court on the grounds of weak-mindedness and then emigrated to New York.

The Mainz episcopate was not aware that he was exercising the functions of a priest in new York.

Schmidt studied at the Mainz Classical High School. He was ordained a priest in 1907, afterward occupying curacies at Darmstadt, Sellgenstadt, Gonsenheim and Buergl, near Offenbach, whence he disappeared in 1909, because, according to the local papers, he was found to be in possession of false papers and had obtained his position by means of fabricated testimonials.

He escaped prosecution at the time by disappearing.

Slayer Suspended Priest, Arrested for German Frauds, The Evening World, 15 September 1913, page 2, column 3.

Thriller Thursday - Schmidt Ordained Priest, Says Monsignor Lavelle, But Forged His Letters


Schmidt Ordained Priest, Says Monsignor Lavelle, But Forged His Letters

Mgr. Lavelle, Vicar-General of the New York diocese, this afternoon declared that he was certain Hans Schmidt was a regularly ordained priest, but that the confessed slayer probably had brought forged recommendations with him when he came to America six years ago.

"Cablegrams from Europe assured me to-day that Schmidt was ordained, as he claimed, and they also inform me that Schmidt was not popular in Austria and Germany." said Mgr. Lavelle.

"He came to New York with very good recommendations and we gave him a place, for we try to take care of men who occupy such a position as his. It would not be well for the dignity of the priesthood if one should be allowed to become destitute.

"We had no intention of allowing Schmidt to remain in this country." continued Mgr. Lavalle. "We always assume that wanderers such as Schmidt are not wandering because of his superior intelligence or ability. We had taken no steps, however, to send him back to Europe.

"He left Trenton because of a technical offense, and therefore we did not hold this against him, but gave him a place here, as he had recommendations from other places. No adverse reports of any kind have been made against him to us. If there had been I would have instituted an immediate investigation.

"Schmidt left Europe under a cloud. I do not know what his offense was. I think that he must have forged his recommendations which he first presented in this country. We do not investigate such letters when they appear to be authentic.

"If at any time we had had any suspicion that Schmidt was leading a double life or was not fit for the priesthood we would have taken action."

Schmidt Ordained Priest, Says Monsignor Lavelle, But Forged His Letters, The Evening World, 15 September 1913, page 2, column 3.

Thriller Thursday - Fake Priest Who Slew Girl A Real Jekyll-Hyde



Fake Priest Who Slew Girl A Real Jekyll-Hyde

Bogus Priest, Slayer of Girl, Was a Forger and Man of Disguise

Schmidt Carried Out His Priestly Duties in Daytime and at Night Went Out to Keep Company With Women.

Had a Plate to Make Counterfeit $20 Bills.

Plans are already under way in the District-Attorney's office to fight from the start the insanity defense which will be advanced in the case of the bogus priest, John Schmidt or Hand Schmidt, the self-confessed slayer of Anna Aumuller. Without a doubt Schmidt will attempt to evade the death punishment by acting like a demented man.

The District-Attorney's assistants and the police who have worked on the case admit that Schmidt is a criminal pervert, but claim that he deliberated carefully in his plans for the murder of the woman, that he exercised the judgement of a sane person in disposing of the body without detection and that he knew the consequences of his act before and after the commission of the crime.

Schmidt's excuses for his actions are framed persistently along religious mania lines. But he never showed any trace of religious mania to his clerical associates and others who knew him previous to his arrest.

Wanted to Destroy All Evidence.

Inspector Faurot expects to be able to show that Schmidt had planned to return to the scene of his crime in Bradhurst avenue and remove the traces of the butchery as soon as the excitement attending the newspaper publicity had died away.

A remarkable case in real life of a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is revealed in the arrest of Schmidt. Posing as a priest of the Roman Catholic Church, he was at heart a degenerate with no moral sense.

Investigation shows that Schmidt was ordained a priest in Germany, but was suspended by his Bishop four years ago for criminal offenses. Supposedly, his suspension obliterated him from the priesthood - at least the German church authorities thought that they had ousted the recreant clergyman.

But Schmidt, without saying anything to parents or friends, came to this country. He brought with him forged papers indicating that he was still in good standing. Besides, he had seals of the Bishop of Mainz, which he used on papers as he found it necessary to continue his forgeries.

His Associates Had Suspicions.

While his credentials were never suspected, his associates in the clergy were suspicious of his education, although he cleverly him from most of them the morbidly criminal side of his nature. He made his appearance early in this country in Louisville, Ky., where he studied for a time, not attempting there to exercise any of the functions of a priest.

In December, 1910, Schmidt, who had located in Trenton, N. J., was banished from the diocese by Bishop James A. McFaul. Schmidt has performed a marriage without the proper diocesan dispensation.

"More than that," said Bishop McFaul to-day, "I considered him mentally deranged and otherwise incapable. I wrote him as follows:

" 'You are hereby notified that you must leave this diocese immediately. It is evident that you are wanting in common sense and, therefore, I don't care to have anything more to do with you.' "

Schmidt came from Trenton to New York, and despite the fact that he had just been banished from the diocese of Trenton, he was taken into the Church of St. Boniface, at Forty-seventh street and Second avenue, as a curate. There he met Ann Aumuller and there took up the double life he found quite easy in the teeming city.

Equipped With False Whiskers.

The better to carry on his Mr. Hyde existence Schmidt equipped himself with wigs and false whiskers and various other forms of disguise. It is believed that the flat he rented in Bradhurst avenue under the name of Hans Schmidt for the purpose of doing away with Anna Aumuller is not the only habitation he had outside the parish house where he lived as a priest.

Strangely enough, his forged credentials and his false representations were never questioned in this archdiocese. An inquiry directed to the Bishop of Mainz, whose signature appeared on Schmidt's papers, would have brought forth the facts about him, as is shown by developments since his arrest for murder.

Mgr. Lavelle gave out at the palace of Cardinal Farley this afternoon the following copy of a cablegram received from the church authorities at Mainz, Germany, relative to the standing in the priesthood of Schmidt:

John Schmidt was born in A...berg, Germany. A priest of the diocese of Mainz, ordained in 1907. Ordained a chaplain in 1909. Was away from Munich because of attempted frauds. Arrested by police, declared insane and discharged. Suspended by his bishop for this and also for presenting falsified documents with regard to studies he pretended to have made.
[Bender]
Officialis of Bishop of Mainz.

Priesthood Served as a Cloak for Him.

In the absence of inquiry as to his previous career Schmidt gave full play to his perverted bent in New York. He found the priesthood a veritable cloak of armor for his operations.

In the guise of a priest he went to St. Joseph's Church, at One Hundred and Twenty-five street and Morningside avenue, and, despite the fact that he had not been connected with any church for five months, his forged papers got him a place as a curate - one of four assistants to the pastor. In violation of his vows and of the rules of the Church, he celebrated mass, performed marriages, baptized children, heard confessions and performed the other offices of a man in holy orders. He conducted himself in these activities before the pastor and congregation as a man of holiness and sanctity.

But in the night time, when the pastor was asleep, Schmidt sneaked out of the rectory of the church, divested of the habiliments of his ostensible calling, and prowled after women in the streets of Harlem. He deceived Anna Aumuller, a servant in the rectory of the Church of St. Boniface, at Forty-seventh street and Second avenue, performed a mock marriage ceremony with her last February and killed her in a flat at No. 68 Bradhurst avenue when he was tired of her. In his confession to the police and the District-Attorney are revolting details of his life showing that he possessed a dual personality.

While Schmidt's confessions, his identification by George Sachs, a dealer on second hand goods, as the man who bought the pillow slip in which portions of the body were wrapped, and the various documentary evidence found in Schmidt's trunk and in the Bradhurst avenue flat make a complete case against him, it was not until noon to-day that the police established the corpus delecti.

Legally Identified by Girl Who Shared Room.

This was done by the identification of the remains in the Morgue by Anna Hirt of No. 202 East Eighty-fifth street, who was a servant in the rectory of the Church of St. Boniface up to Nov. 22, 1912. and for some time shared a room with Anna Aumuller.

Miss Hirt was brought to Police Headquarters by detectives. She said she could identify the body, the pillow slips and the clothing.

"Anna," said Miss Hirt, "had a brown mark on her bosom which I could recognize. Her night dresses were tucked six inches at the bottom. The letter 'A' embroidered on the pillow slips was drawn by me, and I did some of the embroidery and can identify the stitches. I also can identify the clothing found in the flat."

Miss Hirt was taken to Volk's morgue in Hoboken. She found the brown spot on the bosom of the dead woman, and the night dress in which part of the body was wrapped was found to be tucked up six inches just as Miss Hirt had said. She identified the pillow slips and the embroidery.

Although there is little hope of finding the head, which is probably at the bottom of the river, Inspector Faurot and Coroner Feinberg consider that the legal identification of the sections of the body found in the Hudson as fragments of the remains of Schmidt's victim has been made.

Remnant of Body May Have Been Shark's Prey.

Permission has been obtained for the removal of the sections of the body from Hoboken to the Manhattan Morgue, at the foot of East Twenty-sixth street. A perfunctory inquest will be held on Hoboken on Thursday. Following this the formal inquest will be held in this city. It is not likely that more of the body will be recovered. In view of the fact that a piece of the right leg of Miss Aumuller was found on the beach at Keansburg, N. J., several days ago, it is recalled that a shark, killed about that time at Deal, was cut open. In the belly of the shark was found part of a woman's leg, and it is supposed that this was part of the dismembered corpse of Anna Aumuller, swept by the tide from Fort Lee.

Coroner Feinberg and the police are of the opinion that Schmidt's confession, while it encompasses all the details of the murder and the dismemberment of the remains, is not complete in covering the events previous to the night of Sept. 2. They believe that Schmidt, some ten days before he killed the girl, was instrumental in a criminal operation

During the last week in August the foetus of a male child, five months old, was found in Fort Washington Park, near the foot of West One Hundred and Eighty-second street. From information gained from the autopsy held in Hoboken on the fragmentary remains of the woman's body the police that this prematurely delivered child was that of Schmidt and Anna Aumuller.

Since his confinement in the Tombs Schmidt has given evidence of insanity. As to whether he is really insane or is cunningly planning to escape the electric chair there is a difference of opinion. Warden Fallon, Deputy Commissioner of Corrections Wright and others who have talked to Schmidt say they think he is a dangerous maniac, and have arranged to keep him under constant surveillance.

Coroner Feinberg is of the opinion that Schmidt is feigning insanity. He says that the supposedly apparent evidence of Schmidt's mental infirmities have progressed since his arrest and bear the marks of a well-ordered and cunning attempt to set up a defense against the crime of murder in the first degree.

"When I questioned him yesterday," said the Coroner, "he was wonderfully coherent in his statements. His story was consecutive and fitted each section to the other, with scarcely a break. He does not know, he said, just where he bought the paper in which the remains were wrapped, and he couldn't remember whether or not he wrapped the parts of the body in five or six packages.

"But there was no confusion in his mind on these points. He simply said he didn't remember, explaining that there were details that had not fastened themselves in his mind.

Dr. Frank A. McGuire, the Tombs physician, who subjected Schmidt to a physical and mental test to-day, refuses to commit himself as to the murderer's mental state. He has put the man under observation and will make his report to the District-Attorney.

District-Attorney Whitman is to be at his office on Wednesday. By that time the case will be ready for the Grand Jury. Coroner Feinberg will hold an inquest as soon as the Detective Bureau notifies him that the evidence has been assembled in shape for presentation.

Schmidt Believed to be Degenerate Like Young.

The facts gathered by the police tend to show that Schmidt is a degenerate of the same type as J. Hooper Young who killed Anna Pullitzer in a flat at Fifty-eighth street and Sixth avenue, packed her body in a trunk and threw the trunk into a swamp on the Jersey meadows back of Hoboken.

It is believed that the authorities of the Archdiocese were getting ready to take some action in the case of Schmidt, who appears to have been an impostor as a priest, although he studied for the priesthood in Germany.

Alphonse J. Koelble, a lawyer, was engaged by Schmidt to-day, but Mr. Koelble says Schmidt has no defense. Koelble's defense will be insanity.

"There is no doubt that the man is crazy," said the lawyer, "from a long conversation with him I should say that his state of mind is associated with neurasthenia.

"I have known him about two years. He used to attend lectures on Socialism that I delivered in Harlem, and while he was not a professed Socialist he was interested in the doctrines.

"I was asked by some of the parishioners of St. Joseph's yesterday to communicate with Schmidt and ask him if I could be of any assistance. I wrote him a note and he sent me a note in reply, asking me to call at the Tombs.

"I met him in the reception room for counsel. He walked up to me, held out his hand and said:

"God and Abraham Know," He Asserted.

" 'Well, there isn't much to say about this. God in his own time will clear it up. People will never understand it. God and Abraham know why I killed her. Policemen tell me that they question my right to say I am a priest. It is too bad, but I am a priest. I hold a double office of priesthood.'

"I took a morning paper out of my pocket," said Mr. Koelble, "and showed it to him. He pushed it away.

" 'Why should I look at the papers?' he asked. 'I know more about this matter than the reporters. I know every detail of the case.'

"I turned the paper over," Mr. Koelble continues, "and showed him a picture of Anna Aumuller. Then he showed the only trace of emotion during my visit. He took the paper and kissed the reproduction of the photograph of his victim.

" 'I married her,' said Schmidt to me. 'I performed the ceremony myself as I had a right to do. I was commanded to marry her by St. Elizabeth my patron saint.'

"I asked him why he killed Anna Aumuller. He replied: 'What is the use of talking about it? She is dead and I killed her. People will not understand. Now they say I am insane. Why do they try to make me out a crazy man? Dr. Maguire, the Tombs physician, came into my cell this morning and questioned me as he would question an insane man.

" 'I don't need an attorney, but you may act for me. However, I don't want you to do anything until you get a message from God and Abraham.

Shows No Fear of Death in Electric Chair.

"I told him of his rights," said Mr. Koelble. "I told him they couldn't use his confession against him. He said he didn't care whether they did or not. I asked him if he knew that the penalty of the crime was death. He said the prospect of death didn't worry him. I mentioned the electric chair, but he didn't seem to pay any attention."

Mr. Koelble said he asked Schmidt if there had ever been any insanity in his family. Schmidt replied in the negative, but added, after consideration, that one of his uncles in Germany had committed suicide a few years ago. Schmidt told Mr. Koelble that he had no desire to talk to newspaper reporters, because he had told all he knew about the murder of Anna Aumuller and didn't purpose to talk about anything else.

When Schmidt was admitted to the Tombs yesterday he was taken to a cell on the fourth tier. To-day, that he might be more accessible to the police and the District-Attorney's staff, he was transferred to a cell on the first tier. There was another prisoner in this cell - another murderer - and by a peculiar coincidence his crime is of the same character as that of Schmidt.

Schmidt's cellmate is Frank Messemer, a painter, twenty-seven years old. On May 14 he stabbed his wife, Anna, to death in their home at No. 462 East Sixty-ninth street. He was carrying her body to the roof [of] the building to dismember it, wrap it up in bundles and carry it away when he was observed and the police were notified.

Crime Has Created Consternation in St. Joseph's Parish.

Mr. Koelble said that, so far as he knows, Schmidt is utterly friendless, save for some feelings of pity for him by some members of St. Joseph’s parish.

The crime of Schmidt has created consternation in St. Joseph's parish not only because of its horrible nature, but because of the revelation attending its discovery that Schmidt was probably not qualified to fulfill the duties of a priest. A cable dispatch from Mainz, Germany, states that he was suspended from the priesthood by the Bishop there, turned up later in Munich, was arrested for frauds and was discharged as a weak-minded person. Then he came to this country. The Bishop of Mainz did not know that Schmidt was exercising the offices of the priesthood in the United States.

Inquiry in the parish of St. Joseph's to-day establishes that several of the parishioners were displeased by the actions of Schmidt. He was unpopular with his three fellow curates, because of his habits, but appears to have had the confidence of the aged pastor Father Huntman.

Schmidt would sneak out of the parish house at odd hours of the night clad in the garb of a layman. He was accustomed to absent himself when he should have been on duty to answer calls from the sick. His mind was abnormal and he was in the habit of talking about murders and crimes at the dinner table.

He often referred to the case of Clarence V. T. Richeson, the Boston clergyman who murdered Avis Linnell. Schmidt maintained that Richeson was not guilty because he loved the girl. His conversations along these lines filled his fellow curates with disgust, but he was allowed to perform the duties of his office without interference. He solemnized marriages, performed baptisms, heard confessions, said matins and administered the sacrament of Holy Communion. It is a question now if the marriages and baptisms were legal or have the authority of the church. There is a record of all those ceremonies in the parish house.

A search of Schmidt's trunk to-day showed that he possessed many disguises. There was also evidence found to show that he probably engaged in the illicit practice of medicine with reference to the condition of women. Among the articles found in the trunk was an engraved copper plate, from which could be taken the impression of one side of a $20 bill.

The priests in the parish house can not recall the movements of Schmidt on the night of Sept. 2, the date of the murder. His confession shows that he killed the girl at midnight and worked until daylight cutting up her body. His absences from the parish house were so frequent that this occasion did not cause comment.

But after Sept. 2 the priests noticed a great change in Schmidt. He was nervous to a degree. He could not eat. He had been a great reader of the newspapers, but after the discovery of the first piece of the body of his victim in the river he did not look at a newspaper. The other priests mentioned the mystery in his presence, but he never could be brought to say a word about it.

His fellow curates, not suspecting that he had anything to do with the case or the woman whose dismembered body had been thrown into the Hudson, persisted in mentioning the case. They wanted to draw from him some expression of opinion, but were unsuccessful.

During the period following Set. 2 Schmidt lost from fifteen to twenty pounds. He was almost a physical wreck when the detectives arrested him Saturday night.

Illicit Medical Practice May Have Been Part of Career.

Schmidt became a curate in St. Joseph's Church in October last. He brought to Father Huntman a letter from the Rev. Father Braun, pastor of St. Boniface Church, at Forty-seventh street and Second avenue, where he had been a curate for several months previous to May, 1912. Where he spent the time from May, 1912, when he left St. Boniface's Church, until October of the year, when he appeared at St. Joseph's is not known to the police.

It is believed that during that period he was engaged in the illicit practice of medicine. In his effects were found roughly printed cards reading: "Dr. Emil Molliere, Assistant Surgeon Municipal Woman's Hospital, Paris, France. Representative of Chemical Hygienic Manufacturing Company, Denmeralle, France."

These cards, in connection with chemicals and medicine found in his trunk, indicate to the police that his perverted nature led him into an attempt to establish himself as a doctor. Probably finding himself unable to make a living, he went back into the priesthood, learning of a vacancy in the staff of four curates attached to Father Huntman's church.

Father Huntman refused to make any statement to-day. He believed implicitly in the genuineness of the credentials presented by Schmidt. A busy man, and along in years, the pastor did not pay close attention to his young curate and it is now established that Schmidt deceived him from the moment of his entrance into the parish.

Belief that Schmidt forged credentials from Germany is borne out by the discovery that he had in his possession a seal carrying the episcopal imprint of Bishop Kierstein, of Mainz, Germany, another seal used to stamp papers passing through the hands of the Bishopric of Mainz and the seal of the College or Mainz, in which he said he was educated for the priesthood.

Excited Suspicions of Fellow Priests in Parish.

The curates of St. Joseph's were suspicious of Schmidt from the start. They noted that he was unfamiliar with the duties of a priest and they often caught him in contradictions in his conversations about his college days in Germany, his ordination to the priesthood and his career in this country. But he was well grounded in theology and general scholarship and a fluent conversationalist in Latin and Greek. His clerical associates tried to overlook his moral defects as evidence of over-developed genius, but lately his habits had become such as to scandalize, not only the curates, but members of the congregation who met him in Harlem at all hours of the day and night, dressed as any of the young men who frequent the streets.

Schmidt, when he went to St. Joseph's, was assigned to a confessional in the southeast corner of the church. A plate containing his name was nailed over the confessional door. Within an hour after Schmidt's arrest Saturday night, one of the priests went into the church, pried off the nameplate over Schmidt's confessional and destroyed it.

Schmidt was caught as the result of careful, skillful detective work. The detectives trailed him by a pillow case bought from Sachs, the second-hand furniture dealer. They located the Bradhurst avenue flat he had rented under the name of Schmidt, traced the girl through letters and photographs found there, and finally landed Schmidt, who probably thought himself safe.

But the detectives in bringing their work to a successful conclusion uncovered an astonishing admixture of cunning and carelessness. The man who went to the trouble to disguise himself to rent a flat gave his own named to the janitor and also to the man from whom he bought the few pieces of furniture he put in the new home for the girl, whom he claims he married, "performing the ceremony himself" after he had obtained a marriage license at the City Hall here last February.

He spent hours scrubbing the floor and then left clots of blood in the corners. he took the precaution of dropping the head into the river first to insure concealment of his victim's identity and then left several pictures of her and scores of her letters in the flat.

Fake Priest Who Slew Girl A Real Jekyll-Hyde, The Evening World, 15 September 1913, page 1, column 5, and page 2, column 1.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Thriller Thursday - Anna Was to Wed Artist, Says Friend.


Anna Was to Wed Artist, Says Friend.

Servant Tells Police Dead Girl Named Alexander Borgen as Her Fiancé.

Made Trip to Europe.

Victim's Associates Do Not Remember Her Having Mentioned Particular Friendship for Father Schmidt.

Annie Hire, a servant employed as St. Boniface's rectory, at Second avenue and East 47th street, said last night that there was another man besides Father Schmidt who had played an important part in the murdered girl's life. Miss Hirt said he was Alexander Borgen, an artist, who lived somewhere in Ohio. Annie Aumuller told her the day before she left the employ of Father Braun, August 30, that she was to be married the next day to Borgen.

"I never saw Borgen," said Annie Hirt, "although Annie often talked about him, and had told me she loved him. He often visited New York, staying at a small hotel, the name of which I have forgotten. Annie was in his company on her days off whenever he was in town. I never saw Father Schmidt, either. I came to work at the rectory after he left to go uptown.

"Annie seldom mentioned the name of the priest to me, and I cannot explain her presence in his flat the night she was murdered. She never said anything to me to indicate that Father Schmidt was jealous of the attentions paid by Borgen."

Miss Hirt, whose parents live at No. 300 East 85th street, was seen at that address last night. She left the rectory late in the afternoon to visit her parents, after telling the detectives all she knew of Anna Aumuller's life and her relations with the priest and the artist.

"I once saw a photograph of Borgen." Miss Hirt stated. "He had dark hair and a beard and wore heavy rimmed glasses. I was told by Anna that he was of medium height, spare, and was rather foreign in appearance. She also told me he was born in the same village in Hungary where she was born and that she had known him since she was a little child. Before she came to this country two years ago he wooed her, but I understand at the time Anna did not pay particular heed to his suit.

"In August of last year, I believe it was, Anna went to Europe. While there she met some one with whom she fell in love. She mentioned it to me after she returned to the St. Boniface parish house to work. Whether Borgen had also returned to Vienna, where Anna spent considerable time, I do not know. I believe, however, that Borgen was the man with whom she was infatuated.

"The day before Anna left she said to me: 'I am going to be married to-morrow and go to Ohio to live." I asked her whom she was to marry, and she told me 'Borgen.' She had $100 saved, she said, and she showed me a bankbook. She seemed bright and happy the day before she went away - more cheerful than she had been for many weeks."

Miss Hirt said also that Anna Aumuller had a mother and sister living in Vienna and that the dead girl had occasionally received letters from them. She had a cousin living in New York, named Igler, with whom she lived for a time after she came to New York, two years ago."

According to Miss Hirt, Anna received occasional letters from the artist. The police had a picture of him, she said, as they had shown it to her and asked her to identify it.

Joseph Igler, of No. 428 East 70th street, the cousin of the slain girl, was able to give the main facts of her life yesterday. She was born in Oedenburg, Hungary, he said, and was about twenty years old. He said:
"When Anna first came to New York from Vienna she came to our house and lived with my wife and family in 135th street, The Bronx.

"After she had been with us a number of months she had some little disagreement with us and went to work in the rectory of the St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church. That was late in December, 1910.

"She worked in Father Braun's household for a year or so then she left because she said she could not get along with the woman who was in charge of the establishment during the absence of Father Braun's regular housekeeper.

"She had saved some money, we learned, and later she surprised us by announcing she was going to Europe. That was July last year, and in August she sailed and did not come back until October.

"When she came back she told us she had met a man with whom she had fallen in love, but she did not tell me his name. I do not recall her every [sic] saying anything about Alexander Borgen, who I understand is said to have at one time been Anna's fiancé. I did not know that Anna was intimate with the priest."

The Rev. Dr. John S. Braun, pastor of the Roman Catholic Church of St. Boniface, a small brownstone and brick structure at Second avenue and East 47th street, issued yesterday the following statement regarding the principals in the murder tragedy:

"The Rev. Hans Schmidt came from Trenton, N. J., to this parish as an assistant priest on December 31, 1910, and remained as such until the fall of 1912. He was considered eccentric.

"Anna Aumuller was recommended for service in our parish by a maid then in the house. She came here a week before Christmas, 1910, and left some time in the summer of 1911. She returned as a maid on Thanksgiving Day, 1912. At the time she said she was about to be married and go to Ohio."

In supplementing his statement Father Braun said:

"Father Schmidt, so far as I know, never had any trouble with the Catholic Church while he was in Germany, before coming to this country. He never mentioned to me the fact, as has been stated to-day, that he was arrested for posing as a priest or for violating any rules of the Church. Of course, I did not investigate his record, but so far as I am aware it was clear.

Filled Priestly Functions.

"He came to this parish to act as assistant priest, and did so. He was qualified to perform all offices of the priesthood, and while here he heard confession, conducted services, officiated at weddings and funerals, visited the sick and administered the rites of the Church when occasion demanded: in short, did all that a priest is called upon to do."

All Father Braun knew of the dead girl, he said, was that she came from Germany a little more than two years ago and obtained employment in the rectory without credentials, because her appearance impressed him and his housekeeper. In the summer of 1911, he added, he want abroad with his sister, and during that time Anna quarrelled with the housekeeper in charge, who has since left the rectory, and she (Anna) left.

Later she explained the difficulty and at her request was given back her old position as maid.

"Father Schmidt was here when Anna was," Father Braun continued, "but left in the summer of 1912. He packed his trunks and told us he was going to Germany to visit - Anna at that time as in Germany, I believe - but changed his mind to accept a position as an assistant priest at the St. Joseph's Church in 125th street. I do not recall that he ever came here to see Anna or communicated with her by telephone.

"Anna told us on August 30 she was about to leave, to be married and live in Ohio. We did not question her as to the identity of her husband, and she volunteered no information."

Anna Was to Wed Artist, Says Friend, The Tribune, 15 September 1913, page 2, column 6.