Thursday, February 27, 2014

Thriller Thursday - Met Schmidt On Liner.

Met Schmidt On Liner.

Woman Received Strange Letters From Murderer of Aumuller Girl.

Manchester, N.H., Sept. 16. - Hans Schmidt, who is held in New York for the murder of Anna Aumuller, is known here. He crossed the ocean in August, 1909, aboard the same steamer that carried Mrs. David Davidson of this city when she returned from a visit to Germany. During the voyage he became quite friendly with Mrs. Davidson, who sat at his table.

When he reached Louisville he sent his photograph to the Manchester woman. The picture shows the murderer as he appeared when he came to this country wearing a full beard. Written in German script on the back of the photograph is the following:

"A motherly friend in her album. What makes life worth while living lies on the other side of eating, drinking and sleeping. There is no greater joy than the knowledge of spiritual companionship with a human being with whom you have found a sympathetic nature. With best wishes to you and your family. Dr. H.S."

Mrs. Davidson received numerous letters from Schmidt. They were written in a rambling style, her husband declares, and she destroyed them as fast as they arrived.

"The man who wrote this stuff is not right in his head." said Mrs. Davidson.

The latest letter from Schmidt to Mrs. Davidson came about two years ago. She never responded to his many communications, and when they ceased to arrive she decided he had tired of writing without receiving any replies.

Met Schmidt On Liner, The Sun, 17 September 1913, page 5, column 2.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thriller Thursday - Deeper Tangle in Girl Murder

Deeper Tangle in Girl Murder

Schmidt Criminal Posing as Dead Priest, Tombs Chaplain Thinks.

Coiners May Be Kin.

Inspector Faurot Suspects Slayer and Muret Are Brothers.

Counterfeiting Charge.

Federal Authorities Will Act Against Pair as Bogus Money Makers.

Hans Schmidt, the former assistant priest of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, who killed Anna Aumuller, cut up the body and dumped the pieces into the Hudson River, and Ernest Arthur Muret, fraudulent dentist of 301 St. Nicholas avenue, will be formally charged with counterfeiting to-day by the Federal authorities. The arrest of Muret early yesterday morning as Schmidt's partner in a counterfeiting enterprise was reported in late editions of The Sun yesterday.

John J. Henry, head of the New York district secret service, said last night that warrants would be issued by United States Commissioner Hitchcock this morning on the strength of complaints which have been drawn against both men.

The warrants will be served immediately on Warden Fallon of the Tombs and the strong hand of Uncle Sam will be used against them at the proper time, future actions depending upon what happens in the gruesome case involving Schmidt.

Muret was arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Krotel in the Harlem court on a charge of violating the Sullivan law. A revolver was found among his belongings when he was arrested and the charge was made as the easiest formal way of holding him. The Magistrate committed him in default of $5,000 and Muret was sent to the Tombs, which houses Schmidt.

Secret Service Men Visit Flat.

Four secret service men went yesterday to the flat at 516 West 134th street, which Muret, as "George Miller," and Schmidt rigged up as a counterfeiting plant, and confiscated everything in sight that had not been seized already by the police in their early morning raid.

Chief Henry declared after the visit of his men that elaborate plans had been made to add to the output of bogus money.

In the complaints subsequently drawn up it was alleged that Muret and Schmidt had been engaged in making counterfeit money and making in part counterfeit money. The latter allegation was based on the discovery in the flat of partly burned "proofs" of unfinished bogus bills bearing an imitation of Uncle Sam's red seal and "X" marks indicating the denomination of the bills.

Muret and Schmidt bear a striking resemblance to each other, a fact which has led the police to believe that they may be related, although each man solemnly avers that different blood runs in their veins.

Inspector Faurot was very much impressed with the peculiar likeness, and believe it to be much more than the coincidence that Muret tried to make him believe. The inspector went so far as to express the opinion that the strange pair might be brothers.

Schmidt, however, wouldn't have it that way. He repeatedly told Father Evers, the Tombs chaplain, that the dentist wasn't a brother, of whom, he said, he had two in the village of Schweinheim auf Schaumberg, where live his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Heinrich Schmidt.

"Scoundrel," Says Muret.

Muret, according to Father Evers, looks upon Schmidt in the light of a "consumate scoundrel," and called him such, while Schmidt expresses great sorrow that his friend Muret finds himself involved in trouble.
"It is only a personal opinion of mine," said Father Evers to a Sun reporter yesterday, "but I have no idea that this man who says he is Schmidt isn't Schmidt at all but an impostor. He had many fake papers and fake seals. That we know. It has happened in some countries that after a priest died his credentials were stolen and others, in some cases students dismissed from seminaries, have masqueraded under them. I want to solve this mystery if I can, and this afternoon I will send two or three photographs of Schmidt to his parents in Schweinheim with a request that they send me word if they are the pictures of their son, the priest."

Father Evers took to the Tombs yesterday afternoon a German priest who talks with the tongue of the southern Fatherland, with which Schmidt is familiar. The chaplain declined to make public what was said in the cell, although he admitted that Schmidt was apparently acquainted with certain names and places referred to by the German visitor.

In an earlier talk with the self-confessed murderer yesterday Schmidt ceased placing the responsibility for his actions upon St. Elizabeth of Hungary and Abraham and repeatedly assured Father Evers that the voice of God had directed him.

"Did the dentist help you cut up the body of Anna Aumuller?" asked the chaplain.

"No," replied Schmidt. "I acted alone as a priest at the sacrifice. Muret had nothing to do with it."

"Where did you get your counterfeiting outfit?" asked Father Evers.

"God gave them to me."

Then the chaplain asked: "What were you going to do with all the money that you made?"

Money for Poor, Explains Schmidt.

"The condition of the poor is had," responded Schmidt. "It's the few who have all the money. I was going to give half the money I made to the poor in this country and half to the poor of Germany."

"When you left Germany," continued Father Evers, "all your priestly function had been withdrawn. Pray tell me how did you get your letters to the Bishop?"

"God above gave them to me." was the reply. "God is greater that all the Bishops."

During the interview Schmidt lay on his back in his cell with his eyes straight ahead. He was stolid and apparently unconcerned."

"To my mind," said the chaplain, "he is a man of two faces; the right is the face of a large man; the left is that of a small man. The right eye is up and the left eye is down."

Schmidt's counsel, Alphonse G. Koelble, had a talk with the prisoner in the afternoon and came from the interview more convinced that ever that Schmidt is insane.

"He told me," said Koelble, "that he is a trinity. First, he is the 'Dr. Emil Moliere' whose cards were found in such great numbers. Second, he is the priest, and third, he is the money maker.

"I asked him if he was engaged in counterfeiting and he said 'Yes, that was our plan to make money. God gave me the idea.' I asked him who gave him the copper plates and he replied: 'God gave them to me.' 'The lack of money,' he said,'is one of the sources of great evil in this world. God gave me the idea to make money so that I could distribute it among the poor.'

Schmidt Shields Muret.

"Schmidt told me," continued Koelble, "that Muret had 'nothing to do with the sacrifice of Anna.' 'I did it all by myself.' he said."

As for the cards of "Dr. Moliere, formerly assistant surgeon to the Municipal Woman's Hospital, Paris, France," found in such great numbers among Schmidt's effects, the lawyer said that Schmidt replied: "That was another inspiration of God."

"He said." continued Koelble, "that another cause of the great social distress in the world is too many children. So as Dr. Moliere he said he made a medicine to prevent children from being born. He declared he didn't make the medicine to sell and insisted that it was perfectly harmless. Asked if it proved successful, he told me that it didn't help Anna Aumuller. He denied that he is insane and refused to talk about the report that he had uncles who were crazy."

Among the things found in the property of Muret yesterday was a postal card bearing the picture of Napoleon and the printed inscription "Impossible is a word found only in the dictionary." It was signed "Hans" and bore this written message: "Let us hope that our children will have rich parents."

The police believe that Schmidt had their counterfeiting plans in his mind when he sent the postal to the dentist.

Telephoned to Doctor.

In their investigations yesterday of the dentist and his career the police found that among the persons to whom Muret had telephoned during the latter part of July was Dr. Alfred Michaelis of 5 West Ninety-first street.

Inquiry at the physician's office elicited the fact that Muret was treated by Dr. Michaelis. The physician's wife said that he spoke with the accent of a man who had lived in Germany and that he had neglected to pay his bill.

Neighbors in the vicinity of Muret's dental office at 301 St. Nicholas avenue said yesterday that after the dentist took up his residence there and started practising they noticed that he was in the habit of keeping late hours. There were folks also who told stories of a woman who called on him so frequently that her face became very familiar.

Once, it was said, a violent scream was heard in the dental office and a woman ran into the street. Off course no one knew that the screamer wasn't a woman who couldn't stand the pain of having a tooth pulled and fled into the night.

Bertha Zech, Muret's maid, who was taken by the police at a material witness, was discharged from custody yesterday. It is understood that she has made a full and free explanation of all that has taken place in the house. Miss Zech slept in the kitchen.

The fact has been established that Muret telephoned St. Joseph's rectory on August 1 last and the assumption is that he communicated with Schmidt there. He also talked over the telephone on August 11 with the District Attorney's office, but what his business was could not be learned there yesterday. Assistant District Attorney Deacon Murphy is looking that up.

Murphy Confers With Faurot.

Mr. Murphy had a conference yesterday afternoon at Police Headquarters with Inspector Faurot, who was at that time the most tired and perhaps the happiest man in New York as the result of the clean sweep made by the men under his direction in solving the mystery of the Hudson River murder.

Inspector Faurot announced that the seven inch length of bone found in the debris of a bonfire in which a man burned a bundle on the afternoon of September 5 on a lot in 152d street, between Seventh avenue and Macomb's place, had turned out to be the bone of an animal. The ends of the bone had been sawed off, just as were the legs and arm bone of the river victim, but Dr. Palmer, the police surgeon, who examined it, said he was very sure it was not the bone of a human being.

Messmer, the wife slayer in the Tombs, who had been Schmidt's cellmate, went on strike yesterday morning. He said he had asked the priest why he killed his wife and Schmidt replied: "For love, and I love you too" Messmer, alarmed, sent a hurried message to the warden asking to be transferred. The frightened murderer was moved to another cell.

Deeper Tangle in Girl Murder, The Sun, 17 September 1913, page 5, column 1.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thriller Thursday - U. S. Agents Search Schmidt Evidence

U. S. Agents Search Schmidt Evidence

Expect New Clues in Materials at Counterfeiting Plant of Priest and "Dr." Muret.

Latter Now Under Fire

Detectives Seek a Link Between Him and River Murder - Schmidt Admits All Charges.

Complaints were drawn yesterday by Capt. John J. Henry of the New York district of the United States Secret Service, charging Hans Schmidt, the priest who killed and dismembered Anna Aumuller, and his friend, Ernest Arthur Muret, a pseudo dentist of 301 St. Nicholas Avenue, with having possession of the means of making counterfeit money. The entire counterfeiting plant in the apartment at 516 West 134th Street was seized and carried off by the police and Secret Service men.

Muret insisted yesterday that he was an innocent man. He said that he knew nothing of the coining, except that the priest, whom he blamed for all his troubles, was a man of a great deal of mechanical skill, combined with criminal instincts that might readily lead him into making imitation money.

The pseudo dentist denied that there were any printing presses, engraving plates, or bond paper in the apartment in 134th Street when he visited it. The new prisoner was willing to admit, however, that he was interested in photography, and he visited the apartment often to do fine camera work.

Schmidt was willing to let Muret's plea of innocence stand. The priest in his cell yesterday told Father Evers that the guilt rested alone with him for the counterfeiting as well as for the murder of the girl.

Inspector Faurot, however, gave little attention to Muret's statement or Schmidt's endorsement of it. Word was received yesterday from Meriden, Conn., that Muret, under the name of George Miller, had bought a small press there on July 3 of this year and ordered it shipped by express to 516 West 134th Street. No type was purchased with the press. When Muret was arrested a letter was found in his pocket, addresses to Dr. George Muret by the Chelsea Press, notifying him that the price of ink rollers for the Excelsior press was $1.25.

The Secret Service agents were unable to learn yesterday whether any counterfeit bills had been finished and put into circulation. Chief William Flynn of the United States Secret Service, who was on a visit here from Washington yesterday, said that several ten and twenty dollar counterfeit "yellowbacks" had been discovered recently, and that is would be known to-day whether they could have come off the press in the apartment in 134th Street.

Thinks Two Are Related.

Inspector Faurot, who noted the strong resemblance in face and build between Schmidt and Muret at the time of Muret's arrest early yesterday morning, made a detailed comparison to-day of the features of the two men, and asserted confidently that the two men were cousins or brothers.

"I have questioned Muret," said Inspector Faurot, "at length regarding his remarkable resemblance to Father Schmidt. He would have me believe that this is a mere coincidence. I have devoted much of my life to the study of methods of identification. I went abroad last year to study identification by the facial features, as it is practiced by the police in France. This is the most perfect method in the world. It is as certain as the taking of finger prints.

"when I first saw Dr. Muret I observed that the resemblance was more than a coincidence. I have a firm belief, fixed deep in my mind, that these men are related. There is, unquestionably, some blood connection. I have a strong suspicion that Father Schmidt and Muret are brothers. I am convinced that it will be established very soon that they are closely related - cousins, at least."

A circumstance that supports this theory was the possession both by Schmidt and by Muret of Business cards introducing "Dr. Moliere." In the course of the long questioning of Schmidt on the night of his arrest he told Inspector Faurot that his mother had been Gertrude Moliere.

Muret told the police that he was born in Chicago and educated in this country until he went to Berlin in 1903 to study medicine. Muret's German accent in speaking English, according to the police, is too strong to have been acquired by a short residence abroad. Little is known of Muret's past, but it was learned yesterday that he had said he was born in Hamburg. A few weeks ago Muret, who was suffering from earache, was treated by Dr. Alfred Michaelis of 5 West Ninety-first Street. His German accent was noticed by Mrs.Michaelis, and in reply to a question from her he said: "Yes, I was born in Hamburg."

Would Testify Against Schmidt.

Muret denied emphatically that he was related to Schmidt, and the priest, with equal vehemence, disclaimed kin with Muret. Muret denied that he had ever seen the murdered girl, Anna Aumuller. He said he believed that Schmidt had killed her in cold blood and that he would be pleased to testify against Schmidt, if called upon to express his opinion on the priest's sanity.

"Schmidt was one of the cleverest men I ever knew and one of the shrewdest," said Muret to Inspector Faurot.

Schmidt admitted yesterday to Father Evers, the Tombs chaplain, that he had had a part in setting up the counterfeiting plant. The prisoner nodded affirmatively.

"Yes." he said. "God gave me the plates. I acted under inspiration."

"Why did you do such a thing?"

"There are so many poor people in the world." replied Schmidt."There are so many who are sick and in dire need. I was going to helm them. I wanted to better their condition. Half the money I was going to devote to the poor people of the United States and the other half to the poor people of Germany."

Schmidt then said that it was he, not Muret, who had posed as Dr. Emil Moliere. He explained to Father Evers that he had acted under inspiration in pretending to be a physician.

"There are so many poor and miserable people in the world." said Schmidt. "It would be better if fewer were born. My mission was to prevent children from being born to a life of misery."

Father Evers said yesterday that he still believed that Schmidt was not a priest, in spite of evidence that he had been ordained in Germany and suspended from the priesthood.

Imposition Possible.

"Many instances have occurred in Germany and other European countries," said Father Evers, "of the impersonation of a priest after his death. Sometimes, when a priest has died in an obscure village, his credentials are stolen. The news of his death does not travel far, and the imposter succeeds with the dead man's credentials in obtaining a connection with a church. I think that something of this kind has occurred in this instance. I do not believe this man in the Tombs is the Hans Schmidt who was ordained a priest.

"I am going to send a photograph of this man to the parents of Hans Schmidt in Aschaffenburg, Germany. If they say it is a photograph of their son, then I will believe it. In the meantime I remain in doubt."

Schmidt has at different times given the first name of Hans, John, and Johannes. John Schmidt is signed on his marriage license, Johannes Schmidt is the name given him in the papers acquitting him of fraud on the ground of insanity in a court in Munich, and Hans Schmidt is the name he has signed to his letters and other papers while a priest in this city.

Dispatches from Aschaffenburg yesterday said that Schmidt's criminal career had begun in early manhood when he resorted to forged certificates to get a degree. He was arrested for that offense, but discharged as weak-minded and irresponsible. Schmidt's propensity to forge led Inspector Faurot to believe that the plan of equipping a counterfeiting plant might have originated with him.

When the warrants charging the priest and Muret with counterfeiting are issued to-day by United States Commissioner Hitchcock, they will be served on the Warden of the Tombs, who has the custody of the two men. Muret is at present held only on the charge of violating the Sullivan law in keeping a revolver on his premises.

Mass of Evidence Found.

Capt. Henry of the Secret Service said yesterday that four detectives were on the case for the Government, and that they had seized a large quantity of evidence in trunks and bureau drawers in the flat of Muret and Schmidt on West 134th Street. Capt. Henry himself will go over this to-day. He said last night that a great deal of evidence of importance had been found, and that the Government owed the New York police a debt of gratitude for raiding the plant. Both Capt. Henry and Inspector Faurot refused to say yesterday whether is was suspected that Schmidt and Muret had confederates, or whether additional arrests were expected.

A representative of the Grand Paper Company at Dalton, Mass., called yesterday at Police Headquarters and saw pieces of the paper on which the counterfeit bills were printed in the apartment on 134th Street. He said the paper was "Strathmore parchment," manufactured in 1911, as the trademark showed, and distributed in this city by J. Linde & Co. in Beekman Street.

In the Harlem flat Inspector Faurot found a score of negatives, showing that the counterfeiters had taken photographs of $5, $10, and $20 bills. The Inspector, who is an expert photographer himself, said that the camera was of unusual workmanship and was capable of taking a picture of United States currency without losing the slightest detail. On the other hand, he said that the engraving tools were of the type which an amateur, rather than an expert engraver, would work with.

According to Chief of the Secret Service William Flynn, Schmidt and Muret resemble and nearly answer the description of two men who have recently passed counterfeit $20 bills in Boston and New Haven and smaller places in the vicinity of those two cities. The government agents have in their possession thirty-five of the bills passed in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In the majority of cases the counterfeits were given to bartenders of saloons.

"The bills of which I speak," said Chief Flynn, "were made by a photo-mechanical process. Two pieces of paper, printed separately, were pasted together after silk threads had been distributed between them. The work was not done entirely on the printing press. The bills were finished in pen and ink. The job was deftly done, but nevertheless the bills were not the kind that would deceive persons expert in handling currency. In the cases of bartenders and other uninitiated in detecting bad paper, they passed muster easily. Only men who have acquired the 'feel' for bogus paper would detect these counterfeits.

"These bills may have been run off in the Harlem flat. That questions will be determined finally to-morrow."

Capt. Henry said yesterday that the indications were that no counterfeits had been completed in the Harlem flat. Creditors of Muret said yesterday that the pseudo dentist had appeared short of funds for some time.

Muret's Telephone Calls.

The report of Muret's arrest for counterfeiting was of great interest to Dr. Alfred Michaelis of 5 West Ninety-first Street. Muret owed a bill to Dr. Michaelis for treating him for ear trouble. This ran on for several weeks. About two weeks ago, however, Muret began to ring up Dr, Michaelis and to promise payment in a day or two.

"I may have been embarrassed temporarily," said Muret over the telephone to Dr. Michaelis, "but I am expecting to get a good deal of money in very soon now, and you won't be kept waiting for more that a day or two for your money."

The call sheet at the Alpha, 301 St. Nicholas Avenue, where Muret carried on his illegal dental practice, showed that he had telephoned several times to 1532 Morningside, the number of the rectory of St. Joseph's Church on West 125th Street, to which Hans Schmidt was attached as a curate. The last time Muret called up Schmidt on this telephone was Sept. 6, the day when the finding of the upper part of the torso of a woman in the Hudson River was published for the first time. He had not used that telephone before in calling up Schmidt since Aug. 1.

The detectives believe this goes strongly to show that Muret knew of the murder and dismemberment of the girl, and that he telephoned to warn Schmidt of his danger. It throws light also, according to the detectives, on the hurried destruction by fire of most of the half-completed bills, which was evidently the work of a man who scented the danger that the police might soon be on his trail.

Inspector Faurot said that he would be in a better position this afternoon to say whether Muret had a part in killing or performing a criminal operation on Anna Aumuller.

"A twelve-year-old boy," said Inspector Faurot, "saw a woman and a tall man walk out of the apartment at 68 Bradhurst Avenue, where Schmidt murdered the woman. The boy said the man was taller than Schmidt. To-day he will be taken to the Tombs to see Muret, who is several inches taller than Schmidt. The boy will also be asked whether Bertha Zech, the servant of Dr. Muret, was the woman he saw visiting the apartment."

A number of obstetrical instruments and books on gynecology and other medical subjects not connected with dentistry, were found by police yesterday in Muret's dental office. Secret Service Agents P. A. Rubano and Morris Manasse, who searched Muret's effects yesterday, found a postal card dated May 23 bearing a picture of Napoleon with the printed inscription: "Impossible is a word only found in a fool's dictionary."

On the other side in ink was the message: "Let us hope that our children may have rich parents." It was signed "Hans."

Emerick Becha, the janitor of the West 134th Street apartment, said that Muret entertained woman in his office at late hours, and that on one occasion a young girl, who was having dental work done, ran out of Muret's office and said that he had put his arms around her.

Assistant District Attorney Murphy was interested yesterday to learn that the call sheet at the apartment house showed that on Aug. 11, Muret had telephoned to Franklin 2304, the District Attorney's office. An unsuccessful effort was made yesterday to learn what business the pseudo-dentist had in the Criminal Court building.

Defines Schmidt's Insanity.

Alphonse G. Koelble of 29 Broadway, counsel for Schmidt, said yesterday that the specific form of insanity his client was suffering from was dementia praecox.

"We have no money to employ alienists," said Mr. Koelble, "but I am certain that any competent commission will agree upon Schmidt's mental disease. My talk with him yesterday convinced me that this was the case. The was before I knew his history. After learning of his acquittal in Germany on the ground of insanity, and after reading that he had at various times been considered weak minded by the church authorities, I do not see how any one can contend that he is in his right mind.

"I tried to learn from Schmidt what he had done during the three months from the time he left St. Boniface's till he received a position at St. Joseph's. He said he could not remember, but thought he was over in New Jersey most of the the time. I got a sharp denial when I asked him if the report was true that he had been a real estate speculator."

Muret was held in $5,000 bail in the Harlem Court when he was arraigned before Magistrate Krotel for violating the Sullivan law. The bail was not furnished, and if it had been, Muret would have been immediately re-arrested by Secret Service men on the charge of counterfeiting. Muret, who had been studying law with a correspondence school in Chicago, showed in answering questions that he knew what was best for a man in his situation.

"Muret knew just what questions to answer and what not to answer," said Inspector Faurot yesterday. "I asked him a number of questions which almost any other prisoner would have answered. He was remarkably shifty for a correspondence school lawyer."

Warden Fallon of the Tombs yesterday ordered that Thomas J. Messmer, the wife-murderer, who has been Schmidt's cellmate, should be transferred to another cell, and that Schmidt, who is regarded as dangerous, should remain by himself. Messmer told the authorities yesterday morning that he had spent the night in terror of his life. He became frightened Monday night at Schmidt's answer to the question why he had killed Anna Aumuller.

"I killed her," said Schmidt, "because I loved her."

Then he caught Messmer by the hands and added: "I love you, too."

Messmer freed himself and jumped to the far end of the cell, drawing the conclusion from these words that his own life was in danger. During the night he begged guards to remain within the cell if Schmidt became violent.

On the recommendation of Inspector Faurot, Commissioner Waldo late yesterday afternoon conferred honorable mentions and commendations on four detectives and a traffic patrolman who were active in clearing up the murder mystery. These were Detectives James O'Neill, Frank L. Cassassa, Richard M. McKenna, and John J. O'Connell, and Policeman Thomas H. Horgan of Traffic Squad A.

U. S. Agents Search Schmidt Evidence, The New York Times, 17 September 1913

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thriller Thursday - Schmidt Was Priest Here Through Forgery

Schmidt Was Priest Here Through Forgery

Suspended by Bishop of Mainz for Crimes. He Came to United States.

Message to Mgr. Lavelle

Murderer of Girl Once Declared Insane by Court, According to Cablegram from Germany.

Hans or John Schmidt, the slayer of Anna Aumuller, is a regularly ordained priest of the Roman Catholic Church, according to a statement made yesterday by Monsignor M. J. Lavelle, rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Monsignor Lavelle asserted, however, that there were incidents in Schmidt's past which, if they had been known to the head of the Diocese of New York when the recreant clergyman came to this city from Trenton, N. J., would have barred him from all local churches.

In answer to a cable dispatch sent to Germany at the instance of Monsignor Lavelle, the following message was received yesterday afternoon:

"Vicar General Mooney, Diocese of New York: J. Schmidt was born at Aschaffenburg. He was a priest of the Diocese of Mainz, ordained in 1907. He ran away from Mainz because of attempted frauds and his arrest by the police. He was declared insane by a court and discharged. He was suspended by the Bishop of Mainz for his acts and for presenting falsified documents regarding the studies he pretended to have made. Then he left the diocese. BENDIX.

"Secretary for the Bishop of Mainz."

It was believed in Germany, according to Church officials here, that when Schmidt was suspended by the Bishop of Mainz, following his arrest for criminal offenses, that his career as a priest was at an end. Schmidt left the country after his exposure, and the German Church authorities didn't know that he came to the United States.

When Schmidt came to New York from Trenton, in 1910, he presented his forged papers at the headquarters of the New York diocese. After their inspection he was assigned to the position of assistant priest at St. Boniface's Church, at Second avenue and 17th street, where there was a vacancy. The congregation of that church is composed of Italians and Germans, as well as American-born Catholics, and the services of two assistant priests, at least, are required by Father Braun, the rector.

Schmidt presented to Monsignor Lavelle a document alleged to have been given him by the Bishop of Mainz testifying that his service with the German Church had terminated creditably.

Father Mooney, vicar general of the diocese, on receipt of the message from abroad yesterday, sent word to Mainz, asking that all papers and information in possession of the German Church relating to Father Schmidt be forwarded at the earliest moment. The desired documents and facts, it is believed, will be here not later than a week from to-day.

According to dispatches by cable, the Mainz "Journal" yesterday said that John Schmidt served in the Mainz diocese, but was under suspension by the Bishop. He disappeared from Mainz, the German newspaper said, and later was arrested at Munich, where he was held for committing a umber of frauds. He was acquitted by the Munich court on the ground of weak-mindedness and then left Germany.

The Mainz episcopate, the newspaper said, was not aware that Schmidt was exercising the functions of a priest of the Catholic Church in New York.

Schmidt, it was said, studied at the Mainz classical high school and was ordained a priest in 1907. Later he served as a curate at Darmstadt, Seligenstadt, Gnsenheim and Buergl near Offenbach. It was from the last named church that he disappeared when it was found that he obtained his place on forged testimonials.

Schmidt Was Priest Here Through Forgery, The New York Tribune, 16 September 1913, page 2, column 5.

Thriller Thursday - Guiltless in Louisville

Guiltless in Louisville

Schmidt Not Connected with Slaying of Little Girl.

Louisville, Sept. 15 - Investigation here to-day failed to establish any connection of the Rev. Hans Schmidt, held in New York for the murder of Ann Aumuller, with the murder in Louisville of eight year-old Alma Kellner, whose mutilated body was found in the basement of St. John's Catholic Church on May 20, 1910, almost six months after her disappearance. Schmidt was visiting in Louisville as the guest of the Rev. H. B. Westermann, pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception, at the time of the Kellner girl's disappearance.

The manner in which the girl's body was cut into pieces and disposed of, being similar to the methods employed in the murder of Anna Aumuller, caused the suspicion that Schmidt might have been connected with the Kellner murder, for which crime Joseph Wendling, former janitor of St. John's Church, is serving a life sentence in the penitentiary at Frankfort, Ky.

Guiltless in Louisville, The New York Tribune, 16 September 1913, page 2, column 4.

Thriller Thursday - Farley Talks of Murder

Farley Talks of Murder

Terrible Shock, Cardinal Says of Priest's Crime.

By Telegram to The Tribune

Mount Clemens, Mich., Sept. 15 - Cardinal Farley, who is here for a rest and to take the baths, to-night said he was shocked beyond expression over the killing of Anna Aumuller by Hans Schmidt, a Roman Catholic priest.

"All that I know of the case at present is what I gained through the newspaper accounts," the Cardinal said, "but to-morrow I expect a communication from Monsignor Lavelle, of the archdiocese of New York, giving me complete information.

"As to this co-called Father Schmidt, I know nothing, and, in fact, never heard of his before this time. The ordination papers spoken of may have been forged, as it is not customary to doubt the sincerity of such credentials when they are presented.

"It seems peculiar to me that he should be assistant rector of St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church and I not know of it. Until I hear further I will say that he has never been a member of the diocesan clergy of my charge."

"I will aid in any way possible to sift this matter to the bottom."

Farley Talks of Murder, The New York Tribune, 16 September 1913, page 2, column 3.

Thriller Thursday - "God and Abraham on My Side," Says Slayer

"God and Abraham on My Side," Says Slayer

Schmidt, Held in Tombs for Murder of Aumuller Girl, Thus Informs His Lawyer, Who, Sure Client Is Insane, Will Enter Not Guilty Plea.

Alphonse G. Koelble, the lawyer retained by Schmidt, said yesterday, after a visit with the prisoner, that the priest seemed to be utterly unconcerned whether he had a lawyer or not.

"He declared over and over again," said Koelble, "that God and Abraham would take care of him, and it was only by way of concession on his part that he finally agreed to accept counsel. Even then he intimated that it was only a temporary arrangement, or, as he put it, 'until God or Abraham directs otherwise.' "

Koelble said that he had come into the case as the result of a conference with a few of Schmidt's friends, who were convinced that if he did commit the revolting murder he was out of his mind when he did it. The lawyer declared, in response to questions, that the friends of Schmidt in question were all laymen, and he added that no church authority had spoken to him about the case in any way.

"I wired Father Schmidt on Sunday night," Koelble said yesterday, "telling him that I would be glad to assist him in any way possible, and that I would see him Monday morning at the Tombs. I had known him, in a casual way, for about two years. I think I met him at some German-American gathering.

"When I went to the Tombs this morning, however, he told me first that, while he was glad to have my assistance as a friend, he did not need any lawyer, because God and Abraham would take care of him. I told him that while that would be all right, he should have some one to appear for him in court and protect his rights.

Shows No Dread of Penalty

"Finally he admitted that might be a good idea and said he would retain me until God or Abraham directed otherwise. I showed him a newspaper, pointing out the headlines charging him with murder in the first degree, and, thinking to bring him to earth, I told him that he was facing the electric chair.

"That did not seem to affect him in the slightest degree. He simply did not take any notice of such startling words, and then I told him that his friends were convinced that if he committed this murder he must have been insane when he did it.

"He insisted there was nothing in any such theory, that there was no trace of insanity in him, and that he was just as sane as any one.

" 'If there's one thing that's sure.' he said, 'it is that I am not insane.'

"I asked him it it was not true that his uncle in Germany had committed suicide, and he said that was true, but the the uncle was not insane, and that there was no insanity in the family.

"All great men had been called insane, he said, and he referred to the Biblical story of Abraham's plans to sacrifice his son Isaac. People would not understand his case, he said, but he was satisfied in every way, and he added that he did not fear death.

"When I showed him the newspaper he brushed it aside with the remark that the newspapermen could not understand his position either, and he did not care to read what the papers said of the case. He got up though then and, taking the paper from me for a moment, he kissed the picture of the girl and murmured, 'She was a good girl, she was a dear girl.' "

Invokes "God and Abraham."

Koelble says that he advised his client of his rights and advised him not to talk to any one, police officials or any one else, except after talking to his lawyer about it, but Koelble added that Schmidt appeared to pay no little attention to his advice, and he seemed to be so docile, that if any one came to him and told him to step into the next room and go to the electric chair he would probably get right up and walk to it, if it were there.

"God and Abraham will take care of me and give me their counsel," Schmidt told Koelble again on this point, and the lawyer decided that it was useless to talk to the priest until his mental attitude became more practical.

Along at least one line, however, the priest's mind did become more practical during the day, and that was when he sent to the St. Joseph's rectory for some heavier clothing.

Koelble said that so far as he knew the priest had no relatives or intimate friends in this country, and he did not believe he had any money. The lawyer said he knew nothing of the stories that Father Schmidt led at times a life in which he presented himself as a medical man, owning stock in a concern that specialized in illegal practice among women.

Schmidt is doubled up in the Tombs with one Thomas J. Messmer, who is charged with the murder of his wife on May 14 last. Messmer, the police say, was about to begin dismembering the body of his victim, in the same manner in which the body of Anna Aumuller was dismembered, when he was arrested. A special guard was installed yesterday outside the door of the cell to guard against attempted suicide.

Sure Priest Is Insane.

Koelble says that his talk with Father Schmidt yesterday convinced him that the priest was insane. The lawyer added that he had always thought the priest was "a little off" and "queer," and that it was his intention to make the state prove that Father Schmidt was sane before the trial of the case begins.

"I will plead not guilty on the ground of insanity when the priest is arraigned," said Koelble, "and will then apply for a commission of alienists to be appointed by the court, to determine as to his sanity. I do not propose to delay the case in any way."

The lawyer went on to say that is the commission of alienists agreed unanimously that Father Schmidt was sane it would be his disposition to accept that verdict, but if there was any disagreement, or if there remained any doubt as to his sanity, he would insist that the state prove Schmidt sane.

While Koelble was not ready to go into the details of his case yet, it can be positively stated that is Schmidt is declared sane, or if there is a verdict from the commission which leaves any doubt as to his sanity, the defense will offer to plead guilty to a lesser degree rather than go to trial.

"God and Abraham on My Side," Says Slayer, The New York Tribune, 16 September 1913, page 2, column 3.