Muret Won’t Talk of His Own History
Dentist Again Denies All Knowledge of Hans Schmidt’s Crimes.
Thought Priest Crazy
Cable From Germany Implicates Muret in Swindling Scheme There.
Ernest A. Muret, the dentist partner in the counterfeiting operations of Hans Schmidt, murderer of Anna Aumuller, decided last evening that it was time to express his opinion about the case of Schmidt and his own arrest. Therefore he consented to talk to newspaper men in his cell at the Tombs.
Schmidt, who has not had a chance to talk with Muret since his arrest, declared that he was physically unable to see “the gentlemen of the press.”
Muret was nervous and out of sorts when his callers came. He had nothing to say in commendation or condemnation of Schmidt, but he had decided views about newspapers.
An important fact, in the opinion of the police, was disclosed yesterday by the discovery that the revolver found in the flat at 68 Bradhurst avenue, where Anna Aumuller met her fate, and the revolver belonging to Dr. Muret, found in his dentist office, were both made by the same concern in Germany. The police are also satisfied that the weapon which came from Muret’s office had been discharged within two or three weeks, although Muret has repeatedly said that this could not possibly be true.
Inspector Faurot left the city last evening on a mission, it is understood, in connection with the Schmidt case. The inspector took nobody into his confidence, but the impression was abroad at Police Headquarters that there would be interesting developments when he returns.
“I consider it entirely unnecessary,” he said, “that this case against Schmidt should be worked up by the newspapers in a manner to satisfy the morbid cravings of some people. It is unbecoming of the newspapers, in view of the fact that women and children and young people must read it.
“In so far as it concerns myself, I think that the statement in regard to me are unfair. But time will prove they are wrong and I am right.
Says He Was Wronged.
“All my life I have been hard working, devoting much time to study, and everything in my history will prove ultimately that I am a wronged man. Some of those false statements against me have already been disproved. Others will be disproved in time.
“I have known Schmidt only since December,” he continued, “and most of the time that we met we talked about history and sometimes, but very little, about philosophy. Schmidt always seemed good natured and harmless to me until the middle of August. Then he began to talk almost constantly about religion. He was a priest and I did not want to talk to him about religion because I was not a Catholic.”
It was about this time, the middle of August, the dentist went on, that Schmidt confided in him that he would have the means to build a church to St. Elizabeth, but he didn’t consider his remark unusual.
“The next time that I met him,” he said, “Schmidt spoke about Jesus and said it would be a great thing to be crucified like Jesus. He said that he would not mind being crucified in order to do something for his religion, whereupon I told him that he must be out of his mind.”
Muret was asked about Vera Harris, who wrote to him in endearing terms from London, signing herself as his wife and warning him that the detectives had been after him.
He replied that he knew Miss Harris, but he manifestly didn’t want to talk about her. Miss Harris is 18 years old. Her mother has denied that Muret and the girl were married.
Referring to Muss Aumuller Muret said:
“Schmidt never talked about Anna Aumuller to me. I did not know anything about his love affairs. I did not know he had any apartment.”
Muret admitted that several days after the girl was slain Schmidt visited him, once or twice, but he was sure that he never mentioned a word about the crime. He admitted, however, that Schmidt was very nervous.
“I thought he was still a fanatic.” the dentist said in explanation of his nervousness.
Although Chief William J. Flynn of the secret service says there is not the slightest doubt that Muret and Schmidt were interested in a plan to turn out bogus money, as borne out by the counterfeiting plant found in the flat, which they had rented, Muret averred that he knew nothing about Schmidt’s counterfeiting scheme.
“I don’t believe,” he said, “that he ever made a plate or anything else.”
The paper found in his flat in St. Nicholas avenue, he said, was “just for writing.”
Muret didn’t feel inclined to go further into his personal history and his relations with Schmidt. He registered a protest because Inspector Faurot had made public much of the details of his life. He insisted that the inspector had no right whatever to disclose what he had learned.
The dentist’s memory was refreshed concerning a note he had sent from his cell a few days ago, in which he made it clear that he thought the police were trying to hold him responsible for murder.
His eyes snapped as he said:
“They gave me their word in Police Headquarters that they believed that I had no connection with the murder at all.”
Y. M. C. A. Card Found.
Among Muret’s effects the police found a certificate of membership in the Hamburg Young Men’s Christian Association of one Arthur Heibling. Asked about Heibling, Muret said he knew him and added that Heibling had given him the card. He said he didn’t know where he lived not in what business he was engaged. He was sure that he had the man’s address somewhere among his papers now in the possession of the police.
“I was never a member of the Hamburg Y. M. C. A.,” Muret declared.
The dentist didn’t seem anxious to go into details of his life after he left Germany. He said that he had spent part of the time in England, part in Chicago and then he ran his hand over his head, switched his fingers across his eyes and dropped the subject.
When questions were asked him concerning the date of his birth and other personal matters, Muret flashed back that he didn’t think it was required of him to answer such interrogations.
“If the newspapers want a history of my life,” he said, “I think they should pay me for it.”
He did go into personal history long enough to say that he was born in Chicago, his father being a German and his mother, a French woman. He went to the fatherland at the age of three, and insisted above all that his real name is Dr. Ernest A. Muret and nothing else.
“I was never known by any other name,” he said, “except in London, where I taught in the Hugo School of Languages. While I was there they called me Ernst.
Then the business side of the dentist came to view again and he said:
“I have nothing more to say. You papers want me to talk, using up my time and health. I was here several days starving and none of you worried about me. But I have got an offer from one paper to write all I know at a good price and I will accept it.”
Muret replied with a very emphatic “Rot” to intimations that he had ever been engaged in the white slave business. He would up by saying that if anything was said about him in the newspapers that wasn’t true or if he was misquoted he would sue them.
There came a cable last night from Hamburg to the effect that Herman Arthur Heibling, who was born in the village of Nakel in the province of Posen, West Prussia, on February 7, 1884, is apparently identical with Dr. Muret. The man “apparently identical” with Muret, the cable read, is wanted by the police of Hamburg and Berlin on charges of swindling.
Muret, like Heibling, was born in 1884.
The first traces of Dr. Muret that can be found in Hamburg go back to 1904, when he reported himself to the police as coming from Chicago. He lived in Hamburg for several years, passing himself off as engaged in various occupations. He was a salesman, a merchant, a physician and an insurance agent. He changed his residence as many times as his occupation.
Bobbed Up Many Times.
The cablegram from Hamburg continues:
“Dr. Muret disappeared for a time and then reappeared in July, 1909, and lived at 5 Grindel Allee. He left again on August 22, 1909, for parts unknown. The last time he was here he lived with a family named Dalovin at 59 Feld street. It seems as if Muret has been using the name of Dr. August Heid, who has been a reputable dentist here for more than thirty years. The real Dr. August Heid does not know Muret.”
Among Dr. Muret’s belongings when he was arrested was found a diploma bearing the name of Dr. Arnold Heid, granted at the College of Mechano-Therapy of Chicago.
From Scotland Yard yesterday came word that the police there have no record of Muret being engaged in the white slave traffic.
Schmidt, the murderer, was calm and unperturbed yesterday. He mingled with the prisoners as he exercised in the Tombs, wandering up and down, stripped to his undershirt. The keepers said that he did not talk with them much, although occasionally he would stop to say a word or two. He was calmer by far than he had been any day since his arrest.
Schmidt told his counsel, Alphonse G. Koelble, that he is anxious to get to the electric chair just as soon as the law will take him there. He wants to have the fuss over in a hurry. But he insisted that he is not now and never has been insane. He said that if District Attorney Whitman thinks he can get anything out of him he will be mistaken.
“I am not afraid of a live wire,” he said.
Mr. Koelble said that Schmidt told him he didn’t shoot Anna Aumuller, but killed her with a knife, just as he said when he confessed. The lawyer in discussing the possibility said that the State may urge at the trial that the murder was accomplished by a bullet for the purpose of overcoming the insanity plea.
Schmidt admitted to his lawyer yesterday that he stole the book of death certificate blanks from a physician. He insisted that one was already missing when he got the book. The police, who have been leaving no leads unfollowed, are working on the theory that perhaps the missing blank had been used by Schmidt in disposing of the body of a victim of which they know nothing.
Letters for Schmidt.
Two letters from former parishioners were received by Schmidt. Both were of a sympathetic nature. The writers said that they would call on him at the Tombs were in not for the fact that their visits might be attended by publicity.
Schmidt received a check yesterday for $25 from a casualty and fidelity company in Philadelphia in which he holds some kind of a policy. He had the check cashed without delay.
It is understood that the police have a letter addressed to Schmidt, found in his possession when he was arrested, in which the writer referred to herself as his wife. It is said that Schmidt and the woman came to this country on the same boat, passing as a newly married couple. Schmidt then posed as a doctor of philosophy, it is said, and not a priest. It was after this that he went to Louisville. The letter, it is said, indicated that the pair were planning to return to Germany to live.
Mr. Koelble said that if he can make the arrangements as alienist may go to the Tombs to-day to make an examination of Schmidt for the defence.
In his daily talk with Father Evers. the Tombs chaplain, Schmidt said that the people do not understand his mission on earth to help the poor and relieve suffering by sacrifice.
“Christianity wasn’t understood until 300 years after Christ was crucified,” Schmidt said to the chaplain. “Just think of the fact that the Redeemer came to earth to save a world and the people wouldn’t understand, but killed him! How can they understand me now?”
Muret Won’t Talk of His Own History, The Sun, 21 September 1913, page 14, column 1