Schmidt Breaks Out In Mad Frenzy, Denying Insanity
Slayer of Aumueller Woman Is Forced Back Into Seat by Court Officer.
State Closes Case.
Defense Indicates Contention That Religious Mania Impelled Prisoner to Evil Acts.
Hans Schmidt, slayer of Anna Aumueller, made a wild scene in the Court of General Sessions before Judge Warren Foster today. Shrieking protests against any allusion to insanity in the family, he jumped to his feet in wild frenzy. He was obliged to be restrained and forced to his seat by a court officer.
The State closed its presentment before noon today. After Assistant District-Attorney Murphy had finished reading the shorthand record of Schmidt’s confession Mrs. Amy Williams, the last witness, said she knew Anna Aumueller at the flat at No. 86 Bradhurst avenue as Mrs. Anna Schmidt.
Schmidt Hints He Has Changing Personalities.
Mr. Murphy asked Schmidt why he had a number of assumed names.
“Do you understand,” replied Schmidt, “about two-quarter or three-quarter pesonalities?”
Mr. Murphy said he did not.
“Then,” said Schmidt, “you cannot understand.”
The alienists and the counsel for the defense took notes rapidly at this point.
Mr. Olcott declined to make any motion to dismiss the case against Schmidt at the conclusion of the presenting of the prosecution’s case.
“I mean to show you,” said Judge Olcott, “that this man has a family taint of insanity which he has always had, had at the time of his murder of Anna Aumueller and still has.”
Schmidt jumped to his feet.
“It is not true,” he cried in a hoarse voice.
Court Officer Carroll jumped up from his chair, put both hand on Schmidt’s shoulders and forced the prisoner back into his chair.
“I protest against that! I protest!” shouted Schmidt before he was silenced.
“We shall prove,” said Mr. Olcott, “that Schmidt had heroic religious mania from his early boyhood. We shall actually convince you that this young man grew to believe that he was born of a union of his mother and John the Baptist. He believed that because of this fanciful birth he was selected by St. Elizabeth for consecration and was actually ordained by St. Elizabeth.”
It was announced that Drs. M. A. Gregory and Smith M. Jeliffe of New York and Dr. Joseph Cotton of Trenton, N. J., and Dr. William A. White of Washington, D. C., would be the alienists to testify for the defense.
Wants Prisoner Sent To Insane Asylum.
Mr. Olcott’s speech was a plea to the jury to find that Schmidt’s “blood lust,” his devotion to those suffering from poverty, his notions regarding his peculiar religious qualities, his queer ways of making money (some honest and some dishonest) justified his being spared from death in the electric chair and his alternative confinement in an asylum for the criminal insane.
Heinrich Schmidt, an inspector of the government railroads of Germany for many years, father of Hans Schmidt, was the first witness for the defense.
The father testified to the insanely cruel acts of his son when a mere boy. He told how he would cut of [sic] the heads of geese and ducks and drink the blood. He then showed the extreme religious side, telling how the lad erected a miniature altar, when at the age of seven, and made vestments for himself. He told of Schmidt’s jail experience in Germany and of his suspension from priestly function then.
The elder Schmidt said that he frequently had occasion to differ with his wife for encouraging the boy’s overzealous study and religious devotion.
Schmidt Breaks Out In Mad Frenzy, Denying Insanity, The Evening World, 16 December 1913, page 1, column 4.