Schmidt Had A Plan To Kill Incurables.
Says He Was Going to Put Them to Death With Knife or Poison.
Ready to Go to The Chair.
Wants to Be Sentenced at Once – Willing to Meet Alienists.
Hans Schmidt, slayer of Anna Aumuller, took a new mental tack in his cell at the Tombs yesterday afternoon. He declared that not only was he alone responsible for the killing of the girl he loved, but that he had been planning to do away with the hopelessly insane, the permanently crippled and those suffering for incurable diseases by poison or by the knife.
Furthermore, he was anxious, he said, to go to the electric chair and hoped that the District Attorney wouldn’t go through a lot of unnecessary red tape to send him there.
He made these statements to Alphonse G. Koelble, his lawyer, during the course of his daily chat and to Detectives McKenna and Thompson, who visited him to get an explanation of the purpose to which he intended to put a book of blank death certificates stolen from the physician, which were found among his belongings.
Schmidt received a picture postal yesterday at the Tombs postmarked London, forwarded from St. Joseph’s rectory in West 125th street. It read as follows:
My very best wishes. Kathleen O’Malley Hotel Russell, London, W. C.
The book of certificates issued by the Board of Health had already convinced Inspector Faurot and his men working on the strange case of Schmidt and his partner in the counterfeiting business, Ernest A. Muret, the fake dentist, that Schmidt has hit upon what he believed would be an easy way of getting his victims under ground without exciting suspicion.
Koelble said he was very positive that Schmidt’s cool admission of his plan to put folks out of their misery for their own good was further admission of his insanity.
Angry at Newspapers
“Schmidt showed spirit for the first time to-day,” said Lawyer Koelble, “He was angry and excited because the newspapers were ‘dragging into the case innocent people and touching them with scandal.’
“Schmidt said to me: ‘I don’t see why there is so much red tape about this. I’m ready this minute to go to the electric chair. Anybody who thinks that this life is worthwhile is mistaken. I have faced death many times and would face the chair without a quiver of a muscle.’ “Schmidt said he didn’t want to answer the questions of the District Attorney at trial, but would simply say: ‘I did it,’ meaning that he killed Anna Aumuller. He said that nobody would understand him anyway and that the matter was a matter between himself and his God.
“Then he made this astonishing statement when I asked him about the death certificates: ‘I was planning to do away with a knife or by poison a number of people for whom live wasn’t worth while. What’s the use of living if life is worthless? The quicker one goes the better for them. I believe that the next world is far better for the hopelessly insane, the hopelessly crippled and the hopelessly diseased.’
“He told me that he wanted death to be painless and thought that death by the knife would be very painless.”
“Have you ever killed anybody other than Anna Aumuller?” I asked him.
“Nobody,” he said.
Kindness to Unfortunate.
“Schmidt told me that he had a death certificate photographed and said it was his intention of signing with the name of Dr. Molliere certificates that he used. He insisted that he intended to do a kindness to the insane, the crippled and the diseased.
“He admitted that he had taken a small boy to 124 West Eighty-fourth street, but denied that it was his son. He said he wouldn’t tell who the boy was because he didn’t want to drag his family in.
“He also strenuously denied that Muret is his brother or a cousin or any relation whatever. ‘I have known Muret only ten months and not a day longer,’ he said. He said that he went to Muret one day about some plated and the dentist told him he was crazy because he spoke about St. Elizabeth, whereupon they had a quarrel.
“As for the girl, Helen Green, for whom the police are looking, Schmidt said that he had met her casually and described her as a ‘girl of the streets.’
“Schmidt said that his father did send him to a sanitarium in Germany, not because he was insane, but to take a rest, but he got away. He said he understood that his confinement took place because the court considered him not insane but weak minded. He refused to have anything to do with the idea that he is now insane.”
Ready for Alienists.
Mr Koelble said that he wants to have Schmidt examined as to his sanity. “The quicker the better,” he added. He said that he will be ready by next Wednesday to accept the offer of the State for the employment of an alienist on behalf of Schmidt.
When Detectives McKenna and Thompson went to the Tombs with the book of certificates which Inspector Faurot says were stolen from a physician, whose identity he would not disclose. Schmidt told them of his plan to relieve a suffering world with poison and the knife. He also mentioned the fact that shooting was another method of delivery.
The book of certificates, Inspector Faurot explained, contained ten blank certificates. Two had been removed. The stub of one had been filled out, the Inspector said, but the other stub was not filled out.
The two photographs of the death certificate in the case of Robert Smith, 61 years old, who died at 125 West 133d street in April last, which was found in Schmidt’s possession were of a style different from those issued previously to March 1, 1913. The book of blanks were of the other style.
… Schmidt intended to do with … is not known … he… [this part of the page is very dark and not legible] … which he could make his own certificates by the wholesale, but the fact that he got a supply from a physician’s office probably saved him a lot of time and bother.
These certificates are obtained at the office of the Board of Health by those authorized to use them, only after they have been properly signed for.
Schmidt told the detectives that he had Anna Aumuller in mind when he got the certificates.
“I might have been obliged to use one at any time,” the detectives said the prisoner told them.
Schmidt furthermore assured the detectives that many persons who were in a hopelessly physical condition were afraid to die, and he expected that he would be called upon to help them out of their misery.
Inspector Faurot is satisfied that neither Muret nor Schmidt told the truth when they said that they had known each other only ten months. hey found among Muret’s things an I.O.U. for $500 given by Schmidt to Muret on April 16, 1911, which was much more than ten months ago.
The Inspector is still clinging to his belief that Schmidt and Muret are related, probably as cousins. He said yesterday afternoon that there still is such a mass of stuff to be examined and so much work to be done in digging into the past of both men, that it will be some time yet before he is able to get at the real truth of their strange lives.
He said that he expects much will develop by the letters expected from the police of Europe, with special reference to Schmidt in Germany and Muret in England and elsewhere.
Get Plenty of Evidence.
Assistant District Attorney James A. Delehanty, who is preparing the case for the Grand Jury in conjunction with Assistant District Attorney Deacon Murphy, said yesterday afternoon that his office has “come to a place where we have to pause.” He said it is now necessary to straighten out all the evidence and get it in shape.
Mr. Delehanty said that the District Attorney’s office is perfectly willing to have one of two alienists examine Schmidt on behalf of the defense at the expense of the State.
He declared that thus far the State is in a position to establish the corpus delecti in the case of Anna Aumuller by means of Schmidt’s confession in the rectory when he was arrested, the identification made by Miss Anna Hirt, who recognized the birthmark on the torso as one on Miss Aumuller; the property belonging to the dead woman and the pillow slip with the embroidered letter “A.”
“There is no doubt,” he said, “that the State can prove that the parts of the body found are parts of the body of Miss Aumuller.”
Muret, the bogus dentist, who bears such a remarkable likeness to Schmidt, was asked yesterday afternoon if he had known the notorious Dr. Crippen, the murderer, and if it was true that he had any knowledge of the white slave business.
“I never knew Dr. Crippen,” was Muret’s reply. “I have never had any connection whatever with white slavery in my life. My record in England was an excellent one.
“I have always been so disgusted with white slavery that in February or March, 1913, I offered myself to the Vigilance Association in Chicago. You can easily verify this. I intended to give up my practice to become a detective in the Vigilance Association to suppress the [the sentence ends here]
The Rev. Father Evers, the Tombs Catholic chaplain, who has his own private opinion that the Schmidt in the Tombs may not be the Schmidt who was originally ordained as the Rev. Father Schmidt, said last night:
“I’ll never be satisfied that the prisoner is Hans Schmidt, the ordained priest, until the brothers in the seminary who instructed the priest, or somebody who really knows the real priest identifies him.”
The Rev. Father Gailus Bruder, pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Eighty-seventh street, between Avenue A and First avenue, is another priest who believes that Schmidt may be an impostor, masquerading under the guise of a priest for his own sinister purposes.
Father Bruder has reached this conclusion for various reasons. He said that not long ago priests who heard Schmidt say mass in Father Huntman’s church noticed that he didn’t say it properly and called Father Huntman’s attention to his errors and his apparent lack of knowledge of things that a priest should know.
Laymen Noticed Errors.
It was also said that Father Braun of St. Boniface’s, for whom Schmidt once acted as curate, was told of the things that Schmidt didn’t know. Even parishioners attending mass, it was said, noticed that Schmidt wasn’t always sure of his ground.
Among the things disclosed by an examination of Schmidt’s trunks was a baptismal certificate of “Hans Schmidt” in Schmidt’s own handwriting in which his mother’s name was given as “Lemyiere.” There was also a birth certificate of “Frans Schmidt,” which the police, it is said, believe to be a certificate of Schmidt’s own birth.
Schmidt has a half dozen diplomas from gymnasiums in Germany, some of all of which they believe may have been forged by him, as they do not see how he could have found sufficient time in which to take all the courses. He also had blanks from the Bishop’s office in Mayence and in Cologne.
There was also a letter from “Anna,” which the police believed for a time was written Anna Aumuller, but it is understood they are not convinced that it came from Schmidt’s sister-in-law.
Hunt in New Jersey.
Inspector Faurot’s hunt into Schmidt’s operations in New York, before and after he dropped the pieces of his victim’s body into the Hudson River, have taken him more than once this week to New Jersey for talks with Chief of Police Frank Titus of Englewood and Sergt. O’Brien of Edgewater. The first part of the dismembered body was found just below O’Brien’s territory at Shadyside.
The New Jersey police declined to tell anything about Faurot’s visits, but it is understood that they have been in connection with clues to the identities of two men who are supposed to have seen Schmidt drop his bundles from a Fort Lee ferryboat.
The Edgewater police, acting, it is believed, on the request of Inspector Faurot, have dragged the Hudson River along the path of the Fort Lee boats in the hope of finding the head of the murdered girl.
It is understood that they are particularly anxious to determine whether there is a bullet wound in the skull. This, to the mind of New York police, would be a most interesting discovery.
Muret had a revolver in his office at the time of his arrest. He said it wasn’t working. It has been learned by acting Captain Jones of the Police Department that the revolver was in good order. The police want to know how he came to make this mistake.
Much, it is said, depends on the finding of the head, not only because it would make easier the establishing of the corpus delecti, which Lawyer Koelble declares hasn’t been established at all, but because it would clear up other possibilities of side lines that the police mind is inquiring into with much vigor.
From Chicago last night word came from officials of the Vigilance Association of that city that they never heard Muret had offered his services as a white slave detective. The records there do not show that he ever volunteered to help out on the white slave crusade.
Detectives Wood and Cassassa went to A. J. Volk’s morgue in Hoboken yesterday afternoon with a morgue wagon and returned to this city with the three parts of the body of Schmidt’s victim, including the halves of the trunk found at Shadyside and Weehawken, and the thigh picked up in the lower bay at Keansburg, N. J.
They were taken to the city morgue at the foot of East Twenty-sixth street, and the official record of the Hudson River mystery was closed as far as New Jersey was concerned.
Schmidt Had A Plan To Kill Incurables, The Sun, 20 September 1913, page 5, column 1.