Schmidt’s Fights with Victim Told at Murder Trial
Inspector Faurot Details Events of Tracking and Arresting Aumueller Woman’s Slayer.
Inspector Faurot, whose clever detective work fastened the crime of slaying Anna Aumueller upon Hans Schmidt, now on trial for murder in the Court of General Sessions before Judge Warren Foster, was called to the stand today. He reviewed in detail the incidents of the arrest of Schmidt and the running down of clues leading up to this event.
He told of finding the wire and cord and wrapping paper exactly like that found on the dismembered body. Much time was consumed in identifying the articles taken from the Bradhurst avenue flat. He then described the arrest of Schmidt by O’Connell, Cassassas, and himself.
Dr. Arnold G. Leo of No. 306 West One Hundred and Thirty-fifth street said that Schmidt had called on him for medical treatment and also took Anna Aumueller to him. In the physician’s presence Schmidt and the girl quarrelled, each accusing the other of unfaithfulness. This was last April.
At first Schmidt told the physician that he was a teacher of music. Later the physician saw him in clerical clothing and asked him if he were not a clergyman, Schmidt confessed that he was a priest.
“He told me at various times,” said Dr. Leo, “that he was very much in love with her and was miserable without her and was distracted when she was away from him. He told me that he loved her so much he thought it was his duty to the church and himself and the girl to leave the church and marry her.
Friction between Judge Foster and former Judge Olcott of Schmidt’s counsel developed sharply during the examination of Dr. Leo.
Defense Counsel Clashes With Judge Foster.
“I desire,” said Judge Olcott, “that all this testimony shall be admitted. I have refrained from making technical objections.”
“Well,” remarked Judge Foster, with a sarcastic smile. “I’m not keeping it out.”
“What did you say, sir?” snapped Mr. Olcott.
“I said that I was not making any objection,” replied the Judge.
“Did I say that you did?” exclaimed Judge Olcott in open anger, raising his voice. I was merely indicating a desire to apologize for seeming to interpose an objection in order to keep the record regular, but not to keep anything out of the record.”
Assistant District-Attorney Delehanty interposed with voluntary offers to change the form of his questions to suit Mr. Olcott.
Dr. Leo dwelt on Schmidt’s repeated and emphatic and almost frantic professions of love for Anna. The girl in her visits to the physician repeatedly showed anger with Schmidt. She called him vulgar names in the physician’s presence, while Schmidt petted and calmed her, though doubtful as to her loyalty to him.
Thought Love and Religion Worried Schmidt.
The surgeon said he had advised Schmidt to break with Anna because she was unworthy of him and beneath him mentally and in social training. Schmidt protested always, Dr. Leo repeated to Mr. Olcott, that he “was crazy about Anna and couldn’t live without her and wanted to marry her, but he did not know what he ought to do because of the best interests of the church.”
“May I fairly say,” suggested Mr. Olcott, “that there was a constant disturbance and struggle between his love and his religious duty?”
“Yes,” said Dr. Leo. “Exactly that.”
Anna Aumuller told Dr. Leo that she didn’t want Schmidt with her during consultation, saying that “He will do something to me, he is utterly crazy.”
“On one occasion when I called at the rectory to treat Schmidt,” said Dr. Leo, “he broke late the consultation by jumping up, running across the room to a ___ struck up a loud tune and sand a wild song.”
“My impression was that he was trying to throw off something that was on his mind. It was eccentric and queer but hardly irrational.”
He said Schmidt spoke of bathing at Midland Beach in April; the physician said it was a foolhardy performance.
“Have you heard,” asked Mr. Delehanty “of the Polar Bear Association, of which our Second Deputy Commissioner of Police is a member? Do you consider them irrational?”
“I don’t know,” said the witness, grinning.
“Of course” interposed Judge Foster, “that which would be irrational in a man of sedentary rite and habits might be rational if practiced by a trained and seasoned athlete?”
“Yes,” said the physician.
Schmidt’s Fights with Victim Told at Murder Trial, The Evening World, 12 December 1913, page 8, column 1.