Schmidt, After Killing Girl, Hired Flat to Destroy Clothes

Schmidt, After Killing Girl, Hired Flat to Destroy Clothes

Baby Outfit Found by Police as Well as Women’s Garments and Toilet Articles – New Landlady Recognized Priest’s Picture.

Bogus Dentist Muret Sought by London Police.

Complete Counterfeiting Outfit Is Found in Rooms of Man Who Was Priest’s Closest Friend.

Personal effects of Anna Aumueller, the victim of Hans Schmidt, the Jekyll-Hyde priest, were found to-day in a flat at No. 2562 Eighth avenue, which was rented by Schmidt on Sept. 5, three days after the murder was committed at No. 68 Bradhurst avenue. Among the articles were found an infant’s garments, partially complete, indicating that the woman was constructing a layette for a baby that she expected.

Investigations by the police show that Schmidt rented the Eighth avenue flat under an assumed name, to use it as a storage place for the blood-stained, tell-tale evidence he had left behind in the Bradhurst avenue flat.  The discovery of parts of Anna Aumueller’s body in the North River and the consequent police search and newspaper publicity spoiled his plans.

George Bleuett, a patrolman attached to a special squad, visited his sister, Fannie Bleuett, who keeps house for her father in a flat at the Eighth avenue address last night. Miss Bleuett told her brother that the housekeeper, Mrs. Dowd, was worried about an apartment on the fourth floor that she had rented to a man who looked like the pictures of Schmidt. Bleuett saw Mrs. Dowd, who said she was sure she rented a flat to Schmidt on Sept. 4. To-day Bleuett made a report to Inspector Faurot, who directed him to investigate.

Mrs. Dowd said that in the late afternoon of Sept. 5 a man in layman’s clothing who gave the name of Jacob Schneider and said he was a machinist called and asked to be shown vacant flats. After carefully examining the locks and window fastenings of a four-room flat on the fourth floor he rented the apartment and paid the rent for one month, $16, in advance.

In the late afternoon of the next day the man known to Mrs. Dowd as Schneider appeared again, carrying two suitcases. He deposited them in the fourth floor flat, locked the door and went away. She did not see him again, but when the newspapers told of Schmidt’s arrest for the murder of Anna Aumueller she recognized his photograph as that of Schneider.

Suitcases Contained Baggage of Murdered Woman.

Bleuett, with a key furnished by Mrs. Dowd, entered the flat to-day. In one of the four rooms, which were unfurnished, he found a leather suit case and a rattan suitcase, which he took to Police Headquarters where they were opened.

These suitcases constituted the baggage of Anna Aumueller. In the leather case was a quantity of woman’s wearing apparel, gloves and underwear, and box filled with needles, silk thread and other materials for embroidering. There was also an embroidery frame and some models of the letter “A” which was embroidered on the pillow slip in which part of the body was wrapped.

A baby’s flannel undershirt was found in the suitcase. This had apparently served as a model from which Anna Aumueller had cut up considerable material, ready to be sewed together into little shirts. There was also other material for baby’s clothing cut out but not sewed up. Material was there for almost a complete baby’s wardrobe.

Besides a heliotrope colored linen dress which showed signs of wear, a photograph of Anna Aumueller and a photograph of Schmidt, the leather suitcase also contained a gray and black striped pair of trousers and a waistcoat to match, both marked “Van Dyke” and bearing the label of a tailor on One Hundred and Twenty-fifth street. These two garments correspond with the gray and black striped coat found in the murder flat in Bradhurst avenue marked “Van Dyke” which was one of the names Schmidt used in his prowlings about. Undoubtedly this is the suit he wore when he killed Anna Aumueller and dismembered her body in the bathtub of the Bradhurst avenue flat.


In the other suit case were numerous trinkets and toilet articles, such as are used by women, and several embroidery patterns.  There ere also clippings from German newspapers of flats advertised for rent in the Harlem section.

Intended to Use New Flat for Hiding Place.

No. 2562 Eighth avenue is between One Hundred and Thirty-sixth and One Hundred and Thirty-seventh streets and a few blocks away from the Bradhurst avenue address. It is apparent that Schmidt intended to use the Eighth avenue flat as a hiding place for the evidence left in the Bradhurst avenue house, but was unable to perfect the removal before he was caught.

London Police Want Muret for Some Crime.

Papers and other evidence found this afternoon by detectives in the apartment of Schmidt’s chum and counterfeiting partner, “Dr.” Ernest Muret, at No. 301 St. Nicholas avenue, show that Muret is wanted in London for some crime committed while he was practicing medicine there; also that he practiced medicine in Chicago under the name of Heid, and, for some reason, left that city and dropped the name of Heid some time subsequent to July, 1909. From the evidence at hand the police believe Muret went direct to London from Chicago and remained in the English metropolis until the police drove him out. Then he came to New York.

Muret’s Chicago connections are established by a certificate from the “America College of Mechano-Therapy” of that city, stating that “Arnold Heid, a man of good moral character and high professional standing,” had completed a course at the college and was entitled to practice mechano-therapy. Attached to the certificate is a notary public’s acknowledgement, at the top of which is an excellent photograph of Muret. Under the photograph this appears:

I, the undersigned, do herewith certify that the above is a likeness of Arnold Heid, who is personally known to me to be the same person now living at No. 476 North Clark street, in the city of Chicago, and practicing medicine.

The document bears the signature of Paul Valy, notary public.

There was found, too, a tin enameled sign, weather worn, which had been detached from a wall or door. It read “Dr. A. Heid, No. 476 North Clark street.”

Warned from London by a Woman Correspondent.

Cards reading “Dr. Ernest Muret, 1 Gloucester Chambers, No. 2 Gloucester street, W. C. London,” were found. These were mixed in with many letters in a woman’s writing addressed to Dr. Ernest Muret and postmarked London. Some were signed “Your Darling Wife” and others “Vera.”

The letters spoke of constant efforts of detectives to catch Muret. One dated May 22, 1911, postmarked London and addressed to Muret, “General Delivery, New York,” implored him to come to London.

“The detectives are after you,” the writer said, “but I know you can deceive them. Your hair must have turned white by this time under the strain you have been under. Come here and wear spectacles and you will not be recognized. Mother has just learned that one of your patients was a detective.”

Complete Counterfeiting Outfit Found.

Secret service men went this afternoon to Dr. Muret’s office at No. 516 West One Hundred and Thirty-fourth street, and took away with them all of the counterfeiting material there. According to Chief of the Secret Service William J. Flyan, it was one of the most complete outfits for the photo-mechanical process of counterfeiting silver and gold certificates he had ever seen.

Besides the highly efficient camera there were more than 100 negatives of $1, $5 and $10 silver certificates and $20 gold certificates. There was also Horgan’s work on “Half-Tone and Photo-Mechanical Processes,” well thumbed and marked as if by long study.

Capt. John Henry, head of the local Secret Service, had a long talk with Schmidt in the Tombs this afternoon., wherein the murderer implicated Muret as an accomplice without any effort to shield him. He said that he and Muret had been experimenting with counterfeiting for comparatively a short time, but that they had not succeeded very well and had not begun to issue the spurious notes.

He had got the counterfeiting idea in Germany, Schmidt said, and had determined to try it out as soon as he came to America, but had not done so until he met Muret. The latter had warned him several times that it was dangerous, Schmidt added, but he had continued the experiments nevertheless.

Suspected of Another Murder in Germany.

Suspicion that Schmidt committed a similar crime in Germany before he came to this country was expressed to-day in a cablegram received from Aschaffenbuerg, Schmidt’s birthplace. The cablegram states that shortly before Schmidt started for the States a telephone girl named Haas was murdered and her body was found near the home of Schmidt’s parents. The mystery of the crime has never been solved. The cablegram also states that a school inspector named Heim, who corresponded regularly with Schmidt, committed suicide yesterday at Moenchsburg, near Aschaffenbuerg.

The news conveyed in the cablegram was sent to Schmidt in the shape of a written communication. He sent the following reply from his Tombs cell:

“This is all a mistake.”

After a partial examination of numerous letters and documents found among Schmidt’s effects in the rectory of St. Joseph’s Church in West One Hundred and Twenty-fifth street Inspector Faurot said to-day that he was working along a new line which he expected to develop further criminal activities of Schmidt. Several detectives were sent out to follow up clues gleaned from the effects of Schmidt, and the inspector said he was hopeful of bringing to light considerable information about the operations of the murderer in New York.

Fisherman’s Hook Brought Up Black Hairs.

A fisherman dangling his hook from the pier at the foot of West One Hundred and Fifty-second street to-day felt a weight at the end of his line and drew in. The weight slipped away, but when the fisherman swung his hook to the pier he found several long black hairs entangled with the barb. Hurrying to the West One Hundred and Fifty-second street station the fisherman turned in his find at the desk. The strands of hair were given to Detective O’Neill, who notified Headquarters.

Inspector Faurot, in the hope of finding the head of Anna Aumueller, which is still missing, ordered a police launch to drag the river off the One Hundred and Fifty-second street pier. Schmidt says he threw the had off a Fort Lee ferryboat, and it might easily have drifted to the pier in question.

Ernest Muret, the bogus dentist, who was Schmidt’s partner in the operation of a counterfeiting plant at No. 516 West One Hundred and Thirty-fourth street, was turned over to the Federal authorities by Inspector Faurot to-day. Muret is in the Tombs, held under $5,000 bail. A dispatch from Berlin states that the records of the Berlin Dental College, of which Muret says he is a graduate, shows that no student of his name has been enrolled in the institution since 1899.

United Secret Service Operative John Henry, in charge of the New York Division, went to court to-day and obtained a search warrant to open a safe deposit box rented by Muret. The safe deposit box is in a Harlem bank and Chief William J. Flynn said that an effort was being made to find out is the dentist had stored away any spurious bills of ten and twenty dollar denominations as well as finished plates for printing the bills.

The only plate now in the possession of the authorities is a black plate, No. 68. Chief Flynn said that it was not finished, as the acid had not cut into all the lines and the plate itself was only partially trimmed by a jig saw.

All Muret’s Effects Seized by the Police.

All the effects in the dentist’s rooms at No. 301 St. Nicholas avenue were seized by the Secret Service agents. The plate found shows that plans were in the making to run off twenty dollar bills. The dentist had three sheets of copper out of which he could have made twenty-seven plates for counterfeiting bills of the United States. Chief Flynn said that he knew of no counterfeit in circulation with a plate number 68.

In addition to searching the safe deposit box in a Harlem bank, the Secret Service men want to work on the safe found in the office of the dentist. This safe was not opened by the police.

“The big thing in this case,” declared Chief Flynn in his office at the Custom House, “is the motive that prompted the priest and the dentist to go into the counterfeiting business. It is well established that they were greedy for money, and it is not unlikely that they got in touch with a skilled counterfeiter, who showed them the way to clean up. I am satisfied that the two men resemble the passers who went through Massachusetts and Connecticut laying down phony twenty-dollar bills in saloons.”

District-Attorney Whitman on his return to the city from a short vacation to-day immediately took up the Schmidt case. After a conference with Assistant District-Attorneys Nott and Murphy and with Inspector Faurot, Mr. Whitman announced his plans.

An inquest is to be held in Hoboken to-morrow night at which a representative of the District-Attorney’s office will be present. The fragments of the remains of Anna Aumueller will then be brought from New Jersey to the Morgue and Coroner Feinberg will order an inquest to be held early next week.

The case of Schmidt will be presented to the October Grand Jury. If an indictment is found Schmidt will be placed on trial for murder late in October or early in November before Judge Foster in the Court of General Sessions.

It is anticipated that Alphonse Koelble, counsel for Schmidt, will put in the claim that his client is unable to aid him in preparing a defense. In that event a commission will be appointed to examine Schmidt in the Tombs and report on his mental condition. Finally, if counsel insists that Schmidt is insane, Judge Foster may appoint a commission of three or allow a jury to decide whether or not he shall be placed on trial.

The United States authorities, by agreement with Inspector Faurot, have procured warrants for Schmidt as well as for Muret on the counterfeiting charge. There is no intent in the minds of the authorities of prosecuting Schmidt for counterfeiting, but the warrant has been asked for as a matter of legal form and precautions, he having freely admitted that he made counterfeit money.

In looking up the activities of Schmidt during the period immediately preceding the murder of Anna Aumueller, Inspector Faurot’s men have learned that Schmidt stole $400 of the Easter collection at St. Joseph’s Church last spring and also robbed his fellow priests as they slept. It has also been discovered that Schmidt robbed a visiting priest who spent the night at St. Joseph’s rectory as a guest of the pastor.

Those larcenies were not traced to Schmidt by the pastor or the curator. It was not until Inspector Faurot and his detectives turned Schmidt’s room over in a search for evidence that the robbery of an aged priest was cleared up. Not so long ago a priest who was ill called on the Rev. Father Huntman, the venerable pastor of St. Joseph’s. The visitor said that he was not well, and Father Huntman urged his brother clergyman not to think of continuing his journey before morning, but to remain over night at the rectory. The visiting priest missed his wallet the next day. A search of the room failed to disclose the missing purse or money. The servants were questioned, but they knew nothing about the private loss.

After the arrest and confession of Schmidt, Faurot and his men went up to the rectory in Harlem and searched the alleged priest’s room on one of the upper floors. They found the chamber decorated with crucifixes and pictures of scenes from Holy Writ. In a corner stood a large wardrobe, and on the top shelf was a round bundle done up on tar paper such as wrapped the torso found in the Hudson River and bound with the same kind of wire.

The package was taken down, the wires were cut and it was discovered that the pseudo priest had brought back to his his room in the parish house the cloths and the scrubbing brush with which he effaced the blood stains of the murder chamber.

The package was done up again and sent down to Headquarters. The detectives went through suitcases and a trunk. They found an empty wallet with a monogram on it. Faurot went to Father Huntman and asked the pastor if there had been money stolen or missing in the rectory. The aged pastor, when the wallet with the monogram was shown to him, declared that it belonged to the priest who had been robbed.

Faurot then heard the story of the Easter collection, and it became settled that Schmidt has also robbed the pastor of the offerings.

Faurot Used Cleverness in Obtaining Full Confession.

Faurot’s cleverness in handling the big case, it appears, was not wholly confined to solving the mystery and getting the slayer. It was brought out to-day, though not by Faurot, that the great detective showed skill in the way he got Schmidt into his presence in the little reception room of the rectory in the early hours Sunday. Faurot was apprehensive lest the slayer, realizing that the police had cornered him, would take his own life. Faurot and two of his men left their motor car a block away from the parish house and went up and rang the doorbell, which was answered by the aged pastor.

“Father,” said Faurot to the pastor, “myself and these two gentlemen are desirous of seeing Father Schmidt on a matter of vast importance to him. Will you kindly notify him?”

Father Huntman ushered the three men into the reception room and went upstairs and awakened Schmidt, who put on his cassock, placed his biretta on his head and with his breviary in his hand entered the room where the three detectives were waiting for him. Schmidt did not suspect the identity of his callers.

In an instant Faurot was on his feet. He requested Father Huntman to leave the room and then the inspector flashed his gold shield on Schmidt and said that he was Inspector Faurot and the two men with him detectives. Schmidt put his breviary, a book which contains the daily offices to be read by the clergy, before his eyes and Faurot gave him a heave blow on the shoulder.

“Brace up,” shouted Faurot, and signaled the detectives who searched the clergyman and found a razor. Faurot had kept his mission hidden lest Schmidt end his life upstairs.

Contrary to general opinions, Faurot put Schmidt through mental tortures. He flashed the photograph of the murdered girl before the man and the pale light from the flickering gas jet showed up the features.

“Do you know that girl?”

“No, no,” faltered Schmidt as he covered his eyes with the prayer book. Faurot grabbed Schmidt by two shoulders and shook him fiercely. “You lie, you know you lie!” exclaimed the Inspector. Then under the searching eyes of the police Schmidt staggered back and mumbled:

“Yes, I killed her. I killed her.”

Written questions concerning what part, if any, Muret, the bogus dentist, played in the disposition of the body of Anna Aumueller and the counterfeiting operations in West One Hundred and Thirty-fourth street were submitted to Schmidt in the Tombs to-day. He sent out the following reply:

“Muret had no part whatever in those crimes. He always advised me against doing such things. He helped me only in photographic studies, but not for the purpose of making money. He had nothing to do with Anna.”

Later on Schmidt, in answer to another question, wrote the following note:

Anna (Aumueller) knew nothing of my plans to solve the social question by creating money for all the poor people here and abroad.

Schmidt, After Killing Girl, Hired Flat to Destroy Clothes, The Evening World, 17 September 1913, page 1, column 6, and page 2, column 1

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