Schmidt in Hospital; Collapses in Tombs, Raves at Keepers
Slayer of Aumueller Woman, After Distressing Scene in Court, Is Too Ill to See Any One.
Both Sides Confer; Compromise is Unlikely
State’s Questions To-Day Show Increasing Leaning to Defense’s Contention of Insanity.
Hans Schmidt, confessed slayer of Anna Aumueller, broke down completely in his cell in the Tombs today after he was taken there following the adjournment of his trial before Judge Warren W. Foster at a little after 1 o’clock. The trial was ostensibly adjourned to allow lawyers to eliminate a number of affidavits take in Germany with reference to his past life.
During the session today Schmidt showed great emotion. He clasped his hands and bowed over them; he rolled his eyes at the ceiling and gasped repeatedly in a loud a hoarse way which was audible throughout the courtroom. His emotion increased during the time his sister, Mrs. Schadler, was telling of his devout life as a little child of five, when he set up an imitation altar in his room, wore priestlike garments and practiced blood sacrifices on geese and chickens and especially when she told of his acts of particular kindness and consideration for her when she was ill.
Schmidt collapsed altogether on his way back to the Tombs. When a number of persons asked to be permitted to see him regarding a statement he was expected to make regarding the testimony he wished to place before the jury voluntarily Schmidt was reported to be unable to understand the request and to be tossing on his cot in delirium.
Think Agreement On Insanity Is Likely.
The attitude of Assistant District-Attorney Delehanty at today’s session suggested that even the prosecution (in its effort to show that he was criminally responsible for his murder of Anna Aumueller) had doubts as to his legal sanity.
Many of the questions of the Assistant District-Attorney and the emphasis which he allowed Lawyer Terence J. McManus for Schmidt to lay upon depositions made by friends and relatives of Schmidt in Germany indicating Schmidt’s insanity were taken to mean that the District-Attorney was nearly ready to agree to a request to the Court to direct the jury to find Schmidt “guilty but insane.” In such event he would be sent to Matteawan.
The trial was adjourned by consent of counsel on both sides until 10.30 o’clock tomorrow, but after the breakdown of Schmidt in his cell doubt was expressed as to whether he would be able to appear tomorrow.
Assistant District-Attorney Delehanty, when questioned about the rumored compromise on the plea of insanity, strenuously denied any such possibility.
“The State will continue to ask for a verdict of murder in the first degree.” [said] Mr. Delehanty late this afternoon. [“]We believe that the insanity is a frame-up and shall go on the presumption that Schmidt was sane at the time of the murder and is sane now.”
Sister Says Schmidt Haunted Slaughter Houses.
Mrs. Elizabeth Schadler, the sister of Schmidt, was the first witness today. She said that when he was only five years old Hans Schmidt imitated priests in the clothing he arranged for himself, had an altar in his room and imitated holy rituals.
“He told me one day that he had seen the head of the Saviour,” said Mrs. Schadler, “on an altar set in blood and that it was the most beautiful he had ever seen.”
Hans Schmidt was often punished as a boy, his sister said, because he hung about a slaughter house near his home while killing of animals was going on.
Depositions of Schmidt Family Insanity Is Offered.
Former Judge Olcott offered a deposition taken before the Consul at Frankfort from Carl Schmidt, brother of Hans, showing the Carl thought Hans despised him and believed himself an exalted and holy person. The deposition of Katrina Schmidt, a cousin, regarding queer actions of Hans Schmidt and the suicide of her brother Otto, was also read. There was also a deposition of Johann George Boscheimer, an attorney, expressing the opinion that the Schmidt family was tainted with insanity, and that Hans Schmidt, his client in the forgery case in Munich, was irrational. Father Jacob Sieben of Darmstadt’s, in an affidavit, stated that Schmidt had preached a crazy sermon in which he introduced a set of verses, “The Last House of Tiberius,” during the recital of which he made wild gestures.
Prisoner Called “Boob” By Fellow Student.
The Rev, Hans Siebach in an affidavit said that after several years in the Mainz Seminary he could find no better term with which to describe Schmidt that “a boob.” The Court had to quiet disorder while Mr. Olcott insisted that the original German version of the affidavit be consulted as to the exact word used in Father Siebach’s statement. It was found to be the exact reproduction of the American slang word “boob.”
The Rev. Ludwig Bunsig, assistant to the Bishop of Mainz, told the commissioners at the Frankfort hearing that Schmidt was found to take great pleasure in deception of his superiors and had forged diplomas entitling him to medical and academic degrees.
Mr. McManus of the defense asked for an Adjournment by general consent until the District-Attorney could cut down the time to be consumed by reading depositions by winnowing out those to which the State objected. The application was allowed and the case was adjourned at 1.10 o’clock until tomorrow morning.
Schmidt in Hospital; Collapses in Tombs, Raves at Keepers, The Evening World, 17 December 1913, page 1, column 7, and page 2, column 1.