Schmidt Lauded Thaw or Richeson, Talking At Meals
Former Rector of Aumueller Woman’s Slayer Tells of Prisoner’s Mental Bent.
Prisoner is Weaker.
Priest Tells How Accused Man Changed Ritual When New York Curate.
Testimony tending to show a murderous or grewsome [sic] cast of mind was adduced in the trial of Hans Schmidt, confessed murderer of Anna Aumueller, before Judge Foster in the Court of General Sessions today.
Father Quinn, his one-time rector, told the jury that in the light table chat at meals, Schmidt delighted in bringing the conversation round to slayers of men for women’s sake, or slayers of women they had betrayed. He was particularly fond, the priest testified, of lauding Harry K. Thaw or the Rev. Clarence V. T. Richeson on such occasions.
Assistant District-Attorney Delehanty read a statement of Schmidt in Munich during his trial for forgery. Schmidt said then that when he was suspended from his clerical duties as a priest, “he gave up his calling because he was unable to agree with all of the doctrines and teachings of the Church, which employed him, especially when he realized that his father was a Protestant.”
Schmidt seemed to those who have been regular attendants at the trial to be weaker today, paler and less under his own control that he has been since the trial began.
Would Have Sold Seals If He Could, Schmidt Says.
Confessions by Schmidt before the Munich court were put before the jury to the effect that Schmidt owned up he would have sold his forgeries of seals of the Royal Secretary of the University of Munich and the Seminary of Munich if he could have found a market for them.
Schmidt confessed to the Munich Court that his cousins, Adolph Lorenz Muller, who afterward killed himself, and his partner in his effort to sell forged diplomas to students whose scholarship did not deserve them.
Father John A. Braun, who as rector of St. Boniface’s church at Forty-seventh street and Second avenue when Schmidt was employed there, was the next witness. He described Father Schmidt as “obedient, over-pious, folding his hands and raising his hands with scrupulous care, but inclined to seclude himself from the other clergy of the rector.”
Priest Made Up His Own Ritual, Says Rector.
Father Braun said that Hans Schmidt, in spite of his particularly pious demeanor, ruthlessly violated the ritual of rules: on one occasion, said Father Braun, Schmidt baptized a child, contrary to rule, outside the church when the child was not sick and without making a proper report. Schmidt, according to Father Braun, made up a ritual of his own, omitting and improvising rituals and prayers. When reproved by the rector Schmidt merely cast down his eyes and sighed.
“I finally got tired of it,” said Father Braun, “and told him I thought he better end the thing right there and leave.”
Father Braun said that Hans Schmidt was received as a priest at St. Boniface’s because he was recommended from a church in Trenton.
“He was never fully received,” said Father Braun, “I merely gave him a temporary permit because I needed help.”
Another affidavit of Bishop Kursheim was to the effect that reports were made to the Bishop that Schmidt went about his duties without his trousers, covering his nakedness only with his cassock. He also played a violin, naked, in a bathtub, according to the Bishop’s report.
Mr. McManus read the record of the Royal Superior Court of Germany regarding Schmidt’s trial in Munich, showing the accused had been adjudged in Germany insane in [illeg.]
The trial was adjourned at 3 o’clock because of the deaths of the relatives of two jurymen, George L. Dann and Charles Nielson.
Schmidt Lauded Thaw or Richeson, Talking At Meals, The Evening World, 18 December 1913, page 1, column 3.