By Mark Gado
He was once a Catholic priest and a killer. Hans Schmidt, ordained in Germany in 1904, arrived within the usa in 1908 and used to be assigned to St. John's Parish in Louisville, Kentucky. Arguments with the minister led to Schmidt's move to St. Boniface Church in big apple urban. There he met appealing Anna Aumuller, a housekeeper for the rectory who had lately emigrated from Austria. regardless of his move to a church a long way uptown, Father Schmidt and Anna persisted a romantic affair and, in a mystery rite he played himself, they have been married. while he chanced on she was once pregnant, Father Schmidt knew his mystery lifestyles could quickly be uncovered. at the evening of September 2, 1913, he reduce Anna's throat, dismembered her physique, and threw the elements into the Hudson River. while the physique was once chanced on, he was once arrested and charged with the homicide. A media circus ensued, because the ny papers turned thinking about the priest and his double existence. After feigning madness in the course of his first trial, which ended with a hung jury, Father Schmidt used to be ultimately convicted of first measure homicide and sentenced to demise. He is still the single priest ever accomplished for homicide within the United States.
The public fascination with instances concerning husbands suspected of murdering their pregnant other halves predates Scott Peterson and Mark Hacking. whilst the clicking realized that Father Schmidt used to be suspected of killing his pregnant spouse, it generated the type of flashy headlines and gossipy hypothesis comparable crimes elicit this day. The case supplied a spectacle for the media and captured the mind's eye of a urban. not just did Father Schmidt kill his younger, pregnant bride, yet extra research proved that he had a moment condominium the place he had manage a printing press and counterfeited $10 money owed. In Louisville, the dismembered physique of a lacking nine-year-old lady was once discovered buried within the basement of St. John's church, the place Schmidt had formerly labored. moreover, German police desired to seek advice from Father Schmidt a couple of murdered lady in his place of birth. even though he used to be by no means charged, it used to be strongly suspected that Father Schmidt dedicated those murders besides. On February 18, 1916, Father Schmidt was once accomplished within the electrical chair at Sing Sing legal. This booklet tells this story in vibrant and vigorous aspect and appears on the guy, the crime, and the eye either acquired within the renowned press and town at large.
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Extra resources for Killer Priest: The Crimes, Trial, and Execution of Father Hans Schmidt
It was found in a closet that was used exclusively by the church janitor. In the same spot, police found a man’s shirt that appeared to have bloodstains on the front panel. It was becoming more than likely that Alma had, in fact, reached the church on December 8 and was abducted in the chapel or immediately after leaving. ‘‘The fiend, whoever he was, must have found her there, alone and unprotected,’’ Chief Lindsey later said, ‘‘and the passion that burned in him overthrew his reason. He in some way got her to the cellar where the awful deed was committed.
He needed to be in the rectory shortly to meet with the school staff and the other brothers. Making the sign of the cross, he rose to his feet and glanced over at the young priest. ‘‘Hans, kommst Du mit? ]’’ Father Schuhmann called. ‘‘In a moment,’’ the young priest answered. ’’ Father Schuhmann nodded and clasped his hands in front of his chest. Schmidt was a true Christian, thought the old priest. God never turns his back on the sinner, only the sin. Father Schuhmann walked up the aisle, determined not to be late for the evening coffee.
26 In 1905, Hans was arrested in Munich, charged with forging graduation certificates for failing students. Because of his reputation for being so generous to the poor, many people could not believe that Hans Schmidt could do such a thing. However, German authorities were less forgiving and demanded that the young man be sent to jail. But his father hired a Munich attorney, Johann George Boxheimer, to defend him. Boxheimer prepared a deposition for the court that described the Schmidts’ family history and their alarming tendency 14 Killer Priest toward suicide.