To kind of deviate from the regular blog segment of haunted places in Arizona I thought I would talk about a person who was perhaps haunted within himself. That person is Hans Schmidt. A Roman Catholic priest of German Descent who was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death.
Born in a Bavarian City he immigrated to the United States of America in 1909. His first job as a priest in the United States did not go smoothly, however. He was then transferred to New York City. This is where is priesthood turned sour.
He met a young women by the name of Anna Aumuller. They formed a secret relationship that was later to go as far as marriage in a private ceremony.
Seems almost romantic when you hear that part of the story. How he fell in love with another emigrant from Europe, she was the attractive housekeeper at the church and he was the handsome priest.
Could have been as well but then he got the news that she was pregnant. His response……he cut her throat. If that wasn’t enough he dismembered her body. He tried disposing of the remains by throwing them into the East River.
What makes it Eerie?
Well to me the thought of a priest that seemed to not want to live the life of a priest is enough to get me wondering. The second thing is that he is the only priest to be executed in the United States of America. He was put in the chair on February 18,1916.
Not long after his execution it was revealed that Hans Schmidt had a secret apartment where he had a counterfeiting workshop. Makes you wonder what else he was up to. To top it off, in the church where he originally worked when coming to the United States in Louisville, Kentucky they came across the remains of a 9-year old girl. The body was found in the basement, partially dismembered and burned as if the killer was having trouble disposing of the evidence.
What better way to hide being a murderer in those times than behind the cover of religion. He also had plans to work with a local dentist to commit murders and steal life insurance. He had an insatiable “bloodlust” since he was a young boy working in the slaughterhouses in Germany. His lawyers used this plea to try to grant him insanity during his trial.
Police even traced murders back to his homeland before he emigrated to the United States of America. Hans Schmidt may have even more murders out there that they never even brushed against in any of the investigations.
The Bloody crime scene that the investigators found in his apartment where he murdered Anna showed that he had in no way tried to conceal his evidence. The only things cleaned in the apartment where he dismembered the body were the instruments he used to do the dastardly deed. The floors and walls were covered with her blood as if nothing was even attempted.
Perhaps his carefree attitude about his murderous ways was what let him walk through life without anyone ever suspecting a thing. Perhaps he just didn’t care and deep down inside he was insane and wanted to get caught. Perhaps that was when the priest that most people knew as Han Schmidt was around and not the other creature he would become or that would possess his mind and soul to do such things.
Thanks for Reading,
Joshua Crane Dowidat