The Murder of Mary Wertheimer's Three Month Old Baby Part VI

Schultz Tells His Side: Baby Was Dead When He Took It Away

The trial of Peter Schultz for killing Mary Wertheimer's baby on May 2 was resumed in the court of sessions today. It was nearly 3 o'clock yesterday when the jury was obtained. Adam Haas and the Wertheimer girl were indicted with Schultz, but the latter's counsel demanded a separate trial. District Attorney Ridgway said the evidence in his possession did not warrant his trying the girl for murder, or as an accessory. The remainder of his address was brief. Dr. Joseph M. Creamer testified to the facts ascertained at the post mortem examination, and then Valentine Haas took the stand. He said that on the night of the killing Schultz and the witness' brother, Adam, took the baby away. Schultz wrapped it up in a shawl and put the bundle under his coat, and both men left the house, returning at about 3 o'clock in the morning. Witness identified the suspenders used in strangling the babe.

This morning Valentine Haas completed his testimony. Then Annie Haas was called. She corroborated the story told by her brother and Mrs. Haas gave testimony to the same effect. Detective Campbell of the Sixth precinct, who made the arrests in the case, testified that the defendant at the bar had confessed that he and Adam Haas had murdered the child and buried it on the bank of Newtown creek. The witness said he asked the prisoner why he had committed the crime and was told by Schultz that the child was in his way. Then the detective said he took Schultz up to the creek and the latter pointed out the place where the body was buried. The prisoner told the officer the entire story of the killing__just how he had taken off his suspenders and tied them about the little one's throat and then fastened the stone and threw the body into the water. The stone came off and when the body came up to the surface the baby began to cry. Schultz waded in and brought it ashore. He choked it to make it keep still and then Haas choked it too. When the second attempt to drown the baby proved unsuccessful, the youths dug a hole in the bank and when they had put in the body stamped the dirt down with their feet.

Officer Hall of the Sixth precinct was the one who disinterred the body and took it to the station house. There, the officer testified, it was identified by the members of the Haas household as the child of Mary Wertheimer. That closed the case for the prosecution and the defendant was put on the stand in his own behalf. He swore that when he took the baby away from the Haas household that night it was dead. He said Mary Wertheimer had asked him to bury the baby because she did not have any money to pay an undertaker. The defendant swore further that the girl had said she did not want to call in the coroner and have the body buried at the city's expense as it might get her people into trouble. Her mother, she said, had struck the child and that might have caused its death. Schultz swore further that he told the detective that the baby was dead, but that Officer Campbell advised him to say that it was alive and he would get him out of the trouble all right.

In rebuttal District Attorney Ridgway called Detective Campbell, who swore that Schultz's story was untrue. Mary Wertheimer was then called. She swore that the child was alive when Schultz took it from the house.

That closed the case and counsel for the defendant at once began the summing up.

Website: The History
Article Name: The Murder of Mary Wertheimer's Three Month Old Baby Part VI
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle November 1, 1892
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