Hans Schmidt was a seemingly average Catholic priest during the turn of the century. But behind his godly facade was that of a cold blooded killer.
Schmidt was born in Aschaffenberg, Germany in 1881, and was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1906. After practicing and preaching Catholicism in his homeland, Schmidt was sent to the United States in 1909, briefly stopping in Louisville, KY, before ultimately landing at St. Bonaface's Parish in New York, NY.
It was in New York City that Schmidt would be implicated in the brutal murder and dismemberment of his bride (yes, he was a priest with a bride) Anna Aumuller. In a case that rocked the city and made for salacious tabloid fodder, Schmidt was ultimately found guilty and sent to the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison in Ossining, NY. Schmidt remains to this day the only Catholic priest to ever face capital punishment in the United States.
The Catholic church is certainly not without its fair share of scandals, but Schmidt ranks uniquely high in the annals of its offenders. Beyond the murder of Anna Aumuller, Schmidt was a very well-rounded criminal, as well as an outright weirdo, leaving behind a torrent of bizarre acts and transgressions. Let's take a look at some of the worst things that were ever done by Hans Schmidt, one of the most terrible priests in US history.
He Believed Killing His Wife Was A Blood Sacrifice
When Schmidt was confronted by police about the death of Anna Aumuller, he didn't exactly play hardball. Lead detective inspector Faurot visited St. Bonaface's Parish shortly after the discovery of Aumuller's body parts to question Schmidt, who was said to have immediately broken into hysterics, moaning out, "I loved her," and, much more bizarrely, "Sacrifices should be made in blood."
He Posed As A Physician To Sell Drugs
During his confession to the murder of Anna Aumuller, Hans Schmidt revealed to lead detective inspector Faurot that he had also been posing as a medical physician under various names. A search of his apartment later turned up numerous business cards bearing his pseudonyms, along with dozens of bottles of illegal medications. His motive for possessing these drugs, along with his imposter act, was described by the New York Times as an "interest in drug preparations for illegal use." In other words, he was moving product.