The Catholic church has not been without controversy in the last few decades, but so far there has only been one priest in the United States that has been executed for his crimes.
Hans Schmidt was not accused of sleeping with children, but he did illegally marry, and proceeded to brutally murder his lover while she was pregnant with his child. It seems maintaining the illusion of piety drove him to disobey one of Christianity’s most important Commandments.
Hans Schmidt was born in Bavarian city of Aschaffenburg, and was ordained as a minister in either 1904 or 1906.
Disagreements with his superiors in the church led him to be re-located to St. John’s Parish in Louisville, Kentucky.
Conflict with yet another priest forced his transfer to St. Boniface Church in Manhattan.
This is where he met a beautiful Austrian housekeeper named Anna Aumüller. They quickly began to have an affair in secret.
The two fell deeply in love, so much so that Schmidt ordained his own marriage to Anna.
He knew full well that if they were found out, it would mean the end of his priesthood.
Then, things got dark. When Schmidt found out that Anna was pregnant, he slit her throat with a blade.
Then, the monster proceeded to saw her body into several pieces, disposing of them into the East River. The autopsy later found that Anna had prematurely given birth right before she was murdered.
When pieces of the body were found, they were traced back to Schmidt because of the pillowcases they were wrapped in, which bore the letter “A” and had been ordered to the apartment Schmidt had rented for Anna.
When questioned by the detective inside Schmidt’s blood soaked apartment, he instantly confessed. “I loved her. Sacrifices should be consummated in blood.”
Hans Schmidt was convicted of first-degree murder and was executed by electric chair at Sing Sing Prison on February 18, 1916
Further investigations led to the theory that Anna and her baby may not have been Schmidt’s only murder.
A body of a 9-year-old girl was found beneath his old parish in Louisville, which was dismembered in an eerily similar fashion as Anna. St. John’s janitor was initially convicted of the crime, and had been serving a life sentence.
It was reported that Schmidt had a second apartment which was used as a factory to counterfeit money.
Not only that, but is believed he was also in correspondence with a physician. They were discussing a plan to murder people and collect their insurance (similar to what serial killer H. H. Holmes did). Even back in Aschaffenburg, Schmidt had evidence against him in a separate murder charge, but was executed before he could be questioned.
It’s amazing that such a disgusting, ungodly man would ever become a priest.