Thursday, September 22, 2011

Henrietta Bamberger, St. Louis “Wholesale Murderess” - 1899


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): St. Louis, Nov. 18. – If the charges against Midwife [Henrietta] Bamberger are true, she is one of the greatest criminals in the history of the world. Sworn statements accuse her of killing no less than 300 women and infants during her career in St. Louis.

The grand jury has returned one indictment for murder and four for manslaughter against her. her resort, on Chouteau avenue, was a veritable charnel house, it is said, where unfortunate girls met death and where infants were killed and then burned to destroy evidence of horrible crimes. Sworn statements in support of these charges have been made by Lizzie Rieger, Mary Haar And Katie Bleckinger, who reside now at 1829 South Tenth street,  but were formerly employed in Mrs. Bamberger’s house. As a result of this testimony, Mrs. Bamberger has been indicted for murder in the first degree on specific charges, and, besides, there is an indictment pending against her for manslaughter in the first degree and on three other charges.

The sworn statements of the three women charge that among some of Mrs. Bamberger’s victims was Louisa Miller, whose body was found in the Meramec river, near Luxembourg. The witnesses claim that Mrs. Baumberger packed this girl’s body in a trunk, paid an expressman $50 to haul it away from her house and with her own hands threw the trunk from the wagon into the Meramec river from a bridge.

Lizzie Bessert disappeared in September, 1897, but her body was never found. It is charged that it was buried in Mrs. Bainberger’s cellar.

A Bohemian woman, who lived near Ninth and Southard streets, is said to have been disposed of in the same manner.

Miss Colekamp (or Kulkamp), a girl of Mexico, Mo., died in March, 1894, and her death has never been explained.

Ida New, of Marino, Ill., died April 3, 1894, in the Bamberger house.

A child of Mrs. Dugan, of Thirteenth street and Blair avenue, also died there.

It is also charged that bogus certificates were secured to bury some of the victims, that a fake doctor on South Broadway issued the certificates for $50 in each case. The authorities worked up the present case against Mrs. Baumberger as a result of the expose that 37-year-old Wilhelmena Spoeri, of 3432 Illinois avenue, met death in the resort. Mrs. Baumberger and John B. Texler, the young man in the case, were arrested at the same time, and their trial comes up next Wednesday. These facts developed in the Spoeri affair, enabled the authorities to dig up other alleged crimes. All of the cases specified above are sworn to by the three young women mentioned.

[“Wholesale Murderess – St. Louis Midwife Charged With an Awful List of Crimes. They May Aggregate Fully 300 – Children and Young Women Killed In Her Resort – And Were Buried Secretly.” The Pittsburg Press (Pa.), Nov. 19, 1899, p. 2]

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): St. Louis, Mo., March 16. – The jury in the case of Mrs. Henrietta Bamberger, the midwife, today returned a verdict of guilty of the charge of manslaughter and fixed her punishment at five years in the penitentiary. It was charged that she caused the death of Wilhelmina Spechir [or, Spoeri], a girl who came to Mrs. Bamberger for relief.

[“Mrs. Bamberger Gets Five Years.” The Witchita Daily Eagle (Ks.), Mar. 17, 1900, p. 8]

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