FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): Christian Hartmann, brother of the first husband of Mrs. Frieda Trost, who is being held in Philadelphia for the murder of her second husband, talked freely of his accusation against Mrs. Trost regarding his brother’s death at his home, 354 East Eighty-fifth street, last night.
“We always believed that Frederick met an unnatural death, but we did not want to make any false accusations even though we had strong circumstantial evidence. But now that Mrs. Trost is suspected of murdering her second husband I am convinced that she had some part in the death of my brother.
“The same man who is being held as her accomplice in this case, Edmund Guenkle, acted strangely before and after my brother’s death, and I believe he was mixed up in that too.”
After her former husband’s death in February he said he had not heard from Mrs. Hartmann.
This is the letter he sent to the Philadelphia Coroner:
“I read in the papers that Mr. William Trost died and his wife, Mrs. Freda Hartmann Trost, is arrested under suspicion of having poisoned him. Her first husband, Mr. Frederick Hartmann, died very suddenly on February 19, 1911.
“At his death there were quite a number of suspicions aroused, but none dared to say anything, as his wife said she would have them arrested. Her manager, Guenkle, is suspected of having helped Mrs. Freda Hartmann Trost and from the strange way both of them acted after his death I think that if they were forced to tell all they know the cause of the first husband’s death would be very different from what it has been said to be.
“I also want the death of my brother’s three children investigated. I think their deaths unusual too,” Hartmann said.
“We lived in Philadelphia,” Hartmann explained, “up to a few years ago Mrs. Trost used to come and talk about spirits to us. One day she came to me and said that she could do nothing with Fred’s physical self. ‘I want his soul,” she said.
“I told Fred about this. He said nothing, but he came to us before our departure and cried about the way his wife was carrying on with this man Guenkle.
“We were never told that Fred carrying on with this man Guenkle.
“We were never told that Fred was sick until she wired us of his death. We went on and found her with Guenkle. They acted queerly. I was told Fred was taken sick in his saloon, where Guenkle kept the bar. He was sick for four days. She told me he died of typhoid pneumonia. I asked why I had not been sent for. She said she could not find my address.
“Then how were you able to send me the telegram?” I asked her.
“She told me that she found my address just after Fred’s death. People in the neighborhood who were friends of mine told us about her conduct.
Christian Hartmann also told of the death of two of his brother’s children. In the case of one Mrs. Trost had said the spirits would take it and refused to give it medical aid. When the other one got sick she refused to have a doctor, but gave it some of her own medicine. “I understand that the death of the third was also strange,” he said.
The authorities in Philadelphia had not answered Hartmann’s letter last night. Hartmann and his wife are willing to wait and are ready to go to the hearing if they are wanted. Now that the letter has been written they are anxious to aid in prosecuting Mrs. Trost.
[“Hartmann Sure Brother Was Slain - Says Mrs. Trost Told Him That She “Wanted Husband’s Soul.” - Is Willing To Testify - New York Brewer Also Believes Children of Couple Were Killed.” The Sun (New York, N.Y.), Aug. 16, 1912, p. 4]
FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): Philadelphia, Pa., Dec. 14—Mrs. Frieda Trost was today found guilty of first degree murder for the poisoning of her husband, in order to marry an affinity. Trost was the woman's second husband to die of poisoning. She betrayed no emotion when the verdict was rendered and smiled while her attorneys gave notice of appeal.
[“Poisoned Two Husbands - Second Time, Caught,” Logansport Pharos (In.), Dec. 14, 1912, p. 1]
PHOTO CAPTION (Article 3 of 3): This kindly appearing little old lady who apparently is stepping out for an afternoon stroll is Mrs. Frieda Trost. She has just been released from jail at Muncy, Pa., on a parole after serving 26 years for the poisoning of her husband. Once doomed to hanging, her sentence was commuted to life.