FULL TEXT: Bridgeport, Conn., Sept. 9 – An alienist’s examination was ordered today to probe the mind of phlegmatic Mrs. Ann Schueler, who kicked her stepdaughter to death, police charged, in jealousy of the first Mrs. Schueler.
Mrs. Schueler was coldly indifferent when brought here from Stamford for an inquest into the death of 9-year-old Marilyn Schueler, daughter of Oscar Schueler, wealthy brewer, by his first marriage.
Coroner John J. Phelan heard only four witnesses – Dr. Ralph Crane, medical examiner, and three detectives – and then ordered her back to jail at Stamford without announcing his decision. She will be arraigned in City Court at Stamford tomorrow on a charge of murder.
Meanwhile, State’s Attorney William H. Comley said he would have Mrs. Schueler examined before the Grand Jury meets Sept. 18. She is 25 and was married to Schueler two years ago after he divorced his first wife.
Mrs. Anna Erwin, the child’s mother, still was under the care of a physician today at the home of a friend at Stamford. She collapses yesterday at her daughter’s grave.
[Frank Walton, “Stepdaughter’s Killer Faces Mentality Test,” Daily News (New York, N. Y.), Sep. 10, 1935, p. 39]
FULL TEXT: Stamford, Conn., Sept. 8 – Nine-year-old Marilyn Schueler’s lovely black curls and long silky lashes – which she inherited from her real mother – were the goad that drove Mrs. Ada Schueler to kick her little stepchild to death, police investigators believed today.
They declared that the 25-year-old murderous stepmother, whenever she looked at small Marilyn, was reminded of the woman who had preceded her in the affections of Oscar Schueler, her brewer-husband. Schueler had custody of the two little girls his first wife bore him – and left Marilyn at the mercy of a stepmother who hated the child, police said.
~ Real Mother Collapses. ~
Mrs. Anna Erwin, the real mother of the murdered Marilyn, collapsed at the yawning grave of her child today. The final prayer over the little white casket was not finished when Mrs. Erwin’s outcries became so shrill and violent that Dr. George V. Hamilton, pastor of North Stamford Congregational Church, deemed it best to end the tragic scene.
He abruptly closed his prayer and the body was lowered.
Schueler, the father, glanced coldly at his former wife. He made no move. His brother, Martin Schueler, grabbed his former sister-in-law as she began to fall, he half-carried her to an automobile.
Police, who obtained the youthful Mrs. Schueler’s signed confession of murder-in-a-rage, declared that the mother’s prostration from grief was in strong contrast to her actions three years ago. At last time, police declared, she left her home, abandoning Schueler, Marilyn, and the other child, Marjorie, 12.
~ Divorced for Desertion. ~
Schueler divorced the children’s mother on grounds of desertion, after she had absented herself from the family fireside for three or four years, authorities pointed out. She took her maiden name, Elkin.
Today as she sat at the services conducted at the Covery and Hanley funeral home in Stamford, the fatal resemblance of the mother and daughter was obvious. Mrs. Erwin’s black hair, above the black dress with its white collar, was of the identical raven shade as that which fell over the neck of the child in the coffin. In other features their likeness was marked.
It was Mrs. Erwin’s positive assertion that Marilyn was never subject to epilepsy that forced the stepmother to confess. Mrs. Schueler told police that she struck Marilyn, “harder than I intended” because the child would not hurry with her lunch. In her preliminary sparring with officials, the stepmother had stuck to her original story – that Marilyn had had “a fit.”
Police investigators revealed today that Mrs. Schueler, calm and self-possessed in Stamford jail, also was a divorcee. Records at Bridgeport, Conn., showed that she was formerly a Mrs. Hughes, and that Hughes divorced her in 1930 because she ran away with the milkman. Her maiden name was Metcalf.
Mrs. Schueler was a nurse in Stamford Hospital for three years. Officials are checking her record her record there. It was while there that she met Schueler, a lonely man with two small children – already deserted by his own wife.
Schueler married her in 1933.
The children’s mother will not be a witness when the coroner’s inquest is held at Bridgeport, at 11 A. M. Tomorrow. Originally, officials had expected to call her to disprove the stepmother’s assertion that Marilyn suffered from epilepsy.
Ample testimony on that point will be given by Dr. Ralph W. Crane, Stamford Medical Examiner. He will appear, bulwarked by data from his two autopsies.
One shows that no evidence of any ailment was found during his examination of the brain. The other will detail the cause of death – internal injuries resulting from the terrific beating and kicking to which Mrs. Schueler subjected the child.
~ Doctor Has Records. ~
In addition, records of the doctor who supervised Marilyn’s health at school will show that she had no epileptic tendency.
This morning, Mrs. Erwin told officials: “There was never anything wrong with Marilyn.”
A score of Marilyn’s former classmates at Belltown grammar school attended her battered body to its resting place.
[Francis Walton, “Slew Child, 9 in Hate For Real Mother,” Daily News (New York, N. Y.), Sep. 9, 1935, P. 3]
FULL TEXT: Bridgeport, Conn., Sept. 26. – Shaken by hysteria, Mrs. Ada Mildred Schueler, 25, sobbed "not guilty" here today to a second degree murder indictment. She is to be tried Oct. 15 for stamping her stepdaughter to death in the Schueler home at Stamford on Sept. 6.
Mrs. Schueler, pretty former nurse, required the support of attendants today as she entered ' Criminal Superior Court for the formal pleading. Her step faltered. Tears rolled down her pale cheeks. She was unable to stand as Judge John Rufus Booth asked her to plead. She was helped to her feet and held upright as she whispered: "Not guilty." She was returned to the county jail.
Mrs. Schueler, after her arrest, confessed she had beaten her stepdaughter, Mildred, 9, because "she did not her lunch fast enough." An autopsy revealed that the child was stamped to death, her body bearing the imprint of high heels. Mildred was the daughter of Oscar J. Schueler, vice president of a Stamford brewery. Mrs. Schueler's defense will be based on insanity.
[“Stepmother Sobs Plea In Kicking Death,” Daily News (New York, N. Y.), Sep. 27, 1935, Final, p. 17]
FULL TEXT: Bridgeport, Conn., Oct. 17. – The right of a stepmother to punish her husband s children for their misdeeds was advanced today as extenuation for Mrs. Mildred A. Schueler, admitted slayer of her 9-year-old stepdaughter, Marilyn.
When Mrs. Schueler beat the child so severely, for refusing to her luncheon, that Marilyn died of a ruptured a kidney, she was within her step-maternal rights, Hugh J. Lavery, her counsel, said. But he staked his main appeal on a plea of insanity.
Eight married men, all fathers, and one bachelor, were accepted as members of the jury when court adjourned today.
Thin to the point of emaciation, Mrs. Schueler hid her face behind a heavy mourning veil when she was led into Criminal Superior Court this morning. As she faced Judge Rufus Wood she threw back the veil and bared a pallid face and Mrs. Mildred Schueler very, her counsel, said. But he staked h i s main appeal on a plea of insanity. Eight married men, all fathers, and one bachelor, were sunken eyes.
No member of her family was in the courtroom. Otto Schueler, wealthy brewer of Stamford, who is expected to aid the State, was not present, nor was his former wife, the dead child's mother, Mrs. Anna Urwin Schueler.
Apparently on the point of hysteria, the accused woman wept as the child's death was described by District Attorney William H. Comley.
[Norma Abrams, “Stepmother Pleads Right to Punish Child,” Daily News (New York, N. Y.), Oct. 18, 1935, p. 20]
FULL TEXT: Bridgeport, Conn., Oct. 18. – The petulant, childish refusal of 9-year-old Marilyn Schueler to eat luncheon fired her stepmother’s smoldering hatred to such a rage that she killed the child, 25, admitted to police in a signed confession.
The confession read to the jury today before which she is on trial for Marilyn’s murder caused the slender darkeyed stepmother slumped in her chair, her face hidden and her shoulders shaken by sobs.
~ Brutalities Bared. ~
The child’s death was the climax of a black chapter of brutality extending over more than a year, and had been concealed by a fiction of epilepsy woven to explain brutal injuries, according to the confession. The same fable of epilepsy was brought into use to explain the child’s death until an autopsy ordered by suspicious officials revealed a ruptured liver. As the cause of death.
“Marilyn told me that she wished her father would die so that she could do as she pleased,” Mrs. Schueler told police in her confession to explain to explain her hatred of her stepdaughter. “It was at a time when he was sick. I had never forgiven her for that.
~ Hurt Child With Beating. ~
“I recall that she had so infuriated me I lost control of myself in chastising her and injured her,” the confession stated.
Sep. 6, according to the confession, Marilyn and her older sister, Marjorie, had luncheon together. The older child ate her food and left the table but Marilyn dallied. The City Prosecutor E. Gaynor Brennan of Stamford testified that Mrs. Schueler told him:
“I told her to drink her milk but she just sat there. I was infuriated. I grabbed hold of her – I don’t know where. And I remember nothing from that time on until I say her lying unconscious on the floor. I cut some strings which were tied about her wrists and ankles but I don’t remember putting them there. I had no control over myself. I didn’t mean to kill her. I think she was all right when she sat down to lunch. There was no one else in the house that Marjorie and I.”
~ Father in Court. ~
Oscar Schueler, father of the dead child, sat in the courtroom as the confession has read. He is expected to testify against his wife.
Dr. Bruce Weaver, Stamford Hospital pathologist, who performed the autopsy, told the jury that the child’s death was caused by a ruptured liver and that it was seemingly made by a heel. Her body was a mass of welts and bruises, he said.
Trial of the case was adjourned until next Tuesday by Superior Court Judge John Rufus Booth.
[Norma Abrams, “Girl, 9, Wouldn’t Eat, Stepmother Slew Her,” Daily News (New York, N. Y.), Oct. 19, 1935, p. 6]
FULL TEXT: Bridgeport, Conn., Oct.22 – Love – mother’s, husband’s, self – was mustered threefold today to save Mrs. Ada Mildred Schueler from life imprisonment for murder.
In Superior Court here, each took the witness stand in turn to get to the jury’s ears words to open the door to freedom to Mrs. Schueler.
The woman is on trial for beating her stepmother, Marilyn, 9, to death. She is charged with second degree murder.
~ Fight to Save Her. ~
Oscar Schueler, brewer husband, laid bare his love to save her. Mrs. Thomas Metcalfe, 62, socialite mother, confessed her martinet strictness to swing the tide in her daughter’s favor. Mrs. Schueler herself revealed a trying career as stepmother to acquit herself.
“She was a good wife, a good housekeeper and an attentive stepmother,” Schueler testified. “The happiest moments of my life were those spent with my wife.”
It was Schueler’s own daughter who died. But, he insisted, he never had known his wife to strike the child. The State charges she burned the girl. But Schueler swore he believed his daughter was frostbitten, as his wife told him. The State says Mildred Schueler broke the child’s arm. But he took his wife’s word she had fallen at school.
~Tries to Uphold Wife. ~
First a witness for the State, then for the defense, Schueler spoke what he could in defense of his wife. Yet he could not meet her eyes as he sat in the witness chair. He cast them down or looked on the lawyer.
Marilyn and his older daughter, Marjorie, 12, loved their stepmother, he said. He told about a domestic quarrel. There was talk of a separation.
“I asked the children whether they wanted to stay with me or their stepmother,” he said. “Both clung to their stepmother.”
~ Mother Admits Mistakes. ~
Mrs. Metcalfe, prominent White Plains matron, cast aside the reserve of a lifetime to speak for her daughter. Boldly she confessed her mistakes to free her child.
“I was too strict with her,” she said. “I couldn’t see it then, but I know that I was.”
“Dis you spank her?” she was asked.
“No. I didn’t spank her. I slapped her more. I’d slap her across the face and over the month.”
Mildred Schueler was her only child, born when Mrs. Metcalfe was 37 after sixteen years of marriage.
~ Lacked in Affection. ~
“I was cold and unaffectionate,” she admitted. “I was not like the mothers of today. My family are not of an affectionate type. People say we’re cold.”
“Was there any affection between you and Mildred?”
Mrs. Schueler herself pictured her bleak life. It was in a home where she never had friends; where her father had to have his after-dinner smoke in the cellar; where she never knew mother love.
Mrs. Schueler was pale and faltering as she testified. She had to be supported as she walked to the witness stand.
~ Tells of Child’s Troubles. ~
Ever since she married Schueler four years ago, she said, she had had troubles with Marilyn. The child stuffed food in her mouth and wouldn’t swallow. She had a childish kidney trouble that cause d endless difficulty.
In detail she described her ministrations to Marilyn when she had a frostbite. She dressed the sore many times a day, she said, and sometimes two or three times a night.
“She didn’t seem to want to obey,” Mrs. Schueler testified.
The trial was adjourned until tomorrow with Mrs. Schueler still on the stand.
[Norma Abrams, “Kin Fight to Save Accused Stepmother,” Daily News (New York, N. Y.), Oct. 23, 1935, P. 11]
FULL TEXT: Bridgeport, Conn., Oct. 24. – Mrs. Mildred Schueler, 25, was found guilty today of murdering her 8-year-old step-daughter, Marilyn, after two hours deliberation by the jury. Five minutes after the verdict was announced, Superior Court Judge John Booth Wood sentenced her to life imprisonment.
No sound was uttered by the prisoner. Led into the crowded, tense, courtroom by a matron, Mrs. Schueler stood to face the jury. Her face was pale and her eyes were dry. She stated steadily ahead as Foreman Leslie Gilbert pronounced her guilty of brutally beating her small charge for a childish disobedience until she died.
Thomas Metcalfe, her aged father, a traveling salesman of White Plains, was the only member of Mrs. Schueler’s family in court. Her mother, Mrs. Ada Metcalfe, who was waiting in an anteroom, collapsed. A physician was called to attend her.
The jury, which has listened for four days to the talk of the attack upon the child, never gave a thought to an acquittal, the foreman revealed. Four ballots were taken, but only two of the twelve stern New England farmers voted for a manslaughter verdict at any time.
Oscar Schueler, wealthy Stamford brewer and father of the child, who testified against his wife of two years, was not in court.
~ Arrested After Autopsy ~
Mrs. Schueler was arrested on Sep. 6 after an autopsy upon the body of her stepchild showed death had been caused by a ruptured liver and livid bruises on the body.
Questioned by police, she abandoned her claim that the child had died in a convulsion and admitted she had become enraged when Marilyn refused to eat, and had been bound. The mark of a heel appeared upon her left side over the lower rib.
Later, Mrs. Schueler insisted to police as a witness in her own defense that she had no memory of what she had done to the child. She admitted that the fatal attack climaxed a year’s siege of terror during which she had brutally mistreated Marilyn.
~ Begins Sentence Today. ~
The memory lapse was advanced by defense medical experts as evidence that the 25-year-old stepmother was an “idiopathic epileptic” and that the assaults were equivalent of equivalent of epileptic seizures during which she was unaware of her acts.
Tomorrow, Mrs. Schueler, a former trained nurse and one-time student at Skidmore College, Sarasota Springs, will be taken to the Connecticut Prison Farm for Women at Niantic to begin her sentence.
[Norma Abrams, “Mrs. Schueler Gets Life As Girl’s Slayer,” Daily News (New York, N. Y.), Oct. 25, 1935, p. 3]***