Killer Priest!

The content below is from Episode 110 of the Who’d a Thunk It? Podcast


  • This week I am recommending a video game called Vigor. It is an indie game and free to play.
    • Vigor is a free-to-play online survival shooter game by Czech studio Bohemia Interactive that was originally developed for the Xbox One. It is set in a post-apocalyptic world where radiation poisoning and other survivors are the biggest threat. You play as an outlander (or survivor) who must thrive in this harsh environment.
    • The game is now available on PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 5.
    • It is considered a: Survival game, Action game, Third-person shooter, Adventure game, Tactical shooter
    • The tries to be as realistic as possible with sound. If you are running around you can get places faster, but your footsteps will be heard by every enemy nearby. On the other hand, you can crawl around to make less noise, but your movement is very slow.
    • I always have a hard time explaining how the game works to friends because it sounds like just another Battle Royale game, but it isn’t. This isn’t Fortnite. You don’t have to actually kill anyone in order to be successful in a match. In fact, some players go into matches completely unarmed and attempt to make friends with fellow players.
    • Any equipment you bring into a match (or “encounter” as they are called) will be lost if you die during the match. So bringing bigger guns with more ammo can be helpful, but if you die, you lose all of that valuable equipment. So some choose to just bring a pistol or knife.
    • The overall objective is to go into encounters to find resources that you bring back to your settlement.
    • The settlement starts out as a ramshackle house that you can improve and fix up with more resources you have.
  • Here are some short clips of me playing Vigor
    • The first clip shows me stumbling upon a meadow troll doll that you can collect in the game
    • The second clip is of me checking my map when I suddenly hear footsteps nearby.
    • The third and fourth clips are of other people trying to make friends in the game.


  • There once was a boy who everyone thought was queer.
    • He liked to watch the butchers while they killed the pigs and steer.
    • His name was Hans Schmidt, born in Germany 1881.
    • What was odd about him was how he had his fun.
  • Watching animals be slaughtered wasn’t his only passion.
    • A murderer in the making, of the darkest fashion.
    • The Roman Catholic faith fascinated him.
    • He played a priest, memorized every song and hymn.
  • These two childhood obsessions would eventually converge
    • Into a frightening man that this world would rather purge
    • He killed a woman in cold blood, then plead insanity
    • Hans Schmidt the Killer Priest, a story of shame and depravity
  • Ok, ok… enough with the rhyming. This week’s episode is about Father Hans Schmidt, the only Catholic Priest to ever be executed on United States soil.
    • Tis a spooky murder story that I hope you will enjoy. But BEWARE for this material is quite mature. Not for children.
  • Today’s episode is about Hans Schmidt.
    • Hans was born in the town of Aschaffenburg Germany, part of the free state of Bavaria.
    • His father Heinrich was a Protestant and his mother Gertrude Catholic.
      • Heinrich worked on the railroad while Gertrude was busy with 10 children.
      • Gertrude reportedly became depressed and instead of raising their children, she spent most of her time in the Catholic church. This infuriated Heinrich, partially because of the neglect of his children and partially because of Catholocism. Historically speaking the two faiths of Protestant and Catholic haven’t always gotten along.
      • Heinrich would have outbursts of anger which terrified young Hans.
    • And lucky for Hans, both sides of his family tree were riddled with mental illness.
      • His grandfather suffered a mental breakdown and was a chronic alcoholic. A common cause of death in his extended family was suicide.
    • Hans and his sibling were regularly beaten by their father. Heinrich was a respected man to the community, but a quick-tempered wife and child beater at home.
      • All this from his father while at the same time his mother would dress him up as a catholic priest and refer to Hans as “her little priest.”
    • When he was just a boy he liked to hang around the slaughterhouses. He said he was fascinated by the animals’ suffering.
      • He used body parts and blood scraps from the slaughterhouse in his own made-up rituals as he played a priest.
      • He was fascinated with drinking blood and dismembering animals of his own.
      • He and another neighborhood boy liked to sneak into the slaughterhouse and masturbate.
    • At the age of 19, Hans began to study for priesthood in the Catholic church at the same time he was exploring his bisexual nature.
      • It is reported that Hans had an affair with a man who already had a wife and kids.
  • Back in 1904, just two days before Christmas, Hans Schmidt was ordained into the Catholic church at the age of 25.
    • In 1905, Hans got caught making counterfeit diplomas for failed school students. He would continue this hobby of forgery throughout his life.
      • The prosecution on the case wanted to throw Hans in prison, but his father Heinrich hired a lawyer. The lawyer plead insanity (or “mental defect”) and got Hans out of the charges.
    • By 1912 he was practicing as a priest at Saint Boniface Church on Manhattan’s east side.
    • At the same time Hans was at Saint Boniface Church, there worked a young Austrian woman named Anna Aumuller. She was a housekeeper. The two began a most-forbidden love affair.
Anna Aumuller
  • The two were married during a secret wedding ceremony on February 26th, 1913. Hans performed the ceremony himself. But within 1 year of their marriage, Anna told Hans that she was pregnant. The priest knew that if society heard a should-be-celibate priest married and impregnated Anna it would be bad.
    • He would no longer be allowed to be a priest and would most likely be shunned by his community.
    • During their illegitimate marriage, Hans was having an affair with a boy named Ernest Muret. Hans was very passionate about Ernest.
  • It was September 2nd, 1913, the same year that Anna and Hans had gotten married that Hans decided to take things into his own hands.
    • That night, in the Manhattan apartment that he had rented for Anna, Hans took up a 12-inch butcher’s knife and cut through Anna’s throat.
    • He then proceeded to saw off her head with a rusty hacksaw and cut her body in half. Hoping they would never be found, Hans dumped Anna’s remains into the Hudson River.
  • Anna’s remains washed ashore and the authorities were able to trace them back to Hans Schmidt.
    • Almost immediately after police arrived at Hans’s house, he confessed. Not only to her murder but to their illegal marriage as well.
    • supposedly Hans said something like “I loved her. Sacrifices should be consummated in blood.”
A man being strapped into the electric chair at Sing Sing prison in the early 20th century
  • At trial, Hans tried to plead insanity again. He said that Anna had died during an abortion attempt and that her death came as a shock to him.
    • Rather than face the humiliation and shame from the community, he decided to chop up her body and throw it in the Hudson River, but he had no part in her death.
    • The judge refuted Hans’s claims.
    • The jury of his peers convicted Hans of first-degree murder. He was sentenced to death by electrocution.
    • On February 18th of 1916, he was executed.
    • To this day he is the only priest to be executed on US soil.



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