Speech given by Chaplain Pfahler at the beheading of Joseph Frei of Gmünd, at the execution site near Tettnang on March 27th, 1848.

Dublin Core

Title

Speech given by Chaplain Pfahler at the beheading of Joseph Frei of Gmünd, at the execution site near Tettnang on March 27th, 1848.

Description

Rede nach der Enthauptung des Raubmörders Joseph Frei von Gmünd: gehalten auf der Richtstätte bei Tettnang am 27. März 1848 /von Caplan Pfahler. Cover title; "Mit einer Schildreung des Raubmörders."

Creator

Pfahler, Johann Georg

Source

Michigan State University Library Special Collections XXHV6535.G3P43 1848

Publisher

Verlag von Johann Thomas Stettner

Date

1848

Format

Fraktur. 16 p.; 19 cm.

Language

German

Coverage

Lindau

Abstract

A moralistic address given by Chaplain Pfahler after the beheading of the murderer, Joseph Frei. Includes biographical information. Pfahler recounts the details of the murder as follows. A man was walking along when he decided to venture from the road to see if he could find a stream. Off the road, he saw a brush pile next to which he saw what he thought was a glove. Upon closer inspection, he recognized a human hand. He ran for a neighbor and the two poked around in the pile where they found some clothing. They reported their discovery to authorities who searched the pile and found the badly decayed corpse of a man whose skull had been crushed. He was not recognizable but the initials C.R. were found on his shirt. Once the discovery was made public, some people came forward to say that their relative, 20 year-old Carl Rimmele had been missing. He had been a carpenter's apprentice and had gone out into the world for the first time to seek work. They had accompanied him as far as Tettnang where he had found work with the master carpenter, Joseph Frei. The relatives immediately recognized the clothing from the brush pile as having belonged to Carl Rimmele. Frei came under suspicion because he said he had to fire Rimmele after just a few days on the grounds of incompetence yet he had told his wife a different story. Also, he had not followed the required procedures for dismissing an employee. A search of his home resulted in the discovery of more clothing belonging to Rimmele so he was arrested. His wife tried to bury other pieces of clothing and when found out, was herself arrested. During her second interrogation she admitted her husband had murdered Rimmele and gave details of the murder. She was released. Frei had needed money yet was unsuccessful in borrowing small sums to make up what he needed. When he found out Rimmele had money with him, he decided to murder then rob him. He went into the woods and dug a shallow grave under a brush pile. He drank some hard cider and wine to embolden himself then told Rimmele they needed to cut wood in the forest. Frei and Rimmele left together as night fell. Frei lead Rimmele to the area where he had dug the grave then asked Rimmele to cut some wood there. When Rimmele bent down to begin sawing, Frei struck him many times with a hammer until he was dead. He then removed Rimmele's clothing because the money was sewn inside it. Frei left Rimmele's body in the shallow grave under the brush pile. Frei told his wife that he and Rimmele had been fired upon by bandits in the woods and that he had taken cover and escaped but that he suspected Rimmele had been killed. Frei thought he had gotten away with murder since months passed without discovery of the corpse. Once suspected, arrested, and questioned, Frei confessed to the murder of Rimmele and also to the murder of a woman in a nearby town 2 years before. He told investigators where to find her body. It was found in an advanced state of decay. Frei was found guilty of both murders and robbery. After saying goodbye to his three children, he was beheaded with a sword.

Date Created

1848

Files

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Reference

Speech given by Chaplain Pfahler at the beheading of Joseph Frei of Gmünd, at the execution site near Tettnang on March 27th, 1848., Pfahler, Johann Georg, Verlag von Johann Thomas Stettner, 1848

Cite As

Pfahler, Johann Georg, “Speech given by Chaplain Pfahler at the beheading of Joseph Frei of Gmünd, at the execution site near Tettnang on March 27th, 1848. ,” "Poor Sinners' Pamphlets", accessed October 21, 2019, http://courses.cal.msu.edu/al340ss16/psp/items/show/194.

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