Amazing Stories: INJURIES MAY PROVE FATAL - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the March 2019 Juniper Berry Magazine

Amazing Stories: INJURIES MAY PROVE FATAL

Trotting Course Lane

INJURIES MAY PROVE FATAL

Henry Stemmler's Skull Fractured by a Fellow Farm Hand at Elmhurst Last Night

Charles Burger, 39 years old, a German farm hand, residing with Herman Krollage, on Trotting Course lane, this village, was arrested last night by Detective B. McGratton and Collins of the Seventy-seventh Precinct on the charge of felonious assault made by Henry Stemmler, a fellow employee. During yesterday the men had a quarrel, and when the men went to bed last night there was bad feeling between them, but the other farm hands who slept in the same room with the men prevented them from fighting. After Stemmler had got to sleep, Burger, it is charged, got out of bed quietly and went down stairs to the market house and secured a small ax that was as sharp as a razor. He then went to where Stemmler was sleeping, and, pulling the clothes from the sleeping man's head, he struck him a terrible blow on the head with the ax, causing a compound fracture of the skull. The other farm hands awoke when they heard the noise made by Stemmler when he was struck, and they rushed for Burger. They had a hard time in disarming the man and holding him until one of the men notified the police, who sent for an ambulance from St. John's Hospital, Long Island City, to which place the injured man was taken. The doctors do not give much hope for his recovery. The prisoner did not deny that he struck the injured man but would not give any reason for doing so. He was held without bail to await the outcome of Stemmler's injuries. ‒ Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 5, 1903

BURGER TRIAL BEGINS TO-DAY

Bohemian Farm Hand of Maspeth Charged with Killing Fellow Employee

The trial of Charles Burger, a Bohemian farm hand of Maspeth, indicted for murder in the first degree having, as alleged, killed a fellow employee, Henry Stemmler, on the night of October 4, is to begin in the Queens County Supreme Court this afternoon. The men were employed on the farm of Herman Krollage, at Maspeth. They slept together, and it is charged that Burger attacked Stemmler with an ax while he slept, cutting his head open and inflicting injuries from which he died the following day, after having been removed to St. John's Hospital. Burger is of a moody disposition and has said very little since his arrest. It is thought the plea of insanity will be offered by his counsel, Former District Attorney John Merrill. Burger made no attempt to avoid arrest after the alleged crime was committed but remained on the Krollage farm. ‒ Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 28, 1903

TO STATE PRISON FOR LIFE.

Charles Burger, Guilty of Murder in Second Degree, Sentenced by Judge Gaynor Yesterday

Charles Burger, the Bohemian farm hand who killed Henry Stemmler, a fellow workman, with an axe at Maspeth on October 4 was convicted of murder in the second degree in the Supreme Court at Long Island City yesterday afternoon. Burger was indicted for murder in the first degree. He was defended by former District Attorney John B. Merrill and the defense was insanity at the time the crime was committed. District Attorney Gregg produced witnesses who testified that several times prior to the commission of the crime Burger had said he intended to kill Stemmler. Medical experts were put on the stand by the defense to prove that Burger must have been insane. They testified that they visited him in the jail and found that his chin was cold, and his skin had a clammy feeling, and that he had other symptoms of insanity. In rebuttal District Attorney Gregg called several physicians and they testified that they had seen Burger many times since his arrest and that he was perfectly sane. The jury was out some time and after the verdict had been announced Justice Gaynor immediately sentenced Burger to Sing Sing at hard labor for the balance of his life. The sentence was repeated to Burger by an interpreter, but he showed no outward evidence of emotion. ‒ Brooklyn Daily Eagle, December 31, 1903

March 2019 Juniper Berry Magazine

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