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The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, October 06, 1913, Image 13

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Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1913-10-06/ed-1/seq-13/

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THE STEINHEIL CASE This is No. 1 of the great Paris mysteries
which Chief of Police Lepine, who has just resigned from his office, selected
for The Day Book's symposium of the greatest cases this flesh-and-blood
Sherlock Holmes worked on during his famous 20-year career.
Paris, Oct. 6. The Steinheil Mys
tery. About the person of 'a slender
and dainty little woman who lives
quietly today in London, an exile
from her home in Paris, centers the
most obscure mystery that Lepine,'
the marvelously shrewd chief of po
lice of Paris, who has just retired,
ever tried to solve.
The great Lepine selected for my
use in The Day Book the "affaire" of
Madame Steinheil as No. 1 of the five
greatest Paris mysteries in his career.
Of all the five, No. 1 was theWly
one in which he was baffled and by
a woman! But baffled, perhaps, say
Parisians, because men who held
high positions in the government
were friends of the little woman
and in a form. of "friendship" that
might have caused a great-scandal.
Remy Couillard, a valet in the
home of Adolphe Steinheil, a success
ful painter, heard shrieks coming
from the bedroom of Madame- Stein
heil, the painter's wife, at 6 o'clock
on the morning of May 31, 1908.
Rushing to her room he found her
tied to the bed, and on her pillow
were wads of cotton " soaked in
"Call the police," shrieked the wo
man. Couillard obeyed.
In one room the police found the
dead body of Madame "Japy, mother
of Madame Steinheil 'Cotton had
been trustdnto her mouth to strangle
her. A rope was tied loosely about
her neck-
In the bathroom, on the floor, in
a night shirt, was found the body of
Adolphe Steinheil, husband of tMa
dame SteinheiL He had been choked
to' death with a rope garroted " in-
Apache fashion. There was no signs
of a struggle., ,
Madame Steinheil told this re
markable story to the police:
"I was awakened by feeling some
thing on my face and found three
men, and a woman standing beside
me. They demanded to know where
my mother's money was kept. The
woman was pointing a revolver at
my head. I told them that the money
was in my mother's room and I point
ed to the 'doorway leading to the
room where my mother was asleep.
The men went in there and I heard
my mother calling for help, but the
woman with the revolver would not
permit me to rise. The men came
back and tied me to the bed and tied
a cloth over my mouth to silence me.
About that time the clock struck
many times. It must have been 11
or 12 o'clock. At last, after many
hours, I was able to force the cloth
away from' my face and to scream.
Then Couillard, the valet, came. That
is all I know. I 'did not think my
mother and husband had been killed,
but I thought that they were tied up
as I was and unable to speak."
It was a good story BUT, under
the Bcrutiny of Lepine detectives, it
did not hold water. Mme. Steinheil
gave the'pplice a list of jewels. that'
were missing. Among them was a
jewel given to her by Felix Paure, the
president France.
The "friends" of Madame Steinheil
were no common persons;.
Lepine hoped to trace the murder
ers through the jewels and his men
raked the jewelers' shops of Paris for
clues. Finally, in one shop, a detec
tive discovered some of the gems.'
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