The following pages narrate a story of detective experience, which, in many respects, is alike peculiar and interesting, and one which evinces in a marked degree the correctness of one of the cardinal principles of my detective system, viz.: "That crime can and must be detected by the pure and honest heart obtaining a controlling power over that of the criminal." The history of the old man who, although in the possession of unlimited wealth, leaves the shores of his native land...
The following pages narrate a story of detective experience, which, in many respects, is alike peculiar and interesting, and one which evinces in a marked degree the correctness of one of the cardinal principles of my detective system, viz.: "That crime can and must be detected by the pure and honest heart obtaining a controlling power over that of the criminal."
The history of the old man who, although in the possession of unlimited wealth, leaves the shores of his native land to escape the imagined dangers of assassination, and arrives in America, only to meet his death-violent and mysterious-at the hands of a trusted servant, is in all essential points a recital of actual events. While it is true that in describing the early career of this man, the mind may have roamed through the field of romance, yet the important events which are related of him are based entirely upon information authentically derived.
The strange operation of circumstances which brought these two men together, although they had journeyed across the seas-each with no knowledge of the existence of the other-to meet and to participate in the sad drama of crime, is one of those realistic evidences of the inscrutable operations of fate, which are of frequent occurrence in daily life.
The system of detection which was adopted in this case, and which was pursued to a successful termination, is not a new one in the annals of criminal detection. From the inception of my career as a detective, I have believed that crime is an element as foreign to the human mind as a poisonous substance is to the body, and that by the commission of a crime, the man or the woman so offending, weakens, in a material degree, the mental and moral strength of their characters and dispositions. Upon this weakness the intelligent detective must bring to bear the force and influence of a superior, moral and intellectual power, and then successful detection is assured.
The criminal, yielding to a natural impulse of human nature, must seek for sympathy. His crime haunts him continually, and the burden of concealment becomes at last too heavy to bear alone. It must find a voice; and whether it be to the empty air in fitful dreamings, or into the ears of a sympathetic friend-he must relieve himself of the terrible secret which is bearing him down. Then it is that the watchful detective may seize the criminal in his moment of weakness and by his sympathy, and from the confidence he has engendered, he will force from him the story of his crime.
That such a course was necessary to be pursued in this case will be apparent to all. The suspected man had been precipitately arrested, and no opportunity was afforded to watch his movements or to become associated with him while he was at liberty. He was an inmate of a prison when I assumed the task of his detection, and the course pursued was the only one which afforded the slightest promise of success; hence its adoption.
Severe moralists may question whether this course is a legitimate or defensible one; but as long as crime exists, the necessity for detection is apparent. That a murderous criminal should go unwhipt of justice because the process of his detection is distasteful to the high moral sensibilities of those to whom crime is, perhaps, a stranger, is an argument at once puerile and absurd. The office of the detective is to serve the ends of justice; to purge society of the degrading influences of crime; and to protect the lives, the property and the honor of the community at large; and in this righteous work the end will unquestionably justify the means adopted to secure the desired result.
That the means used in this case were justifiable the result has proven. By no other course could the murderer of Henry Schulte have been successfully punished or the money which he had stolen recovered.