The Jewish community in Chicago, one of the wealthiest in the world, has always exercised an extremely powerful degree of behind the scenes influence in the Windy City, an influence just as pervasive and powerful (if not more so) as that of the Italian organized crime syndicates, all the more sinister for being far less visible.
Between October of 1955 and December of 1956, a total of five White children, 3 young boys (two brothers and a friend) and 2 teenage sisters were abducted and murdered in a manner which was suggestive of Jewish ritual sacrifice, the liturgical object of which is to obtain Gentile blood to mix with the matzoh used in several esoteric Jewish religious ceremonies such as Purim, Passover, and Kol Nidre at Yom Kippur.
The murder victims were John and Anton Schuessler, Jr., Robert Peterson, and Barbara and Patricia Grimes. Both cases remain officially unsolved despite hundreds of man-hours of investigation by the Chicago police.
The cases shared certain characteristics in common. The boys, aged 14, 13, and 11 respectively, and the girls aged twelve and fifteen were found nude, and yet none had been sexually assaulted. According to the pathologists’ reports, they had been kept alive for some time after they were reported missing, although the unusually cold weather in which the girls’ bodies were exposed impeded fixing an exact time of death. The corpses showed ligature marks on the wrists and ankles, indicating that they had been tied or restrained.
All the victims had been tortured with mostly small, shallow cuts and puncture wounds, none sufficient to cause death of itself. The official cause of death was listed as blood loss and shock due to blood loss and exposure.
Although 14 year-old Bobby Peterson appears to have resisted his attackers and was beaten on the head with a blunt instrument and strangled into unconsciousness by strong hands with “fingernails like claws” which left marks on his throat.
All the children’s bodies were “drained of blood”.
Further peculiarities were observed in the PATTERN of the torture. The two female victims had been tormented by repeated puncture wounds on the upper torso, thighs, and buttocks, suggesting a sadistic sexual element in the killer’s motivations, but the two youngest male victims, the Schuesslers, had been transfixed through the hands, wrists and feet by larger weapons similar to nails or a carpenter’s awl, inflicting wounds very similar to those of Christ.
John Schuessler was missing a fragment of skin on one of his thighs, which had been removed deliberately, trying to hide marks printed on his skin. There were eleven jagged, irregular wounds on Bobby’s scalp.
The eyes and mouths of the boys had also been mutilated in a manner never publicly released.
Another interesting forensic aspect of the case was that the boy’s wounds contained traces of an unspecified GRAIN, of all things, a form of matzoh.
Floor mat patterns embedded in the flesh of one victim indicated that his body had been transported in a Packard automobile, a luxury car popular among the wealthiest people of the time which was no longer made, and which indicated someone with money enough to buy and maintain such an upmarket vehicle.
What is interesting about the cases is not the unsolved murders themselves, but the view which for once we are given of the lengths to which Jews will go to cover up suspected ritual murder cases. In view of the intense public interest in the case, there was of course, a lot of media reporting. The Chicago Daily News published an afternoon article detailing the ritualistic nature of the wounds and speculating that members of a “religious cult” might be involved.
Within ten minutes of the edition hitting the street, trucks were sent out to bring them all in; all copies were ripped off the newstands and taken back to the news building where they were burned.
Eight copies of the issue were obtained by a woman named Mrs. Lyrl Clark Van Hyning who published a women’s journal called “Women’s Voice”. When she called the daily news office to ask why the paper had been recalled, she was told that there had been “complaints” about it and it was likely to cause “racial unrest”.
Mrs. Van Hyning had her own suspicions and sent the father of the two murdered boys, Anton Schuessler Sr., a copy of Arnold Leese’s definitive work JEWISH RITUAL MURDER.
Schuessler read the booklet and was stunned by what he learned. He then made the mistake of going to the police and demanding that the possible ritual murder angle in his sons’ death be investigated.
The Cook County Sheriff of the time was a Jew named Joseph Lohman.
Lohman immediately placed Mr. Schuessler under arrest on suspicion of killing his own children.
A jewish deputy named Horowitz was sent to the Schuessler home with a party of men.
Having ransacked the house looking for “evidence”, Horowitz then placed Mrs. Eleanor Schuessler and her family under virtual house arrest, forbidding them to leave the house or speak with anyone on the phone lest they “spread rumors about the jews.”
The two Chicago detectives in charge of the case, Irish lieutenants James Lynch and James McMahon, later complained angrily that Lohman’s Cook County investigators had destroyed evidence, threatened and tampered with witnesses, and generally impeded their efforts to solve the case at every turn.
Anton Schuessler, Sr. took a lie detector test which completely cleared him, as well as proving that he had an ironclad alibi for the murders.
Anton after identifying his sons’ bodies at the morgue:
Instead of releasing him, the authorities committed Anton Schuessler to a private mental institution in Des Plaines, IL operated by a Dr. Leon Steinfeld. Mr. Schuessler was rushed right into electroshock treatment, where he died the same afternoon he arrived at the “sanitarium”
There was sufficient public outcry over the bereaved father’s strange death so that a public inquest into Schuessler’s case was held and Dr. Steinfeld forced to testify. He stated that Arnold Schuessler was suffering from “hallucinations” and “paranoid delusions” that “certain people were out to get him.” Steinfeld claimed that the elder Schuessler had died of a heart attack. (Schuessler was 42 years old and had no previous history of heart trouble.)
In 1955, and even in Chicago, there were still a few honest public officials left, one of them being the Cook County Coroner, a crusty old Irishman named Dr. Thomas McCarron who was also a qualified psychiatrist. McCarron knew Dr. Steinfeld of old.
During World War Two, Steinfeld had been prosecuted for giving jewish boys facing the draft callup various legal and illegal drugs which would give them heart fibrillations, fill their lungs with liquid to simulate tuberculosis, give them noxious skin conditions, etc. so they could avoid military service. Steinfeld allegedly collected $2000 per head for each Yiddishe Mama’s Little Bubbeleh he spared from having to go face the Nazis’ cold steel and hot lead.
Dr. McCarron called Steinfeld a liar and a charlatan and turned all the documents in the case over to the district attorney, recommending that Steinfeld be prosecuted for perjury and murder. He also bitterly denounced Steinfeld to the newspapers and publicly stated his view that Anton Schuessler had been murdered.
In response he received an official order from the district attorney to make no more public comment on the case. Several nights later, to emphasize the serious nature of the warning, a small bomb blew the front door off McCarron’s house.
But there was at least some belated justice. Several days after the inquest closed, Leon Steinfeld fled the country. He flew to Switzerland for a “rest cure” and one morning was found hanging in his hotel room, an alleged suicide.
Eleanor and Anton Schuessler:
Jewish newspaper columnist Irv Kupcinet established a “sympathy fund” and shortly thereafter presented Anton Schuessler’s widow, the mother of the murdered children, with $100,000 raised from Chicago’s Jewish community – an immense sum of money in 1955-56, worth easily a couple of million today, and a very strange gesture for Jews to make to a Gentile crime victim, a German at that, unless it was to buy silence.
There may have been one final murder connected with this ghastly case.
British author Arnold Leese was provided with massive amounts of news clippings and information, including a transcript of the inquest, by his correspondents in Chicago, and he was at work on a definitive account of the Schuessler case as one of the best documented incidents of Jewish ritual murder in modern times when he suddenly died in the spring of 1956.
None of the Schuessler papers, which he had been working on and which he showed to a number of friends and visitors, were found anywhere in his possession when his effects were inventoried after his death. The last loose end was tied up.
“It is with deep regret that as GOTHIC RIPPLES goes to press I have to announce the death of my husband on the 18th January after a short illness.” Winifred Leese
One looks at those sad little faces on the milk cartons today, and one can’t help but wonder…
John and Anton Schuessler with their dad, Anton Sr.
The funeral. Mrs. Schuessler being carried after fainting.
Barbara and Patricia Grimes:
This article was released on February 6th, 1997, was recently updated with information from the book GETTING AWAY WITH MURDER by two veteran Chicago crime reporters, Ed Baumann and John O’Brien. See the full excerpt here (PDF).
Sheriff Lohman being rewarded for a ‘job well done’ that same year, by a meeting with President Truman.
There were two other mutilated bodies found in 1957 & 1958. Those of Bonnie Leigh Scott and Judith Mae Andersen. These cases were not solved.