Friday, July 25, 2008

Arrested on Suspicion

New York, 1895

Did Michael Resz Poison Batasia Krug for His Money?

Coroner Nutt and a jury concluded an inquiry touching the death of Batasia Krug, who was found dead in his room at the house of Michael Resz, on Beaver street, Jamaica, on Saturday, May 4th. It was at first supposed that the death of Krug was caused by poison. After the first adjournment of the inquest the coroner received an anonymous letter to the effect that if he did not thoroughly investigate Krug's death a step further would be taken.

When Officer Peterson went to remove the body he found in the pocket of Krug's coat a package of Paris green. Resz said to him, "I hope they won't think I put it there."

The testimony before the coroner showed that Krug had on October 2, 1894, given Resz $431, and signed an agreement that for the above sum he was to take care of Krug until his death, and then give him a decent burial. He had his life insured for $100, which was to be paid to Resz.

George W. Allen testified that about a month ago Krug came to his place and said that on that morning Mrs. Resz told him that his services were no longer required, and that he was expected to pay his board. He showed Mr. Allen the agreement between himself and Resz and asked him what he should do.

Patrick Redington was at work at Resz's place Saturday, May 4. About 4 o'clock Resz called him up stairs, and he saw Krug lying dead upon the bed. Resz brought out some Paris green from under the bed in a pan. He saw nothing in the room that a man could drink out of.

John S. Higbie testified that he went to Resz's store about 6 o'clock to purchase a pair of shoes. Resz gave him a pair to try on, and then sat down and continued his work. While he was trying on the shoes a man came down stairs and spoke to Resz in German. Resz ran up stairs. He returned in a few minutes and called to his wife, and they both went up stairs: "There is a man dead up stairs. Will you come up and see him?" He went up. There was a pan on the floor near the bed with Paris green in it.

The jury found that the deceased came to his death from Paris green poisoning, and that the circumstances are so far suspicious as to warrant the holding of Michael Resz for the action of the grand jury.

Immediately upon the rendition of the verdict, Resz was arrested and locked up in the Town Hall. He will have an examination before a justice this afternoon.

—The Long Island Farmer, Jamaica, NY, May 17, 1895, p. 1.

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