The aperture confessionA Two-Dollar Terror #4 is slated for a delayed publication on January 1, 2015. You can get a FREE copy now, by hitting the button to follow this blog… To your right…
The condemned George Schneider spent the rest of his days in jail just like the other prisoners. He would smoke, walk around, chat freely with his fellow prisoners, engage with them in games of cards, occasionally read the papers in his cell and retire quietly at night. His wife visited him occasionally, bringing him his favorite foods.
Shortly before the Ohio Supreme Court declined to hear his motion for a new trial, Schneider expressed some anxiety to a news reporter but said that if the decision was adverse to his interests he only wanted to be given an opportunity to tell all he knew and he was confident the result would be his complete acquittal at the bar of public opinion.
“If I don’t get a new trial,” he said, “I only want them to take me over to the courtroom, call everybody in and I will tell them my story. Not one man in a thousand will then say I ought not to be released and permitted to go home. If I afterwards get a second trial I will testify anyhow. I am sorry now I did not go on the stand before.”
After the Supreme Court decision, George grew more serious and somber. In a Bible that belonged to his family, containing the record of his birth, he had also inscribed the birth dates of his wife, his children and other data connected with his financial and personal affairs. He frequently read from this Bible and the family data therein. He wrote the words to hymns on his cell walls.
Nine days before George Schneider’s scheduled execution, reporters from the Hamilton Telegraph and Daily News were making their morning rounds and at 9 a.m. stopped in the sheriff’s office. Soon after they arrived, the sheriff led George from the jail to the sheriff’s private dining room in the house attached to the jail. They were followed by Judge McKemy, George’s minister the Rev. W.H. Fenneman and a stenographer.
The reporters started to follow when Judge McKemy shut the door in their faces. The reporters promptly opened the door again and asked the Judge to explain whether or not this was to be a secret affair.
McKemy said the statement to be made was for the use of the attorneys and not the press, and if the press wanted anything they must see the sheriff.
It’s not clear in the reporting exactly what kind of “aperture” the reporters discovered to eavesdrop on the interview, but they bragged that they had full view of Schneider as he “nervously worked with his fingers as he related the story of the crime,” and claimed to hear the whole story “as plainly as though they were in the room”….