This article was last modified on October 14, 2014.


The Appleton Butcher Murder

On Monday, September 25, 1967, four children — in first and second grade at St. Joseph School — found an unusual package on their playground. It was a sack, and when opened, they found dismembered toes and part of a foot.

The following day, another package was found near St. Joseph School: this time containing a human liver with a non-metallic pellet inside.

Appleton police arrived at the George Schmidt residence, 319 North Division Street, in the afternoon of Wednesday, September 27. By 3:30pm, they had found pieces of bone and flesh in the front yard. With this, they secured a search warrant.

Upon entering the house, they found Mrs. Lottie Schmidt sitting in a dark basement, a noose dangling near her head. She appeared to be in shock and was brought to the hospital and put under police guard. Within an hour, more body parts were unearthed in her backyard. Police believe they belonged to George, 84. The police worked throughout the night, with only a sliver of a moon and flashlights to guide them. Over twenty different parts were found, each wrapped in either newspaper or burlap. The stench was unbearable.

Who Were the Schmidts?

George Henry Schmidt was born in Appleton on February 29, 1884 — a leap year baby. His parents were Louis C. Schmidt Anna Ripple Schmidt, both Wisconsin natives. The family made cigars out of their home, and had a servant named Louisa Fisher.

He married Lottie, a Michigan native. They had four children between 1914 and 1920: Herbert, Clinton, Geraldine and Walter. The family first lived at 658 North Durkee Street, along the railroad tracks, where George was employed by the Standard Manufacturing Company as a superintendent. He maintained this job for the next few decades.

In 1920, they had a teenage servant, Marnie Lamers. In 1930, they had a 22-year old German servant, Augusta Gruber. In 1940, they lived with their teenage maid, Loretta Berghuis. By the 1940s, the family had moved to 207 North Green Bay Road in Appleton, overlooking the Fox River.

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