FULL TEXT: Six murders at the age of thirteen is the awful record claimed by Ida Schnell, whose case is at present being investigated at Munich. The girl had been in service with a number of different families as nursemaid, and no suspicion seems to have arisen against her till after the sixth infant entrusted to her care had died a sudden and mysterious, death. Even then it was only after the baby had been buried that it appears to have struck anyone that there was something sinister in the circumstance that her nursing had been associated with mortality of so remarkable a character.
It was finally decided to exhume the body of the last of her charges, the fourteen-day-old son of a peasant proprietor of Ampermoching, near Munich. The corpse was taken from the coffin, and examination showed that death had been caused by perforation of the yet soft infantile skull with some sharp instrument.
Schnell was at once arrested and closely questioned. At first she strenuously denied having caused the child’s death, and protested that she had much too gentle a nature to harm the infant in any way. Under cross-examination, however, she admitted that she had killed not only the baby whose body had been. exhumed, but four others for whom she had been engaged as nurse. She confessed, further, that she had taken the lives of these infants by plunging a hairpin into the lower part of the back of their heads till they ceased to cry. Asked as to her motive, the girl said that the crying of the infants roused in her unconquerable revulsion, and excited her to such a degree that she lost all control over herself, and would do anything to make them quiet. Next morning she confessed to the sixth murder. Schnell, who will be fourteen next month, is physically well developed for her age, but rather dull-witted. Her father is dead, but she has a stepfather, who is a day labourer at Schleissheim, to the north of Munich. Her series of murders was only rendered possible by the fact which will be a revelation to many, that in Bavaria death certificates are frequently, and in the country districts always, granted by laymen. It is said that a doctor would at once have noticed the wounds caused by the hairpin.
[Bernard Fischer, “Girl of Thirteen Slays Six Babies – Remarkable Record of Murder Is Confessed by a Child in Munich.” Syndicated, The Salt Lake Tribune (Ut.), Nov. 10, 1907, p. 17]
For more cases of “Baby Farmers,” professional child care providers who murdered children see The Forgotten Serial Killers.
For similar cases see: Baby-Sitter Serial Killers