CARL KRANTHAUSEN, Theft > extortion, 4th May 1868.

Reference Number: t18680504-462
Offence: Theft > extortion
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: Imprisonment > no_subcategory
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462. CARL KRANTHAUSEN (28) was indicted for unlawfully threatening to publish certain letters of and concerning Louis Elzinger, with intent to extort money from him. Other Counts, varying the manner of stating the charge.

MR. RIBTON conducted the Prosecution; and MR. M. WILLIAMS the Defence.

EUGENE RIMMEL . I am a perfumer in the Strand—I first saw the prisoner about the latter end of 1867—he applied to me for a situation, being in distress—he said he had been in business, and would be very happy to nil any sort of post—engaged him as clerk, although I did net want anybody, at a guinea a week—I had been carrying on a correspondence with Mr. Elzinger, of Regent Street, for months before, in reference to a proposed French hospital: it ranged over 1866 and 1867—many of the letters were addressed to my son and myself in Paris—the letters were in a bureau containing various letters relating to the hospital, and I wished the prisoner to classify the papers and sort them out, and show them to me when he had done it—I did not give him any permission to take them—I was honorary secretary to the hospital at the time, and I recommended the prisoner to the committee as paid secretary, and he entered on that office about the middle of February, and left my service—some time in March I received a communication from two members of the committee, and my attention was called by them to a paragraph in the Standard newspaper, reproduced from the Figaro—I saw the prisoner, and asked him if he had any namesake, or relation of the same name as himself, who had committed a robbery in Paris—he said, "No" and seemed surprised—I then gave him the Figaro to read—he road the article through, but did not

seem at all moved—I then said; "You must give me some proof that you are not the man; you can tell me what you were doing at the time"—he said he was travelling backwards and forwards for business—I said, "That is not a sufficient alibi, it is too vague"—I then suggested that he should give me his carte de visite to send to Baron Espeleta, the gentleman who was named in the paper, and asked him to send me a letter declaring that he was not the man; that would satisfy the committee, and we would keep him—he said he would do so, but he had no photograph left; he would get some made—he put me off from day to day for the photograph, saying he could not get it yet, he would let me have it the following day, and so on—he said this perhaps three or four times—I communicated this to the committee—a week after the first interview he called at my house, and tendered his resignation, saying that it was beneath his dignity to justify himself from such an imputation—I tried to persuade him to justify himself, but could not succeed—I saw him next May at the hospital, and told him he ought, at all events, to justify himself if he was not the man, even if he left—he said he would give me his carte personally, but not to the committee—he then sent for the cartes, but when they were brought he put them in his pocket—I did not see them—I left England three days afterwards, and did not see him again until I saw him at Bow Street—I know his writing—both these letters (produced) are his writing: also this bundle of letters—they are all addressed to me—these are some of the letters, addressed by Mr. Elzinger, that I gave him to classify? I threw them hastily in the bureau—I did not know they were there when I gave the letters to him to classify: they Were among a heap of papers in the bureau—they were mostly from Mr. Elzinger—they were merely from members of the committee.

Cross-examined. Q. In point of fact you gave him no directions about those particular letters? A. I gave him directions about the whole contents of the bureau—I think it was about 24th or 28th March he left the hospital—he remained one day after I left London; it was agreed that he should leave the following day—while he was in the employment of the hospital? I had no fault, personally, to find with him.

MR. RIBTON. Q. Whether you knew these letters were there or not; did you ever give him authority to take any away from your place? A. No—I gave him no papers to deal with except those in the bureau—he gave me back all the letters in about a week, except these; he said nothing about these.

LOUIS ELZINGER . I am a watch and chronometer manufacturer, of 211, Regent Street—I wrote a great number of letters to Mr. Rimmed during 1866 and 1867—most of these-produced are mine, they nearly all relate to the management of the hospital—I saw the prisoner while be was in Mr. Rimmel's service, when I called there—I never had any conversation of any importance with him—I received these two letters (Translated and read: "Monday. Sir, since the article in the Figaro; I do not know whether it is Elzinger or L——, if he will find himself on Tuesday morning at the Nelson Column, Waterloo Place, to make some communication to him, which may largely interest him. Signed C H. Kranthansen"—I did not keep the envelope in which that letter came—I found it when I came that afternoon, it came by post addressed to me—I received it too late-to keep the appointment—I received the other letter next day or the day after—I am quite sure it was addressed to me—(Read: "Tuesday, 72, Davies Street, Berkeley Square.

Sir—Not having found you at the place I indicated, I beg to ask you to be kind enough to indicate to me a place of meeting where I will go; the matter which I am to communicate to you if worth the trouble you will take. Signed, C. H. C. Von Kranthausen")—after that I made a communication to one of my clerks, Mr. Hubel—after that the prisoner called on me on Thursday, 16th or 17th April, about 5 o'clock—he said he had seen the article in the Figaro paper, and that he was much annoyed by it; and that these matters being published would prevent him getting his living in England, and he would be obliged to leave and go to America—then he said he had some letters of mine written to Mr. Rimmel, that he wanted money for them, he wanted a sum of money to go to America—I told him I should not give him a penny for my letters, as they were Mr. Rimmel's letters, not mine, perhaps he would give him something for them—I asked what he wanted to go to America—he said he left that to me (this was in French)—I said I did not know what the expense might be—he said be had his wife to take with him—I said "Do you want 10l. or 20l."—he made a motion as if that was not enough, and I said "20l. then"—he said "I will give it you for 40l."—he said he did not like to ask for money—he was excited in hit manner—he said he knew it was not well what he was doing, but he had no means—I refused, and said I have merely to report what you say to Mr. Rimmel, as these letters are his and not mine—I shall write to Mr. Rimmel, you may ask 100l. if you like, but I don't think he will give you anything—he said if I did not give him the money he would publish the letters, and would send them to some persons who would annoy me—he handed me two of the letters to show that he had them—I think these are the two (marked C. D.) one is written on my business paper—I carry on business in London, under the name of Leroy—I think I wrote these while I was in Paris—he put these into my hand and said "There is two of the letters"—he had only these two that I saw—he said if I or Rimmel did not give him the money he would publish the letters—that terminated the interview—I did not see him again till he was in custody—my clerk was within hearing of this interview.

Cross-examined. Q. You told him that you did not care about the letters at all. A. Yes; I kept these two letters, and have had them ever since—(That letters were put in and read).

FREDERICK HUBRL . I am in the service of Mr. Elzinger—I went to the prisoner's lodging in Davies Street—I can't recollect the date, it was the day after the letter came—he was not at home that day—I went a second day, at 10 o'olock in the morning, and saw him; that was the sane day that he called on Mr. Elzinger—I said to him "You have sent some letters to Mr. Elzinger, asking him to give you an appointment; Mr. Elzinger has no wish to see you, tell me what you want"—he said "I want to see Mr. Eisinger himself"—I told him it was no use saying that, Mr. Elzinger did not wish to see him, unless he gave me a reason which would induce Mr. Elzinger to see him—he then said that he had some letters written by Mr. Elzinger to Mr. Rimmel, in his possession, which contained things which, if they were published would be very annoying to Mr. Elzinger—they contained allusions to mutual friends, and to the French Ambassador in London, and if Mr. Elzinger asked him what he meant to do with those letters, he should send them to the people who were spoken of in them—I said that he was not acting the part of a gentleman, and I did not believe he had any letters—I asked how he got them—he said when he was at

Mr. Rimmel's, Mr. Rimmel had given him some papers to sort, to put aside the papers belonging to the hospital, and to return the private letters to Mr. Rimmel; that he read those letters, and thought they might be useful to him—he did not produce any letters—he said they were not then in his possession; he had left them with a friend, ready addressed to the different persons who were spoken of in the letters, and that his friend had instructions, if he did not see him in three days, to send the letters to the different persons—he said his reason was that, if he was imprisoned, or taken up by the police, the letters should reach their destination all the same—I said I did not think there was anything that could do him any injury, but as I was not the judge of that he had better come and see Mr. Elzinger—I asked what he wanted of Mr. Elzinger for the letters—he said, as his prospects were ruined in England, that Mr. Elzinger was to give him 40l. to go to America; but first he asked for a certificate that he was an honest man—he said, if Mr. Elzinger gave him the 40l. he would give up the letters, if not, he would send them to the different persons—he also said he was writing a pamphlet in which these letters would appear, and in which he would speak about the hospital—I returned to Mr. Elzinger, and told him what had passed—it was arranged that the prisoner should come at 5 o'clock—I was there when he came, and heard what passed.

Cross-examined. Q. You have given your evidence a great deal more fully to-day, than you did before the Magistrate? A. Yes—I don't know that I mentioned before, the allusions to mutual friends and the French Ambassador (The Witness' deposition was road). MR. RIBTON. Q. You say you did not see any letters at this interview? A. No; but he came to our shop on the Saturday afterwards—Mr. Elzinger was cut—he asked if Mr. Rimmel had returned from Paris, and if he was likely to get any money—I said, "I do not think it likely, and I do not think you have got these letters you speak of"—he said, "I will show them to you"—I said, "I will go with you"—he said, "That won't do, because my friend, who has got the letters in his possession, works till 7 o'clock"—he then said he would meet me in the street—I met him in the park, and he pulled the letters out of his pocket and read them to me—he said he would pick out that which would be most annoying to Mr. Elzinger—he said he had marked those places which would be most annoying to him (Looking at the letters)—I would not like to say, but I believe this is one letter; and this is another, I am certain—he read a good many—they were all in a bundle, which he took out of his pocket, sealed up—he counted the letters before me; there were nineteen, and twenty-three pages, I think—he then asked if I would put any mark on them, or, if I had a seal I could put on them, so that, in case he should get his 40l., I should be sure to get all the letters—I said I had not—he then rolled them up and put them in his pocket—that was all that passed—the policeman then came and took, him into custody, the moment he had put the letters in his pocket, while we were sitting on a seat in the park—I had arranged to have a policeman there.

MR. M. WILLIAMS. Q. Have you given your evidence to any solicitor or clerk? A. No, I believe Mr. Abrahams took down my proof, he is the solicitor for the prosecution—I told him about this meeting in the park—I don't think he took it down—when the prisoner was before the Magistrate the second time, the Magistrate said he did not want any evidence from me.

WILLIAM REIMERS .(Police Sergeant A 1). I apprehended the prisoner

in the Regent's Park, on Sunday morning—I searched him and found on him a number of private letters in the French language—these produced are them, there are nineteen—I went up to the prisoner as he was sitting in the park with Hubel and said "Is your name Kranthausen!"—he jumped up and said "Yes it is, sir, what do you want of me?" I was in plain clothes—I spoke German, I said lama police officer, and I shall take you in custody for stealing a number of letters, the property of Mr. Rimmel"—he was very excited and said "You cannot take me in custody without a warrant, and on a Sunday"—I said, I apprehend you for stealing, and for that charge I want no warrant, and as for Sunday it makes no difference; I caution you, you need not say anything, but what you do say I shall use in evidence against you"—he then sat down and began to cry—he said "If you let me go, you have the letters now, I'll do anything for you, I will chop wood, or do anything else to recompense you"—I told him I could not let him go, I only had a duty to perform, and that was to secure him—I took him to Mr. Elzinger, and they had some conversation in French which I understand imperfectly, but he implored for mercy.

GUILTY Six Months' Imprisonment .


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