Monday, May 12, 2014

1880 - "An Ingenious Insurance Fraud"

Not long ago a cattle dealer named Grunbaum living at Zsolna, in  Austria, disappeared. As he was known to be in fair circumstances and good health, it was naturally apprehended that he had fallen victim to foul play, and a diligent search was instituted. The result was that in a wood not far from the town a mutilated corpse was found, in the pockets of the clothes of which were letters addressed to Grunbaum, and which was at once recognized by Grunbaum's wife as the body of her husband. Not very long before his disappearance Grunbaum had insured his life for $5,000 in one office and for $2,500 in another; after the funeral these sums were claimed by his widow, to whom everything was left by the will of the deceased. Before the policies were paid, however, the suspicions of one of the offices were excited by some chance; inquiries were made, and finally it was discovered that Grunbaum was still alive. He was at once arrested; and it has been now established that he himself murdered a stranger he met in the woods where the body was found; dressed the corpse in his clothes, putting on himself those of the dead man, and place his letters in the pockets of his victim. His wife was to draw the policies payable on the death of her husband, and the two then intended to emigrate under another name to America.

St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
July 10, 1880