“A STRANGE FUNERAL
Guldensuppe’s Body Lacking the Head, Is Burned
NEW YORK, Dec. 5.- The funeral of Bathrubber Guldensuppe, who was murdered at Woodside, Long Island, on June 25, by Martin Thorn and Augusta Nack, occurred this afternoon from an undertaking shop on East Third street, where the body had lain since it was removed from the morgue. All day Saturday and today, from 11 o’clock in the morning until the hour of the funeral, immense crowds of the curious flocked to get a look at the murdered man.
The dismembered body, arrayed in a dress suit, lay in an oak coffin with sliding glass top. The right arm was crossed over the breast. Where the head should have been was a vacant space, save for a photograph, which was placed against the side of the coffin.
Upon the coffinplate was engraved: ‘Christian W. Guldensuppe, died June 27, 1897, aged 42 years.’
The funeral was arranged by two lodges of which the murdered man was a member. Eight members of the New York crew of bathrubbers who worked with Guldensuppe contributed a floral piece about four feet high. Two wreaths were sent in by the lodges. There were no ceremonies whatever.
The remains were buried in the Lutheran cemetery at Middlesex village. Long island.” (From the Los Angeles Herald, 6 Dec. 1897.)
I’d never heard of William Guldensuppe before, but his murder sparked a media frenzy, with journalists clambering over each other for information about the case. This is a more in-depth article about the dismembered masseur, whose body parts were found wrapped in floral oilcloth around the East River after a soured love triangle. The article above reported that Guldensuppe’s body was “Burned,” but I’m not sure if he was cremated or if the newspaper meant to print “Buried.” (This is just based on the details about the coffin and buried remains.)
Below are just a few of the many articles covering Guldensuppe’s murder investigation and the trials of Martin Thorn and Augusta Nack.
|San Francisco Call 2 July 1897|
|Sacramento Daily Union 1 July 1897|
|San Francisco Call 9 July 1897|
|Los Angeles Herald 14 July 1897|
|Los Angeles Herald 10 Oct. 1897|
|Los Angeles Herald 14 Aug. 1903|