The Watcher

The Final Alibis

Monday brought new air to the city. Southernly winds blew the baltic breezes from the Ostsee down and over the lands of Northern Germany. With little in their way, they blew over the lakes of Mecklenburg and through the rolling forested landscape of the Uckermark and Mittelmark of Brandenburg. Monday also brought, for most people within the city, a return to the working week and the city in the early hours of the working day was filled with the movements of its citizens, old and new, on their routines, traversing the growing hauptstadt, by automobile, tram, train, Stadt bahn, Ring Bahn, U-bahn and Omnibus. Ring Bahn trains were crowded and many, whom could not squeeze within the confines of the wooden carriages let alone sit upon one of the bench seats polished by the arses of the nation hung on the running board, that although was certainly was not allowed, and was cleared before a train departed a station was throng with the rush of people jumping on as the trains departed the stations to the displeasure of the guards. Such recklessness had only 7 years prior, on the day of Walter Rathenau’s funeral, the gunned down foreign minister, led to the deaths of 45 people, who, whilst riding the running bored were knocked off by a fellow running bored traveller on an opposing train who carried in his ruck sack a long pole that as one train passed a train running in the opposite direction swiped those clinging on from their footings, killing 18 instantly and many others later. But little stops the great machine.
For Quoß and Werneburg, who had both been able to take some rest on the previous day they were also back on the beat. The previous day, Sunday the 18th had been for the skeleton staff and lowly members of the Zäpernick Murder Commission to work, but they had not been quiet. At the briefing on the Monday morning at the Alex was there was much to catch upon. Gennat was analaysing the typed and signed testimonies of Martha Schulz, wife of the currently still confined to a cell of the Alex watcher Richard Schulz, and also of her father, the roofer Paul Schiemann. They were cross checking the statements which revealed that there was certainly some secrets that surrounded the Watcher Schulz. For one, despite his admittance that on the day of the disappearance and subsequent murder of Hildegard Zäpernick of Neu-Westend, Schulz had indulged in drinking at two bottles of beer, but it seemed that the father-in-law did not know that Schulz himself even drunk. There was also a lot of gaps in the testimonies towards the difficult history of the guard Schulz and his mental health.
There seemed a reasonable concern that the mental health of the Watcher Schulz was unsound and unpredictable. Contradictory statements made by the wife who, it was noted, made clear what she was telling was the truth therefore casting much more suspicion on what she had to say, meandered from statements that her husband is a good man to a violent temperament, acknowledged his interest in books of a amoral character and had a penchant to drink too much, hallucinates and can wander off without recollection of doing so.
It was Georg Rosse was to be in charge of investigating the reports from the Kreigsversorgungsamt at the Brommybrücke, easily reachable from the Alex with the number 91 tram that followed the Köpernicker Straße. For the rest in the meeting room there were papers to read to gather what the press were reporting, it was always important to keep on top of the wanderings of the imagination of the press, especially when they forgot their place as a news outlet and anthropomorphised into a person. But it was a Monday, and the days papers would not be released until the evening so it only left the Sunday editions to be perused.
The Berliner Volks Zeitung was receiving information from somewhere within the Alex and its previous days press was quite revealing of the information so far gathered and even cast doubt on to the character of Schulz as a perpetrator of the crime. Who is the lust killer? It questioned in the bold black italic script before going on to write: “The terrible murder of little Hildegard Zäpernick has still not been resolved. The building guard Richard Schulz, who is still being held in the police headquarters and has been questioned many times, has spoken to little Hilde on many occasions. But on the day of Hildegard’s disappearance, he said that he didn’t see the child. He was on the construction site, just at the time the terrible act must have happened. Richard Schulz is 40 years old and has four children himself. Witnesses saw how he once gave little Hilde his picture. For that he had wanted a kiss from the little one. But she ran away. Schulz is supposed to be harmless to children as he is so very fond of them. He has an eye injury in the war and is a little strange. Yesterday afternoon the whole block of houses was searched with dogs, every patch of earth searched for a trace of the perpetrator, for the shovel with which the child was buried. But nothing was found.
Whom ever the leak within the Alex was they were revealing almost everything that the Murder Commission was doing and had. They did not know which was more embarrassing, the leak, or that the leak revealing so little as they so far had come to nought in many of the areas of the investigation. If they were going to build a case against Schulz, as they now intended, they were going to need a lot more character information, hence the requirement to send Georg Rosse to the Brommybrücke. Their best course of action in the event if little more evidence was found, it was decided, was to prove all alibis of the workers and through a process of elimination only leave Schulz left as the only credible person to have perpetrated the crime of the murder of Hildegard Zäpernick.
The next point of the mornings briefing was a new incentive. 500 Reichsmarks had been initially issued as a means of hoping to draw forward people who might have information on firstly the disappearance and later the murder of Hildegard Zäpernick. Quoß and Werneburg had received permission from higher up the chain to increase the amount. From 500 RM it was doubled to 1000. A substantial increase which, of course, did not come without its draw backs, it invited more people to point fingers in desperation to clinch at the money on offer, but it might also bring shreds of information that witnesses my have seen but discounted as nothing but, in the hopes of a significant financial reward, may finally report.
The information of the increase in financial reward was printed within the internal Police news, the Deutsche Kriminalpolizeiblatt. The investigation with the transient nature of the city was having to spread across the nation. However, there was much work to be done at home. There was still many to speak to on the construction site, and most importantly the movements of those who had drank in the Budiker to trace. Gennat wanted as many pieces of information and precise movements as could be gathered before he, himself, was to interview Richard Schulz again so Quoß and Werneburg dispatched their team across the city. So as the citizens traversed their daily morning rituals to the jobs of stock brokers at the Börse, factory workers in Siemensstadt, shop clerks on the Freidrichstraße so did the Zäpernick Murder Commission investigators travel amongst them in the automobiles of the Alex.
Quoß and Werenburg themselves were also about to leave until they were informed that a young girl of the Westend district had made herself present at the Alex and according to a secretary may have had valuable information on The Watcher Richard Schulz, they themselves had much to be done so they assigned the task to the Kriminal Assistant Dittmar.
She was 13 years old, and to any 13 year old the Rote Burg, the Alex, would have been an impressive if repressive building. It’s brick gothic structure reminiscent of the Teutonic castle at Marienburg and its corridors the cloisters of Lehnen and Chorin. Perhaps, it was this impressive nature that the structure oppressed over those within that caused the 13 year old girl to be somewhat distracted. It could also have been the irrational fear that came with speaking with the Kriminal assistant Dittmar.
“Erika Timmler, born June 1, 1916 in Strasburg, Berlin Westendallee 91.”
She answered to the, as ever formulaic beginnings of the statement taking of “Who are you, when and where were you born and where do you reside.” Prussian efficiency in all corners of the Prussian establishment. “Ok, Fräulein Timmler, what do you have to say?” Asked the Kommissar.
“It’s about the Monday, the Monday Hilde disappeared,” she answered timmidly as she rotated her head gazing at the corners of the room.
“On you go then,” Dittmar pressed the distracted girl.
“I can still think exactly of Monday because on this day Hilde Zäpernick disappeared. Hilde, I and other girls stood together with the guard.”
“The Watcher Schulz?” Dittmar interrupted, Erika nodded.
“He had his dog with him, in front of the Zäpernick house. He told us about the war and bombs and other things to do with the war. I’m not sure when this happened, I only know that Hilde was there, and that afterwards Hilde was playing on the trellis. Hilde’s mother called to her to get down. Afterwards my mother called me and then I was back on the street, but I went in the direction of Heerstraße to a friend who lives there.”
“How would you describe The Watcher Schulz?”
“He was, the guardian with the glass eye, always nice to us, we were allowed to play on the building, but the other guard would chase us away. I don’t think he really knew me, because I was away on vacation for a time.”
“Was he attracted to Hilde, did he like her?”
“I can’t say. He was “silly” with everyone.”
“How did he call you, did he know your names?”
“No, he didn’t remember our names, but always had such strange names for us.”
“What did he call Hildegard?”
“He called Hilde “Hilla” or “Zippelchen.” The girls focus wandered away.
“What did you do on the construction site? Play?”
“Play and collect bottles that we would take to Nietschke’s.”
“Were you ever in the guard hut with the Watcher Schulz?” She shook her head.
“The other guard was my friend.”
“Flade?” The Kriminal Assistant questioned.
“He would occasionally give us Juno pictures.”
“Did the guards ever try to kiss you?”
“I never got a kiss from any of the guards.”
“Did any of the others. Fräulein Timmler,” Dittmar asked irritably as the girl lost focus, “Erika!”
“Did any of the other’s receive kisses from the guards?”
“I don’t know.”
“You said you were in front of the Zäpernick residence when you spoke with the Watcher Schulz, was he often there?”
“With his dog, yes.”
“Why do you think that was?”
“Because there are so many children there, I think.”
Dittmar’s superiors the Kommissars Quoß and Werenburg were, with the books found at the Rummelsburg residence, with the statements of the wife, and a child of the area, getting a picture that this guard, this Watcher Schulz had a penchant for children. “Thank you, Erika, could you remain here just a few moments, we’ll have you statement typed up and if you could sign it after reading it.” The girl was already again looking at something on the walls invisible to every eye but her own. However, after the secretary had typed the interview on the waxy paper, so thin it did little to obscure the vision, used by the police präsidium either because of Prussian frugality or because of some other more scientific reason the girl did sign it. Afterwards Dittmar had the paper rolled back into the typewriter and left a note at the bottom of the page. “Timmler was questioned on record, as it could be important to state that she had spoken to the guard. For the rest, the child does not make an unbelievable impression, but the statements appeared to be rather uncertain and confused. It was striking that she was easily distracted.” Under this note Dittmar left his own signature.

Rosse had to wait before he departed. He needed a letter from the Kommissars that would allow him, they hoped, access to Schulz’s records at the Kreigsversorgungsamt at the Brommybrücke. It was an informal approach but one that was necessary to greatly expedite the process of paper work that often weighed down the investigators and often could grind an investigation quickly to a halt. Once Quoß and Werneburg were ready they typed up the letter and were sure to contain as much information within it as possible to reduce the request for further information thereby slowing it down. However the request as they typed it, was the first time that they admitted that Schulz was the culprit that had committed the heinous deed.
“What’s your tag number?” The Kommissars asked of Rosse.
“933, why?”
“You have it on you?”
“I do.” Every officer within the Police of the Free State of Prussia was required to carry their identity disc, an oval piece of stamped metal, an idealised view of some hills with a sword carrying Prussian eagle flying above the etching of the letters that spelt out Berlin on one side and the identifying number on the other, other cities varied their etchings.
“You are to obtain the files Rosse, if you can’t you must insist to inspect them and take notes. The more insights we get could be invaluable and could lead to some important conclusions about the intellectual and other characteristics of Schulz. Got it.”
“I do Sir.”
“Off you go.” With that Rosse was dispatched and now Quoß and Werneburg could get to their investigations.

They drove first to Schöneberg, to Feurigstraße 37 and interview the old guard, Flade, the one that was friends with Erika Timmler. He told them of the events of the evening of the 12th after he arrived at the Gillesbau early.
“Did you notice anything about Schulz in the days after she went missing?”
“He seemed normal to me. Calm and objective, nothing suspicious. I assumed she were already buried when I arrived.” Flade explained without being asked. “I also assume it wasn’t a stranger like the papers were saying.”
“Why do you think this Herr Flade?”
“A stranger would have simply thrown the body into a cellar and run away. As I heard it, Little Hilde was missing from around half past six, and later Schulz was asked to have the building searched but he rejected the request.”
“Do you know anything about Schulz and giving photographs to the children?”
“I found out from Schulz that he had given the photographs he had taken across the park, at the shop, away. He didn’t tell me why. But he explained to me that he spent his time, when he was bored, with the children, a few of the ladies of the area have complained to me about it, and later, after the girl disappeared I found out from some of the residents that he had asked a few of the children to kiss him. He never mentioned that to me.”
“Anything else about Herr Schulz you can mention that stands out to you?”
“I found him on the ground once, having convulsions, not long after he started. He said he felt them coming on and could take medication from a doctor to stop them.”

At Neu Westend Quoß and Werneburg spoke with Hilde Gehricke whom they asked over the information that Erika Timmler had told Dittmar earlier that morning at the Alex. But the account of the distracted girl could not be substantiated with the girl who lived opposite the Zäpernicks, when asked about the conversation that Erika Timmler had mentioned about the war and bombs she had said, “I know nothing of this, that the guard with the glass eye stood in front of the Zäpernick’s apartment then. But I did hear that the guardian with the glass eye asked a kiss from a child.” She also denied ever going onto the grounds of the Gillesbau or being on friendly terms with either of the guards.

The investigators had been busy when Quoß and Werneburg were finally able to arrive at the Gillesbau. With a return to the normal working week schedule the people to which the investigators, Kriminal secretaries and Kriminal Assistants were eager to speak too. Amongst the dust that blew across the open construction site with the southernly winds that jaded their shoes that had been shined to a mirror, a far cry from the working boots and the wooden clogs that some still wore that bore the strains and scruff marks of a manual job, the members of the Murder Kommission Zäpernick had been busy. They had gathered not only information on some workers but also had found the workers that, from the morning briefing, Quoß and Werneburg had made it apparent they were eager to speak too. They were the last group in need of alibis and if they were able to discount them suspicion would rest almost entirely on the Watcher Schulz.
To aid in the investigation by the members of the Zäpernick Murder Commission, Werneburg that morning had drawn up a framework. It was a framework that would provide consistency amongst all of the interrogators and allow for swifter filing and better understanding of the information and was created in such a way, that even the inexperienced of the commission could ask all of the relevant questions. It even instructed them to mention the reward. He had had the framework duplicated and a copy handed out at the briefing to all the investigators.
Now, thanks to this, they had before them a lineup of workers including who, individually might not be able to lay all of the facts and events before them, but together, and with the information they had already gathered they could build a picture.

The clock turned three on a day he had being feeling particularly lazy. Monday’s were days he struggled with often. Sun broke down heavily on the garden out side of the hut that he called home. Home to his wife and his four children. His children had already been to school and returned to the house and now it was his turn to leave. His shift swapped regularly with his colleague, but neither the early shift or the late was agreeable, the early shift beginning in the late afternoon, and the late beginning, even in the summer months, after the sun had descended and the last light faded from the sky. Both shifts meant that he had to often sleep during the day.
He left for the door and silently picked up a backpack that he carried with him. He was only recently returned to work and the routine was still fresh, but his wife had packed within it a breakfast, to be had when most families were preparing their dinner. He could also feel the weight of the insulated container to which his wife had poured some coffee into. He didn’t bother to pack a book this day, he instead decided he’d buy a newspaper on his way. He walks in the sun slowly direct light often hurt his eye and could lead to headaches that were unwelcome.
Despite only having been recently employed, he had become a man of habits, and on the days he was to take the early shift he would arrive at the station at almost precisely the same time, to board the same train and take a seat in a carriage where cloth covered the wooden seats. The train then traversed through the city. Through the Ring and Stadtbahnhof at Stralau-Rummelsburg, past the rail yards of Warschauerstraße and Schelsisches Bahnhof, and into the city the stadtbahn trundled. From Jannowitz Brücke to Alexanderplatz the view through the windows to the east were of one solid red brick building, the windows of which provided a glimpse into the lives of those that worked inside, those employed by the Preussian State Police. Then the train followed the meanderings of the old river long since sacrificed for the building of rail lines, and skirted the limits of the old city. Through the Börse, Friedrichstraße, Lehrter, Bellevus bahnhofs, the magnificent garden of the Tiergarten stretching back towards the Brandenburger Tor, where in the summer sun the gilded dome of the Reichstag and the golden lady of victory shone close by.
Finally after passing through the stations of the relatively newer part of Berlin he arrived at Bahnhof Westend from which he had a fifteen minutes of walking ahead of him before he arrived at the Gilles bau.

A check of the watch and the bell was rung. It was the end of the working day, four o’clock. With the ringing of the bell workers were ordered to lay down their tools where they were working, it did not matter if it was on sand, concrete or wooden boards, the tools were to be laid down for the day and only be picked up when work resumed the next. Steuer stood at the foreman’s hut his finger on the button to sound the bell and signed the workers out, ticking next to their names so he knew when he had to report to Ernst Gilles the buildings owner how many hours had been worked. Only a contractor was left unloading stone.
He ticked the names next to Heimer, Bahenmann, Engler, Gastler, and the Richs amongst the other 140 workers. Most proceeded straight out of the gate to make their ways home along with the rest of a city. Others opted to hang back, to stand around hold union meetings, kick the dust, have some beer in the Budiker, or as Steuer planned to do have a beer at Zur Klause, on the Reichsstraße at bahnhof Neu Westend. Eickberg and Kandale found him with his book marking the workers out.
“You coming Ferdinand?” They asked of Steuer.
“Go ahead. I’ll catch up with you there.”
“As you wish,” and they left for the Kneipe.

Now that work had finished Max Heimer and Hans Jahn decided to have a scour of the construction site for bottles. If they brought enough back they could hope to get a beer or two from the Budiker in exchange. They decided between them that Jahn would search the building and Heimer the area around the fence and exterior.
As he walked around the fence he could see the workmen leaving the site, the tools left on the ground in their usual mess with no designated workman at the end of the day to go around the site and put things away. Otto Rich stood amongst a group of other construction workers.
Half an hour alter, and with an armful of empty beer bottles Heimer and Jahn had collected all that they could carry and walked back towards the Budiker. They nodded to Steuer and Vollack who were themselves finally leaving the building site having completed their jobs, the site now in the hands of the Watchman.
Heimer pulled the door of the Budiker open and the small kneipe on the building site already had a number of workers drinking within. Inside the air was acrid with the mixture of Berlin smoking Juno and the Englehardt, Kindl, Schuli brands of pilsner being absorbed by sun kissed workmen who preferred the hydration of beer over that of water. Heimer nodded and said hello and scanned the room seeing the faces of Emil and Wily Bahnemann, Engler, Hans Jahn, Willy Gronau, the brothers Rich, Ganzkow and Gastler. Gastler, Heimer noted, was very much fond of the beer this day and was happily supping at the glass bottles draining them quicker than the others around. Heimer, handed over the glass bottles empty of their contents and ordered a beer for himself and sat down to rest, but he did not get long to do so. Gronau and Jahn who were incharge of the Budiker knew the workers didn’t often stay long, and did not wish to remain open too much longer and they still needed to do another sweep of the building for any other bottles forgotten in dark corners and just half an hour later, at five they were turfed out to drink on the steps.

Eickberg and Kandale were already enjoying a beer at Zur Klause on the Reichsstraße as they waited on Steuer and Vollack. Zur Klause was one of the new builds, on the square, a square so new in fact that currently it was the only building completely finished. The kneipe was like most other affairs in Berlin, only newer but it still had the atmosphere of the older counterparts. Small and long, build on a corner it was a true, as the Berliners would say, Eck Kneipe. Daark panelled walls, wooden furniture, none of the modern fancy chromium affair, simple and traditional and it served cold beer and schnapps, what more could the workers of a building site wish for after a hard day back at work after the joys of the weekend.

Gronau and Jahn returned half an hour after they had left after picking up the final bottles on the building site. They unlocked the door and let the still thirsty workmen in. Gastler, however was already showing signs that he had had a little too much to drink already.
“Wilhelm, can we go?” Asked Otto of his brother Wilhelm.
“What, why? It’s still early.” Wilhelm replied, as he did so a new figure entered the Budiker, the watchman Schulz had entered.
“Come on let’s go,” Otto pleaded.
“It’s already half past 6.” Otto said covering the face of his watch.
“It is,” came Wilhelm’s reply with shock.
“Nah, I’m just joking its only just after half past five,” Otto laughed at the expense of his brother, but as he did so he caught the sight of Ganzkow leaving the door, but as Ganzkow left, and to the eyes of Otto Rich disappeared in the direction of Nietschke’s on Westendallee.
“Another round, on me three more.” Gastler slurred as he tried to order another three beers for himself and the Rich brothers. Heimer, already having a full bottle in his hand did not need one but he still felt that he should include the watchman who was relatively new to the building site and it didn’t hurt to make a few more friends.
“Get the watchman a beer. Let him drink too,” Heimer said. Gastler nodded drunkenly, or was it even a nod? It might just have been a slouch of the head. Nevertheless Gastler, inebriated, stood and ordered four beers from Gronau who dutifully handed him the bottles and noted it down on the piece of paper lined with tally marks drawn under names that he had ordered four beers.
“No,” Gastler suddenly said, pointing with his finger to the lines beneath his name, “I only pay for three beers, not four, I don’t know him!”
“It’s the guard Schulz” Wilhelm Rich said nodding towards the figure that was leaning in the doorway. “He’s been ‘ere least a month.” The guard Schulz remained quiet.
The three beers that Gastler had purchased were placed before himself and the Rich brothers and the fourth beer, Heimer noted with a glance to the tally remained on the account of Gastler, the bottle was slowly passed along the room to the Guard Schulz who silently took it and began drinking.

Ganzkow had met with the construction worker Possel as he left the construction site of the Gillesbau. They’d walked to Reichsstraße and then toward Zur Klause Kneipe. Inside the dark and smokey bar, as they entered, they could see Vollack, Eickberg, Steuer and Kandale sitting within, a few empty glasses of beer in front of them equalled in number with schnapps glasses. Steuer looked over, he hadn’t spoken to Ganzkow about joining them at the bar, and it was much too late after their own arrival for the other foreman to have followed them to the bar so he simply concluded it was coincidence. After all in a district that was still being built, the very reason for their presence in the vacinity their was very little option, it was a far cry from the Scheunenviertel or Friedrichshain, both areas of high density living and where Kneipen stood on many corners. So new Zur Klause was itself it was yet to build the clientele to have a typical Stammtisch, a table reserved for the most haggard of persistent locals who had drunk away wars, empires and disasters within the oaken walls of the Kneipen. Even Napoleon had relaxed in a Kneipen, Zur Letzten Instanz that stood against the walls of the old city, after his capture of the capital of Prussia in 1806, such was the importance of the Kneipen to the historical fabric.
Ganzkow and Possel sat not at the same table as their colleagues but at one in the near. Eickeberg, who had brought with him, direct from the slaughter house, a few sausages asked the proprietor to heat them up. Once the dish of sausages returned to their table, they were distributed amongst the workers, and Steuer handed a couple to Ganzkow and Possel.

He had drunk the beer fast. The brown glass bottle that he held towards the light showed only the slimist of lines where the remained beer sloshed at the bottom of the bottle. As he drank the remaining liquid he rummaged in the pocket of his work clothes and brought out a few pfennig coins that had gathered at the bottom, holding them flat in his hand he mentally calculated how much he had left and how much he could afford. Heimer watched him all the while. Ignoring the argument that had suddenly erupted between Hans Jahn, Emil Bahnemann and and Engler, he watched as Schulz ordered two more bottles of beer and a packet of cigarettes and paid. He wasn’t a construction worker therefore he was not allowed the same privilege that the construction workers enjoyed of having a tally tab. Schulz picked up the bottles, pocketed the cigarettes and walked out without a sound.
By the time that Heimer had watched Schulz leave with his bottles and cigarettes the argument between Bahnemann, Engler and Hans Jahn had come to a close and Bahnemann and Engler, infuriated left. Not long after, at quarter past six, Hans Jahn also left. Gastler had drunk too much and too quick. When it came for the three to leave, only a short time after the others and with the persistence of Gronau, who had been left to lock up the Baudiker, Gastler, in his drunken stupor, had to be heaved to his feet by the brothers Rich. Outside of the Baudiker, with the door now locked, Gronau bid the brothers farewell and headed to the gate.
“Be seeing you Gronau,” the Brothers called after Gronau. It would take them a little longer to leave with the figure of Gastler slumped in between them, his arms thrown over their shoulders as they walked toward the gate. As they approached the gate they could see that the guard Schulz was waiting.
“See you,” he spoke roughly as he let them pass. Otto Rich looking past the guard to see several children playing around the embankment of the site.
“See you,” the brothers said in return with strain from the weight of the inebriated Gastler strung between them.

“They stepped onto the train at Neu-Westend with Gastler, but the brothers left Gastler at Schönhauser Tor,” Quoß and Werneburg explained to their superior Ernst Gennat as they slotted the pieces together. “Wilhelm Rich asked a gentleman to awake Gastler if he happened to fall asleep when he was at the correct stop, which apparently, according to Gastler the gentleman did, and we confirmed the alibi of Gastler with his wife, that he did return quite drunk and had an argument with his wife because he was not sober. The Rich brother’s were witnessed arriving home by the daughter of the porter around the time of 8 in the evening.”
“That’s the Rich brothers and Gastler crossed off, and those in the Kneipe?”
“Engler and Bahnemann left the site, they entered Zur Klause for a beer but only after the other workers had left, there they drank a molle then travelled to Bahnhof Westend by foot and we’re on their way home at 20:30. Heimer, Gronau and Jahn saw the brothers Rich at the station, and Bahnemann and Engler in Zur Klause, but they, Heimer Gronau and Jahn travelled with the U-Bahn to Alexanderplatz, where they exited, Jahn ate a Schwinebraten which he purchased for 1 mark ten and a roll of bread for thirty pfennigs. Gronau who lives at 75 Neue Königstraße 75 went home as did Jahn and Heimer. Those who had been in Zur Klause previous to Bahnemann and Engler left.”
“Names?” Gennat asked.
“Steuer, Vollack, Eickberg, Kandale and Possel. They all took the bus to Wittenbergplatz Bahnhof, and there they seperated. Ganzkow, Kandale and Possel took the line towards Hallesches Tor, they exited afterwards at the elevated station of Oranienstraße, then took the line either 55 or 93 to their apartment.”
“So everyone has an alibi,” Gennat rhetorically pondered, “except one. The Watcher Schulz.”
“One more point,” Quoß stopped the great man from pondering things he already knew the answer to, “when we interviewed Hans Jahn, he said that the day following Hildegard’s disappearance and murder, the Watcher Schulz asked him if he had seen his boots, his pantines. Somehow he had come to loose them and asked for Jahn’s help in the search for their return, Jahn found them.”
“Oh, and where were they?”
“Outside the window where Hilde was found.”
“I spoke with Schulz today, and with no other person to be suspected, even with the little evidence against him, I will ask District Court Councillor Löwenthal to issue an arrest warrant to charge him with the murder of Hildegard Zäpernick.”

Across the centre from the Alex beyond the the banks of the river Spree and the Stadtbahn line lies the Charite hospital complex. A facsimile of gothic architecture within walled green surroundings, the hospital founded by the first King in Prussia was constructed to fight against the plague. Across its history though, it had produced some of the greatest scientific minds the world had ever produced. Robert Koch had identified the causative agents of Tuberculosis and Cholera, von Behring had understood the causes of Diphtheria, and Robert Virchow the beginnings of what would become Pathology. It was here, in a clean sterilised room, upon a slab of marble Prof. Dr. Strauch stood silently as a man tall with hair once groomed now mottled and ragged, a moustache in need of trimming and eyes faded stood and nodded.
“That’s my daughter.”
“I know it is inpolite but can you explain to me what you recognise?”
“I know her features, her cheeks, her blonde hair, and” he looks at the clothes laid alongside the body, “her clothes.”
“Thank you, Herr Zäpernick.”
Wilhelm Zäpernick left, he’d last seen his daughter at lunch, over two weeks prior and the last time he would ever see her was cold and dead on a slab of marble in a room with no soul.
Prof. Dr. Strauch sat and typed a note to be sent to Ernst Gennat head of the Murder Kommission Zäpernick. “Father confirms identity. Initial examination shows there is a blow to the head unreported previously.”

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