By Ann Marie Ackerman
From the depths of German and American files comes a narrative one soldier by no means sought after informed. the 1st volunteer killed protecting Robert E. Lee’s place in conflict used to be rather a German murderer. After fleeing to the us to flee prosecution for homicide, the murderer enlisted in a German corporation of the Pennsylvania Volunteers within the Mexican-American struggle and died protecting Lee’s battery on the Siege of Veracruz in 1847. Lee wrote a letter domestic, praising this unnamed fallen volunteer defender. army documents establish him, yet not one of the americans knew approximately his prior lifetime of crime.
Before battling with the americans, Lee’s defender had assassinated Johann Heinrich Rieber, mayor of Bönnigheim, Germany, in 1835. Rieber’s assassination grew to become 19th-century Germany’s coldest case ever solved by means of a non–law enforcement expert and the single 19th-century German homicide ever solved within the usa. Thirty-seven years later, one other suspect within the assassination who had additionally fled to the United States came upon proof in Washington, D.C., that might transparent his personal identify, and he forwarded it to Germany. The German prosecutor Ernst von Hochstetter corroborated the tale and closed the case dossier in 1872, naming Lee’s defender as Rieber’s murderer.
Relying totally on German resources, demise of an murderer tracks the never-before-told tale of this German corporation of Pennsylvania volunteers. It follows either Lee’s and the assassin’s lives till their dramatic stumble upon in Veracruz and selections up back with the staggering case solution a long time later.
This case additionally unearths that forensic ballistics—firearm identity via comparability of the striations on a projectile with the rifling within the barrel—is a lot older than formerly inspiration. background credit Alexandre Laccasagne for inventing forensic ballistics in 1888. yet greater than 50 years prior, Eduard Hammer, the Justice of the Peace who investigated the Rieber assassination in 1835, used a similar strategy to cast off a forester’s rifle because the homicide weapon. A firearms technician with country police of Baden-Württemberg established Hammer’s process in 2015 and proven its efficacy, cementing the argument that Hammer, no longer Laccasagne, will be thought of the daddy of forensic ballistics.
The roles the volunteer soldier/assassin and Robert E. Lee performed on the Siege of Veracruz are a part of American historical past, and the record-breaking, 19th-century chilly case is a part of German background. For the 1st time, Death of an Assassin brings the 2 tales together.
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Extra info for Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee (True Crime History)
Death of an Assassin: The True Story of the German Murderer Who Died Defending Robert E. Lee (True Crime History) by Ann Marie Ackerman