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Vera Stretz Trial: 1936

A Revolver And Bloodstains

At 2:30 A.M., shots were heard in Beekman Towers. The police were called. They discovered Vera Stretz sitting on the stairway just below the third floor. In her large handbag they found a. 32-caliber revolver, a box of bullets, two spent shells, and a crumpled silk nightgown with fresh wet bloodstains.

"Did you shoot the man upstairs?" they asked.

"Yes, I did," sobbed Stretz. "But please don't ask me why I did it." She said she was on the way to turn herself in.

The police grilled her for hours, but she would say nothing more. Her father, Frank Stretz, sent for Samuel Leibowitz, who had defended the Scottsboro boys (see separate entry) and was known as the best criminal lawyer in the country. The newspapers called Stretz "the icy blonde" because she wouldn't talk. They dug up Gebhardt's background: He had flown in World War I's famed Richtofen Squadron, was a pal of pilot Hermann Goering, held doctorates in both philosophy and political economy, had made half a million dollars in international business deals, but had made the mistake—from Nazi Germany's point of view—of marrying a non-Aryan. He had, however, moved out, leaving her with two children and no divorce.

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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1918 to 1940Vera Stretz Trial: 1936 - A Revolver And Bloodstains, Vera Stretz Tells What Happened