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Dakota Datebook

Murder of Amelia Schneider

On this date in 1923, the murder trial of Kasimir Schneider began. Kasimir, an ice cream maker, was accused of murdering his second wife, Amelia. Kasimir and his first wife, Magdalena, came to the United States from Russia in 1905, settling in Bismarck. Magdalena died in child birth in 1921. The baby survived, and only five months later Kasimir married Amelia just three days after meeting her. He took out a $2,000 life insurance policy on his young wife.

Amelia became sick in April, 1922. She went to visit her mother, and felt better during her visit, but after returning home to her husband, she became sick again.

On the morning of July 15, 1922, Dr. Lipp was called to the Schneider home and found Amelia dead in her bed. Dr. Lipp called the coroner, and Kasimir became nervous when Amelia’s stomach was sent to the public health lab at the University of North Dakota. Arsenic was found, most likely from potato bug poison. Kasmir was charged with murder.

At the trial, witnesses claimed that Kasimir told them Amelia was very ill and was probably going to die soon. A neighbor testified that Kasimir would not call a doctor when Amelia illness worsened, claiming the doctor couldn’t do anything. However, Dr. Lipp testified that when he saw Amelia in April she was not very ill and that he was never called back to see her.

More than one witness said Kasimir complained often that he did not like his new wife, and had only married her to look after his baby. A woman named Clara Fisher testified that Kasimir wished he had married her instead of Amelia. The trial took an even more sordid turn, when a neighbor said Kasimir had asked him about poisons that could kill a rat or dog.

Kasimir’s lawyer claimed Amelia may have committed suicide, or ingested poison by accident. In his own testimony, Kasimir contradicted himself many times. The jury voted 11 to 1 to convict. The hung jury led to a second trial. This time, Kasimir was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison.

In 1942, Kasimir was paroled after serving 19 years. He remarried in 1949. His third wife died in 1957. Kasimir died six years later, survived by his son from his first marriage. Kasimir is buried in an unmarked grave -- in the same Bismarck cemetery as his three wives.

Dakota Datebook by Trista Raezer-Stursa

Sources:

“Defendant in Murder Case is Grilled,” Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, ND. March 8, 1923. Page 1.

“Kasimar Schneider,” Find a Grave. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/71206272, accessed January 1, 2020.

“Kasimar Schneider Funeral Saturday,” Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, ND. December 20, 1963. Page 15.

“Murder Charged Local Man: Kasimir Schneider Arrested After Chemists Find Poison in Stomach of Body of Late Wife,” Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, ND. June 26, 1922. Page 1.

“Schneider Guilty; Gets Life,” Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, ND. June 22, 1923. Page 1.

“State Begins Evidence in Murder Case,” Bismarck Tribune. Bismarck, ND. February 28, 1923. Page 1.

Supreme Court of North Dakota. State vs. Schneider. 53ND 931 (ND 1926) 208 NW 566, decided March 29, 1926.

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