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Old Posted Jan 20, 2013, 4:28 PM
Chuckaluck Chuckaluck is offline
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Originally Posted by rcarlton View Post
The very noirish tale of Walburga "Dolly" Oesterreich...(1880-1961). Dolly was the wife of Fred Oesterreich a wealthy textile manufacturer. While living in Milwaukee Dolly met 17-year-old Otto Sanhuber around 1913. They quickly became lovers, but Fred was becoming suspicious. Rather than quit the affair, Dolly talked Otto into moving into her attic. This appealed to Otto since he did not have to go far to see his lover and he could write pulp fiction (which she typed up and he was able to sell). There was a few times Fred almost caught Otto but the system worked well.

Photo shows the fine brick mansion Mr. and Mrs. Oesterreich moved into in 1914. The house located at 593 Newport Avenue was the 3rd and last Milwaukee home purchased by the Oesterreich's. Once again, Sanhuber slipped into an attic hiding place. This is the place Otto testified, had a nice attic with stairway, plastered walls and hardwood floors.

The Oesterreich's moved to Los Angeles in 1918. Dolly chose a house with an attic which was apparently rare in Los Angeles. She sent Otto out to Los Angeles first to await her in the attic.

On August 22, 1922, Otto overheard an argument between Fred and Dolly. Fearing for her life Otto grabbed two .25 caliber pistols and rushed downstairs. In the ensuing fight Fred was shot and killed. Dolly figured the best way out of this mess was to make it look like a botched robbery. Otto took Fred's diamond watch and locked Dolly in the closet and tossed the key aside. He then ran up to his attic. The police suspected Dolly of the killing but couldn't explain how she was locked in the closet. They never suspected Otto living in the attic. Murder charges were dismissed in 1923.

Photo shows Mrs. Walburga Oesterreich at a party at her home on the afternoon of August 22, 1922. That night her husband, Fred Oesterreich, was slain.

Otto's secret room.

Apparently after the killing Otto went to Canada, changing his name to Walter Klein. Dolly became involved with her attorney, Herman Shapiro. In 1930 after an argument, Shapiro went to the police and told them about Otto Sanhuber's involvement in the killing of Fred.

In the meantime Otto had moved back to Los Angeles and was arrested and tried for the crime. Problem was the statute of limitations had a run out and he was freed.

Detective Lieutenant Arthur Stoll points to a blueprint of the Oesterreich house. Arrow shows the attic on both sides of the trunk room.

Shown is a page from the grand jury confession of Otto Sanhuber.

Otto Sanhuber is shown standing in front of a rose bush. Sanhuber considers his past as a "ghost of the garrets" and now goes by the name of Walter Klein. Pictured with him is his wife, Mrs. Matilda Klein.

Photo shows Otto Sanhuber as he turns his face to the sunshine and a new life of freedom. Sanhuber was convicted of manslaughter in the slaying of Fred Oesterreich, but the statute of limitations sets his conviction on that charge aside. 1930

Dolly was arrested in 1936 and tried (hadn't the statute of limitations run out?) resulting in a hung jury. She lived the rest of her life in Los Angeles.
Mrs. Walburga Oesterreich is seen sitting at the edge of a lounger chair. 1930

Mrs. Walburga Oesterreich and real estate man Ray B. Hedrick are shown taking out a wedding license. 1961. Less than two weeks later she was dead. Her estate went to Hedrick.

The story inspired both a feature film, The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom, and a made-for-TV movie starring Neil Patrick Harris, The Man in the Attic.

Nice that the photographer cajoled all the players to pose for the same picture.

"Mrs. Oesterreich sits in the middle of her attorneys. Left to right: Attorney Davis, Attorney Willner, Mrs. Oesterreich, Attorney Jerry Geisler, Chief defense counsel; Deputy District Attorney Thomas Russell and Deputy District Attorney James P. Costello. Mrs. Oesterreich is charged with murder in the death of her husband eight years ago at the house where Otto Sanhuber, her secret sweetheart, lived in the attic like a 'batman'."

1930 (Predating the first Batman comics by 9 years?)

1930 the Bat Whispers
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