Northwestern

Hulbert, Harold S. Papers Edit

Summary

Identifier
55/23

Dates

  • 1920-1956 (Creation)

Extents

  • 2.00 Boxes (Whole)

Names

Subjects

Notes

  • Abstract

    The Papers of psychiatrist Harold Hulbert include notes and correspondence pertaining to his examination of John Kammerer, a convicted murderer executed February 13, 1925; and statements, reports, and evidence Hulbert obtained as a consultant in the celebrated Leopold and Loeb murder case of 1924.

  • Scope and Contents

    The Harold S. Hulbert Papers fill two boxes. The first box contains Hulbert's notes and correspondence pertaining to his examination of John Kammerer, a convicted murderer executed February 13, 1925 at Wheaton, Illinois. The second box contains materials relating to the Leopold and Loeb murder case of 1924, for which Hulbert served as a consultant.

    Kammerer, a native of Bavaria, came to the United States in 1906. He claimed to have had a difficult and unhappy childhood. Kammerer had hoped to pursue studies leading to ordination in the Roman Catholic Church but was rejected from several seminaries. His experiences with the Church left him with a lasting bitterness toward its clergy. Kammerer held a series of marginal restaurant jobs in Chicago and the Midwest and made few acquaintances and friends. A minor dispute with one acquaintance, Otto Eder of Villa Park, Illinois, prompted Kammerer to kill Eder along with Eder's wife and three children on June 27, 1924. Police apprehended Kammerer for this crime on July 12, 1925, and he was indicted on October 9th of that year. Kammerer stood trial in DuPage County beginning December 1, 1924 and was found guilty on December 8th.

    Hulbert was a defense witness at the Kammerer trial and attempted to convince the jury of the defendant's insanity. In this regard Hulbert quoted one juror who spoke after the verdict: “We knew he was crazy, Doc, but we also felt he was too mean to live, so we voted to hang him. Don't you feel badly; it was the information you got which made us realize he was both guilty and crazy.” (Box 1, Folder 3)

    Included with Hulbert's examination notes are several of Kammerer's holographic writings, which describe his life, the Eder murders, other crimes committed, and the attempted poisoning in 1916 of George Cardinal Mundelein, Catholic Archbishop of Chicago. Hulbert believed that Kammerer, using the alias Jean Crones, was a primary suspect in this crime.

    Hulbert considered authoring a book or article on Kammerer and his crimes but never completed the project.

    The addition to the Harold S. Hulbert Papers consists of Hulbert's contributions as a consulting psychiatrist in the celebrated Loeb and Leopold case of 1924. Hulbert, in conjunction with Karl M. Bowman M.D., conducted lengthy psychiatric and physical examinations of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.

    The contents of this addition include the write-up of these evaluations, the full confessions and statements by Leopold and Loeb to the authorities, photographic copies of check receipts, examples of handwriting, and examples of typewriting. The photographic copies appear to have been used as court evidence. Also included are the original ransom notes written to Jacob Franks concerning the kidnapping of his son, Robert.

    Addition, Box 2 This addition to the Harold S. Hulbert Papers consists of Hulbert's contributions as a consulting psychiatrist in the celebrated Loeb and Leopold case of 1924. Hulbert, in conjunction with Karl M. Bowman M.D., conducted lengthy psychiatric and physical examinations of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. The contents of this addition include the write-up of these evaluations, the full confessions and statements by Leopold and Loeb to the authorities, photographic copies of check receipts, examples of handwriting, and examples of typewriting. The photographic copies appear to have been used as court evidence. Also included are the original ransom notes written to Jacob Franks concerning the kidnapping of his son, Robert.

  • Arrangement Note

    The case notes and Kammerer's writings are arranged according to an index prepared by Hulbert. The index, filed with the series, explains the nature or purposes of the various documents included. A few biographical materials pertaining to Hulbert are filed at the end of the series.

  • Method of Acquisition

    The Kammerer materials were eparated from the papers of John H. Wigmore, November 18, 1987 (Accession 87-243); the Leopold and Loeb materials were separated from the John H. Wigmore Papers on June 21, 1988.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is stored off-site and requires 48 hours advance notice for retrieval. Please contact us at archives@northwestern.edu or 847-491-3136 to schedule an appointment to view the collection.

  • Related Materials

    unspecified

  • Processing Information

    Kevin B. Leonard; November 19, 1987.

  • Existence and Location of Originals

    unspecified

Components