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The Jewish History Series

Lesson #13: The Dying Delirium of a Jew (1935)

[Note from Mr. Covington: I am sharing this as a pure historical curiosity. This is the kind of historical trivia that interests me, so I suppose in some respects I do deserve the name "Weird Harold." These are the dying words of Jewish gangster and murderer Arthur Flegenheimer, i.e. "Dutch Schultz," after he got pumped full of lead in a toilet in New Jersey. He lasted some hours in the hospital and this is what he babbled until he croak't. - HAC ]

Artwork: “Kill the Dutchman,” The Dutch Schultz story in Dutch delft tiles, by Charles Krafft

Deathbed Delirium of Dutch Schultz
[Jew Arthur Flegenheimer]

by Abbott

On October 24, 1935, in the last few hours of his life, the gangster Arthur Flegenheimer AKA Dutch Schultz (1902-1935), had more to say to the cops than he had in his entire previous 33 years.

As the life leaked out of him through multiple gunshot wounds, Dutch babbled, ranted and raved to the policemen in his room at Newark City Hospital ( New Jersey , USA ). The cops kept trying to bring the conversation around to something they could use, like who had shot him and whether he had any information about other murders, but Dutch just kept on with his strange, sometimes eerie, occasionally meaningful word soup.

Newark Police stenographer Francis J. Long took down every word. In the years that have followed, the Dutchman's dying words have been literary inspiration for writers as various as E. L. Doctorow in Billy Bathgate, Robert Anton Wilson in The Illuminatus! Trilogy, and, perhaps most famously, William Burroughs in The Last Words of Dutch Schultz. English classes and psychologists (not to mention criminologists) have studied them. Now you can marvel at the strangeness of Dutch Schultz's last words, reproduced here from Sann, Paul. Kill the Dutchman! The Story of Dutch Schultz. New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1971.


October 24, 1935

Statements made by Arthur Flegenheimer (alias "Dutch Schultz") in the Newark City Hospital on the above date between 4 P.M. and 6 P.M.; from stenographic notes made by F. J. Long, Clerk-Stenographer, Newark Police Department.

Schultz: George, don't make no bull moves. What have you done with him. Oh, Mamma, Mamma, Mamma! Oh, stop it! Stop it!...Oh, Oh, Oh, Sure, sure, Mamma, etc.

(Schultz at this time was irrational, suffering with a fever of about 106 degrees, with a gunshot wound. Sergeant Luke Conlon, detectives from Newark police headquarters and from the prosecutor's office were at his bedside. One of the officers had a newspaper.) Schultz noticed the newspaper and said:

Has it been in any other newspapers? (Then, relapsing into irrationality) Now listen Phil, fun is fun. Aha... Please! Papa! What happened to the 16? Oh, oh...he done it? Please...please...John, please. Oh, did you buy the hotel; you promised a million...sure. Get out! I wish I knew. Please make it quick; fast and furious; please... fast and furious. Please help me get out; I'm getting my wind back, thank God! Please, please; Oh, please. You will have to, please...tell him, "You got no case." You get ahead with the dot and dash system. Didn't I speak that time last night. Whose number is that in your pocketbook, Phil? 13780. Who was it? Oh!...Please, please...Reserve decision, police, police; Henny and Frankie...Oh, Oh, dog Biscuit, and when he is happy he doesn't get snappy...Please, please do this! Henny, Henny, Frankie! You didn't meet him; you didn't even meet me; the glove will fit what I say...Oh, kayiyi, kayiyi! Sure, who cares? When are you through! How do you know this? Well, then...Oh, Cocoa ; no... thinks he is a grandpa again and he is jumping around. No, Hoboe and Poboe I think I mean the same thing.

Question by Sergeant Conlon: Who shot you?

Answer: The boss himself. [NB. - Schultz was whacked on orders from Lucky Luciano. - HAC ]

Q: He did?

A: Yes: I don't know

Q: What did he shoot you for?

A: I showed him boss; did you hear him meet me? An appointment; appeal stuck. All right mother.

Q: Was it the boss shot you?

A: Who shot me? No one.

Q: Was it bow-legs?

A: Yes, he might have shot me; it wasn't Robeck (?) or the other guy; I will see him; I never forget and if I do I will be very careful.

Q: Was it bow-legs who shot you?

A: I don't know who shot me, honest to God! Suppose you help me up now, like a swell fellow.

Q: We will help you.

A: Will you get me up? O.K., I won't be such a creep. Oh, mamma, I can't go through with it, please. Oh, and then he clips me; come on, cut that out, we don't owe a nickel; fold it! Instead, fold it against him; I am a pretty good pretzeler...Winifred...Dept. of Justice; I even got it from the Department, sir. Please, stop it; say listen, the...last night.

Sergeant Conlon: Now, don't holler.

A: I don't want to holler.

Q: What did they shoot you for?

A: I don't know, sir; honestly I don't. I don't even know who was with me; honestly. I went to the toilet and when I reached the...the boy came at me.

Q: The big fellow gave it to you?

A: Yes, he gave it to me.

Q: Do you know who the big fellow was?

A: No.

Schultz: See, George, if we wanted to break the ring. No... please, I get a month. They did it. Come on, cut me off and says you are not to be the in the beneficiary of this will. I will be checked and double-checked and please pull for me.

(One of the detectives) We will pull for you.

Schultz: Will you pull? Will you pull? These native children make this and sell you the joint. How many good ones and how many bad ones! Please! I had nothing with him; he was a cowboy in one of days a week fight. No business, no hangout; no friends, nothing; just what you pick up and what you need.

Sergeant Conlon: Who was it shot you?

Schultz: I don't know. No, don't put anyone near this check; the check. You might have; oh, please. Please do it for me. Let me get up, sir, heh? This is Connie's, isn't it? Uh heh. In the olden days they waited and they waited. Please give me a shot. Please. is from the factory. O.K. Sure, that is bad...well, Oh, go ahead; that happens for crying; I don't want harmony; I want harmony. Oh, mamma, mamma. Who give it to him? Who give it to him? Tony? Let me in the district; that he was nowhere near. It smoldered. No, No! There are only ten of us and there are ten million fighting somewhere in front of you, so get your onions up and we will throw up the truce flag. Oh, please let me up; Leo, Leo! Oh, yeh! No, No; I don't...please! Please shift me. Police are here; communistic...strike...baloneys...Please; honestly it is a habit I get; sometimes I give it and sometimes I don't. Oh, not; I am all in; say... that settles it. Are you sure? Please, he eats like a little baloney sausage maker. Please, let me get in and eat. Let him harass himself to you and then bother you. Please... Don't ask me to go there; I don't want to. I still don't want him in the path. Please, Leo, Leo; I was looking for someone. Meet my lady, Mrs. Pickford, and I'm sorry I acted that way so soon, already. Sure, it is no need to stage a riot. The sidewalk was in trouble and the bears were in trouble and I broke it up. Please; Oh, mamma! No knock to her, she didn't know. Look; that is it. She let her go the opposite. Oh, tell me. Please, put me in that room room; please keep him in control; my gilt-edge stuff, and those dirty rats have tuned in. Please, Mother, Mother, Mother, please, the reaction is so strong. Oh, mamma, mamma, please don't tear; don't rip; that is something that shouldn't be spoke about; that is right. Please get me up my friends; I know what I speak of. Please, look out, the shooting is a bit wild, and that kind of shooting. Saved a man's life. Oh, Elmer was. No, everything frightening; yes, no payrolls, no walls, no coupons. That would be entirely out; pardon me; oh, yeh! Oh, I forgot I am a plaintiff and not defendant. Look out, look out for him. Please...and he owes me money; he owes everyone money. Why can't he just pull out and give me...control...all right, please do. Please, Mother! You pick me up now. Please, you know me. Oh, Louie, didn't I give you my door bell? Everything you got, the whole bill. And did you come for your rest in the doctor's office, sir? Yes, I can see that. Your son-in-law, and he isn't liked, is he? Harry, does he behave? No; don't you scare me; my friends think I do a better job. Oh, police are looking for you all over; please be instrumental in letting us know. That wouldn't be here; they are Englishmen and they are a type I don't know who is best, they or us. Oh, sir, and get the doll a roofing. Please. You can play jacks, and girls do that with a soft ball and do tricks with it. Please; I may take all events into consideration; no, no. And it is no; a boy has never wept...nor dashed a thousand kin... did you hear me? Now leave it or take it. No, I might be in the playing for I know. Come on over here, come on over. Oh, Duckie, see we skipped again.

Question by Detective: Who shot you?

A: I don't know.

Q: Was it the big fellow?

A: I don't know.

Q: When you were coming out of the toilet?

A: I don't know. Pick me up. No, no, you have got to do it as I see it. Please take me out of the bed.

Q: The doctor wants you to lie quiet.

A: That is what I want to do. I can't come; express office was closed. Oh, mamma, mamma. Please, please...

Q: How many shots were fired?

A: I don't know; none.

Q: How many?

A: Two thousand; come on, get some money in that treasury; we need it; come on, please get it; I can't tell you to. You are telling the truth, aren't you, Mr. Harris. That is not what you have in the book. Oh, yes I have. Oh, please, warden. Please. What am I going to do for money. How is that; how do you like that? Please put me on my feet, at once. Thank you, Sam, you are a boiled man; I do it because you ask me to. Did you hear me? i would hear it, the Circuit Court would hear it, and the Supreme Court might hear it. Come on, pull me up, sir. All right. Cam Davis . Oh, please reply. N.R.A. If that ain't the payoff. Please crack down on the Chinaman's friends and Hitler's commander. All right, I am sore and I am going to give you honey if I can. look out. We broke that up. Mother is the best bet and don't let Satan draw you too fast.

Question by Detective: What did the big fellow shoot you for?

A: Him? John? Over a million, five million dollars.

Q: You want to get well, don't you?

A: Yes.

Q: Lie quiet.

A: Yes, I will lie quiet.

Q: John shot you, we will take care of John.

A: That is what caused the trouble. Look out. All right, Bob . Please get me up. If you do this you can jump right here in the lake. I know who they are; they are French people...Malone... All right; look out, look out! Mamma, mamma...oh, memory is gone. A work relief...police. Who gets it? I don't know and I don't want to know, but look out. It can be traced. That is the one that done it, but who had that one; oh, oh, Mamma, please let me get up. He changed for the worse. Please, look out; my fortunes have changed and come back and went back since that. It was desperate Ambrose, a little kid. Please; look out...Look... Mike ...please, I am wobbly. You ain't got nothing on him, but we got it on his helper. Please...

Q (Detective): Control yourself.

A: But I am dying.

Q: No, you are not.

Schultz: Move on, Mick and mamma. All right, dear, you have got to get it.

(At this point the nurses changed the dressing, 4:40 P.M., and Schultz asked for a drink of water which was given to him. When one of the nurses was taking off one of his garments he said, "look out for my ring.")

Mrs. Flegenheimer was brought in.

Mrs. Flegenheimer: This is Frances.

Schultz: Then pull out, I am half crazy. They won't let me up. They dyed my shoes, open those shoes here. Give me something; I am so sick. Give me some water, the only thing that I want. Open this up, break it so I can touch you. Dennie, will you please get me in the car. Now he can't butt in. Please, Nick, stop chiseling.

(Mrs. Flegenheimer left the room)

Question by Detective: Who shot you?

A: I don't know; I didn't even get a look. I don't know. Who can have done it? Anybody. Kindly take my shoes off.

Q: They are off.

A: No, there is a handcuff on them. The Baron does these things.

(Schultz): I know what I am doing here with my collection of papers, for crying out loud. It isn't worth a nickle to two guys like you or me, but to a collector it is worth a fortune; it is priceless. I am going to turn it over to...Turn your back to me please, Henry. I am so sick now. The police are getting many complaints. Look out. Yey, Jack; hello, Jack. Jack, mamma. I want that G-note. Look out, for Jimmie Valentine, for he is an old pal of mine. Come on, Jim, come on, Jimmie; oh, thanks. O.K. O.K. I am all through; I can't do another thing. Hymie, won't you do what I ask you this once? Look out! Mamma, mamma! Look out for her. You can't beat him. Police, Mamma! Helen, mother, please take me out. Come on, Rosie. O.K. Hymes would not do it; not him. I will settle...the indictment. Come on, Max, open the soap duckets. Frankie, please come here. Open that door, Dumpey's door. It is so much, Abe, that...with the brewery. come on. Hey, Jimmie! The Chimney Sweeps. Talk to the Sword. Shut up, you got a big mouth! please come help me up, Henny. Max come over here... French Canadian bean soup...I want to pay, let them leave me alone...