Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Arsenic Anna :The True Story of Anna Marie Hahn

Final Words - Part 1

Following Annas execution, On December 17, 1938, defense attorney Joseph H. Hoodin announced that the letters Anna had given him the night of her execution had been sold to the Cincinnati Enquirer and the money was put into a trust for Annas son, Oskar.   The next day, the paper announced that they would be publishing the letters on the following two days.

I dont know how I could have done the things I did in my life.   Only God knows what came over me when I gave Albert Palmer that first one, that poison that caused his death. 

When I stood by Mr. Wagner as he was laid out at the funeral home I dont know how it was I didnt scream out at the top of my voice.   I couldnt in my mind believe that it was me.   I cant believe it even today.   I couldnt believe it when in the court those people came to the room and told the jury how they said these men died.   I was sitting there hearing a story like out of a book all about another person.   As things come to my mind now and as I put them on this paper I cant believe I am writing about things I did myself.   However, they must be about me because they are in my mind and I know them. 

God above will tell me what made me do these terrible things.   I couldnt have been in my right mind when I did them.   I loved all people so much.   Now I am so close to death.   Death is all around me.   I have been here (on death row) for what seems another lifetime already.   Several other people in this place have been called out.

Anna went on to tell of her life in Germany and her eventual immigration to the United States.   She then began to recount the circumstances, which she claimed eventually led to her life of crime.

I went into business again, always thinking about my boy that would have money to raise him properly.   However, business was bad again and this time before I lost everything I sold it to pay all my debts.   In a little while though, this money went.   My husband and I had been out of work and I started worrying about my boy's future.   I became crazy with fears that my boy and I would starve.   I signed some notes for my husband, because I had signed these notes they threatened to take my Colerain Avenue house away from me, to sell the house over my head and throw me and my boy out into the street.   Then it was that I started gambling and playing the racehorses.    I wanted to make some money for my boy.

During one of her outings to the horse track, Anna met Albert Palmer. The two grew closer over time and Anna eventually started to borrow betting money from Albert.

I paid much of it back.   Then when I didn't pay it back fast enough to suit him, then it was that he wanted me to be his girl.   He threatened me that if I didn't do what he asked he would get his attorney to get the rest of the money that I borrowed from him.    He wouldnt leave me alone.    God knows that I did not want to kill him, and I don't know what put such a thought in my head.    I remembered that down in the cellar was some rat poison.   Something in my mind kept saying to me, ' give him a little of this and he won't trouble you anymore.     I don't know what made me do it, but I slipped some of the poison in the oysters.   I told him to go on home and he left at the same time, threatening what he was going to do to me.

Albert Palmer's apartment building
Albert Palmer's apartment building
A short time later Anna learned from one of Alberts relatives that he had become suddenly ill and was in the hospital.

I visited him just as soon as I could and he was very nice to me.   He told me that he was sorry for the way that he had treated me.   I prayed that he would get well.   Nobody knows the things that went through my mind.   I told the nurses and doctors to do everything they could to make him well, but on Holy Thursday, Mr. Palmer died.   Only I knew why.

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