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Anselm Cramer: Testimony

January 23, 1935



Direct Examination by Mr. Peacock:

Q. Mr. Cramer, you have testified before you are a member of the Police Department of New York?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And you are also a carpenter of that Department?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. How long have you been a carpenter?

A. Well, off and on for about six years. I have been a carpenter for twenty years before I went on the Police Department.

Q. Were you present with Mr. Enkler and Bornmann and Koehler, when they made the examination of the attic of the defendant’s home?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Will you tell the jury what you saw and found the day you made your examination.

A. Well, we searched the place upstairs in the attic, and we found a piece of board missing from the floor of the attic. We found another where it had been cut off.

Q. Louder.

A. Where this piece of board had been cut off, it sawed into the board that was laying next to it. That was the first board of the flooring across the attic from one side of the house to the other. Then I saw a piece of lumber supposed to be from the ladder brought there and laid down by Mr. Bornean and the nails pushed into the nail holes that fitted into holes in the beam, and I afterwards saw a photograph taken of it.

Q. Now, are these nails that were used that day the nails that are in front of you?

A. Yes, cut nails, like that.

Q. Now, Mr. Cramer, did you make an examination of that attic, referring to S-228, this board?

A. Yes.

Q. Did you an examination of the beams?

A. I did.

Q. Yes. Is that the board you used the cut nail through into the beams?

A. Here it is right here (indicating), there are four nails, I think, in it 1, 2, 3, 4, yes, four nails in it.

Q. I call your attention to Exhibit 226 and ask you if that was a piece that came from the east end that was removed that day?

A. Yes, that is this piece here.

Q. Yes.

A. This piece right here.

Q. Did you initial that exhibit that day?

A. That is my signature on it.

Q. I call your attention to the rail 16 on the ladder.

A. Yes, this is the piece that—there it is right there, that fits in there.

Q. It is on the west end of east end, which is that?

A. Well, which way does the house face?

Mr. Wilentz: West.

Q. West end then.

A. The west end.

Q. Now, I ask, referring to Exhibit—take the stand—Exhibit S-226, what character of lumber that is.

A. That is one by six NC roofer.

Q. And what is the character of lumber on rail 16?

A. The same thing.

Q. Now, the rail 216 that you had in the attic that day, was that the same color as this rail that you took from the floor?

A. Yes, that is it there.

Q. That is the same rail?

A. That is the same rail.

Mr. Peacock: Cross examine.

Cross Examination by Mr. Pope:

Q. But when you say that this is the same rail—

A. Yes.

Q. —that you had there, you mean that this is the same piece of wood that you had there, on the floor there?

A. Yes, that is there on the floor there now; that is the same piece.

Q. Shown in the photograph?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. Shown in the photograph?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. But it is not the same color that it was that day, is it?

A. Yes, that is the same piece of stuff. It ain’t painted.

Q. Has it not been stained since and washed and cleaned?

A. I don’t know whether they washed it.

Q. You don’t know?

A. Cleaned it or anything else. But I do know it is the same piece of stuff. I can tell it by the nail holes.

Q. All right.

Mr. Reilly: Is that it (indicating)?

The Witness: That is it right there.

Q. Well, look at it. Look at the rail that you are talking about; compare it with the board that is produced here, which is marked—what, do you know what that number is? I can’t see it.

Mr. Peacock: 226, I think.

Q. 226. They are not alike in color, are they?

A. This one seems to be handled a little more than that one.

Q. They are not alike in color, are they?

A. No.

Q. That is the answer. Now, looking at the attic floor up here, where this piece of rail is laid on the beams, you notice that it looks in the photograph as though the abutting end of the rail was raised up and was lying on the end of the board nailed down and running from the east to the west, isn’t that right?

A. No.

Q. I say it looks that way on the photograph?

A. Now, wait until I see. (Witness steps to the photograph.) No, it don’t. It looks as if there is a space in between.

Q. That is what I wanted you to say.

Mr. Wilentz: What is the answer?

A. (Answer read by the reporter.)

Q. Now, there was a space in between the two boards, wasn’t there?

A. There was, yes.

Q. About how wide was that space, if you remember?

A. Well, it was about at one end, we will say, three-quarters of an inch, and about a half an inch, and it run to about seven-eighths or an inch.

Q. In other words, you mean that the abutting end of the rail, or what would be the abutting end of the rail if it did abut up against the other board—

A. Yes.

Q. —was not sawed off evenly?

A. This was sawed off even—

Q. Yes.

A. —but the piece that cut out of there was not sawed off even.

Q. Well now, never mind any piece that was cut out. You mean then that the other end of the board that is permanently on the floor was not sawed even.

A. No, that was not sawed even, it was crooked.

Q. That was sawed crooked?

A. Yes.

Q. Just come down here now, Mr. Carpenter, just look at that alignment across there. It is just about as perfect and straight as it can be, isn’t it?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And so is this, which is the end of the beam lying on the floor, is it?

A. End of the board, right—not straight.

Q. It is not straight, I see.

The Court: Did the stenographer get it?

The Reporter: Yes, sir.

Mr. Peacock: I think that should be read to the jury. I don’t think the jury heard it your Honor, the last two or three questions. We couldn’t hear it at the table.

The Court: Suppose it be read.

(The reporter read as follows: “Q. Just come down here now, Mr. Carpenter, just look at that alignment across there. It is just about as perfect and straight as it can be, isn’t it? A. Yes, sir. Q. And so is this, which is the end of the beam lying on the floor, is it? A. End of the board, right—not straight. Q. It is not straight. I see.”)

Q. Just come down here, will you, Mr. Carpenter? Do you think that is pretty straight (placing a blotter on the photograph)?

A. Yes.

Q. The space in between the lower edge of the rail—wait a minute—the space between the lower edge of the rail and the top edge of the rail is equal, is it?

A. What do you mean?

Q. On both sides?

A. I don’t think so.

Q. Now you show me what is the matter with it if I am not holding the blotter all right.

A. The blotter is all right. This lays on the top of the edge of this (indicating).

Q. That is what I thought all along.

Mr. Pope: That is all.

Mr. Wilentz: As long as you understand it, it is all right.

The Witness: Just like this (indicating). There is one board and this is laying on top of it like that.

Mr. Pope: That is what I have been thinking about all day long.

Mr. Wilentz: Which board are you talking about?

The Witness: The board is here and this piece here is laid down (indicating). This piece here and this piece down and the edge is laid on top of the edge of this.

Mr. Pope: That is what I thought.

The Witness: There is the board on the floor. It is laid on top of it just like that. (Indicating.)

Hr. Pope: Stand back and let the jury see it.

Mr. Reilly: Now, will you put a description of that on your minutes?

The Witness: That is the way it shows on the picture. That don’t show up on top of that.

The Court: Are we supposed to be taking testimony?

Mr. Reilly: We are taking a record of this board on the stenographic minutes.

The Court: Just be careful and get it on the record.

Mr. Reilly: I asked if they would look at it and designate it for the minutes.

Mr. Pope: Are we ready?

The Court: Yes.

By Mr. Pope:

Q. Will you look at those cut nails which have been produced there and will you tell me if they are the nails that were used for the purpose of pushing through the hole in the so-called rail?

A. Well, they are nails just like those; they are

Q. You do not know then whether those are the identical nails or not.

A. I have no means of knowing. There is no mark on them.

Q. They are known as what is known as iron cut nails, aren’t they?

A. Cut floor nail.

Q. All right. And they are 6 penny?

A. No, they are 8’s.

Q. Eight penny?

A. Yes, they are 8’s.

Q. Were there any 10 penny nails there?

A. Well, I didn’t see any, there might have been some, I didn’t see them.

Q. An 8 penny nail would slip into a hole made by a 10 penny cut nail, wouldn’t it?

A. Yes,—

Mr. Pope: That is all.

A. —there.

Mr. Peacock: Is that all, Mr. Pope?

Mr. Pope: Yes.

Re-Direct Examination by Mr. Peacock:

Q. The day you compared the nail holes in the piece that is now on the floor, the rail was flat on the beam, was it not?

A. Yes, sir.

Q. And when you had the board flat on the beams you testified there was an inch and a half distance between the two?

A. Yes, I will show you that.

Q. Well, is that correct? Now, show it to the jury, when you had this rail 16 flat with the nails through the holes in the rail on the beams, what distance was between the other board?

A. (Witness fits the board up against a section of the ladder.)

Mr. Wilentz: Let him give us his judgment.

Q. What was the distance?

A. Now, you just wait a minute, and I will lay it as I seen it. Let go of that. There it is.

Q. How much is that?

A. That is a half an inch. (Referring to space between section of ladder and board.)

Mr. Wilentz: Half an inch, the witness indicates what he considered to be a half an inch between the two rails.

The Witness: Right here, there.

Q. Now, this board, referring to S-226, was nailed to the beams, is that correct, as shown in the bottom photograph?

A. Yes.

Q. Between this board, then, when you laid the rail 16 and put the nails through these holes, there was that distance between the two boards.

A. Yes.

Mr. Wilentz: That is all.

The Witness: And these nails went right in the beam.

Mr. Peacock: Yes. That is all.

Re-Cross Examination by Mr. Pope:

Q. No, I just wanted to get the distance.

A. I will get it for you.

Q. About a half an inch. This board then was permanently fastened to the floor?

A. Yes.

Q. At that time. This was loose?

A Yes.

Q. I see. So in order to make the nail holes match—

A. Yes, sir.

Q. —it was necessary to manipulate the ladder rail a half an inch away from the edge of the permanently fastened board.

A. To make them fit all the holes.

Q. Yes.

A. Just like that.

Mr. Pope: That is all.

Mr. Peacock: That is all.

Mr. Wilentz: Mr. Koehler, will you please take the stand?

Mr. Reilly: Just a moment before he leaves. When was this board taken downstairs and locked in the closet?

Mr. Wilentz: It is in the record. October 10th, he says.

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