The Prince of Wales was one of Rudolph’s few genuine friends. He is on record agreeing with Queen Victoria and the Prime Minster that Rudolph was murdered. But in 1889 through 1890 Europe was poised on the brink of war. Everyone assumed there will be war. But no country was ready because of the frantic rush to modernize gunnery. So no one wanted to stumble into war if there was any possible way to prevent it.
The French Lebel and nitro powder full metal jacket were revolutionary but untested. The Lee Metford, soon to be the Lee Enfield, was likewise just a prototype. The new Swiss Rubin was delayed. Browning and Mauser were embroiled in developmental problems. The Spandau Commission Rifle was suppose to be brilliant —but rumors whispered it was blowing up.
In fact only the revolutionary Mannlicher repeaterrifle and custom powder full metal jacket bullet were on line. And to the utter amazement of one and all, were the best in the world. All Bismarck had to do to wage his war was ask his ally Francis Joseph to mass produce the best gun and ammo at the best and largest arms manufacturing company in the world: Steyr Bohemia. The mystery was why Bismarck could not ask. Instead Bismarck canceled his planned war to the rage of Willy The Warlord — who fired him.
Wales relentlessly pursued his Entente alliance to cage the Hohenzollern Eagle. A punch thrown by Wales into Willy’s face as Frederick lay dying as Vicky wept would ultimately lead to WW 1
Prince Coburg tops the list for murder suspects. He had no alibi for over 24 hours from when he left Mayerling to visit Vienna to see Francis Joseph until he reappeared at his home after the shooting . He invited himself to Mayerling. Mayerling was a small, shabby, lodge with few creature comforts and little luxuries. Rudolph only invited between two and five male guests at any time to hunt. Orgies were Archduke Otto’s thing. Not Rudolph. And Mayerling was where Rudolph wrote. The only female who ever came was his child Erszi. Not even Stephanie bothered. So why Coburg wanted to come was a mystery. Mayerling was not up to his exquisite standards.
But while the Pro -Prussian Coburg was Rudolph’s brother in law he was a sinister man and wife abuser with dubious connections that would ultimately lead him into siding with the Reich in WW 1 as well as known ruthlessness. He committed his black and blue wife to an insane asylum after she tried to run away from his abuse. Coburg was a sadistic as well as ruthless man.
Why and where did Coburg vanish after the famously early Vienna palace dinner? A famously early dinner where he naturally met Francis Joseph and Albrecht after dubiously (considering his sadistic abuse of his own wife) wishing Valerie and her fiancée good luck in their upcoming marriage? Where did he go if he did not go home? He claimed he did not return to Mayerling by any of the half hour commuter trains? So where did he go all night?
And how could Coburg appear at dawn dressed for hunting if he never went home after the palace dinner in an era of ornate couture and needful valets?
Why did Coburg rush straight to the ‘locked’ bedroom of Rudolph as Hoyos and and Rudolph’s valet cowered in the hallway? All while Bratfisch so oddly chose to suddenly harness the carriage in the pre-dawn between 6:45 A.M. and 7:00 A.M. right after entering Rudolph’s bedroom to ‘check for the weather’ despite the fact this was suppose to be just another ordinary pre-dawn hunting day ? Why did Coburg ‘take charge’ as Bratfisch sat slumped over on his driver’s seat in that carriage after snapping at the lead hunter Wodiczka that there would be no pre-dawn hunt after all —-because Rudolph was already dead —- before Loschek claimed he suspected foul play and before Coburg could ‘take charge’ to unveil the corpses at 8:30 A.M.?
Or was Coburg the court appointed overseer of events destined to unfold at Mayerling? Events stable boys later said occurred around midnight. Events that left Weiner shot in the courtyard and another servant called Max dumped in the back vegetable garden and another servant called Otto vanished and Rudolph’s dog dead. And the Wolfe Brothers turned away at 4:00 and Conrad Bratisch turned away after he followed suspicious Prussians to the front gates of Mayerling between 6:00 and 6:30. The cowering stable boys later said Mayerling suddenly erupted into lights and shouts and ‘popping sounds’ like champagne corks going off. Yet only one guest, Hoyos, was supposedly being entertained by Rudolph around midnight and per Hoyos in his later transcript everyone was suppose to be going to bed or else in bed. So midnight was an odd time for a spontaneous party. A party for whom? Rudolph? A sick Rudolph? A party to celebrate what?
Besides two Roll Commandos who slithered into Mayerling? The other eight Roll Commandos hovering outside as they surround Mayerling? Beside rumors of a Lieutenant Vetsera creeping into Mayerling? Let inside by an insider? The greedy cook who was the only female on the tiny otherwise all male staff? A greedy cook who was assigned by Victorian morality to keep a hysterical and now nude Mary locked up in the Stephanie Suite? And Coburg of course. What a strange party to occur at midnight!
Coburg arriving back from Vienna by way of one of the half hour commuter trains after seeing Francis Joseph and Albrecht one last time just in case Francis Joseph suddenly got sentimental after that engagement dinner and possibly changed his mind.
Change his mind about what? Why was everyone waiting for Coburg to arrive back from the Hofburg? And why did Coburg later lie about coming back to Mayerling around midnight when that spontaneous ‘party’ started? And was Coburg representing Francis Joselph? Archdule Albrecht? Bismarck? or Willy?
If Coburg returned to Mayerling after the famously early Vienna dinner then he returned in evening dress. Stableboys later said they suddenly saw Mayerling suddenly blazing with lights and popping sounds around midnight. That would fit Coburg taking a commuter train back to Mayerling. Coburg could have returned to Mayerling very easily after those famously early Hofburg dinners.
Albrecht later confirmed that Mayerling was surrounded by ten Roll Commandos after Rudolph voluntarily entered the isolated hunting lodge. It was clearly voluntary if Rudolph kissed his father’s gloved hand at the German Embassy Ball and then ‘spontaneously’ decided to go to Mayerling despite a full calendar of meetings including an important staff meeting and an sentimental engagement party for which he bought a gift. [Please read Taaffe’s Metal Box ].
Two Roll Commandos then entered the inner parameters of dark and quiet Mayerling to meet other agents, five agents in total according to Graves in the ‘Secrets Of The Hohenzollerns’ . The four agents rendezvoused in the dark courtyard where the fifth agent inside Mayerling keyed them inside.
Meanwhile, five Prussians poising as ‘hunters’ were exhausted from prowling around Mayerling all day to rendezvous with the Roll Commandos and the only man inside Mayerling to hunt on the 29th: Coburg. The Five Prussians were now camped out in the sitting room of the closest hotel to Mayerling one village over where they sprawled on chairs having no reservations. But those five Prussians would appear at the front Gates of Mayerling bright and early on the 30th to be there when Coburg again materialized. Conrad Bratifsch trailed them there.
The five agents (one agent operating inside Mayerling) were prepared to follow military orders signed off by Supreme Commander Albrecht and the entire chain of military command all the way up to the top: Francis Joseph. Taaffe and the Secret Service and agents of the Hofburg waited for the pre-planned military operation to be finished. Then they planned to secure the scene and informing the Emperor that the deed was done. Albrecht told his minions the military operation would climax at 6:30 A.M. on the 30th unless Rudolph was previously dispatched. Everything had to be terminated by 7:30 A.M for Coburg to unveil at 8:30 A.M. Apparently the military operation started at prematurely at midnight instead of after 6:30. A.M.
Is this how the mythic red rose appeared in the dead hands of Mary? It was the dead of winter in a cold hunting lodge. There was no way there could be flowers in general and hot house rose buds in particular. The only way there could be a red rose was if it was a hot house red rose. Was Mary holding a hot house rose bud off a man’s evening dress? If so the only man wearing evening clothes in an informal hunting lodge in the dead of winter was Coburg.
How convenient that Coburg apparently secured the crime scene at its unveiling as well as participated in events during the time of his mysterious missing alibi. This had to be the only time outside of ‘The Mousetrap’ where a murderer investigated his own crime scene.
Mizzi Caspar was called a ‘sweet girl’ ie Viennese for amateur whore. By all accounts she was lower middle class, not pretty, not titled, and not the stuff of Hollywood movies. But she was also one of the few human beings who never ever betrayed Rudolph. Rudolph spent his last night in Vienna in her arms. She was loyal to his memory for the rest of her life.
Mizzi Casper was Rudolph’s ‘Camilla’ to the exasperation of Stephanie and Mary Vetersa and Hollywood movies. Rudolph told friends in the last weeks of his life that she was his true love. Gossipy Carl Lonyay has confirmed that Rudolph apparently met her early enough in his life to take her to Brussels to meet the Rubber Princess. People saw her at his barracks and military travels. Incredulously, in Vienna Rudolph lived in her flat —-along with her mother. Rudolph even kept a desperate slush fund envelope in his garret desk of monies to go to MC if he died. Baron Hirsch apparently helped Rudolph fill the slush fund envelope out of compassion. The little money did not help MC and her mother much considering the fact Rudolph left her a flat and furniture and a few small jewels on payments with debts outstanding. Nevertheless MC refused to sell out. She kept their love secret. So today there is very little known about MC. Today she would be on every talk show shamelessly cashing in. MC was not that type. She ever betrayed Rudolph.
Myth of Mayerling enthusiasts always stumble over MC. Officially she does not exist in the Grand Passion. But every hard fact indicates that MC was the love of Rudolph’s life. Not Mary.
Mary Vetsera gave Rudolph this photographic gift in November after he successfully ignored her for years despite every stratagem to stalk him (including even poising for a nude to give to him).
It was her last ‘love me or else’ ploy. But during the celebrated meeting — which only lasted ten minutes — her handler confronted Rudolph in another room to demand 24,000 which was one half of his entire year stipend of 45,000 while pimping Mary. This was followed by dunning for 10,000 over the next months.
Mary posing like Sisi.
Rudolph politely demanded that they leave. This is the first momentous personal encounter between Mary and Rudolph but it won’t be the last because in Mary’s imagination she is the love of Rudolph’s life.
There is just one problem …..
Rudolph keeps telling everyone he loves Mizzi…
Mary then confronted Rudolph in the following days and demanded money, 10,000, while proclaiming her Grand Passion for him. Likewise her mother Helen was also trying to squeeze Rudolph for money. This is hardly the stuff of romance.
What is the shakedown? Rudolph is the poorest prince and archduke in Austro Hungary. So clearly the Vetseras are after the deeper pockets of Francis Joseph who is as famously rich as he is famously miserly. What is the shakedown? One momentous moment that last ten minutes with Rudolph in the other room snarling at Larisch? Actually Helen has an angle.
You see Mary could be Francis Joseph’s bastard. The old coot used to be a famous womanizer. Unlike Rudolph, Francis Joseph has spawn lots of bastards. So the black mail is this: Rudolph has fallen madly in love with Mary his half sister a la Byron for his half sister Augusta! Pay up or I will publicize it! And certainly Helen is not reining in Mary’s Grand Passion despite the fact Mary is boasting of fabulous romantic rendezvouses with Rudolph in public places dressed only in a fur and her birthday suit. Blackmail does not have to be true to work. It just has to inspire fear.
Alas, Francis Joseph apparently only laughed and kept his purse closed. Rudolph simply has no money to be extorted. And the fact Mary is waving around passionate love letters from Rudolph written in Mary’s own handwriting is not selling the Grand Passion for blackmail purposes. But Mary’s obsessive fixation on Rudolph is dangerously spiraling out of control — and sanity.
Rudolph paid Mary off after she claimed she was indebted for the gambling bills of her ‘dear friend’ Larisch and her family was all but ruined. But like all good Vetersa females she just kept demanding more money. Rudolph might not be sophisticated but Bombelles and Otto are. He appeals to experts and keeps running ….. away from Mary. And his job is reaching a crisis and a recent concussion is not helping.
Rudolph refused to pay the next extortion blackmail demands which Mary does not see as extortion even though her mother is also trying to extort from both Rudolph and her ex-lover Francis Joseph. The Vetsera Clan is all but bankrupt and if Mary can’t score a rich husband and if the blackmail shakedown does not work the clan will face either bankruptcy or else the dangerous offer from von Holstein to use Mary to garnish a sexual scandal he is manufacturing against an enemy of Bismarck.
Meanwhile , throughout December Mary stalks and Rudolph runs. Rudolph and Wales cuts Mary at a race track, both men walking right past her. Rudolph is asking Wales’ help facing dangerous ultimatums from Albrecht, Bismarck, Kaiser Willy, and Francis Joseph. His job is reaching a critical mass.
The stress is preventing his concussion from healing and the concussion is becoming Post Concussion Syndrome which is aggravating his Anxiety Depression and PTSD. All of that is flattening Rudolph’s sex drives. It makes Rudolph more inclined to hunker down against danger and entrench against stress with hypo vigilance and defensive mechanisms. Bipolar engages in risky behaviors. Rudolph’s neurosis is the exact opposite. So engaging with a 17 year old erotic nymphomaniac stalker is exactly the last thing Rudolph’s neurosis would want. Mothering. Translation: MC.
All the while Mary does not take the hint. She tells everyone that she will die for love of Rudolph just like her dead aunt who drowned in the Danube for love of Francis Joseph. Soon Mary’s talk of suicide features Rudolph in a supporting role.
Mary also poses nude after deflowering herself in Egypt with a British officer and getting gonorrhea. Her increasingly unstable obsession with Rudolph causes her fiancée to terminate the engagement which the all but bankrupt Vetsera Clan desperately needs to pay their bills. Von Holstein’s creature Countess Wimpffen renews the offer for Mary to garnish a sex scandal.
I confess I am using a Hollywood body double for Mary here but check out her nude for yourself:
What can I say? Mary is rather…. not fat! But what is the polite way of saying she is plus sized? Plumb? Voluptuous? Victorians like meat on their bones! What can I say? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!
Mary sleeps with Rudolph’s circle of friends including Hoyos and Bombelles who initially find Mary amusing. But soon the sophisticated men about town realize that Mary might be giving it away for free but she is increasingly mentally unstable and her madness is outside of their sophisticated experience. Did Rudolph sample a freebie? Unknown. Rudolph’s secretary later wrote that Rudolph did not liked to talk about sex at all. Rather the prude in fact. Excessively overly scientific like the nerd and geek he was.
But since Rudolph has sustained a concussion in late October the Post Concussion Syndrome has persisted. And his job is reaching a crisis point of increasing dire threat to not only his career but his very life. Having Bismarck descend on one in the wee hours of night uninvited is no one’s idea of a fun time. So Rudolph is anything but interested in a risky encounter with Mary his possible half sister who is still trying to extort money even as she is stalking him..
His concussion symptoms persist well into January which in fact make him incapable of lusting after Mary. His Anxiety Depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder originating in child abuse flattens the sex drive which his gonorrhea flattens further.
Some mental illnesses like Bipolar heightens the sex drive. Not Rudolph’s nervosa. So even as Mary proclaims her over the top love affair dressed only in a fur coat au natural while waving passionate love letters —– written in her own handwriting — Rudolph simply would not have been psychologically or physically able.
And his over booked calendar and trips with Wales and secret meetings with Szeps and Clemenceau and most of all his terrifying wee hours of night surprise meeting with a bellowing Bismarck in his parlor would have prevented any mythic meetings with Mary.
So the reality is that facts simply prove Mary’s supposed affair is an increasingly violent delusion. Erotic mania. Mary is now a clinical stalker. And sooner or later stalkers are compelled to kill the thing they love.
So psychology and concussion and job crisis and hard evidence indirectly supports Mary and Rudolph not meeting again until the Prussian Embassy birthday ball of Willy. The three critical secret meetings Rudolph has during this ‘Mary Moment’ are Wales and Clemenceau and Bismarck climaxed with a confrontation with Francis Joseph. Mary is a red herring.
The Vetsera mother and daughter were second rate aristocrats not allowed at the Hofburg. Both mother and daughter were infamous for their sexual adventures. Mary had long ago ceased to be a virgin by any remote definition. Her rich fiancée had dropped her. Helen had only Mary’s tattered blackmail appeal to save the family from ruin. This was the only place they could ambush Rudolph in order to access the deeper pockets of Francis Joseph. Then mother and daughter tried to squeeze both Francis Joseph and Rudolph for — you guess it —-money. Helen had to be incredibly desperate to try this.
Rudolph told several persons at the ball he was acutely embarrassed by such vulgar behavior and asked someone, anyone, to get rid of Mary. The few people who even remember the five minute confrontation said that Mary was shockingly rude in her breach of Spanish Etiquette and Rudolph was white face and stiff. Stephanie stared at Helen and Mary as if to murder them. And Helen suddenly realized she and Mary had crossed the line. She dragged Mary away.
Rudolph was actually more upset with his father cutting him at the ball as Willy gloated. Francis Joseph atypically walked across the ballroom to speak with Rudolph. Father and son shared a brief and mysterious conversation. Then Rudolph mysteriously kissed his father’s hand as if agreeing to some mysterious thing. The next day he prepared to leave for Mayerling.
Mary invited herself to Mayerling. Larisch did a two hour pantomime with secret police with Mary before handing her off to Wimpffen who was von Holstein’s creature. Wimpffen delivered Mary to the train station. Secret police followed Mary all the way so the file was on the desk of Francis Joseph before Mary even reached Baden. Then a witness, Rudolph’s secretary, saw Mary leave a commuter train alone and enter a private hack to ride to Mayerling by herself while clutching a muff in which she probably brought both poison and the mysterious civilian revolver as well as a forged letter. That gun then discharged all chambers at some point and ended up on the side table in Rudolph’s bedroom. Not on the floor beside the dead hand of Rudolph. Casually tossed on the side table. After that Mary was locked into the upper story spare bed room where she apparently scribbled hysterical suicide notes as the only female at Mayerling, a notoriously greedy cook, took control of Mary while contacting the Roll Commandos and Coburg. The Cook along with Wimpffen would both end up murdered shortly after Mayerling.
But not all of the suicide notes appear written in the same hand and the same paper at the same time. And none have ever been allowed to be photographed and studied by experts or historians today. Or even psychologists. The Hofburg released only verbal descriptions of the letters. Not the letters themselves. And they have never ever been released to be professionally studied to this day. Some appear grotesquely wrong like a note to an ex-fiancée joking about suicide. Another asked for the village priest to come and bless them and build a ornate tomb to celebrate their immortal love. Austria is a Catholic country. Try asking any priest even today to do that! Another letter begged for confession. Whatever Mary was, Rudolph was an agnostic and would never ever beg a ‘Blackie’ to give confession. And the village ‘Blackie’ and Rudolph were feuding. So such a letter would be absurd. Another letter asked for another village to telegraph the Pope. Wrong village. No telegraphic office there. And while Rudolph was shooting off telegrams all day they were going to Budapest to that poor Hungarian politician. Rudolph did not bother to telegraph the Pope. And would the Pope give communion to suicides?
Another bizarre letter from Mary praised Bratfisch’s birdy calls in the depths of late night during the ‘suicide hour’ in a freezing room in a freezing lodge in the middle of freezing winter while artfully arranged naked on top of the bed drinking bubbly. All despite the fact Rudolph had just caught a bad cold and mild hypothermia from sweating in his heavy fur coat while helping Bratfisch’s carriage get unstuck. Sweating in freezing weather is a sure fire way to get hypothermia. Just ask ‘Mountain Men’. It is the worse thing that can happen other than falling into icy water itself. And instead of going home to get out of clothes wet with sweat and then frozen to his body he stopped for a drink by the fire at a hotel. Not smart. But back to credibility or lack of credibility.
Rudolph would hardly be inclined to such behavior on a cold night in cold winter in a cold bedroom sans central heating while suffering from a bad cold and mild hypothermia. Would anyone with a bad cold and mild hypothermia behave that way? And the later rigor mortis test, such as it was, moved the actual time of death of Mary to much much earlier than her notes implied. 8:30 P.M.? 10:30 P.M? Midnight? 3:30 A.M.? 7:40 A.M.? Mary’s death is placed all over the place. And none of it works for any scenario. And every witness contradicts when and how and even where Mary dies.
And Mary skull’s was actually bashed at the top of her head. No bullet was found in the intact skull by two 1950s forensic experts before she was reburied in her vandalized tomb twice. And a bullet in the skull would look different.
And a bullet through temples looks really different than what the 1950s forensic experts found.
And if Mary was supposed to have been shot by Rudolph in the depths of the ‘suicide hour’ he would have had to awkwardly lean over the entire bed in order to shoot Mary in the left temple after supposedly drinking endless bubbly while listening to birdy calls in a dark cold bedroom lit at best only by a fire place. Try to duplicate that on your double or queen size bed on a dark cold night while drunk! The safest way Rudolph would have wanted to kill Mary, if he even wanted to kill Mary, would be to have walked around the bed to the right side of the bed where Mary was artfully arranging her self au natural except for a tiny hankie and hot bed rose, which such a lodge in winter would not boast of possessing, and then knell down to carefully shoot Mary in her right temple with the gun pressed firmly on her temple.
But someone wanted the public to think cowardly cringing Rudolph murdered poor Mary and then cowered by her freezing corpse for 13 hours or else for ten hours or else one hour or else one half hour before doing the right thing. She had to be shot in her left temple —-despite the fact it was 1) impossible and 2)foolhardy and 3) illogical and 4) she was found bludgeoned by two forensic experts in the 1950s. Translation: stage management by a micro managing idiot —– like Willy perhaps? Most von Holstein assassinations were flawless. This one was hopelessly blotched. Did Helen Vetsera realize that Mary ‘s garnishing of a sex scandal involved her death?
But as Galimberti and two 1950s experts testified: Mary was bludgeoned and not shot. Champagne anyone? Or at least the bottle used as a weapon? Gosh? Is that why one Royal saw the court doctor picking out green glass from Rudolph’s bloody skull? Never mind! Petri the Forger for von Holstein could not predict everything that would go down that fateful night! Von Holstein could not have anticipated that his man on the ground (Coburg?) would allow Willy to micro manage his role while adding endless absurdities to the scenario which muddied the time lines and contradicted the previously written suicide notes and generally all round messed up a tidy and professional assassination into a botch up. But why else did Willy come to Vienna which he despised to celebrate his birthday? Willy wanted his gift: Rudolph shamefully dead.
But back to the story which Hollywood loves to tell and tell and tell. After Mary invited herself to Mayerling while waving a forged invitation before shooting wildly at Rudolph with all six chambers of her civilian gun she was locked (per Hoyos) into the upper story spare bedroom which was ironically Stephanie’s Royal Bedroom. Stephanie came once just to make Rudolph build it for her. Then she never came to Mayerling again. Rudolph then totally ignored Mary in her cage and worked all day on the Hungarian crisis over the use of German as the sole military language for military command. Hungarians wanted to use Hungarian despite the Babal of Command which that would cause. It was a prickly little disaster that had huge military consequences. Rudolph was frantic as if fearing what Albrecht would do. Albrecht was obsessed that Rudolph was plotting endless Hungarian coups and this fiasco appeared to prove it. Rudolph actually had a paper trail of supporting German as the only command language. But he was frantic just the same.
Rudolph sent endless telegrams. Runners ran back and forth from Mayerling to the local telegraphic office in the next village all day. He ordered the Hungarian politician to train to Vienna post haste. He booked an appointment to meet him the next day in Vienna. He toiled up to the last hours of his life on this crisis as if he was not planning to kill himself —- at least not willingly. And he never acknowledged that Mary was even at Mayerling. Quite the contrary.
Mayerling as the quaint site for romantic Love & Death or else state sanctioned murder because of a gun crisis and war games which spiraled into a crisis between Austro Hungary and the Imperial Second Reich? Which picture fits the facts better?
Meanwhile Mary and her Madness focused on Love & Death which is why she arrived at Mayerling sans luggage or lady’s maid or knickers while bringing a gun and poison. Mary and her Madness was focused on one thing : Love & Death.
Mary was helped by someone inside of Mayerling, the suborned cook, to escape down supposedly locked back stairs into Rudolph’s bedroom where she arranged herself au natural on a made bed in a cold room in the middle of freezing winter to consummate her sole ambition in life —- to die for love of Rudolph.
Mary’s au natural corpse, stiff as a sex toy, was hauled to a lumber room and shoved into a laundry basket, which being stiff as a sex toy, probably featured the legs sticking straight out. Later Mary was shoved into a coat and hat with a sword shoved up her back. Then she was stiff walked by kindred to a carriage. After much debate her legs were not sawed off. They were broken. Two men held the corpse between them in that ride away from Mayerling to a village where she was hastily shoved into a secret grave which Helen later expanded to cash in on her daughter’s infamy.
Please note there was no proper autopsy other than a superficial eye balling of Mary’s au natural rigor mortis and confusion about her livor mortis ie black spots as the blood settles. One of the good doctors shoved a popped out eyeball back into one eye socket.
The good doctors then declared that Mary’s rigor mortis proved that by totally ignoring the environmental impact of the freezing cold ‘dark’ room sans fire with smashed windows in cold January aggravated by her au natural (which meant she would freeze faster than Rudolph) and in total defiance of all rational scientific forensics which the good doctors deliberately ignored Mary was announced to have been shot in the left temple by a crazed Rudolph 13 hours before Rudolph died. As in 8:30 P.M when Rudolph was entertaining Hoyos. Try ten hours then! 10:00 to 10:30 P.M and saying goodnight to Hoyos. Ok! Try the birdy call suicide wee hours of night party then! 3:00 to 3:30 A.M. when everyone should be getting up to prepare for pre dawn hunt. The Wolfe brothers were coming at 4:00 and also Wodiczka between 6:00 and 7:00. Except no one was preparing for pre dawn hunt despite a pre dawn hunt being planned. How odd! And not remotely 13 hours. Four hours. So where did the good doctors get their 13 hours? Never mind! All right! Try 6:30 AM! Except Bratfisch said he entered the ‘dark’ unheated and freezing bedroom at 6:45 AM and did not notice anything amiss. Ok! Try 7:30 AM! Except Loschek said he heard whispering but no bullets at all. The made bed was still made if bloody. No quilts or pillows were used to muffle shots. Loschek was right next door and claimed he could her ‘whispering’ but also claimed he heard no shots until he contradicted himself so much he finally said he heard two shots from a mysterious civilian handgun not owned by his master which ‘previously discharged all chambers’ as in six shots.
In fact the math and rational forensics do not add up to any hour except midnight. 13 hours or even ten hours while not factoring in the ‘dark’ ie unheated and therefore freezing room in winter combined with Mary’s au natural would make Mary’s death at 8:30 PM or or even 10:00 PM —- when Hoyos said he was saying nighty night to Rudolph so suave and casual despite a bad cold and mild hypothermia. Perhaps Hoyos paused so Rudolph could rush in and bludgeon Mary before rushing out to continue to say nighty night — which is directly contradicted by the supposed birdy call suicide notes which imply death around 3:00 or 3:30. And let’s not forget about the fact Mary was bludgeoned. Not shot. And died au natural.
And if she really died after that birdy call party it would have been timed beautifully for all of those early raising hunters like Wodiczka and the Wolfe Brothers to be arriving to find her because Loschek should have been entering Rudolph’s room to lite the fires around 2:00 or 2:30 for to wake Rudolph around 3:00 which was his normal time for a pre dawn hunt which was why the Wolfe brothers were coming at 4:00. And Rudolph normally got up around 4:00 even if there was no pre dawn hunt. So why wasn’t everyone screaming in horror at discovering one or more suicides on cue?
Please note that court autopsy doctors declined to do an official rigor mortis or livor mortis or stomach contents tests to scientifically determine the time of death on Rudolph which might have proved or disproved if he died at the same time as Mary who likewise was not properly tested. Loschek said Rudolph was alive at 6:30 AM and even up to 7:30 AM so that was that. Who needs a scientific test anyway? Who cares if Bratfisch contradicts him? Who cares if Loschek repeatedly contradicted himself?
Helen Vetsera was ordered to fake Mary’s death in Vienna. Instead she built a huge tomb to commercialize Mary’s death for money. She later wrote memoirs. But she still died bankrupt. But Mary got what she wanted: a huge tomb stone and her name in lights —– which is to say she died infamous. But as Hollywood says: always make sure you die young and leave a beautiful corpse. Then all is forgiven. Today Mary is the stuff of Hollywood. It is fortunate that Hollywood is famous for only accidently stumbling over genuine facts in the course of telling grand tales. Because the Mary Vetsera Tale is a grand tale. But it is just a tall tale. To be cruelly blunt it is bull@#%
No sane Victorian woman would behave the way Mary behaved. Even today no sane girl would freeze in a cold hunting lodge sans heat except for a fireplace to arrange herself naked on top of the covers of a bed to be artfully found dead except for a tiny hankie and a hot house rose bud.Two forensic experts in the 1950s testified the top of her skull was bashed open but there was no sign of any bullet hole whatsoever. How many times can that be repeated? Well! As far as I am concerned it cannot be repeated too many times!
Gosh!But that destroys the entire Hollywood Romance! Gosh! But the Hollywood Romance is bull@#%! Whatever happened at Mayerling that dark and freezing night it had absolutely nothing to do with romance or love. Death? Oh yes! But not romance!
By the third grotesque tomb robbery Mary’s skull was crumbing away in such a way as to be consistent with blunt force trauma to the top of her head with hairline shattering fractures causing her skull to crumb from the top down. And she had knock knees. And gonorrhea. But no hard evidence of abortion. And if her delusional claims were true then the only time she could have been with Rudolph was in January. There is no way she could have biologically known if she was pregnant. And both Mary and Rudolph were sterile. So only a blackmailer or hysteric could have raved about being pregnant. And Rudolph was a scientist. He would have known such biological facts even if Mary came to Mayerling raving about pregnancy. Whatever Mary thought would happen that night she died bludgeoned to death.
And it is questionable if Rudolph would have even wanted to have his way with Mary at Mayerling or any other time to allow her to reenact the Virgin Mary’s Miracle Conception. His psychology and concussion and anxiety depression would have made that very unlikely. Such psychology makes a man timid and wary. Not hypo sexed. The way Rudolph clung to MC meant he loved her and no one else. No one but MC made Rudolph feel safe and loved. With four powerful men breathing down his neck Rudolph wanted safety. MC.
Mary was the exact opposite of safety or real love. Mary was a grandstanding narcissist who boasted and bragged of her supposed affair while dunning Rudolph for money while boasting of spectacular suicide climaxes to come while manufacturing spectacular scenes in public places while discharging all six chambers of her civilian revolver at Rudolph. Would any man really want to have his way with Mary? Really? Really?
And Rudolph was embroiled in the gun crisis. He was facing down Francis Joseph, Albrecht, Bismarck, and Willy. He was facing down four powerful men who had him against the ropes. He was facing death in Mayerling with Roll Commandos and Prussian ‘hunters’ prowling right outside. Coburg The Sinister was his house guest. His own father was smoking a cheap cigar at an engagement dinner at the Hofburg as Roll Commandos and Prussian ‘Hunters’ prowled right outside Mayerling to prevent his escape. Albrecht already had his death warrant signed and 6:30 AM as the cut off to end his life. If not dead then the Roll Commandos were to shoot him by 7:30.
Hoyos came out of pity when every other ‘friend’ of Rudoph declined the dubious invitation. Even MC knew she would never see her lover again when Rudolph atypically drew a cross on her forehead before kissing her goodbye one last time. So would Rudolph have wanted to spend his last precious hours before ‘doing the right thing as an officer and a gentleman’ with a nutter like Mary?
Mary-supposed affair has serious contradictions. She boasted of love letters from Rudolph — written in her handwriting. A cheap iron ring in an age when love tokens had to conform to very specific codes of gift giving? No gentleman would give such a thing to even a servant girl. In that era that would have been seen as an unspeakable insult. A horrifying breach of Spanish Etiquette.
She claimed she met Rudolph dressed only in a fur coat. They made love in public places. But no one witnessed it. And no proper Viennese Victorian girl would have done that. Even Mrs. Wolfe’s professional courtesans would never have done that. Quite simply that is not how love was done in the Fin De Siecle. Watch ‘Gigi’ for a lesson in Fin De Siecle Love Making. ‘Venus In Furs’ to the contrary, that is not how refined people behaved.
Rudolph himself incredulously showed a cigarette case given to him by Mary to his male friends. He retorted that it was shocking how Mary was acting. He never used it and apparently returned it because he was never seen with it and it was never found on him. Nor any iron ring. Nor anything apparently from Mary.
No one heard him talk about Mary. And witnesses said Rudolph was the sort of man who never liked to talk of sex or affairs. Nor did Rudolph enjoy listening to others talk of sex and affairs. His manner of talking was that of a nerd. A geek. It was very over educated, scientific, and biological. It was not comfortably emotional or warm or fussy or sentimental. In short: Rudolph was not a romantic. He was thirty. At thirty you are engrossed in your career. You are ambitious for success.
In fact even as a teenager he psychologically impotent. He was so scared of sex he needed to get drunk to copulate. His father despised him for ‘failing to raise to the occasion’ with the ‘sanitation countesses’ sent by the court to initiate Rudolph into sex because he was having a real problem getting beyond Latour’s trout version of the birds and the bees speech.
This is the exact opposite to Mary who went to Egypt to deflower herself with a British officer as soon as possible before shocking everyone with her Victorian version of ‘fast behavior’ until respectable mothers dragged their daughters across the street to avoid Mary. In short, like her infamous mother, Mary was a nymphomaniac. Mary did sleep with Count Bombelles and Count Hoyos and others in Rudolph’s circle — much the way Monroe was passed from Lawford to Kennedy to Kennedy and others in their group. Monroe who was so desperate to be loved but she was just everyone’s play thing. So was Mary. But no one heard Rudolph talk particularly about Mary who was known to be all but illiterate fashiontista.
During this period Rudolph was suffering from a serious concussion which normally leaves one profoundly disinclined toward sex. He was psychologically and physically impotent. He was sterile. He had post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety depression. None of those symptoms normally inclined one toward ravishing sex with wild abandon in wild places with a wild teenager dressed only in a fur coat. Quite the contrary. They make one timid and wary and suspicious and careful and defensive. Very very defensive.
It is not psychologically consistent for Rudolph in the middle of the gun crisis and facing a top secret star chamber courtmartial to want to launch a torrid sexual affair with the daughter of his ex-mistress Helen Vetsera. And yes. Rudolph was the type to have an affair with a woman old enough to be his mother. That makes it highly unlikely that he would want to tackle Mary. And Helen’s blackmailing of Francis Joseph was probably this: that Mary was quite possibly Rudolph’s half sister. So Rudolph would be committing incest with Mary. That by itself would turn Rudolph off even if love a la Bryon would turn Mary on.
In fact it probably did turn Mary on. Mary was obsessed with Love & Death. Love a la Bryon followed by a spectacular suicide was exactly what turned Mary on. Mary was openly boasting of the supposed affair and flaunting it and at the same time talking about spectacular suicide which must climax it. This is delusional love at its best and insanity at its worst. And Mary’s dunning of money was nonstop. None of this speaks of a mad love affair —-except for Mary.
Mary does display what today is stalking psychology and also erotic mania. Such unstable souls rave delusional that they are experiencing torrid love affairs with the object of their obsession. The object of their obsession is usually totally unaware of events. The famous definition of a stalker is a romantic stroll through the park at midnight by two people —-with only one person aware of it.
Mary’s unstable psychology could have been cruelly exploited by agent provocateurs like Larisch whom Mary described as her ‘liaison’ or conduit to Rudolph. But all that materialized were cheap tokens which no Spanish Etiquette would ever have condoned or else stuff which could have been taken out of Rudolph’s trash cans by servants for pennies in the Hofburg. Or else the love tokens were things such as magazine photographs and newspaper articles within which the deluded read secret messages and magical codes of love. There were a few telegrams but people have confirmed they featured cold and frosty Spanish etiquette. No. the hunted was Rudolph. The stalker was Mary. And it was Mary who was boasting of the supposed affair and also of its climax: a spectacular death so she would be famous, or at least infamous, and everyone would know her name. Today such psychology is well known. The unstable stalker finally becomes dangerous and even murderous when the object of obsession fails to return the same insanity of love. A stalker is a lot of things. Normal is not one of them. This is not love. This is insanity.
The entire romantic double suicide was manufactured by minions of the Hofburg after Mayerling. The enraged public loved their ‘Peoples Prince’ and refused to believe it was suicide. Everyone refused to believe it. Every newspaper and royal and friend and associate refused to believe it. The Hofburg faced a sort of ‘Diana Death’ scenario just as Buckingham Palace faced. Absolutely no one believed the official spiel. No one.
And every paper outside of Vienna reported all of the von Holstein assassinations. The best assassinations featured forged suicide notes garnished with artfully arranged sexual scandals. But if everyone latched on to that terrible conclusion then Francis Joseph would face either publically declaring war on Berlin for assassinating Rudolph or else publically passively allowing Berlin to assassinate Rudolph. The latter option would prove that Francis Joseph was a ‘tailor’ ie coward or dishonorable cur. The first option was a disaster in the making. It was a no win hand of losing cards. Francis Joseph was pathologically terrified of Bismarck. But he had some pride. He had to save face.
So minions of the Hofburg manufactured a counter scenario of romantic double suicide. There was a lot of that going around in Vienna. The public bought it except the Pope who only allowed the Christian burial after a second longer telegram confessing that Mayerling was not what the public spiel was saying and the survival of the Habsburg Dynasty was at stake. Europe hovered on the brink of war. Then the crisis passed as every royal publically repeated the lie while privately saying of course Rudolph as murdered. The guns to wage war simply were not ready yet.
Archduke Albrecht was the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Army. Francis Joseph was so scared of his uncle he could not even fire him despite the fact Albrecht was going dangerously senile. Albrecht’s incompetence over the revolutionary Mannlicher repeater rifle and modern caliber nitro blend powder full metal jacket bullet caused terrible cost overruns which the bankrupt empire could not afford. It stalled the unveiling by six months. Albrecht had no concept of the gun crisis whatsoever. The only thing Albrecht was obsessed with were cavalry charges and Hungarian conspiracies.
Albrecht was obsessed that Rudolph and Andrassy were conspiring to depose Francis Joseph. Andrassy protested time and again to Francis Joseph. It was a senile delusion. But Albrecht was not only the Supreme Commander of the Imperial Armies — he also commanded the Roll Commandos who were top assassins.
Albrecht pushed for Rudolph to resign or else. He then pushed for a courtmarital when Rudolph refused to quit. But while Albrecht could rig the Benedek courtmartial he could not rig Rudolph’s court martial. Rudolph refused to quit or play the mute swan role of martyred Benedek. And Albrecht had delivered an ultimatum to Francis Joseph. Him. Or Rudolph.
But the only way to move the unmoving Rudolph was by court martial. So that would have to be a top secret star chamber affair held over New Years unless Rudolph could be persuaded to quit. Rudolph dug in and absolutely refused to quit. Mannlicher and his revolutionary repeater was at stake. Steyr Manufacturing was at stake. The best gun in the world was at stake. The all but best bullet was at stake. The Steyr Research Program was at stake.The Imperial Army was at stake. If there was a war then the survival of the nation was at stake. Koniggratz proved the power of a gun to win or lose wars. The guns being developed now would win or lose the next wars. The cost of defeat from having the wrong gun was too high to pay.
Albrecht might be going senile but even he was not going to send in his Roll Commandos to execute Rudolph without military authorization. Nor Prime Minister Taafe. Translation: A death warrant signed by the Emperor Francis Joseph after some sort of star chamber court martial had to bless the Roll Commandos executing Rudolph. Rudolph had to die but that death had to be by military law signed off by the Emperor himself. Otherwise Francis Joseph would kill a scapegoat to balm his conscience.
Francis Joseph loved his army. He was obsessed with military protocol and his beloved Red Book Of Regulations. That Red Book now damned Francis Joseph. Per the Red Book of Regulations an officer who refused to resign had to be court martialed. There was no other way to remove him except murder of course. Or if that officer could be persuaded to do the ‘right thing’ as an officer and gentleman and shoot himself. That would work too.
By January of 1889 Rudolph for whatever reason kissed his father’s hand as Willy gloated at his birthday party. After defying four powerful men since October and November of 1888 Rudolph mutely went to Mayerling. He did not invite Mary. Only Hoyos dared to come. Coburg invited himself. He was the liaison. Why else train to Vienna for a famously early dinner with Francis Joseph and Albrecht? Roll Commandos encircled Mayerling. So did five Prussian ‘hunters’ who were obviously officers. But then everyone waited. And waited. And waited. Why?
Of course there was a final time element: If Rudolph was not dead by 6:30 AM on the 30th then the Roll Commandos would execute him by 7:30. Therefore someone signed a death warrant. Only one person had the authority to sign that death warrant. Francis Joseph. But everyone then waited in the cold night as if for a signal . The signal was Coburg returning after seeing Francis Joseph one last time .
Perhaps Francis Joseph would feel sentimental after that engagement dinner and change his mind and revoke the death warrant only he could sign. No one wanted to kill Rudolph prematurely if Francis Joseph changed his mind. So the signal was Coburg of the famous 24 missing hours alibi returning to Mayerling on that half hour commuter train with the signal. Red Light. Green Light. Stop. Or proceed.
Why did Rudolph book future dates in his calendar and order that Budapest politician to train to Vienna? Why did Rudolph bring briefcases of work to do?
Why did he work so frantically? Up to the last hours of his life?
Rudolph thought someone would change their mind and order off the execution /and /or/ ordered suicide as an officer and a gentleman. Why did cold Roll Commandos dangle outside waiting? Everyone was waiting for Coburg. Francis Joseph might change his mind. Who else could anyone be waiting for? Who else had the power to stop Mayerling from happening? Only Francis Joseph.
Count Hoyos was one of the few witnesses to what went down at Mayerling. He was so terrified he was incoherent. Finally his testimony was written for him by the authorities. Hoyos incoherently stammered over Mary locked up upstairs and taking poison, Rudolph being poisoned, Prussian agents bursting in, lovers being killed in stables, Rudolph gaily going to bed but then pausing to kill Mary and then coming back and wishing Hoyos good night, and death at this time or that time or some other time. Then standing for one hour outside of a locked door and waiting. Then axing in a simple door that could have been kicked open. Or else simply going outside to the over sized ground level windows to get in to discover corpses which Bratfisch failed to see when he strolled through the freezing and dark bedroom at 6:45 AM to check the weather before opening the ground level window climb out to go to the stables to prepare his carriage while telling the lead hunter that Rudolph was already dead while preparing to transport someone to rush to the railroad station to catch an early train well before 7:30 or 8:30 when officially everyone was suppose to discover the mystery of the cold and dark and freezing bedroom. But no. No. Hoyos just stood by that locked door for one hour and stared at it. In short Hoyos was terrified he would die too.
Hoyos agreed to go to Mayerling when everyone else hysterically declined the joy of going. Therefore it was obvious to one and all that something bad was going to happen at Mayerling. Hoyos was a charming piano playing chap. He played the piano as Rudolph struggled with the Budapest fiasco and frantically telegraphed politicians to come to Vienna to salvage the blunder which appeared to prove that Albrecht’s Hungarian Delusion was right after all. Finally Rudolph gave up as the evening darkened and the sinister Coburg departed to Vienna to see Francis Joseph supposedly over a happy family engagement dinner.
Rudolph listened to Hoyos play Chopin and Strauss. The two men waited for midnight. Hoyos later said he never even realized that Mary was there. Rudolph acted as if she was not there. Rudolph had a bad cold and mild hypothermia. He listened to Hoyos play Chopin as both men curiously waited for something to happen. What happened next would haunt Hoyos for the rest of his life.
Bratfisch was a part time entertainer and owner of a string of cabs. He was hired full time as Rudolph’s cabbie extraordinaire. When they went to Mayerling Rudolph would help Bratfisch cook in the kitchen. The staff was often that small and informal. They were friends. Pals. Mayerling was not a rich place. Quite the contrary. If Rudolph work ran late then Bratfisch would go ahead to Mayerling. Then Rudolph would take a commuter train. Bratfisch would meet Rudolph at the station. Mayerling was the suburbs. It was more a working retreat. Bratfisch would enjoy himself. Rudolph would do a little hunting or fishing with two or three male friends and then work in his informal study. Meals were casual. No one dressed formally. It was a chance for everyone to let their hair down and jettison their starch.
Bratfisch later said he helped Rudolph carry his briefcases into the study to work. Lots of briefcases for lots of work.
Rudolph had an article for a magazine which he was struggling with. He ended up writing an apology to Weilen and begging for extra time to finish it. It was the last letter Rudolph ever wrote.
Bratfisch picked up Hoyos at the station. Later he picked up Coburg. But he later told people he never picked up Mary. Mary invited herself to Mayerling waving a forged letter of invitation. Bratfisch’s supposed twenty year later memoirs were faked. He was already dead. Dead men don’t write memoirs. If he had written memoirs then Viennese Secret Police would have killed him. Bratfisch never dared to fully admit what really happened at Mayerling. But he admitted that whatever went down was not what everyone said. ‘It is not what people say’ he said later. ‘It is not what happened…. it wasn’t suicide….’ Secret Police hounded Bratfisch into an early grave along with Rudolph’s valet Loschek.
Both men totally contradicted each other on every single point of their accounts as if deliberately messing up the pre-written script.
Now back to that window. Bratfisch said he woke Rudolph around 6:45 AM while going to one of those oversized ground level bed room windows to check the weather for hunting. And Bratfisch saw nothing wrong despite Mary’s bludgeoning. Then suddenly Bratfisch was in the stable harnessing his horses to transport someone to the train station on a perfectly normal hunting day. Why? A lead hunter came up and complained why nothing was ready for the normal pre dawn hunt. Bratfisch blurted out that Rudolph was dead. 6:45AM. Perhaps close to 7:00 AM.
Loschek claimed that Rudolph did not even get up to knock at Loschek’s door to say he was sleeping in until 6:30 and then heard no shots or anything suspicious until 7:30.
Yet the Wolfes were coming at 4:00 because Rudolph was suppose to be up at 3:00 for a pre dawn hunt (4:00 being his usual time). Wodiczka was also coming. So to heat that freezing room in January Loschek should have been in building a fire by 2:00 or 2:30. Loscheck did absolutely nothing. Why? The dead do not need a fire. And Loschek turned away the Wolfe brothers at 4:00.
And Bratfisch’s actions said he bloody well knew that Rudolph was already dead at 6:45 and his conduct of preparing the carriage and then simply waiting slumped over and ashen proclaimed that he was following a grotesque script while waiting for Coburg to arrive around 7:30 to unveil the corpses around 8:30. So clearly Loschek was lying. And if Roll Commandos had just executed Rudolph then why didn’t Loschek hear anything to scream hysterically and why did Bratfisch just follow that grotesque pantomime? He should have been screaming too. And there are other lies. Implied lies any Victorian with servants or else are servants would pick up immediately .
Now putting aside the fact that Loschek was sleeping in and not doing his job as valet and not going into the freezing and dark bedroom to start a fire and laying out Rudolph’s hunting tog and offering hot coffee and asking if Rudolph if he wanted to hunt at his normal time of predawn which was around 6:30 to 7:00 AM in winter. That meant Loschek should have been in Rudolph’s bedroom around 2:30. At the latest! Ideally around 2:00! Rudolph being a notoriously early raiser and a pre dawn hunt scheduled. Loschek’s job required Loschek to be in that ‘dark’ and therefore unheated and freezing bedroom of his master! Weiner should be up preparing the dogs. The cook should be cooking. Wodiczka is coming. The Wolfe Brothers are coming at 4:00. Rudolph should be up at 3:00 or 4:00 (usual time) or 5:00 at the latest to prepare for a pre dawn hunt of 7:00. Rudolph should not still be in bed by 6:30 or 6:45 if a pre dawn hunt had been scheduled. And Loschek should have been in that ‘dark’ and therefore freezing bedroom by 2:00 to prepare for his boss getting up at 3:00! Or to be told by his boss to formally cancel the predawn hunt. And Loschek wasn’t!(though he told the Wolfes to go away.) And Rudolph wasn’t! And Weiner wasn’t! Why weren’t they getting up?
But lets take Loschek at his word that he was the worst valet in the Victorian Era. Loschek decided to sleep in and not do his job. And he did not panic that his famously early raising boss was not early raising. Loschek did not even panic when his boss was forced to dress himself in a ‘dark’ and therefore fireless room which was therefore freezing to come out into Loschek’s warm room to graciously not bellow why the f@#% Loschek was not doing his job but rather graciously asking Loschek to wake him in one hour. Loschek was not even panicking until 7:30 or 8:30 about Rudolph’s state of health. Ok!
So why did Bratfisch know Rudolph was already dead by 6:45? And why would Bratfisch be waking Rudolph up in his bedroom instead of Loschek? And why wasn’t Loschek doing his job as valet? Why did everyone spontaneously assume the pre dawn hunt was cancelled without asking Rudolph? Rudolph was the son of Francis Joseph who boasted of hunting in all weather with ice freezing to his muttonchops and mustache. Rudolph rose early like his pater and hunted in all weather like his pater and pre dawn hunts literally started at pre dawn. And you don’t just jump out of a cold bed in a cold room and throw on some clothes and rush out at predawn ready to hunt. Why is no one preparing for a pre dawn hunt?
And why is no one hearing suicide shots or Roll Commando shots or screaming or panicking or wondering where Weiner was? Or Max and Otto? Rudolph’s dog? And why was everyone waiting for Coburg to arrive around 7:30 to suddenly spontaneously panic?
Let’s put it a different way. Hoyos and Loschek were terrified souls. Bratfisch was a tough street guy. Everyone knew something terrible happened around midnight (per stable boys). Blood and gore. Windows smashed. Bullets in walls. Severed fingers. The Wolfe Brothers who cleaned up the crime scene said it looked like a battle field. Mary bludgeoned. Rudolph’s brains all over the place. And corpses don’t lock doors do they? The door was unlocked. How could they explain not entering or Loschek not doing his job as valet —-especially as an early hunt was planned and local hunters and also the Wolfe Brothers were coming accordingly?
The Wolfe Brothers were coming to do chores which required Rudolph to be out hunting at his normal pre dawn time. 3:00 or 3:30 is the time of suicide and early morning hunts. Rudolph went to bed supposedly without canceling the pre dawn hunt. So unless Loschek did his job at 3:00 or 3:30, if not 2:00 or 2:30) who would know if Rudolph was alive or dead or suicide or find bludgeoned Mary or cancel the hunt or nurse Rudolph through his head cold and mild hypothermia by at least building the fire and filling the hot water bottles ? Well! Loschek simply could not enter the bedroom!
Coburg was coming. For the suicide theory to work that door had to be locked on the inside. So how to do it? Bratfisch entered the bloody room. He locked the door. He marched to the oversized ground level window and peeked out as if checking the weather. Seeing no one around he opened the widow and just stepped out. He closed the window which no one later bothered to inspect –on purpose. He marched to the stables and prepared his carriage for the pantomime of discovery. He sat dazed. A pissed off local hunter came up to complain why nothing was ready. Dazed, Bratfisch snapped back that Rudolph was already dead.
Count Gondrecourt The Brutal Colonel. The Brutal Colonel was proud of his nickname. His profanity was horrific. He flogged everyone from drummer boys to military priests. His ‘bible’ was a cigar box. Instead of mass he visited his sweetie pie chorus girl. He left at the gate where drums thundered so Francis Joseph would see him leave for early mass and be awed at his goodness. No one doubted his qualifications to be Rudolph’s tutor.
No one inquired when revolvers were shot off at Rudolph’s tiny form as he cowered on his cot at midnight. No one inquired as little Rudolph was drilled by lanterns at predawn in deep snow. No one inquired as he was shoved into hunting reserves full of wild hogs and left to fend for himself without even a stick to protect himself. No one inquired for over a year until Rudolph sustained a total physical and emotional breakdown. In fact little Rudolph was at the point of death.
Latour told Empress Sisi who was off traveling as usual. Apparently neither Sophie or Francis Joseph saw any reason to intervene. So Latour, the tutor of little Gisela, tried Sisi. Sisi just kept traveling. Latour kept warning and warning and warning — and everyone ignored his warnings until Rudolph was at the point of death. So Latour point blank threatened Sisi. If a second child died because of Sisi’s lack of parenting skills she would be implicated in that child’s death. It was emotional blackmail. But it worked. Sisi contacted Francis Joseph. Francis Joseph contacted his mother Sophie. Sophie fired the Brutal Colonel. Latour was appointed instead. But the damage was already done.
Photographs of Rudolph before and after the Brutal Colonel hints of the damage done.
That haunted look of pain and fury and rage is the face of an abused child who never trusts anyone ever again. Childish drawings are seen full of scribbles by red crayons. Scribbles of dead things fill pages with lots of red crayon garnishes of blood everywhere. Towering threatening men threaten that tiny scribble which is Rudolph’s self portrait.
Towering bogeymen with guns judge and condemn as that tiny scribble which is Rudolph struggles to live up to expectations which are impossible to achieve.
That look of rage in photographs is so shocking people later believed gossip that Rudolph was a ‘dangerous boy’ and then a ‘dangerous teenager’ and then a ‘dangerous man’. But who made Rudolph so dangerous? Likewise who caused Rudolph to loose his religious faith and become a hardened agnostic? The Brutal Colonel would haunt Rudolph as if the Bogeyman.
After the Brutal Colonel’s regime Rudolph wetted his bed and feared beds so much he became an insomniac. He rarely could sleep more than four or five hours. Often he could not sleep at all. He suffered from nightmares and night terrors. He developed a fierce temper and deep suspiciousness toward people. He became defensive and wary as if fearing attack. He displayed hypo vigilance. Anxiety depression. Separation anxiety toward the few people he trusted. Nervousness. Nausea. Upset stomach. Early stage of ulcers. Headaches as well as migraines. Asthmatic panic attacks. Fatigue. Excessive self criticism and guilt for failing. Self harm. Sexual disfunction. Over active imagination. Defensive lying. Hypo reaction to stress as over production of the body’s fight or flight chemicals were generated. Crippled social relationships because of his emotional closed defenses and suspiciousness. Obsessive compulsive behaviors. Anxiety depression. And later he could ‘not raise to the occasion’ and copulate unless drunk. He later struggled with addiction. He was pathologically afraid.
His parents labeled it cowardice. Rudolph they said was a coward. They ordered Latour to beat the cowardice out of him. In fact Rudolph’s symptoms were classic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder caused by child abuse . Rudolph probably suffered from anxiety before the Brutal Colonel . He suffered from Anxiety Depression with PTSD and probably also OCD after the Brutal Colonel.
Could that make him suicidal . Sure. But like our modern warriors he used dogs for therapy . He took MC everywhere. He developed coping mechanisms. OCD is a ritual to cope. Cutting is a ritual to cope. Even talking about suicide is a cry for help —– unless of course the person hearing that cry for help is Mary Vetsera. Does having PTSD or OCD or Anxiety Depression guarantee suicide? Not necessarily. One needs to study all of the facts before assuming Mayerling is suicide or something else. After all, it is estimated that one in six people will experience anxiety or depression or PTSD or OCD at some point in their lives. For some it is a dark tunnel toward a dim light of recovery. For others it is a life time struggle. But a struggle most people do struggle with for a lifetime.
Countess Helen Vetsera was a professional amateur whore of the second rank of aristocrats. She was not the caliber to attend court. But she AND her sister could bed Francis Joseph at his Hungarian Retreat. Her sister died of drowning over Francis Joseph. Helen was made of sterner stuff. She got her revenge by bedding Rudolph at the same Hungarian Retreat.
But later her finances unraveled. She needed money badly and fast. She auctioned off Mary to suitors. Not Mary’s virginity. That was long gone. Mary as the trophy bride to a sophisticated man about town who did not care about children. Mary already had gonorrhea. But a fashionable playboy who already had heirs might find the notorious daughter of the ‘notorious’ and ‘unbelievable’ Vetsera appealing. Nymphomaniacs both.
But Mary’s mentally unstable behavior ultimately scared playboys away. The prospect of scoring a rich playboy to pay the Vetsera bills stared to fade. The engagement broke up. No other playboy took the increasingly tattered bait. Not even the jaded Prince of Wales. He declined. So did Rudolph. Helen needed money and fast.
So she started to offer a deal along the lines of ‘I am sure something can be arranged’ and ‘I am sure we can come to an understanding’ to Rudolph and also Francis Joseph. Extortion Blackmail. But Rudolph was famously poor. His income was only four times that of a college professor. He owned no estates or townhouses or jewels and lived in grace and favor of Francis Joseph. Francis Joseph was famously rich if miserly. He was the actual target. What was the scandal ?
Probably that Mary was the bastard of Francis Joseph. That was highly likely. If Helen could peddle a rumor that Mary and Rudolph were lovers a la Byron then that would be incest. Just the rumor would be enough. Rudolph was playing hard to get. In fact he was all but running away from Mary. Not toward her. But all Helen needed to blackmail Francis Joseph was a rumor.
On the night of the Prussian Embassy Ball mother and daughter Vetsera tried to ambush Francis Joseph. Then they tried to ambush Rudolph. But suddenly Helen realized she crossed the social line. She dragged Mary away. But she still needed money. Von Holstein was paying. Helen let Larisch take Mary all over town to supposedly shake secret police while advertising ‘scandal’ before delivering her off with a minion of von Holstein. That minion delivered Mary to the Vienna Train Station to book a train to Badan and on to Mayerling.
Then Helen grandstanded before the police and later Sisi. But how could Helen not realize what was going on? She was covering her tail. Did Helen suspect that von Holstein was going to use Mary as a sex scandal to besmirch Rudolph? Sure. That was a patent modus operandi of Smutty Petri the minion of von Holstein. Did Helen get money? Sure. It delayed her bankruptcy for a few years. Did Helen think Mary would die? Probably not. She was such a skilled adventuress she probably thought Mary would survive and profit from the delicious scandal. Sure. Mary died. But Helen packaged her death and tomb to make money off it. She died ruined in the twenties. But at least she got her revenge on Francis Joseph.
Countess Larisch was a titled bottom feeder. She was just good enough to get into the Hofburg. She was not good enough to marry Rudolph. In punishment for daring to dream she was forced to marry an nonentity. She never forgave Rudolph or the Hofburg for that. She was the type who did the dirty work for the titled betters. Go get this. Go get that. Go get some drugs. Go find the best face lift doctor. Go dump the bastard. Go wash the dirty linen. But Larisch remembered where all of the dirty linen was stored. She learned every dirty secret as she helped conceal the dirty secrets. But she had her own dirty secret. She was a reckless gambler and dangerously in debt.
Larisch suddenly became best friends with Mary. They went everywhere together. Larisch promised Mary she could facilitate meetings with Rudolph. She became her magical contact. Iron rings. . Iron bangles. Nothing real. Nothing genuine. Stuff any servant might dig out of the royal trash can. But Mary was delusional so Larisch fed Mary’s delusions. Larisch finally managed to get Mary into Rudolph’s garret and for ten minutes Larisch and Rudolph shouted at each other in another room as Mary pocketed love tokens from Rudolph’s things while his pet ravens devoured raw meat which Rudolph left for them. Did I mention that Rudolph was a bird lover ? But not especially romantic. Then Rudolph politely asked Larisch to take her ‘sweet girl’ elsewhere to pimp. So ended the first famous romantic meeting .
Mary later begged Rudolph for 10,000 to pay off co-signed loans and gambling debts. Yep! Larisch! Rudolph made the terrible mistake of paying. One quarter of his yearly stipend. So Larisch used Mary to keep dunning for money.
Larisch and Mary were seen at Countess Wimpffen a known creature of von Holstein. Her townhouse was a ‘Nest of Vipers’ and a ‘Nest of Prussians’. Rudolph and Bombelles dropped Wimpffen who was simply a desperate woman trying to shave off bankruptcy who picked the worst friends who became her worst enemies. (She later died of poison two weeks after Mayerling as payment by the Prussians.) But Mary and Larisch kept going to that nest of vipers.
Just before leaving for Mayerling Rudolph apparently gave Larisch what she so wanted: 10,000. And a tin box. Rudolph all but shoved the money into her mouth and threatened her. She was ordered to deliver the mysterious box to a mysterious spy at a midnight time to force her to implicate herself with Viennese Spies and Prussian Spies and everyone’s Spies because she was being watched as the suspect she was. If she did not deliver the box she was told she would die. If she delivered the box she would be appearing to betray her handlers with Rudolph’s Spies. . Either way she was forced to damn herself with her handlers. What was in the box? likely nothing. It was likely just revenge by Rudolph who bloody well knew Larisch was the creature of von Holstein and just wanted to make her squirm. Rudolph told kindred that ‘Marie [Larsich] works my misfortune’.
A witness later saw Larisch pass Mary to Wimpffen who drove her to the train station to take that train to Badan and on to Mayerling. All Mary had was a too tight dress, a vulgar feather boa, a muff in which she probably carried poison and a revolver. No knickers. No luggage. No lady’s maid. That screamed out scandal and also suicide. Larisch was black listed after Mayerling and later drifted to America to die somewhere —- probably badly —- which she deserved.
Empress Sisi was once the most beautiful woman in the world.
But by the time of Mayerling she was as famously crazy as her kindred Ludwig of Bavaria.
After Mayerling she often told people that Rudolph was murdered.
But she did not do anything about the murder just as she did not do anything about Rudolph before the murder. Typhoid. Concussion. The Brutal Colonel. That dreadful Rubber Princess. Arsenic poisoning. Morphine addiction by court doctors. Morphine withdrawal. Self harm. Suicidal cries for help. Another concussion. The gun crisis. A star chamber court martial. Crying at Christmas as he tried to reach out to kiss her.
Her response was to slap him back and rave that spirits were cursing him for threatening to harm her precious Valerie. Her Einzige. Her Only One —- who was not Rudolph.
No. Sisi never found the time to spare for either Gisela or Rudolph. Only her bed pan miracle supposedly sired by Andrassy.
Time and again Sisi never found time for Rudolph. Whenever Rudolph needed help she was not there.
During that last dreadful January Sisi was too busy trying to stall the marriage of her Only One which would lose her the Only One forever.
Sisi stalled for time. Mourning for Ludwig who she did not bother to help. (He was murdered by von Holstein too). Mourning for her father in law who she did not even know. He was a locked away nutter. Mourning her father. But black means no wedding! Stall for time! Just stall for time! Find another royal death to wear black to delay that wedding! Whatever it took! Just delay that wedding! Well! Lucky Sisi! She finally found the best excuse to wear slimming black! Rudolph was murdered.
Sisi wore black for the rest of her life. But it failed to stall the marriage. The wedding of Valerie went on only slightly delayed by Rudolph’s death. But Sisi never could find time to solve the murder of her only son who she could never ever love.
Sisi was the most beautiful woman in the world —- but by the time of Mayerling she was the German version of the ‘Flying Dutchman’ —fleeing around Europe as if the Furies were after her. She was a Wittelsbach. Too late Francis Joseph discovered that over breeding, especially with Wittelsbachs, only leads to disaster. Rudolph had 12 branches on his family tree instead of the normal 16 and most of those branches were Wittelsbach.
Rudolph inherited Sisi’s Wittelsbach genetics. Her nervosa. Her asthma including asthmatic panic attacks. Her morbid fear of fatness. Her over active imagination. Her neurosis. Her aches and pains. But not her beauty. By Mayerling everyone including Rudolph was wondering if he inherited her latent insanity was well.
The remarkable thing everyone ignores today is that Rudolph struggled hard against the Wittelsbach Bane. He fought the panic attacks. He forced himself to work up to dozens of engagements each week when in Vienna. The same amount of work as his workaholic father. He forced himself to travel all over the empire as the Peoples’ Prince. He forced himself to work at a demanding job. He did everything he could to make his father and mother love him. But they never could. Why couldn’t Sisi?
Rudolph was probably the symbol of her fairy tale marriage turned into a hellish nightmare. She was frigid and Francis Joseph could only consummate the marriage and then procreate by raping Sisi. So every child by Francis Joseph was a symbol of rape. And Francis Joseph gave her gonorrhea. Shortly after birthing Rudolph Sisi experienced a total mental and physical breakdown. She took ten years to birth Valerie. Gonorrhea produces sterility. Ten years between procreations is a sure sign that something is wrong.
Sisi famously declared that she could only love Valerie . Her Only One. Rumors said the miracle child was sired by Andrassy. But Sisi was pathologically disgusted by pregnancy and child birth and suffered post birth murderous depression. Accent on murderous. she once tried to murder Gisela’s beautiful children who made Sisi an aging grandmother. Sisi deliberately went to a contagion ward at a hospital and then marched straight into that nursery. Fortunately Gisele knew her mother and stopped her before she could infect her babies. But there was a reason why Sophie was afraid of leaving Sisi alone with little Gisela and Rudolph.
But magically Sisis never suffered from any of that with her magical miracle child. Valerie who was birthed in Budapest where Spanish Etiquette was loose enough to wink on a miracle child who was female and therefore dynastically unimportant. Valerie the bed pan miracle child kept Sisi sane at least for a while when Andrassy and Francis Joseph was selling the Duel Monarchy which only Sisi could sell for them.
But even after the Dragon of the Nursery, Sophie, was vanquished, Sisi could not endure Gisela or Rudolph. Ever. By Mayerling she was cursing Rudolph. Claiming that black spirits were damning him. Accusing Rudolph of fiendish plots to murder the Precious Only One. Murder the fiancée of the Only One. The latter accusation was probably projection. Sisi wanted to murder the fiancée of the Only One for daring to take the Only One away from her! Rudolph faced his final days with his increasingly mad mother’s curses in his ears. It was a sad way to exit life.
Emperor Francis Joseph was the unloved tyrant of an unraveling empire. He betrayed everyone to keep power. His father. His mother. His brother. His son. Franz Ferdinand. Every prime minster. One was even driven to suicide. He only spared Sisi. During 1848 he signed more death warrants than the Czar. Hungary never forgave him.
Andrassy only endued the Duel Monarchy because after the Austro Prussian War the cunning Hungarian Magyar realized that only Francis Joseph stood between Hungary and Bismarck. But Andrassy also realized that Francis Joseph was now pathologically terrified of Bismarck who brought Vienna to its collective knees. Andrassy realized that Bismarck did not need to conquer the unraveling Habsburg Empire. He now had Francis Joseph cowering as his own lackey emperor. Whenever Bismarck snapped his fingers Francis Joseph asked ‘How high do you want me to jump?’ Bismarck magnanimously allowed Francis Joseph to keep his throne and his palace and his Vienna —– to rule for Bismarck. Austro Hungary was now a client state lackey. Nothing more. But Hungary by itself could not withstand Bismarck. So Andrassy held his nose as he sold the Duel Monarchy. Everyone in Hungary held their collective noses. Only the sight of the beautiful Sisi made the odious spectacle endurable.
The aging Francis Joseph clung to power by his fingertips. After Mayerling he told the Pope that the very survival of the Habsburg Monarchy was at stake. That the truth was too terrible to be spoken of. He ordered every royal to repeat the official spiel. But the Pope only allowed burial in the hallowed Habsburg Church after Francis Joseph delivered a second much longer telegram memorandum clarifying the real truth.
The real truth was not suicide or double suicide or love or romance or madness of contagious insanity or syphilis or gonorrhea or drugs or anything else the officials were claiming sans forensic evidence or a proper autopsy. What was more horrible than that? What threatened the very survival of the monarchy? The nation? Whatever the real truth was then and only then did the Pope agree.
Francis Joseph later told his final heir apparent during the dreadful world war that evidence existed to exonerate Rudolph. Meanwhile , because his son was executed in a military hit Francis Joseph was stuck with his son’s replacement: Willy.
But on the death of the old tyrant the heir unlocked the drawer only to find faded old newspapers. Francis Joseph lied to the end. He even ordered Taafe to lock away all evidence in a metal box and never let anyone ever see it. What could possibly be worst than accusing his own dead son of having syphilis (lie) gonorrhea (truth) madness (lie) cowardice (PTSD sorta true) being in love with an unsuitable woman (MC so true ) being in love with Mary (not true) committing suicide (lie) dying at 7:30 AM after cowering in shaking cowardice by Mary’s corpse for 13 hours (lie)? What could be worse that all of that?
The famous Mayerling convent features an oath each nun must take to pray for a suffering soul in torment and for a man who WAS KILLED. Not suicide which no Catholic nun could pray for and no holy place could brook. No. For a man who was killed. Rudolph. For a soul in torment. Francis Joseph.
Francis Joseph covered up murder. Even his wife Sisi said it was murder. Queen Victoria and Wales said it was murder. Nando the titled best friend of Francis Joseph said it was murder. Gisela said the entire skull of her brother was shattered. His entire right temple was shattered. Now go watch a Poirot TV show and then come back and continue reading this blog.
Other Habsburgs said they felt Rudolph’s hands and felt cotton stuffed into gloves to replace severed fingers from defensive wounds. One said Rudolph’s right wrist was all but severed. Champagne green glass was embedded in the skull. The entire top of his skull was blown back like the lid of a tin can spilling out its contents. Others saw a second bullet wound to lower down and behind the skull at the base of the skull. The Wolfe Brothers who cleaned up the crime scene described it like a battlefield.
Why did Rudolph resist his father for months and then mutely go to Mayerling as Roll Commandos and Prussian ‘hunters’ surrounded the place? Why did Rudolph work up to the last as if not expecting to commit suicide? Yet he also told people he would die prematurely and would be assassinated. Why, after saying for months he would not go like Benedek, why did he mutely go like Benedek?
Why did Rudolph kiss his father’s hand at the Prussian Embassy Ball as Willy smirked? Because Francis Joseph promised Rudolph a quid pro quo. If Rudolph did the right thing as an officer and gentleman then Francis Joseph would declare Rudolph’s death to be a heart attack. That was the official spiel handed out as Mayerling was announced. Of course the blood and gore and Mary quickly made that impossible to be believed But Francis Joseph promised Rudolph if he died quietly his reputation and honor as an officer and gentleman and archduke and crown prince would be saved. It wasn’t .
Rudolph died horribly while knowing he was the victim of a nasty von Holstein/Smutty Petri smear assassination designed to look like a sordid suicide from a sex scandal. Mary was there to garnish the sex scandal to explain the sordid suicide. Francis Joseph knew that Rudolph did not just die horribly, he died believing that his own father Francis Joseph not only signed the death warrant but lied to Rudolph about saving his reputation and honor. Francis Joseph is the soul in torment for which prayers are made every day at Mayerling Convent.
Bismarck boasted that he enjoyed the famous good luck to see every man who opposed him die at exactly the right time. Rudolph died at exactly the right time. Bismarck secretly trained to see Rudolph in November. A secret train. A dead of night meeting. Unannounced. Surprise! Bismarck in his withdrawing room! The Great Bismarck before which Kings and Kaisers and Emperors cowered and mere politicians quaked! Bismarck came to Rudolph.
What did they discuss?. No one really knows. But the gun crisis was past critical .
Rudolph was about to face a star chamber court martial. Bismarck’s hatchet men were waging a savage newspaper war with Rudolph. Von Holstein and Smutty Petri were hatching their patented sex scandal assassination. War was on everyone’s mind. What could Bismarck possibly want from Rudolph?
Rudolph knew a secret. No. Not the gun crisis secret. By now stupid Willy was realizing that Spandau and Bismarck were lying to him about the glorious Commission Repeater Rifle and Nitro Bullet. By now War was receding because the War was Bismarck’s creation and now Bismarck knew he could not wage the war and win. And Bismarck simply could not ask his ally Francis Joseph to ask Mannlicher and Steyr to graciously mass produce the best gun and bullet to win that war for Bismarck. Junker arrogance is deep and Prussian Contempt for inferiors is deeper still. Bismarck would rather cancel the war than endure the shame of begging a man he despised to save his hairy arse.
No. Bismarck came because Rudolph knew another secret.
The Darling Circle Gay Scandal. Willy’s secret orgies with their delicious mix of poodle costumes with rectal openings to allow buggering by gay men in ballet tutu and feather boa hats doing the buggering. Garnished with flogging a la ‘Venus In Furs’ which today would be called ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’. All while Willy watched as the royal voyeur. That sort of gay scandal. Rudolph knew the Jewish newspaper reporter who was about to break the scandal. Bismarck came to demand that Rudolph hand over the Gay Scandal.
To protect his Kaiser? No. Bismarck wanted to blackmail his Kaiser. Bismarck need to blackmail Willy to keep his job. Blackmail was the only way. Few would believe a Jewish reporter but if Bismarck had the goods then well! Willy would be over a barrel with Bismarck doing the flogging! And Bismarck knew it. And Rudolph knew it.
For whatever reason the two men failed to cut a deal. Bismarck stormed out in rage and trained away on his private train back to Berlin. Rudolph watched the star chamber court martial from a distance. Of course he was not invited. He only got the signed death warrant with his own father’s signature on it. In January of 1889 Rudolph died horribly. Von Holstein planned that. But the botch up micro managing of the details clearly prove that Willy went to Vienna to enjoy his birthday gift: Rudolph’s death especially garnished with sordid scandal. Why? Because Willy also knew that Rudolph knew about the Gay Scandal.
The Gay Scandal was spawn by the Gun Crisis. The Jewish reporter was trying to protect the Jewish manufacturer of Mauser who was being accused of causing the ‘Jew Musket’ ie the Commission Rifle to blow up. Another scapegoat. Bismarck could not get enough scapegoats for the Gun Crisis. So The Gun Crisis spawn the Unveiling of the Gay Scandal. Willy barely survived to gloat. But Willy fired Bismarck later that year with much relish.
The proposed war kept being delayed and delayed. It finally happened in 1914. Willy was finally War Lord at last! And Europe and the world bled because of it! The First World War spawn the Second World War which spawn Korea which spawn Viet Nam which spawn the Near East Wars which spawn 9/11 which spawn Isis. The world is still bleeding. Perhaps it always will.