The Crime of the Fin de Siecle has became the Conspiracy to cover up the Crime of the Fin de Siecle. How else can you explain the decision of Francis Joseph to order Prime Minister Taaffe to lock away 99% of all of the evidence gathered up at the crime scene including all evidence of poison, mystery gun, smash furniture, shattered glass, severed body parts, bloody bed covers, blood clothes, evidence of the death of a servant called Max and the stable master Weiner, evidence of Rudolph’s dead dog, evidence of the murder of the cook who fled with monies and wallets and household accounts among other things, evidence of murder of Countess Wimpffen who was seen delivering Mary to the train station to head off toward the crime scene waving a forged invitation while clutching something very suspiciously (but not carrying luggage or over night bag or lady’s maid or even knickers), evidence of five sinister Prussian ‘hunter’s loitering at the front gates of the crime scene, forensics, ballistics, photographs, autopsy evidence, ‘suicide’ notes, letters, transcripts, all files predating and post dating Mayerling, all files that supposedly proved Rudolph asked people to commit suicide with him which surely police should have kept to prove that Rudolph was suicidal even if they mysteriously choose to decline to act on such supposed reports, all files related to the order for Roll Commandos to do ‘maneuvers’ around Mayerling, all files related to rumors of Hungarian conspiracies which Albrecht claimed proved that Rudolph was a traitor, and all papers found in the home of Bombelles after he died mysteriously (gathered up before his corpse was even cold)? And why did Latour frantically order his son to destroy all evidence secreted away at his desk which linked him to Rudolph before he ended up like Bombelles? And why has all of the evidence been locked away in Taaffe’s infamous metal box under orders to never ever be revealed? If this is such an open and shut case then why lock away 99% of all evidence FROM THE VERY BEGINNING? FOREVER?
Why did Francis order all ‘suicide notes’, letters, and correspondence from Rudolph, every scape of paper, immediately seized? Including the letter to Sisi which was all but ripped right out of her hand and never returned? Francis Joseph even ordered Rudolph’s executor to hand over EVERYTHING to Francis Joseph who then decided who would or would not get what and what else would be locked away in you guess it: Taaffe’s metal box.
And why have all of the purported ‘suicide notes’ likewise been seized and locked away FROM THE VERY BEGINNING , resulting in only ‘official summaries’ and ‘quotes’ taken out of context from notes never ever shown in their entirety whatsoever except for one ‘suicide’ note, the undated Stephanie Letter?
And why is the undated Stephanie Letter considered suicide when it has been proven to have been written almost two years prior to Mayerling. The undated Stephanie Letter was written along with other letters and a new will after Rudolph received death threats while preparing for a dangerous Balkans Trip. This required the micro managing Rudolph to leave a fresh will and goodbye letters just in case he was killed in the Balkans. But when is paperwork drawn up in response for a dangerous trip to the Balkans under death threats considered suicidal? Almost two years planning a suicide? Really? Really? Are you really going to buy that?
When is gossip, rumor, and hearsay considered to be evidence? Because other than the undated Stephanie letter (confirmed to have been written almost two years previously) that is all that every single bio of Mayerling has used. Gossip. Rumor. And hearsay. Because no one from Mayerling to today has actually seen any evidence other than the photographs of the Stephanie Letter and a single photograph of dead Rudolph in his bed at the Hofburg and a drawing from a photograph of Rudolph’s corpse prepared for public viewing on a very high pedestal to prevent a good Victorian viewing. Are you really going to say that is sufficient evidence to prove suicide?
When evidence exists to prove that forgeries from Berlin were circulating in Rudolph’s old style of handwriting (which had recently changed due to either an hand injury or else carpal tunnel pain) why refuse FROM THE VERY BEGINNING to release the ‘suicide’ notes in their entirety at least in photographic form for authentication and for handwriting confirmation and to refute rumors of forgeries? Why seize everything and lock it away from the very beginning? Why prevent even Rudolph’s first biographer who was also the official Hofburg archivist to actually see any of the supposed suicide notes other than the undated photograph of the Stephanie letter? If the suicide notes are genuine then why have authorities FROM THE VERY BEGINNING refused to allow analysis, authentication, review, and now modern testing?
And why were many of the witnesses at Mayerling never interviewed? And why were other witnesses ignored entirely? And why do the testimonies of the only three witnesses interviewed, Loschek the Valet, Bratfisch the cabbie extraordinaire and friend of Rudolph, and Count Hoyos, CONTRADICT EACH OTHER AND CONTRADICT THE EVIDENCE? Why was Hoyos’ incoherent testimony finally written out for him by Taaffe’s helpful minions? And why were these witnesses then put under perpetual police observation for the rest of their lives?
And why were the court doctors assigned to do the autopsy at midnight in the depths of the Hofburg without witnesses? And despite not be trained in autopsy? And why was all of the autopsy evidence locked away? Why did the doctors refuse to do required autopsy tests on Rudolph and Mary as normally required such as a proper rigor mortis test, livor motis test, stomach contents test, and tests for poison (despite Hoyos originally gibbering about poison)? No proper autopsy tests were done on Rudolph at all. Mary’s ‘test’ was a casual eye-balling as one doctor shoved a popped out and dangling eyeball back into her eye socket (typical of bludgeoning wounds). The good doctors appeared so ignorant they gibbered sinisterly of sinister blotches on Mary’s au natural corpse which were standard livor mortis darkening of the skin where blood naturally settles. Livor mortis is as crucial to test for as rigor mortis. How could the good doctors not even identify livor mortis?
The good doctors did not even do a proper test for syphilis despite the fact the good doctors then said Rudolph was dying of syphilis and was all but paralyzed by syphilis and was syphilis insane. Never mind that the the court pharmacy ledger proved that Dr. Widerhofer only treated Rudolph once for gonorrhea which is an entirely different sort of STD! The outrageous statement made despite not testing for syphilis during the autopsy would imply that Dr. Widerhofer deliberately withheld medical treatment on his royal patent and deliberately decided to not treat Rudolph for a terrible disease which would not only be a complete breach of medical ethics but would be surely criminal and even treason! And guess what! Francis Joseph was so awed by Dr. Widerhofer’s total breach of medical ethics in refusing to treat his only son for a terrible disease which turned Rudolph into a homicidal maniac that he promoted the good doctor to become his own personal doctor. Are you really going to buy this?
PS: Dr. Widerhofer was originally going to sign off a ‘heart attack’ before he actually saw Rudolph’s mangled corpse. And this is the same good doctor who over medicated Rudolph’s asthma, migraines, and insomnia with morphine. (Howbeit the court pharmacy ledger also proves that the doctor and Rudolph developed a weaning treatment which must have been ghastly). Does any of this sound slightly rotten to you? Why are you still choosing to take the good doctor at his word?
Why is the autopsy by these good doctors taken at face value despite the fact the doctors were not autopsy experts? Why are the good doctors taken at their word when they refused to do required autopsy tests? Why are the good doctors taken at their word when they did not test Rudolph’s right or left hand and cuff and sleeve for gunpowder residue to confirm if he fired the gun in question or indeed any gun? And why are the good doctors taken at their word when Dr. Widerhofer was seen by Grand Duke ‘Nando’ the childhood friend of Francis Joseph picking green glass out of Rudolph’s skull from a bludgeoning wound along with other wounds?
[This last skull is an example of blunt force trauma. Note the corning is different from the other skull which displays corning typical of bullet exit wounds. Also notice the extensive spidery hairline fractures. Mary’s disintegrating skull indicates blunt force trauma.]
Why are the good doctors taken at their word when they identified a large right temple wound which totally shattered the right temple as an ‘entry wound’ while describing a left temple which was all but completely intact an ‘exit wound? Now go watch CSI and come back and tell me the good doctors should be taken at their word.
Why are the good doctors taken at their word when they call the killing wound which exploded out of the frontal crown (slightly to the left) of the skull which blew back his scalp as if the lid of a tin can while entirely shattering the top of his skull while hurling out the contents of the skull as if a can of beans exploding upward and outward (ie vertically instead of horizontally) as the magical byproduct of a magic bullet magically changing direction by magically ricocheting through soft brains the consistency of firm tofu courtesy of mysterious gasses which don’t occur in non royal brains while completely denying directional bullet velocity confirmed by ballistics science?
Why are the good doctors taken at their word that a magic bullet aimlessly circumnavigated around soft brains the consistency of firm tofu while changing directional velocity 80% from horizontal to vertical to create a killing wound that looks exactly like a lethal exit wound which could only be caused by a bullet shot from behind and below at the base of the skull (slightly left behind the right ear)? Why are the good doctors taken at their word that there was no need to search the back and base of the skull to account for an upward and forward exit wound which hurled the contents of the brain upward and forward and outward with horrific directional velocity and momentum which no horizontal temple wound could create?
Why are the good doctors taken at their wound that their magic bullet caused two gigantic exit wounds in two different directions in two different locations of the skull?
Likewise the good doctors lied (as proven by two 1950s forensic experts) that Mary was shot by Rudolph through her left temple when she was actually bludgeoned. And while her supposed left to right bullet wound proved Rudolph murdered her, Rudolph’s left to right wound proves Rudolph committed suicide (unless you really do believe a shattered right temple is an entry wound). Likewise the good doctors insisted neither Mary or Rudolph were bludgeoned by a champagne bottle despite the fact it is now proven that Mary was bludgeoned and Grand Duke ‘Nando’ saw Dr. Widerhofer picking out green glass typical of a champagne bottle out of Rudolph’s bludgeoned skull.
PS: if Mary had been shot by a pistol on top of the crown of her skull the 1950s forensic experts including Dr Hollaender and Dr. Judtmann and Dr. Holler would have found a small and tightly drilled entry wound hole corned inward and a raddling bullet in the bones. Instead the evidence indicated bludgeoning impact, coning by bludgeoning, and endless hairline fractures from bludgeoning causing the skull to disintegrate from the top (slightly to the right) downward over time which is what they found instead of a classic bullet wound.
The slightly to the right crown damage is logical because Mary was found au natural on the right side of the made bed so the man with the champagne bottle would swing that bottle naturally on her TOP RIGHT skull. If shot that bullet would have been absorbed and lodged into her corpse but by the 1950s should have been raddling in those bones! But our good doctors chose to ignore all of this! Should you?
Likewise the good doctors said Mary was murdered 13 hours before Rudolph who then cowered cravenly by her au natural corpse despite the fact the math is impossible per the testimony of Hoyos, Bratfisch, Loschek and directly contradicts the supposed wee hours of suicide depths of night birdy call suicide party suicide notes of Mary. Try midnight? Golly! Didn’t those stable boys say something about something strange going down around midnight? But our good doctors decided to ignore that too!
Likewise the good doctors did not factor in the temperature of the freezing room which Loschek and Bratfisch resolutely refused to offer to heat or light for their poor freezing master suffering from a bad cold and mild hypothermia (from sweating in heavy furs while helping Bratfisch haul the carriage out of a ditch which then refroze to his body). This total dereliction of duty to warm up a freezing room in freezing January so Rudolph would not freeze while getting out of bed is despite their job description and every Victorian definition of servitude. But it does confirm the Wolfe Brother testimony that besides looking like a battle scene there were smashed windows. Smashed windows in cold snowy January along with the total absence of fire or lights would made that ‘dark’ room absolutely freezing. That would speed up rigor mortis to a more probable killing time of midnight. Their total dereliction of servitude duties also indirectly proves that Bratfisch and Loschek already knew Rudolph was dead if they resolutely refused to warm up the ‘dark’ and therefore freezing room.
Likewise the good doctors declined to factor the rigor mortis of Mary occurring faster in that freezing room because she chose to die on top of a made bed au natural while Rudolph chose to die fully dressed including some sort of dressing gown or dressing jacket apparently from the night before.
Likewise the good doctors chose to ignore the Wolfe testimony of blood and bullets all over the place and did not inquire about the possibility that the body was moved and slumped over the left side of the bed to fake suicide. The good doctors chose to ignore whispered testimony from Habsburg Royals that Rudolph sustained horrible defense wounds including severed fingers and a partly severed wrist and a crushed skull and totally shattered right temple. The good doctors chose to not inquire about blood spatter on the bed to determine if the minimal horizontal blood and bone spatter rightward was created if the head was raised up or else slumped into the bed covers. The good doctors chose to not study the bullet barrel tattoo or gunpowder tattoo or bone coning IN and OUT which indicates directional velocity. The good doctors chose to ignore the color of the ‘entry’ wound. Was it burnt? Singed? Reddish? Greyish? Yellowish? The latter indicates wounds post death which counterfeit suicide.
The good doctors chose to not inquire why the vast bulk of the carnage was out of the top front (slightly to the left) of the skull as if a tin can exploded and vomited out its contents. If the so-called temple shot killed Rudolph then the vast bulk of the carnage should be horizontal and not upward and outward and therefore vertical. And no magic bullet can change direction 80% while forming two exit wounds.
The good doctors likewise were amazed by a ‘cocked finger’ proving suicide which required stuffed gloves and an Imperial Vebotem for any Habsburg Royal to touch the hands of Rudolph. It might ‘upset’ them. But the good doctors were totally incapable of using a common rigor mortis morgue breaker to simply break the finger straight. And anyway rigor mortis passes (but not missing fingers requiring cotton to be stuffed into gloves and an all but severed wrist). So why after rigor mortis passed and post autopsy when the corpse was dressed for mourning were the grieving Habsburg Royals STILL ORDERED to not touch or kiss or fondle the gloved hands and indeed not touch the corpse at all? This is so unlike Victorian mourning which would be considered morbid by today’s standards. And orders were given for Rudolph’s corpse to be dressed in the correct general’s uniform and for gloves to cover the untouchable corpse’s hands at all times.
Habsburg Royals were ordered not to touch Rudolph’s corpse for their mourning (not typical Victorian hands- on mourning behavior ) and the reconstructed corpse was placed on a towering pedestal covered by flowers so no one could even get a good look at the corpse (likewise not typical Victorian hands- on and in-your-face mourning behavior).
Nowadays we don’t touch and kiss corpses. But the Official Verboten which Francis Joseph ordered was completely abnormal by Victorian mores. And it is down right bizarre that Francis Joseph said he could not attend the corpse at the murder scene or even when the corpse was hauled back to the Hofburg under cover of darkness to Rudolph’s bedroom until Rudolph was formally dressed in his precise General’s uniform and gloves. Why?
For almost four months Francis Joseph had been demanding Rudolph’s resignation in disgrace as Inspector General of Infantry. Several important persons recorded that father and son had loud altercations in the Inner Sanctum over Rudolph’s point blank refusal to resign which Francis Joseph and Albrecht considered insubordination if not mutiny or even treason as well as endangering the Imperial Army and Prussian Austrian Alliance and defying the ultimatums of Bismarck and Willy. Then Francis Joseph ordered the Habsburg Royals to lie about the truth.
Nor were the good doctors concerned that the hand was found slumped with no other fingers curved (which if holding a gun they should be) and the civilian hand gun in question was found tossed on the side table and was not found by the hand. Likewise the good doctors did not bother to find the killer bullet or proved by any ballistics that the civilian gun killed Rudolph or why Rudolph would use some stranger’s civilian gun instead of one of his own prized military guns.
Likewise the good doctors declined to use any of the modern forensic and ballistic tests which since the Jack The Ripper Crimes of the previous year had revolutionized police investigation and forensics.
Yet the good doctors declined to use police at all. They used Coburg (of the famous 24 hour missing alibi whom his own wife accused of being capable of royal murder) and also von Slatin who was a court minion with other court minions who were documented operating out of the billiards room —where they were seen playing billiards . The good doctors declined to use local police who were ordered away from the crime scene. In fact, other than one policeman who aided in the removal of Mary’s corpse, the good doctors chose not to use any experienced police or ballistic or forensic or autopsy experts at all. Does this sound right to you?
Then 99% of all of the evidence was ordered locked away forever and Taaffe even ordered the ‘investigation’ stopped two hours before it started.
So what do you think? Putting aside for the moment the Why and Wherefore, does this sound like an open and shut case for cowardly/ syphilis madness/suicide or —–for conspiracy to cover up a military hit ordered from the very top? Francis Joseph ordering the cover up of the assassination or military hit or else murder of his own son?
‘Anything is better than the truth…..The truth is even more serious than anything than anyone has ever said….I couldn’t do otherwise. The Monarchy’s existence was in danger…’ Francis Joseph explanation to Archduke Karl his last heir. But Francis Joseph told Karl that evidence existed to ‘exonerate’ Rudolph. But after the death of Francis Joseph all Karl and Zita found in the drawer were dusty old newspaper clippings. And they had no authority to order Taaffe’s heirs in Ireland to open the metal box. No one has authority to open that metal box and reveal its contents —– EVER.
Karl died declaring that he believed that Rudolph was innocent of all charges and was a victim of foul play
Galimberti confirmed the presence of multiple bullet wounds and defensive wounds and also that the ‘suicide’ wound went from left to right as well as the bludgeoning of Mary Vetsera and the presence of a mysterious gun found tossed on a side table with all chambers ‘previously discharged’ at Mayerling. Most bios of Rudolph cavalierly ignore Galimberti. Why? Papal Nuncio Galimberti confirmed he both visited the crime scene which no one else bothered to do and he also talked with Grand Duke ‘Nando’ Ferdinand IV of Tuscany who told him he saw Dr. Widerhofer pick out pieces of green glass (as if a champagne bottle) from the skull of Rudolph among other injuries. Nando was famous for being ‘incapable of lying’ and absolutely refused to recant. Why is Galimberti cavalierly ignored —- especially as the 1950s forensic experts have confirmed Galimberti’s claim that Mary was bludgeoned and not shot? Why believe the good doctors who have been proven liars and ignore Galimberti whose testimony has been confirmed by modern forensic experts in the 1950s?. And von Angeli, a famous artist in Vienna (who like all Victorian artists trained in morgue dissections), confirmed Galimberti’s claim that the bullet went from left to right creating a large shattered right temple wound. And exit wound. Von Angeli said so. Galimberti also had access to other information as well.
Galimberti and Count Esterhazy the Ambassador to the Vatican co-wrote the second longer telegraphic memorandum signed off by Francis Joseph which Esterhazy confirmed was delivered to the Pope confirming that Mayerling was an affair of state and not an affair of the heart and that Rudolph was killed. This persuaded the Pope to agree to Catholic rites as well as Francis Joseph’s founding of the Nunnery of Mayerling where the nuns have an oath to pray for a soul and for a man who was KILLED. This second memorandum succeeded where the first memorandum failed. The first memorandum claimed Rudolph murdered while insane by syphilis. The second memorandum claimed Rudolph was killed. Are you still willing to ignore Galimberti now?
Bratfisch saw only one letter in the Mayerling outbox before Coburg arrived. This letter is from Rudolph to an academic editor called Weilen begging (Freudian?) begging for more time to finish an academic article on Godollo for which he asked his secretary to deliver more research books to Mayerling. The secretary, Fritsche, was walking to Mayerling with the research books under his arm when Dr. Widerhofer’s carriage raced by toward Mayerling. It is confirmed that Widerhofer gave a secretary to Rudolph (later identified as Count Fitsche) a lift. Isn’t it odd that Rudolph was so frantic about finishing that article if he was suppose to be so eager to die…. And Rudolph spend the last morning in Vienna working on military meetings and calendaring more meetings and Rudolph later calendared a new meeting in Vienna to confront that poor Hungarian politician who bungled that military defense bill. Why? Why would a suicide calendar fresh meetings even on the last day of his death?
The secretary said locals told him Roll Commandos shot Rudolph through one of the unsecured ground level windows. It was suggested that Rudolph died while praying by the left side of the bed which might certainly explain the bullet through the lower back and base of the skull and the fact no gun was found by the hands. Fritsche would not hear about the suspicious left to right ‘suicide’ wound and the shattered right temple until he arrived back at Vienna.
But to this day Myth of Mayerling bios insist there is absolutely no connection to the presence of Roll Commandos encircling Mayerling and sightings of five Prussians in obviously fake hunting togs loitering around the front gates of Mayerling around 6:30 toward 7:00 AM on the 30th as if waiting for someone to arrive? Like for instance Corburg arriving around 7:30 AM? Just chance?
Coburg never did offer to explain where he was during his famous 24 hours missing alibi. Facts indicate he returned to Vienna and his townhouse where he was sighted dressing up formally to attend that famously early sentimental family dinner at the Hofburg. After that early dinner he could very naturally chat with Francis Joseph to see if he perhaps changed his mind about something. Then Coburg vanished.
Logic indicates that Corburg vanished back to Mayerling which could be reached by any number of 1/2 hour commuter trains. That would logically place Corburg back at Mayerling around midnight when stable boys said later that suddenly a quiet Mayerling erupted into lights and shouts and popping sounds during which the gamekeeper Weiner mysteriously died along with one of two local servants called Max (with his brother Otto fleeing in terror). And oh yes! Rudolph’s dog died too. Myth of Mayerling Romantics always ignore that!
Albrecht later told minions who later told Judith Listowel that two Roll Commandos of the ten assigned to assassinate Rudolph entered the inner parameters of Mayerling at the assigned time. Per the ‘Secrets Of The Hohenzollerns’ Graves said the actual hit team was five. So beside two Roll Commando Assassins there was reputed to be a Lieutenant Vetsera and per the double agent Koinoff which Fritsche contacted there was an insider :a greedy part time cook who arranged to get herself invited to Mayerling despite the fact normal Mayerling behavior featured Bratfisch and Rudolph cooking for the small handful of informal guests. So who was the fifth? Coburg.
Now every Myth of Mayerling Romantic gushes on and on about that red rose found in dead Mary’s hand along with a tiny hankie. So Hollywood! Well! Maybe a Hollywood snuff/porn movie because Mary choose to die bludgeoned au natural! Anyway! That red rose is actually a pesky fact which Myth of Mayerling Romantics fail to grasp!
Mayerling facts indicate it was considered a rather small and somewhat shabby hunting lodge converted from a farm estate when compared to other lavish archduke and princely estates. Rudolph’s 45,000 a year stipend and 800 a month military pay was not much. Mayerling facts indicate Rudolph only invited between two and five male pals and usually helped Bratfisch cook the humble feasts of the hunt for his pals. Facts indicate that Stephanie only came one to force Rudolph to build that Stephanie Suite. Then facts indicate that the only females ever invited to Mayerling were Rudolph’s child Erzsi and a part time greedy cook who came occasionally. Facts indicate that Mayerling did not have central heating or modern bathrooms or any luxuries other than a billiard room. Facts indicate that Mayerling in winter would be cold unless the fire places were kept stoked and hot water bottles were kept boiled. The staff were Weiner and his stable boys, Max and Otto, and any valets who came with their gentlemen.
And the only shocking thing about Mayerling was its shocking informality. Men just stayed dressed in their informal hunting couture and in winter smoking or lounging jackets to minimize the cold. Such couture of course did not feature flowers in lapels which would be considered a garnish violation of complex couture etiquette. And Rudolph was infamous for his shocking informality at Mayerling. It was guys camping. And PS: there was no hot house. Why is this last tit bit important? Be patient Mon Ami!
In Victorian Times winter limited the options for food and drink and flowers and luxuries we take for granted today. Be patient Mon Ami! Hot Houses were the only Victorian access to out of season luxuries like —- flowers. Are you getting my drift yet? Be patent Mon Ami as Poirot says!
Victorian formal couture for evenings (except for shockingly casual Mayerling) featured strict rules. The Hofburg Habsburgs dressed per Spanish Etiquette in elaborate couture based around the famous Hofburg white tunic. But only Habsburgs could wear that. No lapel. Therefore no lapel flower.
Women in winter wore elaborate couture and jewels. Corsages were a later fashion when modern hothouses and transportation made flowers out of season more accessible. A suddenly luxury made available year round by modern technology allowed the corsage to became the new affordable luxury. So in winter a Victorian female wore jewels. Not flowers. Dried flowers might adore hats but not formal couture.
Military men wore some twenty tunics and some five of these were formal for evening wear depending on the circumstances be it a mess club or military event or civilian event. No lapels. No flowers in lapels.
But rules to wear military were strict. A chocolate soldier who was only an honorary officer was limited when he could flaunt his fake uniform and faker metals. So most of the time a civilian wore civilian clothes per strict social rules and stricter Hofburg rules like for instance formal weddings and formal evening wear. Please note what Coburg is wearing to marry his soon to be black and blue wife. A genuine military officer –even retired — would have worn his genuine uniform. Note the lapels.
We know that Coburg dressed for a formal if early dinner at the Hofburg and then vanished. If Coburg vanished to Mayerling then he arrived still wearing his formal couture: white tie and tails. In winter the only couture that required expensive out of season flowers to adore the button hole of the lapel was white tie and tails. It was absolutely required. Are you getting my drift now Mon Ami?
So for Mary to flaunt a red rose on her au natural death bed she would have to flaunt and expensive hot house rose. Mayerling had no hot house. She was not recorded bring any roses with her beside her gun and poison and forged invitation. And her family was almost bankrupt. A hot house rose in winter in the Victorian Age was an expensive item to boast of. And how could Mary arrive with it? That muff was barely big enough to carry her gun and poison and her skin tight couture naturally had no pockets. She brought no luggage or lady’s maid. Not even knickers. Much less a rose. And a rose would have been crushed and wilted ever so quickly.
So who was the one person who would have been wearing an expensive hothouse flower at midnight? Beside au natural Mary or Roll Commando Assassins of course! Well? Are you getting my drift now Mon Ami?
Coburg minced over the blood and gore in his too tight evening shoes and cynically plucked out his expensive hothouse rose bud out of the lapel of his formal white tie and tails and then sardonically tucked it into the dead hand of Mary. And that cynical gesture of a known sadist also proved that he was at the Mayerling Crime Scene when Mary was bludgeoned in all of her au natural. So what do you think Mon Ami? Use your little grey cells!
‘It is sovereignly important that the suicide version be affirmed and maintained. Suicide and madness were the only means of avoiding an unfortunate scandal the details of which I cannot confirm until [he could personally meet his kindred] ……’ Leopold King of Belgium and father -in-law of Rudolph.
Count Lamsdorff reported that Szogyeny, a close friend of Rudolph, definitely refused to believe the Mayerling spiel. “He will not even admit the possibility that the cause of the tragedy might have been a love affair ….. which in his opinion presented neither danger nor difficulty … in his opinion the truth is not to be found there. …. attribute the disaster entirely to political causes ….. his relations with Wilhelm II and Germany had become so strained beyond all possibility of amelioration…..”
The journal ‘The American’ wrote that ‘The Archduke’s taste for letters early drew him into sympathy with writers and artists of the capital and while still a young man he took obvious pleasure in meeting all classes of intellectual workers. I do not believe there is a single writer or artist of note throughout the Empire whom he has not personally met and corresponded with. He could converse with them in their own tongue. He was even learning Turkish as to speak to the Bosnians. It would be easy to make invidious comparisons between this amiable, popular, and cultivated Prince cut down so ruthlessly upon the threshold of his life with another Prince (Wilhelm) who has become Kaiser and whose conduct alienated all and sundry….”
The ‘Saturday Review’ referred to the many suspicious deaths of diverse opponents of Bismarck who once boasted how lucky he was to see people who opposed him to vanish so conveniently at just the right time. The Review listed diverse suspicious deaths of opponents of Bismarck as Leon Gambetta, Skobeleff, alongside Rudolph. ‘Weakened Austria can serve Bismarck’s ends….’
The Russian paper ‘Novoje Vremja’ warned that the death of the defender of the Slavs, Crown Prince Rudolph, would endanger the Slav people of Austro Hungary because Rudolph had been such a vigorous defender of minority and ethnic rights. With the death of Rudolph the Russian paper warned the Slavs could only fear being ‘swallowed up’ by the hated Prussians (implying that only Russia could save the entire Slav population by coming to the rescue and annexing the hinterland as well as the Balkans ). Another Russian paper the ‘Svjet’ noted that the convenient sex scandal murder suicide of Ludwig of Bavaria who had crossed Bismarck closely resembled the demise of another royal : Rudolph.
Duke Miguel of Braganza, the ex fiancée of Mary Vetsera, denied all implications and rumors of orgies ever occurring at Mayerling and demanded an apology for his friend Rudolph while providing an alibi for himself.
Baron von Margutti tried to help von Slatin to contain the Mayerling murders to the official spiel of love and death but blurted out that Werner the game keeper of Rudolph died violently sometime between midnight and one o’clock when stable boys says Mayerling suddenly erupted into lights and shouts and ‘popping sounds’.
The poor Baron then blundered by reminding everyone that Bratfisch entered the bedroom, the door unlocked , to ‘wake Rudolph’ and ‘check the weather’ for a predawn hunt at 6:45 (which normally should have seen Rudolph up and about by 3:00 because predawn hunts in winter start between 6:30 and 7:00). Bratfisch then told the hunter Wodiczka around 7:00 that there would be no hunt today because Rudolph was already dead —– while Bratifsch was most curiously seated on his carriage —– despite this still officially being just another normal hunting day —– as if anticipating that someone would suddenly need to rush to the train station 90 minutes later ……. as Bratfisch most curiously waited and waited and waited as if an actor waiting for the stage director to come and give him his lines to say …… which contradicted Loschek’s accounts that there was nothing suspicious occurring until 7:30 when Coburg (he of the famous 24 hour missing alibi) materialized to order the door forced open.
Bratfisch’s kindred, Conrad Bratfisch who worked for Rudolph’s secretary Count Frische, arrived between sixish and sevenish while trailing four suspicious Prussians from Spandau which he found loitering before the front gates of Mayerling as if waiting for someone. He was ordered to bugger off instead of being allowed in to see his kindred. As he was leaving around sevenish he heard two shots fired —– about the time Loschek claims Rudolph shot himself —- except Conrad Bratfisch said he thought the sounds sounded outside of Mayerling — coming from the front gates and the suspicious loitering Prussians. Both Conrad Bratfisch and Count Fritsche admitted to all but picking the wallets of two of these suspicious Prussians in their brand new hunting togs but no hunting dogs. They found photos of some of the suspicious suspects posing in front of Spandau which Rudolph and others accused of engaging in industrial espionage to steal gunnery secrets at Enfield Armory Great Britain (for which Spandau spies tried to hire Fritsche during the Jubilee ) France (to steal the Lebel Repeater Rifle and Vielle nitro gunpowder bullet through a double agent called Schnabele for 20,000 reich marks ) and also the patents and copyrights to the Mannlicher Repeater Rifle from Steyr Manufacturing in Bohemia. Rudolph was also backing Steyr in threatening to sue Spandau for pilfering unless Steyr got a sweetheart deal to manufacture the troubled Commission Rifle which Rudolph and others whispered was having more than ‘teething problems’ or preproduction ‘hiccups’. Translation: serious defects. Further translation: guns blowing up. The picked wallets also contained return tickets to Berlin on the 30th (so much for hunting!) and mysterious ciphers.
This reminded people that Loschek turned the Wolfe Brothers away from Mayerling at 4:00 A.M. They were arriving in anticipation of Rudolph being out and about so they could come in and clean out the ashy fireplaces and polish them and haul out the slops and dirty shaving water in the water basins and clean and polish. Such chores are messy and require the inhabitants to be out and about. And Rudolph was suppose to be out and about. Therefore up at 3:00 if the Wolfe Brothers were coming at 4:00. Normal time for a predawn hunt which started in winter at predawn: 6:30 to 7:00. Hence the name : predawn hunt. Rudolph normally rose at 4:00 being a son of Francis Joseph. Both father and son were notorious early raisers.
So why were the Wolfe Brothers turned away at 4:00? Why was the famously early raising Rudolph not early raising? Why didn’t Loschek enter that bedroom at 2:00 to light the fire to warm the stone bedroom for a hour so his master could raise for his scheduled predawn hunt? Or to confirm if Rudolph still wanted to hunt? Or to raise up at his normal time of 4:00? All which required Loschek to be busy building fires and lighting oil lamps and laying out hunting gear and helping his master dress and shave and enjoy his hot coffee while preparing the guns? A servant’s day started early —- especially in a less than luxurious informal hunting lodge which was staffed by Max and Otto who were country boys and valets and the visiting Wolfe Brothers? Or if Rudolph was too sick to hunt to still warm the ‘dark’ and therefore freezing room (this was winter pre-central heating) and fill the water bottles with hot water to warm the freezing bed in order to nurse a sick man? Thus, one way or the other noticing a very dead nude Mary Vetsera? Instead Loschek refused to enter that room at all to serve his master.
Another intriguing thing to the mysterious predawn hunt is why Rudolph , a supposed suicide, scheduled it, did not cancel it. Telling Wodiczka and the Wolfe Brothers would have been so simple. Rudolph (despite his temper)was so thoughtful one of the last acts he did in Vienna was stop his carriage and ask his aging servant Puchel , who was upset, ‘Did I hear you say something Puchel? Can I do something for you?’. So why did Rudolph schedule and not cancel a predawn hunt if he was planning to kill himself? And why didn’t Loschek do his job and prepare his master for a predawn hunt? Or ask if the predawn hunt was off? Yet turn the Wolfes away at 4:00? Why wasn’t Loschek in that room at 3:00? Or 2:00? Even Bratfisch was pretending the predawn hunt was still on to ‘wake’ Rudolph at 6:45 and ‘check the weather’ — hours too late.
The answer: Loschek should have been in that room doing his job at 3:00 when Rudolph was suppose to be preparing or else killing Mary —- just as the Wolfes were coming —-Werner up and busy instead of dead, Wodiczka coming and nosy, Max and Otto, servants ,up and busy instead of dead and fleeing, Rudolph’s dog barking instead of dead, Hoyos struggling to be waken by his valet, the cook preparing hot coffee for a sleepy Rudolph, everyone converging exactly when Loschek should have commenced screaming hysterically because his master was murdering Mary Vetsera! So why wasn’t Loschek screaming hysterically? So why wasn’t Loschek even entering that ‘dark’ room? Because he knew two corpses were inside. That is why.
Why did Loschek only start screaming and panicking at 7:30 as Bratfisch sat slumped over in his expensive carriage mute and waiting passively? Despite dead Werner and Max and Otto missing and Rudolph’s dog strangely quiet? Despite Rudolph being abnormally quiet for a predawn hunt? A famous early raiser not early raising? Everyone was waiting for Coburg to start screaming on cue.
I would like to recommend ‘The Mayerling Murder’ by Victor Wolfson. It is a ground-breaking work everyone ignores to their peril.