The Paramatta Mystery and the Mystery of the Court Pharmacy Ledgers are sinister revelations which the majority of biographers of Rudolph ignore at their peril because they reveal the true peril Rudolph faced.
Sometime toward the end of the troubled year of 1888 there appears a mysterious page in the official Court Pharmacy Ledger. The page is pasted in and is of a different color and type of paper. It records benign drugs signed out by Stephanie for November and December of 1888. So deceptively banal! Read on and be horrified!
During November of December of 1888 Rudolph was facing the fallout of the War Games. The fallout being the unexpectedly amazing Mannlicher Repeater Rifle and all but the best Steyr 1610 fps custom black powder Rubin style 8 mm full metal jacket bullet which had been amazingly salvaged from the 11 mm debacle caused by Albrecht and Francis Joseph out of penny wise and pound foolish miserly concern that old stocks of 11 mm obsolete ammo ought to be used up —- waste not! Want not! The result: a disastrous decision to order the revolutionary state of the art best repeater in the world to be engineered to shoot obsolete ammo. Inspector of Infantry Archduke Leopold agreed to take the blame as royal scapegoat for the gross incompetence of Supreme Commander Archduke Albrecht and Emperor Francis Joseph even though everyone opposed the decision by two old men to use obsolete 11 mm ammo in a state of the art gun — especially as the Rubin 8 mm full metal jacket bullet was known as the modern prototype which all future guns should use and would use. As Inspector of Infantry Archduke Leopold took the fall his replacement was named to salvage the 11 mm Blunder which in the light of the Meille Miracle was now the 11 mm Debacle: Inspector General of Infantry Archduke Crown Prince Rudolph.
By the autumn War Games of 88 the Debacle was salvaged howbeit with expensive cost overruns and crucial delay. The Imperial Army of Austro Hungary welded the best revolutionary prototype repeater rifle and second best ammo in the world. Not bad for a has-been empire!
Absolutely no one expected fuddy duddy old Habsburg to come out with the best first! Best gun! Damn near the best ammo! Damn good Rubin style full metal jacket! All three revolutionary prototypes successfully integrated and interfaced! Everything working gloriously! The Imperial Army fully trained to weld the prototypes! The War Games going off splendidly! The contemptuous Prussians were drop jawed! Who was chained to what corpse now?
The Meille Miracle was overstated so instead of panicking like Spandau, Leopold and Rudolph along with Mannlicher and Steyr fixed the 11 mm Debacle knowing they had a damn good product. They did! The Vielle nitro Rubin style 8 mm full metal jacket bullet was unseen, mysterious, and heretofore nitro was famous only for being dangerously unstable and utterly unreliable. The Lebel Repeater Rifle was mediocre. The mediocre gun nullified the much boasted but unseen nitro bullet. So mano y mano The Steyr Miracle rivaled the Meille Miracle. The Imperial Austro Hungarian Army was still tied for first place! Drum roll please! Give Inspector General of Infantry Archduke and Crown Prince Rudolph a metal! Or at least a gold star! And while you are at it why not restore Leopold’s honor and reputation?
The trouble was back at Junker Spandau the Prussian guns were blowing up! The much boasted Junker repeater prototype and prototype nitro full metal jacket bullet was junk! Junker junk! Junker junk rumored to be knock offs acquired by industrial espionage from the Vielle Balle 8 mm Rubin style Full Metal Jacket Bullet along with a knock off of a 71 style Mauser 90% bolt created pre-nitro and a knock off of the mediocre Lebel rifling patterning! And all of the knock offs were shoved into a knock off of a state of the art Mannlicher Repeater Rifle and enbloc packet magazine clip which was the crown jewel of Steyr Bohemia! Wow! And it got worse!
The guns were blowing up! Was the defect the knock off gun? The knock off Rubin 8 mm (turned into a desperate 7.92 mm) full metal jacket bullet? The knock off enbloc packet magazine clip? The knock off nitro? Or all of the knockoffs ? No one knew! They were all knock offs of revolutionary prototypes!
Every army was rushing into the revolutionary prototypes of Repeater Rifles and Full Metal Jacket Bullets and revolutionary powder to replace obsolete black powder. All three revolutions in gunnery were occurring at the same time! A crash of technological revolutions! And with a war rumored to be about to occur in 89 or else 90!
But Spandau panicked the worse and rushed their prototypes after hearing rumors of the Meille Miracle. Everyone else stayed calm and stuck to their guns —- literally —- by keeping to their R & D to develop their own revolutionary repeaters which fired a revolutionary Rubin style full metal jacket which everyone hoped would soon be filled by heretofore dangerously unstable nitro. Only Spandau jumped into knock offs without any R & D whatsoever!
Steyr’s 1610 fps custom black powder almost rivaled the rumored nitro 2000 fps. And Steyr’s R & D promised a hybrid nitro by 90 and full nitro by 95. That still put Steyr ahead of almost everyone else. For all Steyr or anyone knew the supposed Vielle nitro was a bluff by the frantic French to scare Bismarck into canceling his upcoming war slated to occur in 89 or 90! Up to now no one had successfully stabilized nitro! So Steyr stuck to their guns and ammo and R & D. So did The Enfield Armory for Great Britain. Browning and Mauser were far behind but likewise refused to be stampeded by the Meille Miracle. So only Spandau panicked. And now the panic not only caused bad knock offs but knock offs which were blowing up!
Naturally Bismarck was already hunting for scapegoats even as he stonewalled the extent of the fiasco to Kaiser Willy whose coronation featured over the top warmongering. Kaiser Willy was already posing for his victory portrait for the upcoming war. Bismarck’s stonewalling would soon become a criminal cover up as Willy boasted of his wonder gun and bullet through the War Games oblivious to the obvious reality. All while a livid Rudolph and furious Mannlicher and outraged Steyr threatened to sue! Even while Willy tried to bully Francis Joseph into abandoning the Mannlicher Repeater Rifle and Steyr 1610 fps full metal jacket bullet to buy the obviously defective Spandau products! All while Willy demanded that Rudolph be fired as Inspector General of Infantry because of Rudolph’s ‘incompetence’ in gunnery! The later was an ironic charge to make considering the success of the Steyr Miracle and the gross magnitude of the Spandau Debacle!
Incredulously, Francis Joseph was so cowered by Bismarck and therefore Willy and so ignorant of gunnery he agreed that Rudolph should take the fall for the 11 mm Debacle which he signed off on and which Albrecht caused and which poor Leopold had already taken the fall for and which occurred before Rudolph was even picked to replace Leopold! And Francis Joseph agreed to abandoned Steyr for Spandau’s ‘superior’ products! Even when explained how Spandau’s ‘superior’ products were knock offs of Mannlicher and Steyr! Francis Joseph was horrified that Rudolph insisted in backing Mannlicher and Steyr and suing Spandau even if that might be construed as ‘endangering’ the precious Prussian Austrian Alliance!
The Prussian Austrian Alliance did not give Bismarck or the Junkers carte blanche to loot Steyr or loot Austro Hungarian real estate (which Willy was also bellowing about doing)! Albrecht the ‘Gravedigger of the Habsburgs’ joined Bismarck and Willy in pressuring Francis Joseph. So during the War Games Francis Joseph ordered Rudolph to resign as Inspector General of Infantry for incompetence, for alienating the Imperial Second Reich, for threatening the Prussian Austrian Alliance, and for endangering the army and country!
Then Bismarck allowed the grandstanding Willy to sign an imperial degree to mass produce the wonder gun and bullet to arm his Imperial Second Reich Army in time for a rumored war in 89 or else 90! The guns to be hastily mass produced and the first guns to be shoved into the hands of Germans facing the German French border!Despite the fact the guns and ammo were both blowing up! And without any R & D other than industrial espionage Spandau could not fix it! They had absolutely no idea how to fix it!
At this point to win the upcoming war Bismarck could have and should have simply bought Steyr off the shelf. Steyr was the largest top producer of gunnery in the industrial world so Steyr could have supplied the gunnery and ammo quite easily (facilitated by Loewe who normally manufactured for Mauser). The remarkable thing was Bismarck simply could not get off his Commanding Heights arrogance to do the pragmatic thing! Even to save his upcoming War! His stonewalling was becoming a criminal cover up as the Imperial Degree ordered the defective gun and ammo to be mass produced with the first guns and ammo to be sent to the Germans in the front lines facing France! Guns and ammo which despite the ‘Veil of Secrecy’ ordered by Bismarck were already known to be blowing up! Guns and ammo so unreliable and down right dangerous they were blowing off hands and blowing out eyes and even killing soldiers! Guns and ammo so dangerous the soldiers testing them were calling them the ‘Jew’s Musket’ and which soon even Pan German reporters would label a greater danger and menace to the German soldiers than the French!
And naturally Vielle, The French designer of the Lebel, Rubin who invented the first rifle full metal jacket bullet, Mauser who saw his bolt pilfered, Loewe who manufactured for Mauser, Mannlicher, and Steyr along with Inspector General of Infantry Rudolph who presided over the Steyr Miracle all declined to offer to help!
Bismarck was so panicked he secretly trained in the dead of night to confront Rudolph. While Willy was an idiot, Albrecht was going senile, and Francis Joseph was a miserly ignoramus, Rudolph was Inspector General of the Infantry and the chosen replacement to Inspector of Infantry Leopold. So Bismarck knew that both Rudolph and Leopold presided over the amazingly successful Steyr Miracle including the brilliant salvage of the 11 mm Debacle. So Rudolph bloody well knew how good the Mannlicher Repeater and Steyr bullet were. And Rudolph also bloody well knew how bad the Spandau Commission gun and bullet were. The Commission Rifle was already called the Jew’s Musket ie a hexed gun and soon the jinxed gun would be declared a Frankenstein Gun because none of its knock off parts were compatible or could interface together without blowing up.
And after the War Games Rudolph also bloody well knew that Willy was bellowing and bragging and boasting like the blowhard he was. So Willy was not only a blowhard but an ignoramus because he obviously still did not know the Junker junk was blowing up. So Rudolph bloody well knew that Bismarck was lying to Willy.
Neither man apparently was able to cut a mysterious deal during that mysterious wee hours of night meeting. The gun crisis would soon destroy both men. One fatally.
Throughout November and December Bismarck, von Holstein, Willy, and the rabid Pan Germans all unleashed their hysterical fury at Rudolph in vicious newspaper attacks of unprecedented rage —-which Taaffe declined to stop or defend. Rudolph was accused of every sort of treason. Treason to the German Race. Treason to the Imperial Second Reich. Treason to the Imperial Army of the Austro Hungary. Treason to the Prussian Austrian Alliance. Treason to Francis Joseph. The rabid red meat for the Pan German guttersnipes was so vicious it was all but murderous. It was amazing no Pan German nutter (early incarnation of the later Nazi and Fascists) did not assassinate Rudolph. And Taaffe who ran the genteel police state for Francis Joseph did nothing to stop the attacks or protect Rudolph when he had the power to do so.
Scotland Yard, Belgium Secret Services, And Paris Secret Services all warned Vienna to no avail that Rudolph was all but totally and dangerously unprotected even as rumors of threats to his life grew. Berlin’s spy master von Holstein sinisterly warned 89 would see the assassination of a key royal Habsburg. People repeated the famous Bismarck boast that he enjoyed the most amazing good luck to see his enemies die at EXACTLY THE RIGHT TIME. People talked about other victims of Bismarck who perished by von Holstein/Smutty Petri ‘suicides’ garnished by sordid sex scandals and frosted by forged suicide notes. Yet the genteel police state of Francis Joseph did absolutely nothing whatsoever!
Albrecht racketed up the hysteria by resurrecting his increasingly senile bugaboo about Rudolph’s supposed plots and plans and conspiracies with Andrassy and other Hungarians to depose Francis Joseph. Andrassy protested and even Francis Joseph knew the accusations were senile delusions and paranoia on the part of the increasingly senile Albrecht. Unfortunately Francis Joseph was as terrified of the ‘Gravedigger of the Habsburgs’ as he was of Bismarck! So as Rudolph’s honor, reputation, integrity, professionalism, and competency was libeled and trashed and his very life was threatened and endangered , Francis Joseph did nothing. NOTHING.
In fact since the War Games Albrecht, Willy, and Bismarck were demanding that Francis Joseph fire Rudolph as Inspector General of Infantry (which over saw gunnery). But the Steyr Miracle was amazing everyone! So why fire Rudolph? But the Spandau Disaster was unfolding! And Rudolph knew about it just as Rudolph knew that Bismarck’s ‘Veil of Secrecy’ stonewalling was turning into a criminal cover up.
Meanwhile the gun crisis was birthing an odd side scandal: the Darling Circle Gay Camarilla Expose which implicated the sycophantic inner circle around Willy. Rudolph apparently tried to peddle a sensational scandal to French papers. But the scandal was so shocking they did not dare publish it. Willy had to know that even as he tried to hunt down a lethal scandal about Rudolph (Rudolph’s reputed Jewish bastard son in America) Rudolph would try to attack Willy with the Gay Scandal.
Albrecht now had two dangerous allies in Bismarck and Willy to aid and abet his long time obsession with destroying Rudolph whom he saw as a traitor. Francis Joseph was now cornered by two men he pathologically feared so much he even allowed Willy to humiliate him. Now Albrecht, Bismarck, and Willy joined together to apply a three prong pincer attack against Francis Joseph to terminate his own son.
Francis Joseph now faced ultimatums from Albrecht, Bismarck, and Willy to force Francis Joseph to force Rudolph to resign his job as Inspector General of Infantry. Not jut resign but resign in disgrace!
Francis Joseph politely requested that Rudolph fall on his sword exactly like Leopold previously did and also exactly like General Benedek previously did during a similar crisis which threatened Francis Joseph . Rudolph refused.
So Francis Joseph ordered Rudolph to resign in disgrace for incompetence, insubordination, and malfeasance that almost amounted to mutiny and treason. ‘I command to be obeyed!’
Rudolph dug in and point blank refused to resign. The only way to remove the immovable Rudolph was by court martialing him. But unlike Leopold or Benedek, Rudolph refused to be the royal scapegoat and take the fall for royal incompetence and cowardice. Rudolph likewise refused to stand mute at court martial the way Benedek was tricked into doing. Albrecht could not rig another kangaroo court martial the way he rigged Benedek’s. Rudolph would defend himself in public and that defense would expose the piss dirty linen of Albrecht, Francis Joseph, Bismarck, and Willy.
Hence the curious imperial silence of the Hofburg as Rudolph was crucified by savage newspaper wars and the equally shocking lack of protection of a crown prince as warnings of assassination grew ever louder.
Francis Joseph was cornered. If push came to shove and it came down to the survival of one or the other then Francis Joseph would be forced to sacrifice his own son on the altar of political and military expediency.
So how does the mystery of a court pharmacy ledger page signed off by Stephanie connect to events happening in November and December as the aftermath of the War Games spiraled into the deadly last act of the Gun Crisis? What was the mystery of a signature of Stephanie compared to the death dance of four powerful men?
The mystery is that the signature of that court pharmacy ledger page dated November/December of 1888 is that of Crown Princess Widow Stephanie. The page had been removed from 1889 post Mayerling and backdated to conceal the genuine page of drugs signed out by Stephanie in November and December of 1888.
What a clumsy mistake to make! Clearly Stephanie was used to tampering with the official Court Pharmacy Ledger! So what drug did she sign out in late November/December of 1888 as the Gun Crisis moved into its final fatal last act just as Stephanie suddenly became the Prophetess Stephanie.
Amazingly, suddenly Stephanie was predicting the decline and fall of her husband Rudolph! She was suddenly reporting his ill health, his morbid anxiety depression, his physical symptoms (never mind that they were symptoms of concussion), suicidal thoughts, brain damage, sexual debaucheries, drunkeness, morphine madness, mysterious Magyar conspiracies. All while she was mostly residing in luxurious hotels with her latest lover who was a minor aristocrat called Elemer who later become Lonyay after she finally netted him with the unbreakable bonds of Catholic Marriage so he would never leave her no matter how unhappy their stony marriage life was in that dismal residence in Oroszvoc Castle in Western Hungary. (And according to Carl Lonyay that was a marriage made in hell because Lonyay was always trying to leave Stephanie. But he loved her money too much even if he ended up hating Stephanie.)
As the Gun Crisis spiraled into its last dangerous act Stephanie decided to jump ship. Rudolph was obviously doomed. Stephanie was just as obviously running of out time. Sooner or later her lover would drop her for someone younger and prettier and richer. She had to marry him to keep him. Catholic Marriage. That meant Rudolph had to die.
It was obvious Stephanie would never be Empress now. That was the only reason why she married Rudolph. Even Rudolph was saying that Franz Ferdinand would be the Heir Apparent. Not Rudolph. So Stephanie was jumping ship to salvage her bitter loss of Empresship with Catholic Marriage with her latest lover.
Sure. Francis Joseph was a notorious miser. If Rudolph died the Hofburg which loathed her would cut her to the quick. And Francis Joseph would cut her Habsburg stipend to the bone. So Stephanie needed to make sure she kept her Congo Blood Money. Only money would buy Stephanie her boy toy.
But the rumors of war meant that France was the next target. That meant the door mat to Paris was also the next target: Belgium. Her father Leopold was King of Belgium. And rumors said this time The Imperial Second Reich would not only destroy France but cannibalize Belgium and confiscate its wealth and Leopold’s ‘Wedding Cake’ ie the rich if bloody Congo. Willy wanted colonies and the richest colony in Africa was the bloody Congo. Her Congo blood money would stop — unless Stephanie could woo Willy into guaranteeing her a stipend even if Francis Joseph was too much the bitter miser to promise her a stipend large enough to buy her boy toy.
Stephanie never involved herself in Rudolph’s job or worries or concerns. She never guarded his back and she never displayed any loyalty. In fact Stephanie never said that she ever loved the man she described as ‘ugly’ and ‘repulsive’. Stephanie’s hatred for Rudolph was becoming harder and harder to conceal by the year. She nagged and needled and humiliated and belittled Rudolph nonstop. She did everything she could to make Rudolph look bad in front of Francis Joseph. She undermined him on every occasion.
At one point Rudolph’s poor health even resembled every single symptom of arsenic poisoning! Gosh! The Victorian Age’s favorite modus of murder! Especially for females! Most female murderers murdered by poison! And arsenic beauty wash was very popular for leaving a pearly skin! And Stephanie’s once infamously blotchy red completion had cleared up so amazingly!
But Stephanie had no idea about the gun crisis other than the fact Inspector General of Infantry Archduke Crown Prince Rudolph was going down like Inspector of Infantry Archduke Leopold and General Benedek. For all Stephanie knew, Willy was winning. Stephanie cut a deal with the winner and abandoned the loser: her husband Rudolph.
Willy had an axe to grind with Rudolph even if he still had no idea about the Spandau crisis. Willy knew that Rudolph tried to peddle the Darling Circle Gay Scandal to French papers (who were too horrified to take the bait). Willy also suspected that Rudolph knew the location of the Black Ebony Box which contained the secrets of the Hohenzollerns which his dying father Frederick and bitter mother Vicky conspired to deny to Willy to taint his coronation. The dying Frederick and Vicky had increasingly spoken of Rudolph as the son they always wanted instead of Willy. Willy knew that Wales and Rudolph were great friends. Willy hated Wales as much as Wales hated Willy. Grandmother Victoria gave the garter to Rudolph and not Willy. Willy wanted revenge against his nemesis Rudolph. Willy wanted Rudolph dead. Dead and destroyed. Life. Honor. Reputation. Everything the talented and progressive Rudolph represented and valued grounded into the mire. Stephanie and Willy cut a deal to destroy a mutual enemy both now hated to the marrow of their being.
What drug did Stephanie sign out which she did not want any January 89 investigation into Mayerling to see? Clearly no honest grieving widow would hastily rip out a page of January 1889 and crudely paste it into late 1888. What drug was she concealing? And why was the first report of Mayerling a murder of Rudolph by Mary? Murder by poison? Why did Hoyos blunt out that Rudolph was killed at the train station and then told the Hofburg that Rudolph was killed by poison by Mary? Where did the poison come from? Who signed out poison? Who then concealed the ledger so very crudely? Stephanie.
That meant that Stephanie had the inside scoop about what was going to happen at Mayerling long before it happened. She knew the architects manufacturing Mayerling. Oh please you say! Read on and be shocked how Stephanie knew all about what was SUPPOSED to go down at Mayerling — some six weeks before it even happened!
Some six weeks before Mayerling Stephanie suddenly treated her lover Lonyay to a lavish trip to Egypt. He was told to stay in Egypt until something happened which Stephanie did not want him implicated in. Then he was to sail back to Austro Hungary and Stephanie’s loving embrace (or at least the loving embrace of the Rubber Princess’ Congo blood money).
Lonyay dawdled in Egypt’s resort hotels flirting with aging rich dowagers and their pretty daughters. Then he booked passage under an alias on the steamer Paramatta. Mid ocean a mysterious passenger choose to chat in the late hours of night of the 28 or 29th but definitely before the 30th with a devote Catholic Benedictine Priest and Missionary named Don Gregoro de Grote as the moon rose over the Mediterranean. Now please remember this was pre-wireless when time date lines were still somewhat murky. The mysterious passenger who resembled Lonyay and signed passage on the Paramatta under an obvious alias then announced to the Catholic Priest & Missionary that Crown Prince Rudolph was dead! Drum roll please! A suicide! Gasp! Shock! Horror! Something about Mayerling! Something about poison!
The lonely Catholic Missionary was awed and amazed that no one else knew about such a sensational event! When the steamer landed he contacted his Catholic Authorities at the Dominican Church of St. Ambrosius. Then he realized that he was told of the events of Mayerling BEFORE the events occurred. So the devoted Catholic wrote a transcript and swore on the Bible that he was informed of the events of Mayerling by the mysterious stranger some 24 to 48 hours PRIOR to Mayerling’s actual occurrence on January 30st. And while poison was the initial assumption during the first 24 hours of the 30st the actual death was by a mysterious civilian handgun not owned by Rudolph. Obviously poison was the original plan and obviously that plan derailed or otherwise changed since Stephanie whispered the plan to her lover before sending him off to Egypt.
Gosh! What prophecy! Or else it was evidence that Mayerling was a conspiracy to commit murder of a crown prince! The Catholic Authorities alerted the Pope who was already getting long telegrams and messages from Francis Joseph demanding Catholic Burial for his son an assumed insane suicidal murderer. A copy was routed to Vienna by Revertera the Austrian Ambassador to Prime Minster Taaffe including conformation that the ship was in transit between the 28th through the 29th and 30th before landing on the 31th along with a passage list and the description of the mystery man. This was routed to Taaffe. Taaffe locked the Paramatta Mystery away with every other piece of evidence he could seize about Mayerling. The fact a man later identified as Lonyay was confirmed to be traveling under an alias of Montreux on the Paramatta and therefore knew what would (more or less happen) at Mayerling before it even happened was completely ignored as entirely irrelevant! So what do you think? Do you still think Mayerling was a simply murder suicide?
Paul Christoph, a historian, later write about this evidence of falsifying of the court pharmacy ledger. How much falsifying? Who knows? It still continues to be ignored even though it proves not only what Stephanie signed out of the Court Pharmacy Ledger in late November/December of 88 which magically surfaced as one of the things Mary Vetsera choose to bring to Mayerling along with that mysterious civilian revolver never owned by Rudolph which discharged all chambers at some point in time. And it proves Mary’s state of mind as well as Stephanie’s state of mind. And it proves Mary’s plan for Mayerling if she brought poison and a gun instead of a change of clothes, underwear (she died au natural) overnight luggage, or a lady’s maid which any Victorian aristocrat would take even to a romantic rendezvous because (putting aside the desire to look ravishing in romantic night gowns) changing in and out of skin tight clothes or corsets was literally impossible without skilled help.
That means someone signed out poison to pass that poison to someone to pass the poison to a mentally unstable girl who since November and into January openly raved about a delusional love affair while waving love latters from Rudolph written in her own handwriting along with cheap iron trinkets and mysterious messages in mysterious codes while boasting of meeting Rudolph in public places dressed only in a fur coat to make passionate love while boasting to absolutely everyone that they were having a torrid love affair despite frigid telegrams from Rudolph frostily asking her to cease and/or go away to Monte Carlo on an one way ticket while her gifts were returned unused. All while Mary raved delusional that her torrid love affair would end spectacularly and she would die like her dead aunt who threw herself into the Danube because of love for Francis Joseph. Like her doomed aunt Mary announced to one and all that she would die for love of Rudolph who was her mother’s long ago teenaged lover. And Mary announced to one and all that her spectacular death for love of Rudolph would make her famous . And of course she appeared, if anything, to embrace the piquancy of the idea that her tragically doomed love affair with her possible half biological half brother would require a spectacular death scene just like those French Romances she loved to read. And her spectacular suicide for love of Rudolph would make her name live eternally because if one cannot be famous then being infamous is just as good.
Translation: no pharmacy would allow such a mentally unstable teenager talking about Love & Death to sign out poison. No gun seller would sell a teenaged suicidal mad girl a gun either. Whatever state of mind Rudolph was in, Mary Vetsera was suicidal and insane. She marched to her death clutching a gun and poison given to her by accomplices after boasting of her plans to commit suicide and she left for Mayerling sans overnight luggage or change of clothes or night gown or underwear or lady’s maid to die au natural in a spectacular suicide. Love & Death. Mary was mad. And Mary’s madness required the death of the object of her obsession: Rudolph —-whether or not he was a voluntary accomplice to Mary’s Madness. And obviously Mary’s accomplices were quite willing to facilitate Mary’s Madness if that resulted in the death of Rudolph.
So Mary got her gun and poison from very willing accomplices who had to be aware that Mary was an erotic maniac and sexual stalker as well as morbidly suicidal. After all, such a spectacular death as Mary envisioned did require Rudolph to die. And while Mary might assume such a spectacular death would make her famous or at least infamous it would damn Rudolph and destroy his honor and reputation forever. So the accomplices aiding and abetting Mary’s Madness wanted to destroy Rudolph. Not just his life. His honor. His reputation. Everything. And unleashing Mary in her Madness at Mayerling would destroy not only Rudolph’s life but his honor and his reputation which being a Habsburg and an officer and gentleman Rudolph would have treasured above all.
So Countess Larisch who was a member of the Hofburg no less than Stephanie could pass the poison Stephanie signed out to someone who was not a member of the Hofburg: Mary. Likewise a gun. Since the War Games Larisch had suddenly become Mary’s best pal despite the fact the Vetsera Clan were strictly second tier aristocrats not worthy of the Hofburg. In fact not allowed into the Hofburg. Well! We know why Stephanie would want Rudolph dead but why Larisch?
Larisch was a bitter bitch of a minor Hofburg royal. She never forgave Rudolph or the Hofburg for denying her attempt to marry Rudolph. She was punished by being forced to marry an nonentity. Larisch survived in the Hofburg by being everyone’s goffer. Go for this. Go for that. But Larisch also knew where every bit of dirty royal linen was hidden. And Larisch was addicted to gambling. She was all but bankrupt. She desperately needed money. She would do anything for money.
She even pimped poor Mary to Rudolph in that monumental ten minute meeting in his Hofburg garret —-with Rudolph and Larisch quarreling in the other room as Mary roamed Rudolph’s garret office pilfering objects she delusionaly thought were love tokens left for her while Rudolph’s pet ravens devoured raw meat Rudolph left here and there being a bird lover —but not Mary’s lover. Rudolph stormed out of that back room bellowing as he told Larisch to take her ‘sweet girl’ ie amateur whore elsewhere to pimp for 24,000 guilders which was one half of his entire yearly Hofburg stipend. (His military income was 800 guilden a month.)
Larisch then sent Mary to Rudolph’s non Hofburg digs or offices to again extort 10,000 guilders which was one quarter of his yearly Hofburg stipend. Then Larisch tried to blackmail Rudolph for that 10,000. Larisch was desperate for money and would do ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING TO GET THAT MONEY.
When Mary became hysterical that she co-signed off on gambling bills of Larisch and was paying Larisch large sums of pilfered money her all but bankrupt family did not have and would be arrested if she did not get that money then Rudolph gave Mary some money to give to Larisch. Big mistake!
Mary came back to demand more money. Larisch demanded more money. Rudolph realized he was being blackmailed and cut off both females while telling his friends how disgusted he was. Rudolph tossed Mary’s gift of a cigarette case away after ridiculing it to Coburg. Then he had someone else return it or else he tossed it. Rudolph never used it or acknowledged any other love tokens to or from Mary.
But someone was giving Mary supposed love tokens from the Hofburg. Only Larisch could. Mary admitted Larisch was her ‘contact’ to Rudolph. But the only evidence Mary could produce of a love affair were love letters written in Mary’s own hand or else frosty telegrams stiff with Spanish Etiquette that were anything but notes from a lover or else ironical jokes by Rudolph offering the Vetsera clan ONE WAY TICKETS to Monte Carlo.
Larisch, who would do anything for money, gave up pimping Mary to Rudolph as November turned to December and then January without any proven meeting between Mary and Rudolph outside of delusional claims by Mary.
Rudolph was known to dislike talking about love or sex or affairs (per Fritsche) but now he went out of his way to tell family members and friends that he only loved MC and needed no one else as rumors from the grandstanding Mary circulated. Rudolph also told people like Archduchess Marie Theresa that he was going to be assassinated. Rudolph went out of his way to secretly meet —Clemenceau —- and also Wales. He contacted other very close friends like Prince Alexander Battenberg and Johann Salvador. He arranged for a midnight symposium of all of his academic friends. He met Hirsch. Szeps. But not Mary. Mary was not even remotely on Rudolph’s radar. The Gun Crisis entered its final last act. Why would Rudolph be thinking about Mary?
Over new years Albrecht held some sort of paralegal star chamber court martial and commenced arranging a military execution while picking ten Roll Commandos while picking the best place where an execution could be done. A Polish double agent called Koinoff told the secretary of Rudolph that von Holstein’s agents were asking about Mayerling. Its location. Its security. Its layout. Its servants . Koinoff’s last warning, arriving too late , warned Rudolph to look to his underlings for a female collaborator with von Holstein. Why would Rudolph be thinking about Mary? Rudolph would be facing a military execution slated to occur by January 30th at the very latest. Death by January 30th.
Rudolph would be thinking about his honor as an officer and a gentleman and his good name and why his father was about to sign off on his death warrant which even a star chamber court martial military execution would require per the beloved Red Book of Regulations of Francis Joseph . That is what Rudolph would have been thinking about in January as each day ticked down toward January 30th. Would Francis Joseph really do it? Sign Rudolph’s military death warrant? And should Rudolph passively accept this death and to the ‘right thing’ as an officer and a gentleman to save his good name or else flee or fight or go public?
Larisch got her money by contacting von Holstein and Smutty Petri who were famous for manufacturing ‘suicides’ garnished by ‘sex scandals’ frosted with forged ‘suicide’ notes to destroy enemies of Bismarck and Willy. That was how Larisch got her money.
A Polish double agent called Koinoff told the secretary to Rudolph that von Holstein and Smutty Petri were manufacturing just such an end for Rudolph. The forged suicide notes were done. Von Holstein and Smutty Petri just needed the sordid sex scandal to ‘justify’ the ‘suicide’. Mary and her Madness was ideal.
Instead of the romantically absurd Love & Death myth of teenaged Mary this is what was really happening: Rudolph suffered a concussion in late October as the newspaper wars ratched up along with rumors of assassination. Rudolph found Bismarck in his parlor in the wee hours of night. Rudolph kept defying four powerful men demanding his resignation as Inspector General of Infantry (overseeing gunnery) as guns blew up back at Spandau amidst rumors of approaching war. Rudolph endured a grotesque last Christmas as he struggled on through the Gun Crisis. A paralegal star chamber court martial condemned him in absentia into January. Ten Roll Commandos were picked to shoot Rudolph if Rudolph did not shoot himself. Mayerling was circled on the map as the ideal place for the military hit. Five Prussians who were often seen in Wimpffen’s ‘Nest of Vipers’ prepared to ‘hunt’ around Mayerling. Larisch took Mary to Wimpffen’s ‘Nest of Vipers’ supposedly to meet Rudolph (who had actually dropped Wimpffen). Bombelles and Hoyos regretted sleeping with Mary as Mary’s fiancée Braganza broke off the engagement which meant the financially strapped Vetsera Clan had to get badly needed money elsewhere. Albrecht told his minions that Rudolph’s death date would be January 30th. Then Albrecht added the time: 6:30 A.M. If Rudolph was not dead by his own hand then Roll Commandos would shoot Rudolph (Per Group Captain Rudolph Taaffe — please see the Metal Box of Taaffe).
Roll Commandos and Prussians posing as ‘Hunters’ descended on Mayerling. It’s suburb isolation and lack of security and tiny local staff would make it ideal. The occasional cook was contacted (being greedy she was known for pilfering household monies and soon would be pilfering wallets of dead men before being murdered in a hotel room she should not have been able to afford). Shooting Rudolph in Mizzi Caspar’s flat or else Rudolph’s military office or garret office or Hofburg rooms would hardly work. The military hit had to occur at Mayerling. The insider underling which the double agent warn of too late, the cook, was suborned. Then the Hofburg liaison to oversee the execution was hired: Coburg The Sinister, he of the famous 24 hour missing alibi whose black and blue wife later blurted out was the sort to be implicated in royal murder. Every guest Rudolph invited to Mayerling suddenly declined the invitation except Hoyos. Rudolph told MC he was facing death or dishonor.
Albrecht anticipated Rudolph not cooperating because up to now Rudolph had refused to cooperate in any way, shape, or form with Albrecht’s attempts to railroad him. Rudolph was defying ultimatums of Albrecht, Bismarck, Willy, and Francis Joseph. Rudolph clearly meant to go down fighting. For such a supposed coward Rudolph was proving to be quite a prick.
Rudolph and Francis Joseph had a loud quarrel in Francis Joseph’s inner sanctum a week before Mayerling. The calendar and clock were ticking down to the wire. The military hit required Rudolph to go to, give up, give in, and agree to pull a Benedek by mutely and passively going to his place of formal military execution: Mayerling. Either ‘do the right thing’ as an officer and gentleman and shoot himself or else be shot. Time was running out. And Rudolph was being such a SOB he was actually forcing himself into military meetings despite Albrecht and calendaring future meetings and even pissing of Bismarck and Willy by calendaring a meeting in Berlin!
Finally at the German Embassy Ball Rudolph kissed the hand of Francis Joseph as Willy gloated. Willy would get his birthday gift! The death of Rudolph. Being a notorious sadist Willy would want that gift garnished. A von Holstein Smutty Petri ‘suicide’ garnished with a ‘sex scandal’ corpse frosted by forged suicide notes to not only destroy Rudolph’s life but honor and reputation.
Albrecht did not tell his minions anything about a von Holstein manufactured scenario. Only that he anticipated Rudolph not being cooperative requiring two Roll assassins to execute Rudolph as if by firing squad on January 30th at 6:30 A.M . But if Albrecht picked ‘Reds’ to be the assassins he was inviting complications.
The First Estate Hochadel aristocratic ‘Reds’ ie Hussars were the reactionary Catholic elite and they hated the ‘Blues’ ie Infantry and Artillery who were mostly Third Estate sons of middle class professionals , progressives, Protestants, Jews, Czechs, Freemasons, university graduates, and scientific and technological free thinkers. Rudolph was a ‘Blue’ and like all ‘Blues’ worshiped General Benedek who was destroyed by Albrecht as the scapegoat for the military sins of Francis Joseph. If the two Roll assassins picked to shoot Rudolph were ‘Reds’ then they would have personal grudges against Rudolph.
Neither Albrecht or any ‘Reds’ he might pick would see Rudolph as anything other than a traitor of a dirty dog of a ‘tailor’ ie coward or dishonorable cur who did not deserve the option of a gentleman’s death with dignity. They would have seen Rudolph as a traitor who was not entitled to have his nonexistent honor and reputation preserved . Did Albrecht or the Roll ‘Reds’ Commandos he picked know about the rumors of a von Holstein/Smutty Petri plot? And did they decide to join forces to deny Rudolph the option of a honorable end even if he agreed to do the right thing as an officer and a gentleman?
But if Rudolph finally kissed his father’s hand then he appeared to be resigned to death. ‘It must be so!’ Rudolph mused as he wound his watch at his garret office after finishing two hours of military paperwork. So Rudolph appeared resigned to death and therefore agreed in principal to shoot himself as an officer and gentleman before the ultimatum of 6:30 A.M. January 30th.
Apparently Rudolph thought Francis Joseph promised him a quid pro quo. Quiet death. Then the Hofburg would announce heart attack. The Hofburg in fact did plan this. At this point Francis Joseph and Rudolph were enemies but as father and son Francis Joseph would prefer a quiet and dignified death if only to preserve the honor of the Habsburgs.
Bratfisch later said no one invited Mary. Mary invited herself. Why would Rudolph, facing death as an officer and a gentleman, want Mary and her Madness there? Everyone wanted Rudolph dead. That much was agreed. Albrecht the Gravedigger of the Habsburgs. Taaffe. Stephanie. Francis Joseph. Bismarck. Willy. Larisch. Helen Vetsera who was desperate for money and bitter about her long ago teenaged ex lover and who also wanted revenge against Francis Joseph for dumping her after her own sister killed herself in the Danube over Francis Joseph. Everyone wanted Rudolph dead. Heck, over Christmas even the mentally unstable Sisi made a terrible scene after Rudolph tried to shove an expensive gift of letters from Heine into her hands while trying to kiss her. His own mother ranted and raved about Rudolph being damned by the spirits for trying to harm her Einzige Only One Valerie. Even Rudolph’s own mother wanted Rudolph dead. Bombelles was under threat to his life and career (he would end up dead before the year was not). Rudolph’s secretary warned Rudolph and Bombelles that the double agent Koinoff was abandoning them. Only MC was still loyal to Rudolph. But spies were hounding her so her life was in danger.
Rudolph finally agreed to ‘do the right thing’ at last after his father implied a promise of a quid pro quo. Who would want a messy and shocking and embarrassing death such as would shake the Habsburg Dynasty to its core? That was the question. The trouble was a lot of enemies of Rudolph wanted exactly that!
Larisch was seen for two hours driving Mary sans luggage or lady’s maid but wearing a skin tight dress and hat and boa and muff which she clutched. They giggled as they pretended to elude secret police who followed them as they made a public fool of themselves. Their behavior all but screamed that Mary going to a rendezvous with a lover such as she had been publically announcing for months. It was a very obvious paper trail broadcasting a sexual rendezvous for a sex scandal. The spies who followed them were not amused. But it strained all credibility for Helen Vetsera or Larisch to later claim they had no idea where Mary was. Nor Taaffe. Mary and Larisch was broadcasting it for everyone in Vienna to know and gossip about. The police could have stopped the farce at any time —- but deliberately choose not to do so.
Then Larisch passed Mary to Countess Wimpffen a creature of von Holstein whose townhouse had become a ‘Nest of Vipers’ ie Prussians and Berlin Spies including five Junkers ‘disguised’ in brand new hunting togs who were now ‘hunting’ without hunting around Mayerling. Meanwhile the Roll Commandos encircled Mayerling. Every invited guest but one found excuses to decline: Count Hoyos. Coburg invited himself and ‘hunted’ while meeting other ‘hunters’ encircling Mayerling. Amazingly, Rudolph worked on the last day of his life with the Budapest Defense Bill concerning the use of German as the command language as well as an academic article about Godollo before writing a letter to Weilen asking for more time (so Freudian!)..
Von Holstein and Smutty Petri had been passing known forgeries of Rudolph’s handwriting. Rudolph’s secretary had shown some to Rudolph. Thus Mary got her forged invitation from Wimpffen. . Then Wimpffen dropped Mary off at the Vienna Train Station alone sans luggage or lady’s maid but clutching something to her breast.
Hofburg spies watched and by chance a secretary of Rudolph likewise watched as Mary by chance boarded the same half hour commuter train to Baden which was the station for Mayerling. Mayerling was a suburb of Vienna. The secretary then debarked because he was delivering research books to Rudolph at Mayerling. He observed Mary debark in her skin tight dress sans luggage or lady’s maid but clutching that muff very strangely. He watched her hire a private hack to transport her to Mayerling.
Later Bratfisch the cabbie extraordinaire to Rudolph told the secretary that Mary Vetersa invited herself to Mayerling waving a forged invitation among other things and that whatever everyone said, whatever happened at Mayerling was not a suicide. It was murder.
Later still Hoyos ran hysterically through the Baden Train station to wave down a train while shouting that Rudolph was killed. Shot. (Despite the fact officially it was suppose to be poison). In Hoyos’ terror he blundered his cue and messed up his line. By the time Hoyos arrived in Vienna everyone already knew that Rudolph was shot because the telegrapher telegraphed his boss Rothschild who immediately told the German Embassy who immediately told Berlin while The British Embassy immediately found out while everyone else immediately found out including a famous artist named von Angeli who openly speculated how a totally shattered right temple could be remotely considered suicide. Artists in the Victorian Age did human dissections on morgue corpses so he would have seen murdered corpses as he dissected. So everyone knew and were telegraphing the world even before poor Hoyos stumbled into the Hofburg while still trying to remember his lines that officially Mary poisoned Rudolph in a sordid sex scandal murder suicide.
By the time Sisi told Francis Joseph everyone including Francis Joseph already knew. The spy dossiers were probably already sitting on his desk. In fact Sisi was probably the last person to actually get the news.
Even Helen Vetsera who was ‘fainting’ in Sisi’s antechamber already knew the news. She and Larisch had been grandstanding all day in preparation of the news. She might not have realized that von Holstein planned to kill Mary instead of exploiting her but Helen bloody well know. But like Larisch and Wimpffen she was facing bankruptcy and desperately needed money now that Mary’s ex-fiancée dumped Mary. Mary was damage goods so the money making fall back plan was to cash in on Mary’s notoriety instead . The Vetsera mother and daughter were not only second rate aristocrats but ‘unbelievable ‘ and ‘notorious’. No respectable mother or daughter would go near them. Helen just got more than she bargained for . So she made money of Mary’s death instead. And believe it or not that is exactly what she did.
Francis Joseph expressed initial surprise that Mayerling was ending as a poison. He expected a different end. And the Hofburg planned a different end : heart attack. Oh well! But Carl Lonyay ‘s insider contacts told him about Francis Joseph’s remarkably bland behavior of dining as usual and going to bed as usual and even telling his minions to tell Dr. Widerhofer to debrief him during normal business hours. That behavior all screamed out that Francis Joseph knew that Rudolph was suppose to die at Mayerling. Lonyay’s contacts also told him Francis Joseph ordered every ‘suicide’ letter and piece of evidence secured for him and him alone. Carefully edited and summarized transcripts of the letters would be released. Sisi’s letter was all but snatched right out of her shaking hands. Many never even got their supposed letters. The Vatican has no records of any request for a divorce by Rudolph or suicide letter or telegram whatsoever. The corpse of Rudolph was not yet officially cold when Francis Joseph ordered everything fully secured. All locals including local police were ordered away. Taaffe was ordered to conduct the investigation which he called off two hours before it started. Then 99% of all the evidence was locked in his infamous metal box. What evidence was not locked into that infamous box was locked away in the royal archives.
Francis Joseph’s later genuine scream of pure horror only occurred after Dr. Widerhofer told Francis Joseph how Rudolph actually died. Then Francis Joseph screamed that his son died like a ‘tailor’ ie coward or dishonorable cur. This scream of genuine horror occurred 24 hours after Francis Joseph was told that Rudolph died of poison by Mary or with Mary or because of Mary which only mildly surprised him. So everyone expected something bad to happen at Mayerling. They just did not expect that it would end up so very so bad. The military hit was high-jacked. Stephanie and von Holstein and Smutty Petri and Willy got their sordid murder suicide sex scandal garnished with Mary’s Madness and frosted with forged suicide notes. At that point Francis Joseph was powerless to contain it.
The von Holstein/Smutty Petri sordid sex scandal/suicide frosted with ludicrous forged suicide notes and contradicting witnesses was already being spread within 24 hours of Mayerling. Another enemy of Bismarck was being destroyed just like so many other enemies. International non -German papers protested the obvious von Holstein/Smutty Petri hit. Pan German papers wallowed in it. Thousands of ordinary citizens of the empire poured into Vienna to mourn their ‘People’s Prince’ and protest the smear. Francis Joseph was facing a prequel to the Death of Diana nightmare which the Winsors faced over a century later.
Von Slatin hastily manufactured a backfire of Romantic double suicide to frantically fight the sordid version of Mayerling which Berlin was publicizing as more and more foreign newspapers and embassies and the common people protested the obvious von Holstein /Petri ‘suicide’ – ‘sex scandal’ which destroyed so many other enemies of Bismarck. The Hofburg quaked before this prequel of the ‘Death of Diana’ with thousands of citizens all but rioting in mad rage and grief at the death of their ‘Peoples’ Prince ‘ and the obvious dastardly conspiracy to besmirch their Shining Prince. Francis Joseph faced and unexpectedly dangerous threat to his unloved tyranny. The only happy person was Albrecht the Gravedigger of the Habsburgs. All of the hullabaloo nicely diverted attention away from the fact he initiated the original military hit. And Albrecht simply did not care how messy the scandal became.
Clearly no one fullyanticipated what really happened at Mayerling. Everyone wanted something bad to happen but everyone got more than they anticipated. Apparently everyone was surprised how Mayerling actually unfolded including Stephanie who must have been so disappointed that her poison was never used as intended.