|Birth name||Edmund Hermann Wilsdorf|
|Born|| January 13, 1856|
Crottendorf, German Reich
|Cause of death||Suicide|
|Spouse(s)||Rosa Olga Wilsdorf|
|Date|| March 10, 1907|
|Location(s)||Dresden, German Reich|
Wilsdorf was born in Crottendorf on January 13, 1856. He was married to Rosa Olga Lindner, with whom he had six children. He worked as a forester, and had been the Royal Chief Forest Ranger (königlicher Oberförster) in Jöhstadt, until he had to resign after a duel with one of his superiors. After losing his job he relocated to Dresden with his family, where they lived rather secluded from the rest of the community.
At the time of the murders Wilsdorf was prosecuted for embezzling 10,000 Mark during his time as forester in Jöhstadt. He was summoned before the court in the week prior to the murders, and was about to be arrested. Furthermore he allegedly was unable to get by with his retirement pay, suffered from food scarcity, and had accumulated ever increasing amounts of debt, which created tensions within the family.
In the days before the murders Wilsdorf wrote two postcards to his second daughter Hilda, who was taking courses at the Association for the Protection of Women (Verein für Frauenschutz), and lived at a pension belonging to the institution. In his writings, which arrived on March 9, Wilsdorf ordered his daughter to return home by 8 a.m. on March 10.
In the early hours of March 10, at around 4 a.m., Wilsdorf took a revolver and shot his wife and five children while they were sleeping in their beds. Due to the peaceful faces of the victims police suspected that they may have been drugged beforehand. Afterwards Wilsdorf waited for his daughter Hilda, who left the pension at 7:45 a.m. As soon as she arrived Wilsdorf shot her in the neck, and, leaving her for dead, then retreated into his office, where he committed suicide by shooting himself in the temple. He left several letters.
The bodies were discovered by police the next morning, and Hilda, who was unconscious, but still alive at the time, was brought to hospital, where she died on March 15. On the same day the other members of the family were buried at the cemetery in Tolkewitz at the presence of several hundred people.
- Rosa Olga Wilsdorf, 40, his wife
- Dora Wilsdorf, 19, his daughter
- Hilda Mathilde Wilsdorf, 17, his daughter
- Helmut Wilsdorf, 16, his son
- Detlef Wilsdorf, 12, his son
- Edmund Wilsdorf, 12, his son
- Olga Auguste Wilsdorf, 11, his daughter
- ↑ Kills 5 children and wife, The New York Times (March 12, 1907)
- ↑ Domestic tragedy, Poverty Bay Herald (May 11, 1907)
- ↑ Murder and suicide, Taranaki Herald (March 12, 1907)
- ↑ Aus aller Welt - Dresden, Coburger Zeitung (March 14, 1907)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Aus aller Welt, Coburger Zeitung (March 13, 1907)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Eine Familientragödie, Freiburger Zeitung (March 12, 1907) (2. Blatt)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Aus aller Welt - Dresden, Coburger Zeitung (March 15, 1907)
- ↑ Aus aller Welt - Dresden, Coburger Zeitung (March 17, 1907)