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The Sausage Meat Murder Mystery

Updated on August 16, 2015

In the Sausage Plant

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A Monologue by Louisa Luetgert:

Hi there! Don’t be afraid! I won’t harm you, if you won’t harm me!

My name is Louisa, Louisa Luetgert, born Bricknell. I like strolling down these streets of Northwest Chicago, more particularly the 601-629 Diversey Parkway area, and on a May 1, singing 'Happy Birthday to Me!' Maybe you have seen me before, all dressed up in white? Leaning against the mantel in the fireplace of our old house? Maybe you’ve caught a glimpse of me, while I was wandering through the sausage plant? The place was recently abandoned, parts of it are turned into condominiums. Yes, I do like it here, my dear!

My husband was a German immigrant. Adolph started the Sausage & Packing Company, with only $4,000 he had saved up. On January 18, 1878, only two months after the death of his first wife, we got married. He had two children with his first wife and four with me, although in those days, I already was a frail and sickly woman. I knew I couldn’t excite many men, and the appetite of my husband was, well, far above normal. So he entertained the ladies in the sausage plant, after hours. And I knew all that. But I was so glad to be a married woman at last, that I didn’t complain.

Adolph however, he did complain! One day he went down to the police station, and told the officers that I had a secret lover. But they did nothing about his odd complaint, until... well, until I suddenly disappeared. That was in May 1897.

‘She has left me for this secret lover I complained about,’ Adolph said.

The police started nosing around the sausage plant, because at that time, we already had us a long history of domestic violence, and there were rumors that Adolph had financial troubles, and that he was courting a rich widow.

‘He will marry her, once he got rid of his wife!’ people said. ‘Poor Mrs Luetgert probably has been cooked down to, say, something as easily disposed of as sausage meat.’

And indeed, a strange odour emanated from one of the vats in the sausage plant. The vat was drained, but the police only found a few unidentifiable bones, and a gold wedding ring. Okay, my initials – L.L. – were engraved on it, but Adolph insisted he had been carrying the ring around in his pocket, ever since I left him, in memory of our happier days. ‘The ring must have dropped from my pocket while I was burning foul sausages,’ he said.

And then the police found the bills of the arsenic and potash Adolph had bought the day before my disappearance. Potash, when boiled with water, can do a thorough job on the human body you know. Adolph explained he was working on a secret formula to develop a new soap, and with a potash base this soap would certainly remove dirt - but skin too.

When in a factory furnace metatarsal bone fragments were found, and a toe phalanx, and a rib, and a head of a female human, Adolph was arrested and put on trial. He still claimed his innocence, and the police couldn’t prove beyond any doubt that my body had been cooked into sausage meat and disposed of. But my doctor testified that my knuckles were so painfully swollen from arthritis, that I was unable to remove my wedding ring. The only way to get the ring, was to have melt it out of my finger.

Adolph missed melting in the electric chair, and I was very pleased he got life in Joliet Prison. Now I could go visiting him on a regular basis, and entertain him in the way he entertained the ladies after hours, in his sausage plant. He ended up babbling incoherently to the guards, denying he had turned me into sausages that were sold to an unsuspecting public. He simply didn’t understand why I was haunting him, and seeking my revenge.

Adolph died insane, in 1900. His attorney believed his client had told the truth, and that I had disappeared with a secret lover. He spent over $2,000 and devoted his life to finding me. I paid him some visits and he went insane too.

And so, you can meet me in the streets of Northwest Chicago, all dressed up in white, or wandering through our old house, or what once was the sausage plant, and later was abandoned, or turned into condominiums.

But hey, don’t be afraid! I won’t harm you, if you won’t harm me!

Audio Theatre

Public Performance Permission

For any public performance of this monologue, you need a written permission from the author. Please contact Patrick Bernauw / The Lost Dutchman for more information on Performing Rights Theatre Plays.

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