Circuit Attorney Eggers has looked up the law on the matter, and to-day [February 9] declared the abduction of Chris Von der Ahe, the base ball magnate, by a Pittsburg detective a high-handed outrage. He announced his intention of issuing warrants for every person concerned in it as soon as he can find out who personally saw Von der Ahe forcibly taken from the St. Nicholas Hotel and carried out of the State. As soon as the warrants are made out application will be made to Governor Stephens for a requisition on the Governor of Pennsylvania for the return of the kidnappers to Missouri.
who is in the city, announces his intention of granting the requisition. Governor Stephens discussed with his friends this evening the abduction of Von der Ahe. "It is the strangest incident in my experience," he said. "The idea that a citizen of another State can come into this State and carry away bodily a citizen of Missouri without leave or license is rather startling. I don't care what a citizen of this State has done in another State, nobody has a right to convey him outside the territory and jurisdiction of Missouri without the consent of the Governor, and upon formal application from the Governor of the State wherein the crime was committed.
"The fact that Nimick was the bondsman of Von der Ahe gives him no authority to abduct the person for whom he became surety. It may give him the right to apprehension. But he has not even the right to arrest unless he has a warrant from the constituted authorities of this State.
It Was A Crime.
"Bendel, the detective who too Von der Ahe and carried him away, has certainly been guilty of a crime in the seizure of Von der Ahe's person. A warrant can be sworn out in this city against him, and upon such warrant I would issue my requisition upon the Governor of Pennsylvania for Bendel's arrest and return to this State for trial. A requisition, of course, is a writ of courtesy between Governors, but a refusal to honor such a writ on any other grounds than those of informality in the drawing of the papers is of rare occurrence.
"No matter what the aggravating circumstances were that caused Von der Ahe's seizure, no man had a right to carry him out of this State a prisoner without the official cognizance and permission of the Governor of Missouri. To hold otherwise, under the common or any other law, would be to throw down all the safeguards of the Federal statutes, destroy the writ of habeas corpus and made of no avail the law of criminal procedure. Carrying away a citizen without a warrant is a serious matter. A bailee has always the right of apprehension; he never at any moment has the right of abduction. I don't think the Governor of Pennsylvania would refuse a requisition I might make in due form for Bendel's return to Missouri to answer a charge of violating the laws of the State."
The statues of Missouri provide a term of imprisonment in the penitentiary not to exceed ten years as a punishment for abduction.
Muckenfuss To The Rescue.
President Muckenfuss, of the St. Louis Club, telegraphed a wad of money to Von der Ahe to-day. He expects Chris to return by Saturday, being confident that the habeas corpus proceedings at Pittsburg will result in the magnate's release. Muckenfuss had an engagement to confer with Governor Stephens concerning action in the case to-day.
To add to Von der Ahe's troubles his wife this afternoon filed a cross bill in the divorce suit which he recently instituted. She charges that he called her names, struck her, spied on her compelled her to do housework, and finally refused to give money to her.
-Sporting Life, February 12, 1898
I guess it speaks to Von der Ahe's stature that his troubles would get the Circuit Attorney in St. Louis and the Governor of Missouri involved. Also, the last paragraph above, regarding Von der Ahe's divorce, just speaks to the cumulation of difficulties that Von der Ahe faced. And things were only going to get worse for him as 1898 went along. It was a tough year for the guy.
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