Shoenfeld & His Professionalism
Sat Mar 16, 2019 03:04

Hi Bob,

I agree with your assessment of Dr. Shoenfeld's lack of professionalism, and this makes me wonder if the high standards of the medical profession, its rules and regulations (as it were) were, back eighty or more years ago, as strictly enforced as they are today. My guess is that they were not. That Shoenfeld went unpunished for his professional transgressions is (likely) proof of this. It was a different world, a different America, back in the first half of the 20th century. You could get arrested for jaywalking; the laws and the laws that governed the medical profession dealt with in a manner wholly different from today. How do I know this? From my reading, from old news stories I've read, and from stories I've heard from family members privy to such knowledge due to there being a number of doctors and medical professionals in my family.

That Dr. Shoenfeld was a psychiatrist put him in a special category back in the 1930s. Many people even in the medical profession were skeptical regarding psychiatry; and the theories of Sigmund Freud weren't held in nearly so high regard as they were in the postwar era. Best guess on my part as to how Shoenfeld was dealt with by law enforcement: as an "inside guy", a man with special knowledge who could help them understanding the workings of the mind of a kidnapper; and yet not maybe so much as a god-like figure. More like someone who has or may have the "skinny" on the LKC. At the track they called them touts. They're in every profession, under different names. In Hollywood, in the old days, a guy with an eye for charisma, certain mannerisms and expressions that catch the eye, they were starmakers. It takes real talent to succeed with that kind of intuition mixed with imagination.

Dr. Shoenfeld, whatever his faults, did seem to have some of that kind of talent. He heard a lot about the Lindbergh case; and he was sought after by the police. I've read The Crime And The Criminal; and it was a long while ago, in a university library (it costs over $300 from Amazon). It's very well written and nicely thought out. Of all the "old-time" books on the LKC it's one of the best. Some of his insights into the case, especially as to who was captured, tried and executed for the crime, are uncanny in their prescience. One can almost see various aspects of the personality of Bruno Richard Hauptmann coming to life in his book. Shoenfeld may have been wrong in his assessment of the "mind of the criminal" in the case, which I believe is way more complicated than that, yet he showed a rare kind of genius in laying the groundwork for David Wilentz's prosecution of it.


  • schoenfeldbob mills for joe and forum, Sun Feb 24 09:56
    Joe, Schoenfeld might have been a smart guy. But he never met Hauptmann, let alone examined him, as you would expect any doctor to do before assuming a crucial role in a criminal case. I'd be very... more
    • Shoenfeld & His Professionalism — jdb, Sat Mar 16 03:04
      • schoenfeldbob mills for jdb and forum, Sun Mar 17 10:01
        Thanks for the support, John. i've always put Schoenfeld in the category of "just what the prosecution needed." For over two years cops in two states chased a gang, because it was obvious to everyone ... more
        • Jafsie's ID of BrunoRichard Sloan, Mon Mar 18 11:00
          Bob -- the gang was still on the loose when Jafsie finally ID'd him! The witnesses were not credible, and the handwriting experts were all over the place from the start. (Only Koehler's testimony was ... more
        • A Perfect Stormjdb, Sun Mar 17 12:43
          Yes, Bob. It was a perfect storm for law enforcement, and David Wilentz, and he made the best of it. The witnesses who "came forth" were a dubious bunch; but more dubious still, morally, was the... more
          • hauptmann, doomed from the startbob mills for jdb and forum, Sun Mar 17 18:17
            A mistrial was impossible with Trenchard in charge. Remember his "charge" to the jury? "Do you believe that?" (regarding Hauptmann's alibi). Has any jurist, ever, been so ignorant of the effect of... more
            • I Guess Sojdb, Mon Mar 18 01:18
              I guess you're right about what you wrote, Bob, although I think that Wilentz's Jewishness was a liability, as Wilentz well knew, that he some managed to turn into if not an advantage a kind of David ... more
              • wilentzRichard Sloan, Tue Mar 19 15:49
                This back n forth about WIlentz, Germans, Jews, etc; is interesting, but it doesnt really matter. The wood evidence was sufficient to convict. Rail 16 put him at the scene of the crime, not WHited,... more
                • Re: wilentzAnonymous, Wed Mar 20 14:05
                  With all due respect, I think that Wilentz knew that the existence of Rail 16 did not (beyond all resonable doubt) put Hauptmann at the scene of the crime. It certainly proved beyond all reasonable... more
                  • witnesses to what?bob mills for anonymous and forum, Thu Mar 21 10:52
                    I'd say the difference between Whited and Lupica is one of integrity. Lupica wasn't willing to twist facts, even with reward money at stake. Whited first said he never saw Hauptmann, then went for... more
                    • The Bakery Peoplejdb, Wed Mar 27 03:03
                      This is a puzzlement to me, Bob: that the jury bought what Whited and Hochmuth said, apparently didn't believe the people at the bakery. Were they lying? What was in it for them to do so? To the... more
                  • at scene of the crimeRichard E Sloan, Thu Mar 21 09:34
                    Aha, there's "the rub." I think that rail 16 DID put Bruno at the scene of the crime IN THE EYES OF THE JURY, beyond reasonable doubt. I would think that is all that mattered. Regardless, I would... more
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