The Last Words of Dutch Schultz and His Hidden Treasure
On October 23rd, 1935, Dutch Schultz, who was a major player in organized crime, was gunned down at the Palace Chop House in Newark, New Jersey. He died soon after in the morning hours of the 24th, but possibly not before he offered some clues to where he might have secreted a now lost treasure.
Recently, I had the chance to go exploring in the area of where this hidden treasure, consisting of cash, diamonds, bonds, jewels, and gold coins has the potential of yet being discovered. It’s quite the interesting story and place.
Arthur Flegenheimer (nicknamed Dutch Schultz- 1901-1935) is thought to have been killed on orders of the ‘Commission’ (leading members of the American Mafia). There was a fear he was going to retaliate and murder Thomas Dewey; the prosecutor who had went after Schultz for tax evasion. Dewey’s relentless pursuit of Schultz was in efforts to curtail his numerous criminal acts as a leading mobster of the time.
Schultz was annoyed with Dewey and met with the Commission asking for permission to take him out for his irritating investigations. The killing of a state authority was seen ‘disadvantageous’ for the Mafia, though, and so it was something forbidden (most times). They denied Dutch an approval, but soon realized Dutch’s desire to get Dewey would not be curbed. In order to try and keep ‘peace’ with authorities, so their own unscrupulous activities could go along smoothly without angering the law, it is assumed, Schultz was taken out instead by the ‘Commission’.
During Schultz’s tax evasion case and probability of jail time, Schultz was known to have ordered the making of a waterproof iron chest. It is said he used this case to stash and bury his ‘earned’ riches in so the government couldn’t get to it if he went to jail after his trial. The value of Schultz’s hidden chest is believed to be in the millions today, if found.
Where exactly he hid his treasure is the mystery. And if it remains there is another. Of course. That’s what makes it a treasure mystery, but these are always fun to research. What if it can be found?
The events of wanting to murder Dewey and the supposed Commission’s hit on Schultz happened before Schultz is thought to have retrieved his hidden stash. Schultz’s loyal bodyguard and driver, who was the only person stated to be with Schultz when he hid the treasure, died during the 1935 hit as well. The exact place of buried treasure died with these two men.
So the last words of Schultz, recorded by a police stenographer during the night of the 23/24th, are of extreme interest, and may include hints to where he hid his treasure. It is not unreasonable to think he might have thought about his ‘money’ on his death bed and gave a clue to where it was.
It was known Schultz and his bodyguard had visited Phoenicia, New York during the time of his court case. It is often thought this rural area in the Catskills is most likely where he chose to stash his hoard of money. Stories have surfaced over the years that Lulu Rosencrantz (Schultz’s bodyguard) had drawn a map and mentioned Esopus Creek, which flows past Phoenicia, to the nurse attending him before he had passed away that dreadful night. This makes the area of Phoenicia a favorite location to search.
And looking into what Schultz spoke, even as he was in a delirious fit before dying, might provide some ideas on where to look in Phoenicia.
There is a line of Dutch Schultz’s last words that has gained my attention for narrowing down possible locations. These are where we visited. Schultz in known to have said, ‘Don’t let Satan draw you too fast.’ He said this after being asked ‘who shot you?’
Other Gang leaders knew Schultz had hid his money for the reason of protecting it from the government. During the hit, it is possible he was being asked to give up the location. I can’t imagine them not asking before shooting him. And so on his death bed, when asked by police, ‘Who shot you and what for?’ it is interesting to hear what Schultz says, for it could have been in the forefront of his mind.
Schultz says he was shot over a million, five million dollars. This is the possible amount his hoard was valued at and so he could have been saying he was shot over where he hid the treasure and not revealing his secreted spot. (or maybe he did?)
Phoenicia has a long history for ‘sightings of the Devil’. This is commonly known and we even saw legends of places where the Devil has left his mark written on a sheet a paper, on a trail board, while searching around the area.
The paper shares four different locations. Only two of which remain. One is the ‘Devil’s Face’ (shown above) and another is the ‘Devil’s Tombstone’.
The Devil’s Face is the like-image of the ‘Devil’, formed from the Cliffside going out of Phoenicia. Before the Devil’s Face, along the road, is a huge boulder in shape like that of a tombstone. This is sometimes referred to as the Devil’s Tombstone.
Both are amazing features to see.
With Schultz’s words, ‘Don’t let Satan draw you too fast’, these ‘devilish’ places catch people’s interest. Digging has been done around the tombstone and searches have been made through the valley and streams nearby.
My thoughts on Schultz’s words about the Devil, assuming he was referring to the location of his treasure, (and I know it is an assumption, but it makes for adventure), is that it could mean to keep the face of the Devil at a distance; to not let him get you too close, but always know where he is at.
I scouted the area for where I could ‘keep the Devil’s Face’ (the Cliffside) in view, for I wouldn’t want to be too close, or drawn in too fast’ as Schultz might have related. I looked for a location of where he might have buried his treasure with this in mind. Obviously, trees grow, landscapes change, but I really liked the other side of the valley. Standing here, the Devil’s Face could be seen, not too close and actually separated by the gap.
Since I’m not ending with ‘I found the treasure!’, I didn’t. But it was a great time looking. And that ‘Devil’s Face’ is definitely creepy. The whole time I was looking, I felt like I was being watched…lol…
More on this adventure to come(the tombstone later)…….
Best of luck with whatever you seek!
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