Josephine Molitor, Lina Molitor (Lina Hau) and Olga Molitor Homepage

Josephine Molitor

This site has been established to discover details about the life of Josephine Molitor (nee Josephine Stadelhofer), who was murdered on November 6, 1906 in Baden-Baden, Germany, Lina Hau (nee Molitor), her older daughter, who committed suicide before the subsequent murder trial of her husband Carl Hau, and Olga Molitor, Josephine Molitor's younger daughter. Click here to learn more about Carl Hau at This page contains a number of references and links relating to the case. PDF Resoursces Relating to the Carl Hau/Molitor Case contains PDF files of several writings about this case.

The trial took place in 1907 and Carl Hau was found guilty and sentenced to death. In some ways, the trial could be seen as an early OJ Simpson-type trial in that it drew reporters from all over the world and generated passionate debate in Germany for many years. Hau's sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment. He was released from prison in 1924 and died 2 years later in Italy, most probably from suicide.

Many observers saw the case as a terrible example of a flawed justice system, as well as misconduct by the presiding judge, Dr. Bleicher. Key witnesses were not allowed to testify and the jurors discussed the case freely with local townspeople in the evenings during the trial. Most likely the jurors felt Hau must be guilty because of unsavory aspects of his life that came out during the trial. Nonetheless, when he was found guilty, many people felt that the trial itself was a sham. (At that time in Germany, the legal system in some parts of the country - including Baden Baden - did not conform to federal legal standards. That was changed in 1918, due in part to the Hau trial.)

A great many books and articles have been written about this case, mostly during the first half of the 20th Century. At least 2 movies had been made based on the case, one in 1925 and one in 1949.

If you have any information to share - or would like to see some of the information collected by me - please contact me at this Email Contact. It would be helpful if you placed the words "Molitor" in the subject line. Unfortunately, I do not speak German. I have also created an Email discussion group on the topic of Carl Hau and the Molitor family at

Why am I so interested in this case? The reason is simple: Lina Hau was my grandmother, Josephine Molitor my great-grandmother and Olga Molitor my great aunt. Carl Hau was my grandfather. My mother, born in Washington, D.C. in 1903 was the only child of Carl and Lina Hau. She was originally named Olga Hau (Olga after the first name of her aunt) but her name was changed to Ruth Dorothee Masters after the trial because before she died, Lina had requested it - presumably to protect her daughter from the vast amount of publicity the case generated. Her name, after she married my father in 1932, became Ruth Dorothee Masters Rickover. I am Robert Masters Rickover, her son. It was several years after her death in 1972 that I learned about Carl Hau and the Molitor family and I'm interested in finding out more.

Among the areas I'd like to know more about:

1. Any material that would shed light on Hau's guilt or innocence. It seems likely to me now that he was guilty, but I am not totally sure.

2. Information about Carl and Lina Hau's life in Washington, D.C.

3. Information about what happened Lina's sister, Olga Molitor, the "other woman" in the relationship between Carl and Lina. Also, information about Carl Molitor, Lina and Olga's brother, and about descendents of the Hau and Molitor families.

4 The Generallandesarchiv , a museum, in Karlsruhe has an extensive collection of documents about the case. Any help in gaining access to those documents would be much appreciated.

My Email Contact

Click here to view some photos related to the murder of Josephine Molitor and the murder trial of Carl Hau


(more material will be added as it becomes available)