Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A bit more about The Thin Man

Jack Neely wrote up another fine piece called The Thin Man for the Knoxville Mercury paper.  In it he tells the story of a Nazi spy who was captured at the YMCA in Knoxville.

Before Jack gets to the subject of his story, he wonderfully paints a picture of Knoxville as it was in July of 1944.  He mentions Carl Doyle who played for the Frolics baseball team. Carl played in the majors for portions of four seasons where he went 6-15, with a robust 6.96 ERA.  He finished out his professional playing days in Knoxville in 1943 where he went 0-3 and had an ERA of 11.12 that season.

Jack also mentions some movies playing around town.  Young & Willing at the Roxy.  Andy Hardy's Blonde Trouble at the Tennessee.  The Bridge of San Luis Rey at the Riviera.  The Bridge was a remake of a 1929 film and was remade in 2004The Impostor, being shown at the Bijou, was also released as Bayonet Charge and Strange Confession.

Now on to the meat of the story.  The Augusta Chronicle and The Macon Telegraph carried the same UP wire story about the arrest of Walter Othmer.

The Macon Telegraph - July 21, 1944

As Jack states in his article, Walter was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison.  I found a mention of he and his family in the Richmond Time-Dispatch around Christmas of 1955.  His son, Siegfried, who was just spending his fourth Christmas in America, would have come to the States in about 1951.

Walter's obituary just four years later shed a bit more light on his life.  At the time of his death he was an engineer for Stone and Webster Engineering Corp.  His wife's name was Rosemarie.  He had two sons. Siegfried and Hans; four brothers and a sister.

Richmond Times-Dispatch - August 6, 1959

Richmond Times-Dispatch - August 7, 1959
Walter is interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery near Rosemarie, who passed away in January of 1987.