The Murder of Carrie Lenz


FINAL DOOM: The Frederick Hollman Story  – by Kevin Collier

Carrie Lenz was murdered in her home

Albert and Carrie Lenz

Caroline “Carrie” Lenz was murdered in her Gilman, Ford County, Illinois home on Thanksgiving Day 1896. Carrie’s husband Albert had left their home for town to buy heating oil when the killing took place.

The two young Lenz children, Charles and Florence, were in the home at the time of the murder. Hollman had stolen a gold watch owned by Carrie Lenz from the residence and showed it to others in the days after the tragedy, but authorities were unable to find the key piece of evidence connecting Hollman to the murder scene, thus he was not charged with or prosecuted on this death. The murder of Wiebke Geddes, committed on December 2 less than a week later, was chosen over the Lenz death as prosecution-worthy as the evidence was stronger and insured a conviction. This greatly upset the woman’s father, Matthias Baumann, as well as her husband, Albert. The court assured the family if Hollman escaped a conviction on the Geddes case, they would prosecute Hollman for the murder of Carrie Lenz. Hollman was convicted in the Geddes death, and hanged on May 14, 1896 for that crime.

The Lenz and Baumann families were left without justice, some say. However, in late August 1899, Carrie Lenz’s stolen gold watch was found in the mattress of a bed Hollman had slept in while boarding at the Stuhmer farmhouse, where he was arrested on December 5, 1896.

The recovered watch served as proof Hollman had indeed killed Carrie Lenz.

The watch, today, is in a bank vault, and owned by the daughter-in-law of Florence Lenz-Schmid and Grand-daughter-in-law of Carrie Lenz.


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