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Some time back, I came across an awfully strange news article from 1974 with a headline of Attorney Tries to Free Millionaire From Hospital.

Waco Tribune Herald, May 3, 1974 –

An attorney said Thursday he would start a court action toward the release of Texas millionaire Otto A. Koehler Jr. from a mental institution in Colorado where he has been confined for 10 years. John Joseph Matonis of Washington, D.C. general counsel for the Citizens Commission on Human Rights….

Koehler, 53, who claims to be an heir to the family which started the Pearl Breweries in San Antonio, Texas was ordered confined at Emory John Brady Hospital in Colorado Springs in January, 1964. His mother, Mrs. Otto Koehler Sr. received a court order supporting the confinement in 1969.

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Koehler Waco_Tribune_Herald_Fri__May_3__1974_.

Well, says me, that’s odd.

And so, I began to research the story behind this and here’s what I found.

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Pearl Beer

The Pearl Brewery wasn’t actually named that until 1952, it was going by the name of San Antonio Brewing Association. It’s beer that was produced was called Pearl beer, however, when it first rolled off the ‘line’ in 1887.

timeline-beer_called_pearl 1887

The Pearl name came from a German brewmaster that had thought that the bubbles in a freshly poured glass of beer resembled pearls. He called them “Perlen.” The San Antonio Brewing Association purchased the formula and name from the Kaiser-Beck Brewery in Bremen, Germany. Otto Koehler, then manager of the Lone Star Brewery in San Antonio, became the president and manager of the San Antonio Brewing Association. In 1902 the officers were Otto Koehler, president; Otto Wahrmund, vice president; and J. J. Stevens, secretary. Koehler remained president until his death in 1914. His wife, Emma, succeeded him as the chief executive.

Koehler was shot by one of his “Emma’s” (there were three in his life) . In about 1910, Emma Koehler was injured in an auto accident, and her husband hired a live-in nurse to see after her. The nurse’s name also was Emma Dumpke.

Sometime later, a friend of hers – also a nurse, also named Emma – came by the Koehler home to have coffee. Emma Hedda Burgemeister, in her mid-30s, was blonde, gray-eyed and 5 feet 10 inches tall. Emma Dumpke – let’s call her Emma II – told her friend about “the intimate relations” (quoting the San Antonio Light) that existed between her and the master of the house.

At some point during the affair, the German-born beer baron and business mogul, one of the richest men in the Southwest, bought Emma II a little house across the river on Hunstock Street, just off South Presa. Koehler paid the expenses and gave Emma II $125 a month in spending money. Emma III – the tall blonde – soon moved in, as well. Koehler paid her $50 a month and deeded the house to both Emmas. He dropped by once a week or so at night, for two or three hours.

– Holley: Pearl Brewery story is saga of 3 Emmas by Joe Holley November 28, 2014

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ménage à trois ala Koehler and his two Emmas?

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oh-boy spanky

Sounds kinky – and a recipe for big trouble. And so it was…

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Emma III – the murderess

emma burgemeister koehler.

This arrangement lasted until Dumpke (Emma II) informed Koehler that she planned to be married. Shortly before she became Emma Dumpke Daschiel, Koehler proposed to Emma III. She turned him down, she said later, because “Mrs. Koehler was a sick woman, and I would not leave her behind sick and helpless.”

On Nov. 12, 1914, at a little after 4 in the afternoon, Otto Koehler – age 59 and married for 22 years – left the brewery in his buggy and drove to the cottage on Hunstock Street. The Emmas were both at home. Within a few minutes of walking through the front door, Koehler was dead from bullets to the neck, face and heart. The shots were fired by one of the Emmas.

According to detailed reporting in the San Antonio Light, Koehler on that fateful afternoon had brushed past Emma II in the living room and had headed straight to the bedroom, where he found Emma III lying on a bed with a cloth covering her eyes. He reportedly tried to kiss her, a quarrel erupted and Emma III shot him with a .32 revolver.

…A grand jury no-billed Emma II but charged Emma III with murder. She decided about that time that wounded World War I soldiers needed her nursing skills, so she decamped to Europe. Surprisingly, she came back to San Antonio three years later to stand trial. Her lawyer was former Texas Gov. T.M. Campbell.

“It was a sordid story which the unfortunate woman had to tell, but one which held the jury and the courtroom, packed to the utmost with spectators, breathless,” the Light reported on Saturday, Jan. 19, 1918. “Miss Burgemeister wore a dress of dark material and a fur hat and muff, her face was covered with a veil.”

Emma III told the jury that she killed Koehler in self-defense and to protect the honor of her friend, Emma II.

“Did you shoot him on the floor after he was dead?” the district attorney asked her.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I only know I shot him as he raised the pistol. I thought he would get me again, and I shot him again. Then I raised the pistol to my head and pulled the trigger.”

“How many times?”

“I don’t know,” Emma III said.

“Your aim was better at Mr. Koehler than at yourself,” the district attorney wryly observed.

On Jan. 22, 1918, the all-male jury found Emma III not guilty. In 1919, she traveled to New Orleans, where she married a member of the jury. The newlyweds returned to San Antonio to live in the little house on Hunstock.

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It was Emma Koehler (his wife) who managed to keep Pearl open during Prohibition, 1919-1933, when almost every other brewery in the state went under.

Here she is – celebrating the first bottle coming off the line after Prohibition ended:

emma koehler left.

So who’s the Otto Koehler that was in the mental hospital in Colorado?

That’s a bit complicated, but I’ll do my best to help explain it as this wasn’t easy to piece together since he seems literally to have no mention whatsoever in any company or any usual ‘historical’ online records.

The first Otto Koehler (the one who was shot in 1914) had a twin brother named Karl Koehler. Karl and his wife had moved from Germany to Pennsylvania, where they had two boys, the younger named Charles. The older was born on July 24, 1893 and named Otto after Karl’s brother.

We’ll call him Otto A. Koehler #2.

This is him –

Otto_Koehler.

Otto #2’s father died in 1908 after a trip to Germany where be became ill. Otto #2 became a ward of Otto #1 and his wife Emma – the Brewery President Otto – and returned to America in 1908. Otto #1 and his wife treated him like a son, and in 1921 Otto #2 left his other jobs (related to the mines Otto #1 was opening all over the place) and came to help Emma run the Brewery. This was during Prohibition.

When Emma decided it was time to step aside of her post, the board members and Emma picked Otto A. to be her successor. Emma served as Otto’s advisor during the transition and his first years as head of the brewery, a position she held until her death on April 26, 1943.

Otto A. was a strong leader and businessman who had learned much from his aunt and uncle. It was this strength that he would have to draw on as turbulent times that lay ahead for the brewery and beer brewing industry as a whole.

Somewhere in here, he married Marcia, and if ever a woman was similar to the Disney character Cruella I’d have to vote for Marcia as a definite candidate.

Cruella_de_Vil.

Marcia – 1937

mrs_otto_koehler_1937.

This woman was obsessed with money and ‘station’, and would do literally anything to keep it (and increase it) including putting her own son in an isolated and private mental hospital.

Otto #2 and Cruella Marcia Koehler – Little Theatre, 1940

Mr._and_Mrs._Otto_Koehler_at_the_Little_Theater_1940

She was Otto a Koehler Jr.’s mother – Otto #3 – who is who the news article I found was talking about.

By 1958, his dad, Otto #2, is starting to look a little worse-for-the-wear. One wonders if being married to Marcia may have played a role in that, he looks unhappy to me.

Otto Koehler, Pearl’s chairman of the board and president, tosses his hat, 1958..

When Emma Koehler died in 1943, he and his wife Marcia assumed ownership of the mansion. An official biography states that Koehler (#2) was born in North Warren, Pennsylvania in 1893, however, family members assert that he was actually born in Germany. Otto Koehler #2 died in 1969.

Koehler mansion

koehler_house_-_texas.

Marcia and Otto Koehler in 1958

Otto and Marcia Koehler San_Antonio_Express_Sun__Oct_19__1958_.

Marcia’s looking extra Cruella in that shot.

Cruella_de_Vil

Here’s where things get seriously weird. In 1964, Marcia had her son put in a mental hospital way over in Colorado Springs, Colorado – no real explanation as to why can be found so far.

However, Marcia went to a lot of trouble (five years later when her husband died) to obtain and enforce a Court order committing her son to psychiatric care.

To me, the poor guy (Otto #3) must have been resisting this whole affair and was the inheritor of the Koehler fortune as designated by his father. I think he was going to block the acquisition of Pearl by Southdown, a conglomerate that started out in the sugar industry, and dear old Cruella mom just couldn’t have that see, so she locked him away in a mental hospital so that the deal would go through (which it did) and Marcia could become even richer.

Note: later on in 1977, Pearl was sold to General Brewing of San Francisco, owned by Paul Kalmanovitz whose holdings later became the Pabst Brewing Company.

The hospital that she chose, as it turns out just happened to have had a habit of helping the rich keep people locked up for monetary reasons.

The-Church-Lady.

Note: Marcia, in what I consider a PR maneuver, tries to repaint herself as a ‘philanthropist’ a couple of years after Otto died and she puts her son into a mental hospital to keep him from the money. In 1971, she deeded their mansion estate to the San Antonio Union Junior College District for the use as the Koehler Cultural Center.

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About that hospital –

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The name of the hospital (where she had her son locked up against his will) was Emory John Brady Hospital aka it’s original name – Colorado Springs Psychopathic Hospital. It was renamed in honor of Brady after his death in 1943.

colorado psychopathic emory brady hospital colorado springs colo.

It was literally right by Cheyenne Mountain where the U.S. has it’s top secret underground military base, immortalized in the beginning of every episode in the TV series Stargate: SG1.

Stargate_SG-1_cast

stargate sg1.

Real photo of NORAD (North American Air Defense Command) entrance in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado.

real photo NORAD cheyenne mountain.

The Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker was expanded beginning in 1960, with an interesting change in its mission being to “a hardened center from which CINCNORAD would supervise and direct operations against space attack as well as air attack.”

church lady pursed face.

Since a nuclear missile flies through the air, one wonders what this ‘space attack’ concern was really about – certainly not the idiotic alien stories people like Ron Hubbard and many other propagandists began conveniently going on about around this same time.

Aliens weapons and after cows for some reason

Anyway… the Secretary of Defense assigned operational control to North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) on 7 October 1960. Four years later, on 30 October 1964, NORAD began manning the Cheyenne Mountain Combat Operations Center and by the following year about 250,000 United States and Canadian personnel were involved in the operation of NORAD.

norad emblem.

Perhaps Emory Brady hospital served some other key functions there then for NORAD as well – a place to hide away those that know too much, perhaps? Just a thought, but this had all just gone on only a few years before poor Otto Koehler gets shipped off to Cheyenne-mountain land, locked up for the next ten years of his life.

This lovely looking gentleman (yea, I’m being sarcastic) on the left is Campbell F. Rice who was running the Brady Hospital when Otto Koehler #3 was deposited there so unceremoniously. A descendant of the original Brady, Dennis, takes over control in 1972.

Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph Wed October 4, 1972

brady hospital koehlerColorado_Springs_Gazette_Telegraph_Wed__Oct_4__1972_.

Dennis is the administrator for the rest of Koehler’s ‘stay’ there at the Brady Hospital.

Dennis Brady

Dennis_James_Brady_administrator_koehler_1966_to_1981.

A December 14, 1978 article mentions that Brady Hospital “specializes” in psychotherapy. Unfortunately, that’s not exactly the entire picture, to put it mildly.

brady_hospital_koehler_specializes_in_psychotherapy_1978.

What they really specialized in was electroshock therapy, often used as pure punishment, and lo-and-behold? To keep the patients there and keep siphoning off their trust funds.

This is what happened to Otto Koehler, until CCHR came along and helped him.

Greeley Daily Tribune, Wed March 30, 1977, Senate panel hears ‘horror story’

A Colorado Senate committee Tuesday listened to a horror story of a man confined to a mental hospital for three years against his will and then approved a bill that would give mental patients the right to refuse to undergo electroshock therapy.

Jeb Wofford, now a member of the Chicago Board of Trade, told the Senate Committee on Health, Environment, Welfare and Institutions he was given 158 shock treatments while confined at the Emory John Brady Hospital in Colorado Springs from 1963 to 1967. [that’s right when Otto was first there]

“Out of 158 treatments, I would say 158 of them were for punishment,” said Wofford, “I was punished for trying to find a lawyer to get me out of there.

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Koehler brady shock as punishment Greeley_Daily_Tribune_Wed__Mar_30__1977_.

One wonders if they had their very own Nurse Ratched at this disgusting (and very real) place, meting out the ‘therapy’ aka brutal punishment.

nurse ratchid starting the electroshock therapy

One flew over the Cuckoo’s nestJack Nicholson plays a patient being punished by Nurse Ratched

one-flew-over-the-cuckoos-nest electroshock.

Oh man, that poor guy Otto. Wow.

The interesting thing about that article is that who is behind the push to let patients stop this horrifying and brutal punishment called ECT was John Matonis and the Citizens Commission on Human Rights!

From a Lisa Mcpherson memorial at Yumpu

cchr_filing_to_stop_ect_brady_hospital_koehler_1977

…Ugo Cerletti …The fact that his first ECT patient exclaimed, “Not another one, it will kill,” apparently left Cerletti undeterred. The practice today is widespread and often used in mental hospitals in Colorado and the nation.

But if a group of state legislative lobbyists, acting under the auspices of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, has its way, the indiscriminate use of ECT will be banned in Colorado.

They are currently working with several legislators to amend the state’s informed consent law to specifically include ECT.

Ken Deshaies, public relations director for CCHR, said his group believes ECT can cause permanent brain damage, a loss of memory and other mental disorders if used indiscriminately. …he said CCHR finds new ex-mental patients every week who claim loss of memory and brain damage as a result of being treated by ECT.

The CCHR is a group sponsored by the Association of Scientologists for Reform, a non-profit organization. …Doctor James E. Brady of the Emory John Brady Hospital in Colorado Springs said that ECT has produced cures in some cases of mental illness and is a viable tool for psychiatrists in cases such as “acute suicidal depression.”

“It is like legislating the treatment of pneumonia,” Brady said. “The state has no business messing with it.”

…[Deshaies] the bill he proposes is fashioned after one recently passed in California. It stresses that doctors must warn patients of the dangers of ECT and the possibility of memory loss and further brain damage.

A bill has been written by Rep. Betty Ann Dittemore, R-Denver, but is still in the drafting stage.

– Human-rights group fights shock therapy Colorado Springs Sun Monday February 7th 1977 by James Graham

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Just under two months later, the CCHR activists had succeeded in getting the bill approved!

Greeley Daily Tribune, Wed March 30, 1977, Senate panel hears ‘horror story’

A Colorado Senate committee Tuesday listened to a horror story of a man confined to a mental hospital for three years against his will and then approved a bill that would give mental patients the right to refuse to undergo electroshock therapy.

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It was 2 CCR 502-1: Statement of Basis and Purpose, Fiscal Impact/Regulatory Analysis and Specific Statutory Authority Rules regarding the Care and Treatment of the Mentally Ill originally adopted on March 21, 1977.

The Guardian’s Office (CCHR) activists who pushed that through really do deserve kudos for that one – that was a good thing to work to get changed.

thumbs up.

They weren’t all double-dealing slavemaster intelligence agents, you know. Something to keep in mind.

Ok, so let’s get back to what happened with Otto that helped spear-head this successful campaign to get a bill passed to limit ECT to patient consent only.

With John Matonis (attorney for CCHR) support, he filed a suit against holding him at Brady. The first thing they did, just two days later, was transfer him to a different hospital in a whole different city and put him in the maximum security section to try and stop the suit from happening – that hospital was Mt. Airy in Denver.

Please keep in mind what they do to patients who try to get out from under this Brady Hospital pit-and-pendulum place – they electric shock them. I imagine his treatment in the maximum security section of Mt. Airy hospital was right along the same line.

Childress Index, April 23, 1974 –

childress_index_23_apr_1974_koehler.

Waco Tribune Herald, May 3, 1974 – notice the part about transferring him to Mt. Airy on April 25.

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Koehler Waco_Tribune_Herald_Fri__May_3__1974_.

A later article says that he tried to leave Mt. Airy in May but he “was returned and placed in a locked ward six days later.”

Oh boy – time for more shock treatments to try and stop this guy?

6bdf2-brainshock

This article claims he’s ‘missing’ even though he’s not – he’s free to do what he wants. Apparently his keepers had a different idea in mind.

wry2.

– Corsicana Daily Sun, Texas Millionaire makes “Escape”, Wed, May 15, 1974

A Texas millionaire who recently won his freedom from maximum security at Mt. Airy Psychiatric Center is missing from the facility, officials said Tuesday.

Otto A. Koehler Jr., 53, of San Antonio, Tex., was released from maximum security two weeks ago after he filed a suit in U.S. district court. He had been confined in Colorado mental institutions for 10 years.

John Matonis, Koehler’s lawyer, issued a statement from Washington D.C. saying Koehler had “escaped his captors.”

…Matonis said Tuesday he would continue to press in the courts for Koehler’s total freedom so that he will not be a fugitive.”

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Otto’s Cruella mother Marcia Koehler tries again later that year, to stop Otto from having access to his money (by appointing her conservator) and get shot down by the Judge.

– The Eagle, Fri, August 16, 1974 – Millionaire Mom Loses – Colorado Springs, Colo.

A district court judge Thursday denied a petition by the mother of Texas millionaire Otto A. Koehler Jr. for appointment of a conservator of Koehler’s $10 million estate.

In making the ruling, District Court Judge Donald Campbell said in effect that Koehler could do what he pleased with his money as long as he hasn’t been declared legally incompetent.

Koehler, heir to the Pearl Brewer Co. fortune in San Antonio, had been involved in legal battles with Emory John Brady Hospital here and with Mt. Airy Psychiatric hospital in Denver.

After being transferred to Mt. Airy for psychiatric evaluation, he walked away in May, but was returned and placed in a locked ward six days later.

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It sounds as though Matonis got pretty far with messing up Marcia’s little sick world, and that perhaps Otto was even finally fully freed again for his mother to be filing suit like that.

I think that’s the case, because guess what happened next?

He was dead only a year later.

otto koehler headstone

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Otto A Koehler, Jr. –

Birth: 1922
Death: 1975
Note: Chapel Mausoleum
Burial:
Mission Burial Park South
San Antonio
Bexar County
Texas, USA
Plot: M-1-ILRNW-7B
Created by: Jim (inactive)
Record added: Mar 06, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 18268999

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I wouldn’t put it past his mother to have made sure he was killed just so she could have the money all to herself again, because with Otto Jr. now dead, Cruella Marcia Koehler did have exactly that.

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Ze money, she is all mine again!

Cruella_de_Vil

Thus ends the strange tale of poor Otto A Koehler, Jr. and CCHR’s role in it.

Ah, but John Matonis? There’s much more to be said about him, please see: Red Bible Take Two – Scientology and Political Movements: Citizens Commission on Human Rights

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black scroll divider.

Written and researched by –

Virginia McClaughry

ready_for_winter

 

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All that Spy Stuff, Historical Research

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