On October 29, 1860 the citizens of New Orleans were enjoying a play called The Wolf at the German Theatre. The play included a scene where actor John Kruger stabbed actor Emile Stener. Unfortunately on the night in question Kruger was not given a stage dagger and borrowed a real one. This dangerous substitution need not have ended in tragedy but Emile was drunk and leaned into the coming blade instead of avoiding it. Emile was stabbed through the neck with the gash extending all the way to the backbone. A shower of blood sprayed the stage and Emile was hauled off to the hospital, where he perished. John was hauled off by the police. This left cast and crew with a dreadful decision, what to do with a house full of clients who expected a show? The crew wiped the copious amount of blood from the stage and the cast performed an hour-long comedy. Remind me never to get hurt in New Orleans.
I cannot find what happened to Kruger. The New Orleans papers apparently don't have a record of charges and a trial. We do learn that Emile lingered for several weeks at Charity Hospital and that he was 26 years old and a native of Prussia.
Terry A. Del Bene
Writer- "Have Words, Will Travel"