Annapolis woman investigates Mozart's death

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Blake Bowden, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    /sigh...well here it goes...

    Helen Brockmeyer just got out of a 20-year relationship, so it's understandable that she's been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster lately. But at least she's got a lot to show for it.

    The Annapolis resident's relationship, or maybe a better word would be obsession, was with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - and it ended in December when she released her exhaustive book about the Austrian composer. Specifically, about his death in 1791.

    Brockmeyer spent two decades and tens of thousands of dollars investigating her theory that Mozart was murdered. She even learned German and worked as an au pair in Germany so she could personally visit the composer's stomping grounds.

    The 55-year-old spurns accepted dogma about an illness claiming Mozart's life, and instead believes his throat was slashed by Freemasons as retribution for insulting an Austrian prince. Mozart and the prince were both Freemasons, but the prince's aristocratic standing spelled disaster for the composer when the complaint was aired, she said. Her exact reasoning is spelled out in great detail in the 452-page, textbook-size "Echoes of a Distant Crime: Resolving the Mozart Cold Case File."

    "My theory sounds totally unbelievable, but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction," Brockmeyer explained last week, sitting in a home office filled floor to ceiling with Mozart memorabilia, including numerous books and posters. "I've always been the kind of person who dances to their own drummer. A lot of scholars are afraid of being called crazy. I'm an unknown author; they can call me crazy, as long as they don't throw eggs on my car."

    A killer song

    Brockmeyer, who now works as a secretary at the Naval Academy, began her Mozartian odyssey in 1986.

    Interestingly, it didn't start with any of his music. It began with Falco's pop rock tribute, "Rock Me Amadeus." Brockmeyer was working as an announcer at a radio station in St. Mary's County when it was released and couldn't get the song out of her head after she listened to it for the first time.

    It spurred library visits to read all she could about the composer (Mozart, not Falco), and she became increasingly enthralled with the circumstances surrounding his death.

    "I felt it was like a spiritual journey," she said. "I tried to get away from it, but I couldn't until I finished it."

    Brockmeyer presents voluminous explanations for her theory in the self-published book, but among her chief pieces of evidence is a painting of a Masonic meeting that she claims shows Mozart with his throat slashed and with a sword pointing at him. Brockmeyer said it's a message about Mozart's fate and a warning to other Freemasons.

    "Everyone's entitled to their opinions," she said. Then she chuckled and added, "Of course, mine's the right one."

    Dr. Philip Mackowiak would beg to differ.

    The Sherwood Forest resident has written his own book investigating famous deaths, published by the American College of Physicians in 2007, and organizes conferences on the subject at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

    Mozart is among the luminaries Mackowiak has studied, and he contends the composer died at the age of 35 from a strain of food-borne streptococcus bacteria. There was an epidemic in Vienna at the time, he said.

    Mackowiak, who is in charge of internal medicine for the entire VA Maryland Health Care System, said the theory that Mozart was murdered has been making the rounds for many years. As for his throat being slit, he quipped, "I think we'd know about that. It'd be tough to hide."

    Mackowiak wasn't surprised by Brockmeyer's contention, but dismissed it. He said there are always going to be those who theorize that famous people, from Alexander the Great to Beethoven, were murdered.

    "You can pick and choose what you want to believe, (but) the best diagnosis puts together the most reasonable information," he added.

    Told of Mackowiak's opinion, Brockmeyer nevertheless refused to give ground. And though she has her fans, she also admits experts on an online Mozart forum have been critical of her theory.

    Her editor, Laura Matthews, worked with Brockmeyer for many years on the book and said she was impressed with her passion and commitment to the project.

    "Here's a woman who was so driven that she moved abroad and learned an entirely new language so she could read and understand documents, books and other research material in the original German," Matthews wrote in an e-mail. "For me, her personal 'journey' to find Mozart was as interesting as the Mozart story itself."

    Her friend, David Franke, a writer from Manassas, Va., was even more effusive in his praise. "Helen is an amateur historian who has (with this book) exploded a bomb in the midst of the court historians who pass down the myths about Mozart, his life - and his death," he said in an e-mail. "In the future, music historians will use 'Echoes of a Distant Crime' as a starting point for their research."

    Brockmeyer, for her part, takes all this in stride and is just happy the book is finished. "This was my life's work, and I really believe this is what I came to Earth to do," she said, smiling. "I tell people if they don't like it, they can use it for a door prop or hit burglars with it."

  2. Jamesb

    Jamesb Registered User

    She better be careful. If she thinks we would murder a brother....
  3. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member


Share My Freemasonry