Manchester Man Who Allegedly Put "Foreign Substance" in Dierbergs Soup Comes Forward

Thumbnail image for manchester police image.jpg
Did John Schewendemann spike the soup?
At least one part of the mystery of the "foreign substance" inside the soup at Dierbergs Market in Manchester has been solved.

Not the part we all want solved, though.

Manchester police officials say they have identified John Schewendemann as the man in the surveillance footage released this week who allegedly put something into the soup. That's because he voluntarily showed up at the police department with an attorney -- and an explanation.

He didn't do it.

After an investigation by Manchester police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation's St. Louis office, officials identified the suspect as Schewendemann, who lives in Manchester, a press release says.

The man voluntarily came to the police station on Tuesday night, and authorities interviewed him with his attorney by his side.

Surveillance video released by police this week, viewable here courtesy of courtesy of KMOV (Channel 4).

He admitted that he was shopping at the Dierbergs on Sunday but "denied placing anything in the soup," police say.

As we reported, some concerned patrons allegedly witnessed him putting a "foreign substance" inside the soup then walking away. They immediately told employees who removed the soup before anyone purchased it.

It's unclear how much the police are buying his story. Officials say he was arrested, booked and released after the interview -- facing charges of second-degree property damage. Manchester police will present their findings to the St. Louis County Prosecutor's Office, which could then move forward with a case.

But what exactly was this foreign substance the patrons saw? Or what kind, at least? Some sort of liquid? Alcohol? Poison? Spices? An inanimate object of sorts? A living creature? A different kind of soup?! Still a mystery. Daily RFT left a message with a detective yesterday, and we'll update if we get any more details.

Here's the latest news release.

Manchester press release

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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As a retired investigator I take interest in things like this especially; a person who doesn’t blend into the surroundings. If this man had the attire that’s accustoming to west St.Louis county nothing would have been noticed. Remember Sam Walton….he dressed the same way and he could have bought west St.Louis County.

The video is in a security format which is used in most surveillance devices to save space in a hard drive or video tape. When the man open and closed the soup container it looked like in the surveillance camera it was done very quickly when in fact it was not because of the missing data that was not recorded.

I have programs that recompense for surveillance devices along with clarification of imagery and there is a Ladle in the man’s right hand. Does Dierbergs put Ladle’s in their soup containers or do you dip it out with your hand?

All investigators have software that does this and it’s clear the man is using a Ladle in the soup. The next question is; when are they going to tell us they could not find anything in the soup…it’s been over a week….


They certainly don't have much of a case against him. "Witnesses say they saw him put something in the soup...". Unless they have the actual soup, no one will know if he did indeed put something in the soup. I wondered myself if maybe he grabbed some soup and then maybe dumped it because he didnt want it..which led people to believe he dumped something. Or maybe they were just being nosey and assumed the worst. It wouldn't be the first time nosey people were paying more attention to someone else than themselves and wrongfully accused someone. But, then again, maybe he did put something in there. It makes you wonder. Since he turned himself in, it makes you guess whether he's guilty or not.. unless they have video of him doing it, it's a witnesses word verse his.

Lois Giles
Lois Giles

Cant they test the soup to see what all is in it? if theyre that worried about it, im certain there are ways too find out what foreign matter, if any, is in it. Unless the Mgmnt dumped it..which would have been stupid. Oooooooooo maybe it was anthrax.

John L. Williams
John L. Williams

So he has a problem with self loathing? Because when you actually read the article, it says that he lives in Manchester. Not Manchester U.K. but Manchester the heart of West County.

Couch Pig
Couch Pig

probably been doing this for years cause he hates west st louis county people too?


I'm guessing some type of bodily fluid -- he looks like that kind of guy.

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