TRIGGER WARNING: THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES THE KIDNAPPING AND MURDER OF A YOUNG CHILD
I’m sorry it has been a while since I have released an article. I’ve had a lot going on in life. Not all good unfortunately. Oh well, that’s the way it goes, I guess. The Washington Capitals are in the playoffs, and Arsenal is one point away from taking third place in the Premier League, so there is an upside. I guess all you can do it keep pushing forward. So, that’s what I’ll do. But enough of my pity party; let’s get on with the story.
I’m not a parent, but I can imagine one of the worst possible things that can happen to someone who has children would be finding out they disappeared. I don’t have to imagine because I know that the worst thing that can happen is your child passing away. Parents aren’t supposed to outlive their children; that’s just not how it works. But whether it’s an accident, natural causes, or even worse, murder, it does unfortunately happen, and when it happens to someone famous, the whole world knows about it.
Note: In this article I will tell the whole story; then, I will discuss possible theories and speculations, Which I will type out and attach as a file to this article so you have the option to read about them if you choose to.
U.S. Air Mail pilot Charles “Lucky Lindy” Lindbergh rose to fame in May 1927, at the ripe old age of twenty-five after he became the first pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic in thirty-three and a half hours. He did this in a single-engine monoplane named the Spirit of St. Louis. That’s not super important I just wanted to share a fun fact. We’ll talk more about him later. The Lindberghs did not particularly care for all the newfound attention and longed for their privacy. They bought an estate, that included a large house, in Highfields, in East Amwell, New Jersey, near the town of Hopewell as their primary residence. But if they thought they could start living their lives in peace, they were sorely mistaken. Because the Lindberghs were about to be tangled up in the crime of the century and the public eye more than ever.
Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr. Was born on June 22, 1930, to Charles and Anne Lindbergh (obviously). He was the couple’s firstborn child. Charles would eventually have thirteen kids, only six of whom were mothered by Anne. On March 1, 1932, one year old (twenty-month-old) Charles Jr. Was discovered missing from his crib by his nurse (nanny) Betty Gow at approximately 10:00 p.m. Gow didn’t panic right away since both of his parents were
home and thought he might be with one of them. Gow found out that the toddler was not with his mom, Anne, since she had just gotten out of the bathtub. After speaking with Anne, and informing her of what had happened, she went and found Charles. At that moment panic and hysterics did set in since Charles was not with his son either. Both parents assumed their son was fast asleep in his nursery on the second floor. Charles immediately ran to the child’s room, where he found a ransom note, in an envelope on the windowsill. The note demanded that for their son to return safely to them they needed to pay $50,000 (approximately $1,049,284.6 7today). Charles quickly grabbed his gun and searched the house and grounds with the family butler, Olly Whateley.
The pair found impressions on the ground under the window of the nursery, pieces of a wooden ladder, and a baby blanket. Whateley telephoned the Hopewell police department while Charles Lindbergh contacted his attorney and friend, Henry Breckinridge, and the New Jersey state police. Hopewell Borough police and New Jersey state police officers conducted an extensive search of the home and its surrounding area. Authorities found traces of mud on the floor of the nursery, footprints (that were impossible to measure) under the nursery window, and two sections of a wooden ladder. So they more or less found the same things as C. Lindbergh and Whateley.
No fingerprints or bloodstains were found in or around the nursery, even in areas that witnesses admitted to touching, such as the window, but Charles Jr.’s fingerprints were found at the scene.
After midnight, a fingerprint expert examined the ransom note and ladder, not usable fingerprints or footprints were found, this led experts to believe that the kidnappers(s) wore gloves and had some type of cloth on the soles of their shoes. The brief handwritten ransom note was riddled with spelling and grammar irregularities:
“Dear Sir! Have 50.000$ redy 25 000$ in 20$ bills 15000$ in 10$ bills and 10000$ in 5$ bills After 2–4 days we will inform you were to deliver the mony. We warn you for making anyding public or for notify the Police the child is in gut care. Indication for all letters are Singnature and 3 hohls.”
At the bottom of the note were two interconnected blue circles surrounding a red circle, with a hole punched in the middle of the red circle and two more holes to the left and right. On further examination of the ransom note by experts, they determined that it was all written by the same person. They concluded that due to the odd English, the writer may have possibly been German and had spent little time in America. The FBI then hired a sketch artist to draw a portrait of the man they believed to be the kidnapper. Wait, how can they make a drawing of the kidnapper if nobody saw him in the house or on the property? Plus, they still didn’t know if there was more than one person involved in the crime. C. Lindbergh asked friends to communicate with the kidnapper(s), and they made widespread appeals for the abductor(s) to start negotiations. Various underworld characters were dealt with in attempts to contact the kidnappers, and numerous clues were advanced and exhausted. Even the infamous Al “Scarface” Capone asked authorities to release him from prison because he believed he could track down the kidnapper(s).
Another attempt was made to identify the kidnapper(s) by examining the ladder that was used in the crime in further detail. Authorities noticed that the ladder was built incorrectly but still could have been built by someone who knew how to construct with wood and had prior experience in building. They had a professional see how many different types of wood were used, the pattern made by the nail holes, and if it was made indoors or outdoors. This could later be a key element in the Lindbergh baby trial. Examiners were so meticulous they even looked closely at slivers of the ladder that had broken off. On March 2, 1932 (the morning after the kidnapping) J. Edgar Hoover, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI, reached out to the Trenton New Jersey police department. He told New Jersey authorities that they could feel free to contact the FBI for any resources or assistance that might be needed. However, at that time, kidnapping was classified as a state crime and the case did not seem to have any grounds for federal involvement. Although, that will change later in the case. Attorney General William D. Mitchell met with Hoover and announced that the whole machinery of the Department of Justice would be set in motion to cooperate with the New Jersey authorities when needed.
On March 4, 1932, a man named Gaston B. Means had a conversation with American socialite, Evalyn Walsh McLean, and explained to her that he would be of great importance in finding the Lindbergh baby. Means told McLean that he would be able to find the kidnapper(s)because he was approached weeks before the abduction about participating in a “big kidnapping” and claimed that his friend had kidnapped Charles Jr. The very next, Means told McLean that he had made contact with the person who had the Lindbergh child. He convinced Mrs. McLean to give him $100,000 (approximately 2,098,569.34 today) to collect the child because the ransom money had doubled. McLean agreed, believing that Means actually knew where the missing boy was. She waited impatiently for the child’s return every day until she finally told Means that she wanted her money back. He refused and Mrs. McLean reported him to the police. He was eventually sentenced to fifteen years in prison on embezzlement charges.
A second ransom note was received on March 6, 1932, postmarked Brooklyn, New York, March 4th, this letter demanded that the ransom be increased to $70,000 (approximately $1,468,998.54 today). A police conference was called by the governor at Trenton, New Jersey. The meeting was attended by prosecuting officials, police authorities, and government representatives. Various police theories and policies were discussed and private investigators were employed by C. Lindbergh’s attorney. On March 8, 1932, a third ransom note was sent to Lindbergh’s attorney, informing him that a go-between selected by the Lindberghs would not be acceptable and wanted a note in the newspaper. During this time, John F. Condon, a well-known Bronx socialite and retired school teacher offered $1,000 (approximately $20,985.69 today) if the kidnapper turned the child over to a Catholic priest. He published his offer in the Bronx Home News.
A day after the offer was published a fourth ransom note was sent to Dr. Condon, informing him that he would be an acceptable go-between. This was approved by Charles Lindbergh. On March 10, 1932, Condon received $70,000 in cash to pay the ransom, and immediately started negotiations for payment, again utilizing the newspaper to communicate, and coming up with the alias “Jafsie”. At approximately 8:30 p.m., on March 12th, after receiving an anonymous phone call, Dr. Condon was sent a fifth ransom note, this was one was delivered by a taxi cab driver, Joseph Perrone, who received it from an unidentified stranger. The note stated that another note would be found beneath a stone at a vacant stand, 100 feet from a subway station. The sixth note was found by Condon, exactly where the kidnapper claimed it would be. After receiving the kidnapper’s latest instructions, Condon placed an ad in the New York American, simply reading: “Money is ready. Jafsie”. A meeting between “Jafsie” and a representative of the group that claimed to be the kidnappers was scheduled for late one evening at Woodlawn Cemetary in the Bronx. According to Condon, the man he met sounded foreign but stayed in the shadows during their conversation. This made it unable for Condon to get a close look at his face. The man claimed that his name was John, and told this story: he was a “Scandinavian” sailor, part of a gang of three men and two women. The child was being held on a boat, unharmed, but would be returned only for ransom. When Condom expressed that he didn’t believe that “John” had the baby, he promised some proof: the kidnappers would soon return the baby’s sleeping suit. “John,” asked Condon, “…would I ‘burn’ if the package were dead?” When Condon pushed with more questions, he assured him that the baby was alive and well.
A baby’s sleeping suit, and a seventh ransom note was received by Dr. Condon on March 16, 1932. The suit was sent to C. Lindbergh who confirmed it belonged to his son. Condon placed another ad, this time in the Home News: “Money is ready. No cops. No secret service. I come alone, like last time.” Condon continued corresponding through advertisements and an eighth ransom note was received on March 21st. Man, these ransom notes sure were popular. This note claimed that the kidnapping had been planned for a year. On March 29th, Betty Gow found the child’s thumb guard (which is usually worn by toddlers to get them to stop sucking their thumbs), worn at the time of the kidnapping, near the entrance to the Lindbergh estate. The next day a ninth ransom note was received by Condon, threatening to increase the ransom amount to $100,000 and refusing a code for use in newspaper columns. On April 1, 1932, a tenth note received yet again by Condon, instructed him to have the money ready the next night. On April 2nd, an eleventh ransom note was delivered to Condon by an unidentified taxi driver who said it was given to him by an unknown man. Dr. Condon found a twelfth ransom note under a stone in front of a greenhouse on East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx. He was told where to find it in the eleventh note.
Shortly after finding the note under the stone, on the same night, Condon followed instructions to meet with who he believed to be “John” to reduce the demand back to the original $50,000. The money was handed to the stranger in exchange for a receipt and the thirteenth ransom note. Jesus Christ, are the notes ever going to end? This note claimed that Charles Jr. was being cared for by two innocent ladies and could be found on a boat named “Nellie” near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Shit, you’re making these poor people go all the way to Massachusetts to get their kid back? The following day an unsuccessful search was made for the child near Martha’s Vineyard. The search was later repeated with the same results. This time, Dr. Condon was positive that he would recognize “John” if he ever saw him again. On May 12, 1932 everyone’s worst fears came true. Delivery truck driver Orville Wilson and his assistant William Allen pulled to the side of the road about four and a half miles south of the Lindbergh home near the hamlet of Mount Rose in Hopewell Township. When Allen went into a grove of trees to take a leak, he discovered the partially buried body of what appeared to be a toddler. The skull was severely fractured and the body was badly decomposed, with apparent scavenging by animals; there seemed to be an attempt at a hasty burial. Gow identified the baby as being the missing son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh. Charles Lindbergh Jr. had finally been found. Although the body was decomposed, Gow was able to identify the child by overlapping toes on the left foot and a shirt she had made. It appeared the child had been killed by a blow to the head. C. Lindbergh insisted on cremation.
On May 13, 1932, President Herbert Hoover announced that the FBI was authorized to investigate the case, while the United States Coast Guard, the U.S Customs Service, the U.S Immigration Service, and the Washington, D.C. police were informed that their services might be requested. New Jersey officials put up a $25,000 (approximately $524,642.34 today) reward for the safe return of “Little Lindy”. The Lindbergh family offered an additional $50,000 (approximately $1,049,284.67 today) of their own money, bringing the total amount of the award up to $75,000 (approximately $1,573,927.01 today). This was a tremendous amount of money as the nation was in the grips of the Great Depression. On May 23rd, the FBI in New York City informed banks in greater New York that the Bureau was the coordinating agency for all governmental activity in the case. A close watch for ransom money was requested. On May 26th, the New Jersey State police announced that the offer of a reward should not exceed $25,000 (approximately $524,642.34 today) for information resulting in the capture and conviction of the kidnapper(s). Copies of this notice were sent by the FBI to all law enforcement officials and agencies throughout the United States.
In June 1932, authorities began to suspect that the crime had been carried out by someone the Lindbergs knew or lived inside the home. Suspicion began to fall on Violet Sharp, a British household servant who had given contradictory information regarding her whereabouts on the night of the kidnapping. She often appeared nervous and acted suspiciously when being questioned. On June 10, 1932, Sharp committed suicide by ingesting silver polish that contained cyanide just before she was scheduled to be questioned a fourth time. Her alibi was later confirmed, and police were heavily criticized for their tough approach when it came to dealing with the young woman. After the discovery of the body, Condon remained unofficially involved in the case. He quickly became a suspect in the public court of law, and in some social circles was vilified. Over the next two years, he visited police departments and vowed to find “Cemetery John”. His actions regarding the case grew increasingly flamboyant. On one occasion, while riding a city bus, Condon claimed that he saw a suspect on the street and, announcing his “secret identity”, commanded the bus to stop. This startled the bus driver and he complied, Condon darted off the bus, but his target eluded him. He agreed to appear in a vaudeville play about the kidnapping. This was viewed as being exploitative and brought on heavy criticism. Liberty magazine published an article about Condon’s involvement in the Lindbergh kidnapping, titled “Jafsie Tells All”. Charles Lindbergh stood by Condon the entire time he was under suspicion.
The investigators working on the case soon hit a wall. There was little evidence to go on and no new developments. Police decided to turn their attention to tracking the ransom payments. A pamphlet was prepared with the serial numbers on the ransom bills. 250,000 copies were distributed to businesses, mainly in New York City. A few of the bills appeared in scattered locations, some as far away as Chicago and Minneapolis, but the person(s) spending the bills were never tracked down. By presidential order, all gold certificates were to be exchanged for other bills by May 1, 1933. In the U.S., from about 1879 until they were phased out, the certificates were identical in value to the same denomination in U.S. currency. These were intentionally used in ransom money to make tracking them easier. It might also make the spender stand out more. A few days before May 1st, a gentleman brought $2,980 (approximately $58,759.94 today) to a Manhattan bank to exchange it. It was later noticed that the bills had come from the Lindbergh ransom. The man claimed that his name was J.J Faulkner and he lived at 537 West 149th Street. When police went to the residence to investigate, they discovered that no one named Faulkner currently lived at that address, and a Jane Faulkner who lived there twenty years prior denied involvement.
In September 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt (who just so happens to be Nick’s favorite president, in case you wanted to know) announced in a meeting with Director Hoover that all work on the case will be centralized in the Department of Justice. He requested that the Director pass his views to Attorney General Cummings with the suggestion that the Attorney General request the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), either through the President or directly, for a detailed report of all work performed by the IRS Intelligence Unit. Did you guys get all that? On October 19th, the official announcement was made stating that the FBI would have exclusive jurisdiction as far as the federal government was concerned in handling any investigative features of the case. The president’s proclamation requiring the exchange of all gold and gold certificates was a valuable aid in the case, approximately $40,000 (approximately $839,427.74 today) of the ransom money had been paid in the gold certificates, and at the time of the proclamation, a large portion of this money was known to be outstanding. Emphasis was put on this phase of the investigation.
Over thirty months, an amount of the ransom bills was spent throughout New York City. Authorities noticed that many of the bills were being spent along the route of the Lexington Avenue subway, which connected the Bronx with the east side of Manhattan, including the German-Austrian neighborhood of Yorkville. For seven months before August 20, 1934, no gold certificates were discovered except for those turned into the Federal Reserve Bank. Starting on August 20th and extending into September, a total of sixteen gold certificates were discovered, most of them in the vicinity of Yorkville and Harlem. As each bill was recovered, a pin was placed on a large map of the Metropolitan Area. This helped authorities track the movements of the individual(s) who might be spending the ransom money. In keeping with the cooperative policy previously established with the New Jersey State Police and New York City police department, a representative from each of the police agencies and a special agent of the Bureau were teamed up to personally contact all banks in Greater New York and Westchester County. As a result of the teamwork, multiple neighborhood banks found bills close to the point at which they were passed, it then became possible for the investigators to trace the bills to the person who had originally passed them.
For the first time in the history of the investigation, authorities succeeded in finding that the description of the individual passing the bills from the ransom fit the exact description of “John”. Which had been previously given to them by Dr. Condon. It was later determined that the bills were being spent mainly at corner produce stores. On September 18, 1934, around 1:30 p.m., a Manhattan bank teller noticed a gold certificate from the ransom. This particular certificate had a New York license plate number (4U-13-41-N.Y) written in the margin of the bill, this allowed the bill to be traced to a nearby gas station. The station manager hastily jotted down the license plate number because the customer driving that car had been acting “suspicious” and was “possibly a counterfeiter”. The license plate was linked to a sedan owned by Bruno Richard Hauptmann of 1279 East 22nd Street in the Bronx, an immigrant , who had been living in American for for eleven years. Hauptmann’s house was close surveilled by federal and local authorities throughout the night of September 18th. At approximately 9:00 a.m. on September 19, 1934, a man, closely fitting the description of “John”, left his house and got into his car parked nearby. He was promptly taken into custody.
When Hauptmann was arrested, he had a single $20 gold certificate on his person, and over $14,000 of his ransom money was found in his garage. A pair of shoes that were purchased with a $20 ransom bill that was recovered on September 8, 1934, was found in his home. Hauptmann was interrogated and beaten at least once throughout the following day and night. He claimed that the money and other items had been given to him by his friend and former business partner Isidor Fisch. Fisch had passed away on March 29, 1934, shortly after returning to Germany. Hauptmann stated that he only learned that the shoebox given to him contained a large sum of money after Fisch’s death. He kept the money because he claimed that it was owed to him from a business deal that he and Fisch had made. Hauptmann confessed to making several other purchases with the ransom money. On the evening of September 19, 1934, Joseph Perrone positively identified Hauptmann as the individual who gave him the fifth ransom note that was delivered to Dr. Condon. The next day approximately $13,000 in gold certificates were found hidden in Hauptman’s garage. Shortly after, he was identified by Dr. Condon as being “Cemetery John”. It was also discovered that Hauptmann owned a Dodge sedan fitting the description of one seen in the vicinity of the Lindbergh home the day before the kidnapping.
Hauptmann vehemently denied any connection to the crime or knowledge that the money in his home was from the ransom. When authorities searched Hauptmann’s residence, they discovered a hefty amount of additional evidence linking him to the crime. One item of importance was a notebook that contained a sketch of the construction of a ladder similar to the one found at the Lindbergh home in March 1932. Now, that could be damning evidence or nothing out of the ordinary since Hauptmann made a living as a carpenter. Authorities also found John Condon’s telephone number and home address written on a closet wall. After an expert examined a piece of wood discovered in Hauptmann’s attic, it was determined to be an exact match to the wood used in the construction of the ladder found at the scene of the crime. Again, this could be strong evidence pointing to Hauptmann’s guilt or nothing out of the ordinary. I would assume carpenters have pretty good amounts of wood in their homes or workspaces. Samples of Hauptmann’s handwriting were sent to Washington, D.C., where a study was performed on them in the FBI laboratory. A comparison of the writing appearing on the ransom note contained remarkable similarities in the personal characteristics and writing habits of those on the samples.
Further investigation found that Bruno Hauptmann was thirty-five years old and was a native of Saxony, Germany. While living in Germany he obtained a criminal record for robbery and spent time in prison. In early July 1923, Hauptmann stowed away on the SS Hanover at Bremen, Germany, and arrived in the Port of New York City on July 13, 1923. He was arrested and deported immediately. After another failed attempt at entry in August, Hauptman successfully entered the United States in November 1932, onboard the George Washington. Hauptmann married Anna Schoeffler, a New York City waitress on October 10, 1925. Their son, Manfried, was born in 1933. During his illegal stay in New York City, Hauptman made a living as a carpenter (as mentioned above) but began to trade extensively in stocks a little after March 1, 1932, the date of the kidnapping, he never worked as a carpenter again. Bruno Hauptman was indicted in the Supreme Court, Bronx County, New York, on charges of extortion on September 26, 1934, and on October 8, 1834, he was indicted for capital murder in Hunterdon County, New Jersey.
In exchange for the right to publish Hauptmann’s story in their newspaper, the New York Daily Mirror employed Edward J. Reilly, to serve as Hauptmann’s lawyer. David T. Wilentz, Attorney General of New Jersey, led the prosecution. The trial began on January 3, 1935, in Flemington, New Jersey, and lasted five weeks. The case was built on strictly circumstantial evidence. Some of the evidence presented against Hauptman included the $20,000 of ransom money found in his residence, testimony alleging that his handwriting and spelling were similar to those of the ransom notes, tool marks on the ladder that allegedly matched tools owned by Hauptmann, the wood found in his attic, and Dr. Condon’s telephone number and address found on the wall in the closet. Eight handwriting experts pointed out similarities between the ransom notes and Hauptmann’s writing samples. The defense called on three experts to fight this evidence, but two declined to testify. The latter wanted $500 (approximately $10,727.76 today) before even looking at the notes and were eventually dismissed by Lloyd Fisher, a member of Hauptmann’s legal team. Based on the work done by expert Arthur Koehler, the state introduced pictures showing that part of the wood from the ladder matched the plank found in Hauptmann’s attic: the wood type, the direction of tree growth, milling pattern, and outside surface of the wood were all identical. The wood also had four oddly placed nail holes that lined up with nail holes in joists in the attach. When asked why he wrote down Condon’s address and phone number Hauptmann stated:
“I must have read it in the paper about the story. I was a little bit interested and keep a little bit record of it, and maybe I was just on the closet and was reading the paper and put it down the address … I can’t give you any explanation about the telephone number.”
The sketch of a ladder found in Hauptmann’s notebook was also presented as evidence. Hauptmann claimed that the picture and other sketches in the notebook were the work of a child. Despite having no obvious source of income, Hauptmann had purchased a $400.00 (approximately $8,582.21 today) radio and sent his wife on a vacation to Germany. Hauptmann was identified as “Cemetery John” by Condon. Other witnesses testified that it was Hauptmann who had spent some of the Lindbergh gold certificates; that he had been seen in the area of the Lindbergh estate on the day of the kidnapping; and that he did not show up for work on the day the ransom was delivered and had quit his job just two days later. Although Hauptmann never found another job (as mentioned before), he managed to live rather comfortably. The defense opened their case with a lengthy examination of Hauptmann. In his testimony, Hauptmann denied being guilty, sticking to his story that he got the box of money and other items from Isidor Fisch. He said he stored the shoebox on the top shelf of his kitchen closet and discovered the money when he opened it later. Since money from a business deal with Fisch was owed to him, he kept the bills and lived off of them since January 1934. The defense called Hauptmann’s wife, Anna, to verify the Fisch story. On cross-examination, she admitted that even though she hung her apron every day on a hook above the top shelf, she did not remember seeing any shoe box there. Later, rebuttal witnesses testified that Fisch could not have been at the scene of the crime, as he was suffering from tuberculosis and had no money for medical treatments. This was the illness that subsequently took his life. Fisch’s landlord testified that he could barely afford the $3.50 (approximately $64.37 today) weekly rent for his room. In closing arguments, Reilly argued that the evidence against Hauptmann was completely circumstantial, because no reliable witness could place Hauptman at the scene of the crime, nor were his fingerprints found on the ladder, ransom notes, or anywhere in the nursery.
On February 13, 1935, the jury reached a verdict. They found Bruno Richard Hauptmann guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced him to death. Hauptmann’s attorneys immediately put in appeals to the New Jersey Court of Errors and Appeals, which at the time was the state’s highest court. The appeal was argued on June 29, 1935. On the evening of October 16, 1935, New Jersey Governor Harold G. Hoffman made a secret visit to Hauptmann’s cell. He was accompanied by a stenographer who was fluent in German. After speaking with Hauptmann, Hoffman urged members of the Court of Errors and Appeals to visit Hauptmann. On December 9, 1935, Hauptmann’s appeal was denied and he was sentenced to die on January 17, 1936. However, on the same day, Governor Hoffman granted a thirty-day reprieve. In late January 1936, while declaring that he held no bias on either the guilt or innocence of Hauptmann, Hoffman cited evidence that the crime was not a “one person” job and directed authorities to continue a thorough and impartial investigation to bring all included to justice. On February 17, 1936, Hauptmann was re sentenced to die on March 30, 1936. It became known within the media on March 27th that Hoffman was considering granted a second reprieve and was seeking opinions about whether the governor had the right to issue a second one.
Hauptmann turned down a large offer from a Hearst newspaper for a confession and refused a last-minute offer to commute his sentence to life without parole in exchange for a confession. Sometimes when you know for a fact that you are innocent you won’t confess to being guilty no matter what. On the day of his scheduled execution, the Pardon Court of the State of New Jersey denied Hauptmann’s petition for clemency. On April 3, 1936, at 8:47 p.m., Bruno Richard Hauptmann died from electrocution in New Jersey’s electric chair. He was thirty-six years old.
Bruno’s widow, Anna Hauptman sued the state of New Jersey twice in the 1980s for the unjust execution of her husband. Both suits were dismissed due to prosecutorial immunity and because the statute of limitations had run out. She continued fighting to clear her husband’s name until her death in 1994 at the age of ninety-five.
Charles Lindbergh Jr. would be ninety-two years old if he were still living. So would my Pappy. But he’s not living anymore either. I miss him a lot. Anyway, that’s the end of the story. Bruno Richard Hauptmann kidnapped and murdered Charles Lindbergh Jr. A child murderer was put to death, right? WRONG. The Lindbergh kidnapping case still has many unanswered questions to this day. Theories and speculations are brought up all over the place and some people are still fighting to get to the real bottom of the case to this day. Personally, I think Hauptmann was a scapegoat and the real kidnapped was never brought to justice. But are you guys really surprised?
In case you were wondering why I called Charles Lindbergh, C. Lindbergh at times, it’s because I felt like it in parts of the story where you could have gotten confused about whether I was talking about Charles or Anne. I also show what all dollar amounts are worth today so we can grasp just how much money the kidnappers were after. When we use the smaller amounts it doesn’t seem as substantial but put it into today’s amount we get a better grasp of the value.
In honor of mental health awareness week, I want to let everyone know that you’re not alone. Whatever struggle you’re going through will pass. Just keep pushing on. If you feel like you might act on thoughts of suicide or harming yourself please reach out to someone you trust.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA) – 800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Helpline (UK) – 0800 689 5652
“History’s Greatest Mysteries” – History Channel
“Lindbergh Kidnapping” – Wikipedia
“Did Charles Lindbergh Kill His Son?” – Crime Traveller
“Lindbergh Kidnapping” – FBI
“The Lindbergh Case” – History Engine