Friday, June 17, 2016

Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping

Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping

Baby Lindbergh - Eaglet – Kidnapped

On March 1, 1932 at around 9.00 pm, a crime which had drawn the attention of the entire nation, Charles Lindbergh III, the 20 month old son of Charles Lindbergh, the aviation hero, had been abducted by kidnapper or kidnappers who had climbed into the second-storey nursery of the Lindbergh home near Hopewell, N.J, through a ladder and seized the child, leaving a ransom note with a demand of $50,000. The Lindbergh baby named `the Eaglet’ by the press had been discovered missing by Betty Gow, the nanny of the child around an hour after the incident. The local authorities had been notified by the Lindbergh who in turn yielded control of the investigation to the New Jersey State Police.

 On investigation, the crime scene, a ransom note was discovered on the sill of an open window and muddy though unclear footprints in the nursery. Some distance away from the Lindbergh house, a ladder was found, broken where at one point two pieces were united and footprints were found leading towards the woods to the edge of the property. The Lindbergh was flooded by offers of help and false clues. For three days, the investigations lead to nothing and there was no further word from the kidnappers. Thereafter, a new letter showed up with a fresh demand of $70,000.

Clues Leading to the Crime

The kidnappers ultimately had given instructions of dropping the money and when delivered, the Lindberghs were informed that their baby was on a boat called Nelly, off the coast of Massachusetts. But, after a thorough search, there was no sign of the child as well as the boat and soon thereafter, the body of the child was found near the mansion of the Lindbergh.

The child had been killed the night of the kidnapping and was discovered less than a mile from his home. The inconsolable Lindberghs ended in donating their mansion to charity and moved away. This crime seemed like it would remain unsolved till September 1934 when a noticeable bill from the ransom had turned up. The gas station attendant who had acknowledged the bill wrote down the license plate number since he became suspicious of the driver and the same was tracked back to a German immigrant and carpenter Bruno Hauptmann.When his home had been examined, detective had found a portion of Lindbergh ransom money.

Trial – A National Sensation

Hauptmann had appealed that the money had been given to him by a friend, to hold and that he had no link to the crime. The result of the trial became a national sensation. The case of the prosecution was not strong for the most part, the main indication besides the money, was testimony from the experts of handwriting that the ransom note was written by Hauptmann.

The trial had also tried to form a connection between Hauptmann as well as the kind of wood which was used in making the ladder. The evidence and intense public pressure was sufficient in convicting Hauptmann who was then electrocuted in 1935. In the consequences of the crime, the most dishonourable of the 1930s, kidnapping had been considered as a national crime.

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