The Lindbergh Case
On March 1, 1932, Charles Lindbergh Jr. went missing from his room on the second floor. He was the son of famous aviator Charles Lindbergh and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Charles Jr. was only 20 months at the time. He was taken around 9:00 p.m. and discovered missing at 10:00 p.m. by his nurse, Betty Gow. After Charles and Anne found out they searched the premises, but only found a ransom note demanding 50,000 dollars. The ransom note was placed on Charles Jr.’s window sill.
The police were called after they found the ransom note. While they were searching, they happen to find footprints inside the Charles Jr.’s room. They also found out how the kidnapper got up to the two-story room. He had used a ladder that broke into two pieces. They also saw that the ladder had broken, when the kidnapper had come down with the baby, but they didn’t find any blood, so they hoped the Charles Jr. was okay. No fingerprints were found in the bedroom or on the ladder.
Everybody that worked for Charles and Anne were questioned and investigated. Charles and Anne asked everybody to look for their son, and if they had any information turn it in. Many previous kidnappers were questioned and investigated. The news of Charles Jr.’s kidnapping was spread around the world. Many people around the United States tried to help find the kidnapper by putting up fliers and telling more people about it. On March 6th another ransom note came. The ransom has increased to 70,000 dollars. The ransom was called from Trenton, New Jersey. Every cop, government official, and prosecuting officer were told to be there. Private investigators were also called at this time.
Two days later, on March 8th, there was another ransom note received by Colonel Lindbergh’s attorney. The same day, Dr. John F. Condon, an old school principal, offered to be a go-between and pay 1,000 dollars of the ransom. The next day, the kidnapper sent another ransom note that said Dr. Condon could be the go-between. On March 10th, Dr. Condon received the 70,000 dollars and started to negotiate with the kidnapper in the newspaper using the name “Jafsie.”
On March 12th, a taxi driver named, Joseph Perrone, found another ransom note. A random stranger gave him the note, he didn’t recognize who he was. The ransom note stated that another note would be found under a stone at a vacant stand. That note said to meet a guy named “John” at Woodlawn Cemetery. They talked about the payment of ransom money. Dr. Condon still commutated with the kidnapper through the newspaper after “John” and Dr. Condon met.
The seventh ransom note was found with a baby’s sleeping suit. On March 29th, the nurse, Betty Gow, found Charles Jr.’s thumb guard. Many ransom notes came after that demanding higher ransom. Dr. Condon met with “John” and reduced the ransom to 50,000 dollars. The body of Charles Jr. was found, half buried, and decomposed. It was found close to Mount. Rose. Charles Jr. was dead for two months before they found him. They were told he died from a blow to the head.
The FBI was brought in after they found the body of Charles. The President then said that all government investigation agencies were to help with the case. Violet Sharpe committed suicide by poison on June 10th. She was a waitress at Anne Lindbergh mom’s home and she committed suicide when she was asked for requestioning. On May 2nd, a bank in New York discovered 296 ten-dollar gold certificates and 20-dollar gold certificates, which were discovered to be Lindbergh ransom money.
They found the bank account name and address, which was J.J. Fulkner, 537 West 149th Street, but he was never found. They later found more gold certificates in New York and gave a description of the man. The man was also found at a gas station. The man was later found to be Bruno Richard Hauptmann from Bronx, New York. Bruno was taken into custody on September 19, 1934. Bruno was a German carpenter who was in the country for eleven years.
He was identified by both Dr. Condon and the taxi driver as the person who gave them the ransom notes. He admitted to buying things from the gold certificates. Later his signature was taken from the ransom notes and tested against his know signature and found them very similar. His early life said that he had spent time in prison for robbery. He failed two times at getting into the United States because of his record.
He married his wife, Anna Schoeffler, a waitress and had a kid, Manfried, in 1933. Bruno was taken to Supreme Court for extortion and murder. The trail lasted for five weeks. The used evidence like tools he used to build the ladder, wood used in the ladder from Bruno’s attic, Dr. Condon’s number and address in the closet, and handwriting on the ransom notes.
February 13, 1935, Bruno was convicted and sentenced to death. The defense appealed, but it was denied and at 8:47 p.m. on April 3, 1936, Bruno was electrocuted.