⚡ Charles Lindbergh Children

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Charles Lindbergh Children



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Customs Service , the U. Immigration Service and the Washington, D. On March 6, a new ransom letter arrived by mail at the Lindbergh home. The letter was postmarked March 4 in Brooklyn , and it carried the perforated red and blue marks. A third ransom note postmarked from Brooklyn, and also including the secret marks, arrived in Breckinridge's mail. The note told the Lindberghs that John Condon should be the intermediary between the Lindberghs and the kidnapper s , and requested notification in a newspaper that the third note had been received. Instructions specified the size of the box the money should come in, and warned the family not to contact the police. During this time, John F. Condon received a letter reportedly written by the kidnappers; it authorized Condon to be their intermediary with Lindbergh.

Following the kidnapper's latest instructions, Condon placed a classified ad in the New York American reading: "Money is Ready. Jafsie " [18] Condon then waited for further instructions from the culprits. A meeting between "Jafsie" and a representative of the group that claimed to be the kidnappers was eventually scheduled for late one evening at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. According to Condon, the man sounded foreign but stayed in the shadows during the conversation, and Condon was thus unable to get a close look at his face.

The man said his name was John, and he related his story: He was a "Scandinavian" sailor, part of a gang of three men and two women. The baby was being held on a boat, unharmed, but would be returned only for ransom. When Condon expressed doubt that "John" actually had the baby, he promised some proof: the kidnapper would soon return the baby's sleeping suit.

The stranger asked Condon, " On March 16, Condon received a toddler's sleeping suit by mail, and a seventh ransom note. No cops. No secret service. I come alone, like last time. The ransom was packaged in a wooden box that was custom-made in the hope that it could later be identified. The ransom money included a number of gold certificates ; since gold certificates were about to be withdrawn from circulation, [1] it was hoped greater attention would be drawn to anyone spending them. Some sources credit this idea to Frank J. Wilson , [21] others to Elmer Lincoln Irey. On April 2, Condon was given a note by an intermediary, an unknown cab driver. The man accepted the money and gave Condon a note saying that the child was in the care of two innocent women.

On May 12, delivery truck driver Orville Wilson and his assistant William Allen pulled to the side of a road about 4. It appeared the child had been killed by a blow to the head. Lindbergh insisted on cremation. In June , officials began to suspect that the crime had been perpetrated by someone the Lindberghs knew. Suspicion fell upon Violet Sharp, a British household servant at the Morrow home who had given contradictory information regarding her whereabouts on the night of the kidnapping. It was reported that she appeared nervous and suspicious when questioned. She committed suicide on June 10, , [26] by ingesting a silver polish that contained cyanide just before being questioned for the fourth time.

Condon was also questioned by police and his home searched, but nothing suggestive was found. Charles Lindbergh stood by Condon during this time. After the discovery of the body, Condon remained unofficially involved in the case. To the public, he had become a suspect and in some circles was vilified. Condon's actions regarding the case were 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, ordered the bus to stop.

The startled driver complied and Condon darted from the bus, although his target eluded him. Condon's actions were also criticized as exploitative when he agreed to appear in a vaudeville act regarding the kidnapping. The investigators who were working on the case were soon at a standstill. There were no developments and little evidence of any sort, so police turned their attention to tracking the ransom payments. A pamphlet was prepared with the serial numbers on the ransom bills , and , copies were distributed to businesses, mainly in New York City. By a presidential order , all gold certificates were to be exchanged for other bills by May 1, He had given his name as J. Faulkner of West th Street. During a thirty-month period, a number of the ransom bills were spent throughout New York City.

Detectives realized 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. On September 18, , a Manhattan bank teller noticed a gold certificate from the ransom; [1] a New York license plate number 4UN. Y penciled in the bill's margin allowed it to be traced to a nearby gas station. The station manager had written down the license number because his customer was acting "suspicious" and was "possibly a counterfeiter". Hauptmann was arrested, interrogated, and beaten at least once throughout the following day and night.

Fisch had died on March 29, , shortly after returning to Germany. He kept the money because he claimed that it was owed to him from a business deal that he and Fisch had made. When the police searched Hauptmann's home, they found a considerable amount of additional evidence that linked him to the crime. One item was a notebook that contained a sketch of the construction of a ladder similar to that which was found at the Lindbergh home in March John Condon's telephone number, along with his address, were discovered written on a closet wall in the house.

A key piece of evidence, a section of wood, was discovered in the attic of the home. After being examined by an expert, 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. Lehman to face charges directly related to the kidnapping and murder of the child. Hauptmann was charged with capital murder. Judge Thomas Whitaker Trenchard presided over the trial. In exchange for rights to publish Hauptmann's story in their newspaper, Edward J. Wilentz , Attorney General of New Jersey , led the prosecution. Eight handwriting experts, including Albert S. Osborn , [39] pointed out similarities between the ransom notes and Hauptmann's writing specimens.

On the basis of the work of Arthur Koehler at the Forest Products Laboratory , the State introduced photographs demonstrating that part of the wood from the ladder matched a plank from the floor of Hauptmann's attic: the type of wood, the direction of tree growth, the milling pattern, the inside and outside surface of the wood, and the grain on both sides were identical, and four oddly placed nail holes lined up with nail holes in joists in Hauptmann's attic. 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. A sketch that Wilentz suggested represented a ladder was found in one of Hauptmann's notebooks.

Hauptmann said this picture and other sketches therein were the work of a child. Hauptmann was identified as the man to whom the ransom money was delivered. 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 estate, in East Amwell, New Jersey , near Hopewell , on the day of the kidnapping; and that he had been absent from work on the day of the ransom payment and had quit his job two days later. Hauptmann never sought another job afterward, yet continued to live comfortably.

When the prosecution rested its case, the defense opened with a lengthy examination of Hauptmann. In his testimony, Hauptmann denied being guilty, insisting that the box of gold certificates had been left in his garage by a friend, Isidor Fisch , who had returned to Germany in December and died there in March The defense called Hauptmann's wife, Anna, to corroborate the Fisch story. On cross-examination, she admitted that while she hung her apron every day on a hook higher than the top shelf, she could not remember seeing any shoe box there.

Later, rebuttal witnesses testified that Fisch could not have been at the scene of the crime, and that he had no money for medical treatments when he died of tuberculosis. In his closing summation, Reilly argued that the evidence against Hauptmann was entirely circumstantial, because no reliable witness had placed Hauptmann at the scene of the crime, nor were his fingerprints found on the ladder, on the ransom notes, or anywhere in the nursery. Hauptmann was convicted and immediately sentenced to death. His attorneys appealed 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, New Jersey Governor Harold G. Minnesota History Center website. Tour a newly restored masterpiece by influential architect Cass Gilbert, featuring the second-largest self-supporting marble dome in the world.

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