On a windy winter night in 1932, a kidnapper crept onto the estate of Charles A. Lindbergh, climbed a homemade ladder, placed a ransom note on the window, and left with the baby of the most famous man in the world. The ransom was paid, but the child was found months later, dead in the woods near the house. A two year hunt for the murderer ensued. Arrested and charged was 35-year-old Bronx carpenter Bruno Richard Hauptmann. The purpose of this paper is to research what really went down during the crime of the century. Was all the evidence looked at? Were all the leads followed? Was the question correctly answered? Did Bruno Hauptmann really kidnap little Charles Lindbergh Jr.? It was an event that author H.L. Mencken called “The greatest story since the Resurrection.” Many questions were asked but maybe they were just not the right ones. The trial that followed created a world wide sensation that continues to this day. It was the Crime of the Century someone had dared to kidnap and kill the infant son of the world’s greatest hero!
What really happened? On May 12, 1932, seventy-three days after Charlie Lindbergh was reported missing, he was found dead by a truck driver. His body was lying in shallow grave and was covered by a pile of leaves. It was discovered four miles from the Lindbergh’s house in the woods surrounding the home. He had died from a skull fracture and, “according to the county physician who examined the body, had probably been dead since the night of the kidnapping. Nurse Betty Gow first identified the baby’s body as that of little Charlie.” (MONROE 36) Now that the bay had been found, the investigations entered a new phase. The New Jersey State Police no longer had to be concerned about the child’s safety. Now they could just concentrate on finding who kidnapped and murdered little Charlie. The police were kept busy for many months chasing down thousands of leads across the nation. The state of New Jersey offered a twenty five thousand dollar...
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