Monday, February 18, 2013

The Lindbergh Kidnapping


This is just my view point of the Lindbergh kidnapping. In my forensics class we were assigned projects and mine was to research the kidnapping so I thought I would spot this for you guys since my feeling for this is quite strong apparently. Keep in my mind these are my thoughts after reading numerous websites and watching several videos. Also, since Lindbergh was an American hero, the public was angry and wanted justice and if there was no satisfaction to the destruction of the kidnapper, then the people would lose faith in the law. Now we all know that would be very bad.

    One of the most infamous crimes of the time, was the kidnapping of the 20 month old son of Charles Lindbergh, an American Aviation Hero, having flew solo across the Atlantic. The man who was arrested, tried, convicted, and given the electric chair for the crime was a man named Richard Hauptmann, the court nicknaming him "Bruno". Hauptmann was a German illegal immigrant, who tried unsuccessfully to get into the US twice. Like they say third time is the charm, and he was able to steal a travel card and with the help of a disguise, he got into the United States. He met a woman from Queens and they eventually married.
    There were large amounts of evidence that was found to prove that Bruno was the said kidnapper. However, could the evidence not have been tampered with? The answer is yes, tampering of evidence has been done time and time again and who is to say that it wasn't done during this time. Several critical pieces of evidence that were used to help in the conviction of Bruno include:
1.     Handwriting
2.     The ladder that was used to enter the home and was left at the scene of the crime
3.     The special gold notes that were used to pay the ransom turned up in the possession of Bruno
4.     Lindbergh himself testified that it was Bruno he heard in the cemetery.
5.     A man who identified Bruno who had driven by the Lindbergh home the day before the kidnapping
6.     The go between the police and the kidnapper said Bruno was not the man he had met with
7.     Detective Ellis Parker of the NJ steps in
Now let's discuss each in point.

1.     Handwriting
Upon being arrested, Bruno was forced to write and they used his handwriting to make the connection of his handwriting to that of the ransom notes that the Lindbergh's received. It is not hard to figure out that the handwriting could have been tampered with. One of the things that could be noticed with Bruno's writing is that the numbers that he wrote did not match that of the ones found on the ransom note. However, this piece of information was withheld from being used in court. A woman named (I think this is how it is spelled) Hilda Zamemine, who was an expert hand writing analysis, was dismissed from testifying on the case because she said when she was called upon to testify she would tell the court that the original writings of the note had been tampered with to make it look more like Bruno's.

1.     The Ladder that was used to enter the home and was left at the "scene of the crime"
As stated above, the house was entered by the use of the ladder placed on the side of the house. Upon searching Bruno's house they found large amounts of wood in Bruno's house (being that he was a carpenter). Further investigations showed that wood from the attic of Bruno's home was used in creating the ladder and other wood that was used came from a lumber yard that was located near Bruno's home. However, it is possible that the "evidence" of the ladder, which played a key role in the conviction of Hauptmann, was tampered with. How hard is it to tamper with evidence behind the closed doors of the police station? The answer is: not hard at all. 

1.     The special gold notes that were used to pay the ransom turned up in the possession of Bruno
Bruno claimed that the notes he were using was given to him by a friend and business partner named Isidor Fisch. Isidor was involved in what was known as the "underworld" and had even been seen near the Lindbergh house before. Bruno claimed that the Fisch, before leaving for Europe, entrusted him with several items for safe keeping. Bruno did not discover until later on that one of the containers held the money he would later on use. The usage of his money at a gas station led to his arrest the next day.

1.     Lindbergh himself testified that it was Bruno he heard in the cemetery.
On the night that the ransom note was received, Lindbergh was near/at the cemetery. He heard someone utter out to words to him, "A Doctor". In court, Lindbergh testified that the voice he heard was in no doubt Bruno. Before testifying that it was indeed Bruno he head, Lindbergh and Bruno were placed in a room and Bruno was made to say those words. However, for a full seven days Lindbergh could not make up his mind as to whether Bruno was the voice he had heard or not. The police showed Lindbergh the most likely tampered with evidence and tried to prove to him that Bruno was the alleged kidnapper. With the "evidence" clear to Lindbergh, he went along and said it was Bruno he heard. I would like to point you all to one thing. A man by the name of Doctor Conan was happy to be the go to between for the family/police and the kidnapper. Is it not strange that the words heard uttered were "A Doctor"? 

1.     A man who identified Bruno who had driven by the Lindbergh home the day before the kidnapping
A man named Amadis Hackworth testified in court that he saw Bruno drive by the home of the Lindbergh’s the day before the baby was kidnapped. However, two months later Hackworth was granted welfare in NYC on the grounds that he was, and I quote the man at the office, "almost totally blind". This shows he could not have successfully identified Lindbergh, or anyone for that matter. The police could have paid him or even threatened him to testify, most likely never seeing Bruno at all before the case and during the trial.

1.     A doctor by the name of Condon was the "intermediate" of the family and he police as I stated earlier. 
Condon had readily agreed to meet with the kidnapper several times to exchange the ransom, plead for the random price to be dropped when it rose to a substantial amount, and so forth. When Bruno was apprehended by the police, Condon was called in to identify if Bruno was the man he had met with all of those times. Condom met with Bruno, spoke with him and even shook his hand and told the police that Bruno was not the man he had met with all of those times. Condon did not say that Bruno was the man until a few weeks before the trial, after being coheres by the police. They even threatened Condon to be arrested as a accomplish by the police if he did not testify that Bruno was the kidnapper. Bruno was said to be the man who met Condon after all that time because Condon had no choice. He might have lived to a much older age if people were not forced to testify against him.  

1.     Detective Ellis Parker of the NJ steps in
NJ detective Ellis Parker was asked to step in to the case and see if he could find out who kidnapped Lindbergh Jr. Parker did just that, spreading around that he was looking for information that would help lead to the arrest of the kidnapper, and sure enough someone answered the call. His name was Paul Wendell, and sure enough he had a grudge against the father-in-law of Charles Lindbergh, Dwight Morrow. He blamed Morrow and Lindbergh for the reason of his ill fortune. Parker sent three men to interview Wendell, having them to pretend to be gangsters, and his son. During the discussion with Wendell, he spoke of things that only the kidnapper would have known. They even had him write and sign a piece of paper that said he was the true kidnapper. However, the men who had all the “evidence” against Bruno did not enjoy this set back one bit. Fearing that they would look like fools and would lose their credibility after gathering all of this “airtight” evidence, they ripped up the confession. Then they had Ellis, his son and the three men for supposed kidnapping of Wendell and beating a false confession out of him. The beating tidbit worked because Wendell had harmed himself with the shoe, but that bit of information about the true origin of the bruise was to be suppressed. Ellis died after 6 months in the slammer, just days away from the full presidential pardon that would be for both him and his son. Wendell had the motive to kidnap the young child, he even confessed but rather than to convict the correct man the police department and lawyers just wanted to save their own behinds and let an innocent man die of a crime that he did not commit.

Just remember that all of this information that I have gathered and shared with all of you has caused me to formulate my opinion on the kidnapping. This is no way; shape or form is me trying to change your mind on what went on all those years ago. I hope it does though and you see the error of ways of the police and lawyers all of those years ago and that we can stop the world from making a mistake like this again.

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