Event Page

The Lindbergh Kidnapping

(1932—1936)

Known famously as the “crime of the century,” the Lindbergh kidnapping was a tragic event surrounded by conspiracy theories. On the night of March 1, 1932, Charles Lindbergh, his wife, and son were at their home in New Jersey. Around 10:00 pm, the nursemaid, Betty Gow, realized baby Charles was gone. For the next ten weeks police and the Lindbergh family negotiated with the supposed kidnapper “John” while searching furiously for the little boy. Sadly, on May 12, 1932, the body of a small boy identified as baby Charles was found only a few miles from the Lindbergh home. Two years later Bruno Hauptman was arrested and convicted of kidnapping and murdering Charles Jr. Hauptman was executed on April 3, 1936, still professing his innocence. This event remains one of the most tragic, but continues to be famous because of the conspiracy theories surrounding the kidnapping, the death, and the trial of the Lindbergh baby kidnapping.

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Hopewell, New Jersey

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Pictures & Records (22)

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Lindbergh1.jpg
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Lindberghransom.jpg
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Lindbergh_testifying.jpg
lindbergh_baby_photo_1932.jpg
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1936-Apr-16 Winthrop News, Page 8
1936-Apr-16 Winthrop News, Page 8
1932-May-19 Times, Page 8
1932-May-19 Times, Page 8
Trooper Carmody Report
Trooper Carmody Report
Sketch of area where the Lindbergh Baby Corpse was found. Source: New Jersey State Police Archives, West Trenton, New Jersey
Myers Letter
Myers Letter
Arthur P. Myers to Colonel Norman Schwarzkopf requesting to be employed as a Handwriting Expert in the Lindbergh Case. Source: NJSP Archives in West Trenton, N.J.
Kidnapping Ladder Nail Report
Kidnapping Ladder Nail Report
Police Report regarding Lindbergh Kidnapping Ladder Nails. Source: NJSP Archives in West Trenton, N.J
Al Capone
Al Capone
Information provided to Capt. Lamb, NJSP, from the Michigan State Police regarding Al Capone's possible involvement with the Lindbergh Kidnapping. Source: NJSP Archives in West Trenton, N.J.
Hoover-Wilentz Letter
Hoover-Wilentz Letter
J. Edgar Hoover's response explaining his position concerning the Lindbergh Kidnapping Trial to New Jersey Attorney General David Wilentz. Source: NJSP Archives in West Trenton, N.J.
Isidor Fisch
Isidor Fisch
Isidor Fisch was the man Hauptmann said gave him the Lindbergh Ransom Money discovered in his garage. The Jewish Furrier was said to be penniless. Source: NJSP Archives in West Trenton, N.J.
Inspector Harry Walsh Report
Inspector Harry Walsh Report
This Report covers the joint investigation concerning the delivery of a ransom note by a "2nd" Taxi Driver during the Lindbergh Kidnapping Ransom Negotiations. Source: NJSP Archives in West Trenton, N.J.
Albert S. Osborn Letter
Albert S. Osborn Letter
Albert S. Osborn's advice that tailing Mrs. Anna Hauptmann may lead the NJSP to the rest of the unrecovered ransom money. Source: New Jersey State Police Archives, West Trenton, New Jersey.
Hauptmann's Notebook Sketch
Hauptmann's Notebook Sketch
Bruno Richard Hauptmann's notebook drawing alleged by the Prosecution to be a sketch of the "kidnap" ladder. Source: Trial Exhbit, New Jersey State Police Archives, West Trenton, New Jersey
Casimir Palmer Letter
Casimir Palmer Letter
Casimir Palmer (Private Investigator), Letter to Gov. Hoffman concerning Lindbergh Kidnapping. Source: New Jersey State Police Archives, West Trenton, New Jersey.
Rev. Vincent Godfrey Burns Letter
Rev. Vincent Godfrey Burns Letter
Letter from Rev. Burns to Charles Lindbergh concerning the kidnapping of his 20 month old son. Source: New Jersey State Police Archives, West Trenton, New Jersey.
Kidnap Ladder Examination Report
Kidnap Ladder Examination Report
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Report concerning the examination of the "kidnap" ladder discovered at the scene of the crime. Source: New Jersey State Police Archives, West Trenton, New Jersey.

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FBI and Jurisdiction in the Lindbergh Kidnapping Case

Hopewell, New Jersey

To avoid any misunderstands I thought I would create this post for clarity on the subject.

The Bureau of Investigation (BOI - later renamed FBI) never had jurisdiction in this case - ever.  After the crime there was an immediate offer of "assistance" which was accepted.  The New Jersey State Police (NJSP) were, from the beginning to the end, in charge of this Case.

However, as criticism of the NJSP began to get louder, "in-fighting" among the various Agencies began.  There were "unauthorized" interviews, evidence being witheld, jealousy, suspicion, alliances, and "misleading" information dealt with the specific intent to harm certain investigations conducted by specific Agencies and/or Individuals.  In short, the NJSP did not want anyone but their Office "solving" the crime,  Schwarzkopf's biggest fear was that his name would remain in the gutter while someone else grabbed all the glory. 

As a resut, on several occasions, J. Edgar Hoover requested total withdrawal from the Case citing failure from other Agencies, namely the NJSP, to cooperate.  The resulting move by the President was made on May 13, 1932 (the day after the child's corpse had been located) declairing that while the NJSP was in charge of this investigation and that all Government Agencies were at their disposal - the FBI were to be the "clearing house" for all the various Government Agencies.  This meant that any or all information gained by an Investigative Government Agency (or otherwise) was first to be given to the FBI who would then turn it over to the NJSP.

Unfortunately, this order made by the President was generally ignored. 

For example:  "T-Man" Treaury Agent Frank Wilson (IRS) had been working hand in glove with the NJSP - specifically Lt. Keaton and actually became very good friends him as a result. He had failed to turn over any reports to the FBI prior to the Presidential Instruction on 5-13-32.  Once the President instructed all Federal Agencies to turn over all information to the FBI, Wilson still failed to turn over any reports. Hoover then requested Wilson's written reports from Chief Elmer Irey on May 16, 1932 and it was explained that Wilson was "tied up" with the Curtis investigation and would "confer" at a later date to turn over the facts. I have found no evidence of this ever occurring.  So sometime in September '33 Hoover had a personal meeting with the President to, once again, voice his concerns and request withdrawal. As a direct result of this meeting Homer S. Cummings, Attorney General was contacted and informed him that the President wanted the Treasury Department to turn over its information to the - now renamed - United States Bureau of Invetigation (USBOI) (renamed FBI). AG Cummings then wrote a letter to Guy Helvering, Commissioner of Internal Revenue, requesting the President's wishes be fulfilled. On 10-33 Special Agent Wilson was then ordered to make a final report and turn it over to the FBI. On 11-11-33, Wilson submitted this report which was turned over to J. Edgar Hoover. Agent Sisk, Division of Investigation (DOI) (renamed FBI) made the following in his report dated 6-8-34:

 

....Agent Wilson's report covering his investigation and also that of his Unit was received at the Division under date of November 11, 1933, and purported to cover the complete investigation during the period March 18, 1932 to October 14, 1933. A perusal of this report indicates that many material facts were omitted from same, and that many angles of the case worked by Wilson were not mentioned in his report.

 

Sisk continues on in this same report:

 

It has been previously shown that the Division was not at any time furnished with the basic facts relative to the Lindbergh kidnaping or with copies of the evidence in the case, although numerous requests, both oral and written, have been made upon the New Jersey State Police for this information. Under date of April 6, 1934 the Director addressed still another communication to Colonel Schwarzkopf requesting that the Division be furnished with all available evidence in connection with this case, so that the investigation could be conducted along intelligent lines, and so that the data might be compared with other data received in other kidnaping cases.

 

So one can plainly conclude the FBI never had any jurisdiction in this case other then some "leverage" gained by Presidential Order which was widely ignored and resisted.  Once Hauptmann is arrested it only got worse.

 

http://lindberghkidnap.proboards56.com/index.cgi

 

Event Details

Edit
Event:
Also known as: The Crime of the Century 1
Name: The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping 1
Bank discovers bills of ransom money:
02 May 1933 2
Bruno Hauptmann electrocuted for his crime:
03 Apr 1936 2
Bruno Richard Hauptmann arrested:
19 Sep 1934 2
FBI granted exclusive jurisdiction in case:
19 Oct 1933 2
FFBI becomes involved:
23 May 1932 2
Gold certificates from ransom money show up:
20 Aug 1934 2
Hauptmann indicted for extortion:
26 Sep 1934 2
Hauptmann indicted for murder of Lindbergh baby:
08 Oct 1934 2
Jury rules that Hauptmann was guilty of murder:
13 Feb 1935 2
New Jersey police issue a $25,000 reward:
26 May 1932 2
Police find $13,000 of ransom money at Hauptmann’s:
20 Sep 1934 2
The trial of Hauptmann begins in New Jersey:
03 Jan 1935 2
Baby Charles kidnapped:
01 Mar 1932 2
Body of the Lindbergh baby found near home:
12 May 1932 2
Dr. Condon meets with “John” about ransom:
12 Mar 1932 2
Eleventh and Twelfth note, Condon pays John ransom:
02 Apr 1932 2
Failed search for baby at Martha’s Vineyard:
April 3, 1932—May 12, 1932 2
Place:
Location: Hopewell, New Jersey 2

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