March 1, 1932, Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr. was abducted. The son of Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh was taken from their second floor nursery, at around nine p.m. After the 20 month old son was discovered missing the parents were informed at around ten p.m. The New Jersey State Police were then informed of the kidnapping directly after Charles and Anne arrived home. When the crime scene was being investigated that night a ransom note was found on the window sill of the nursery for $50,000. Twelve ransom notes were found from March 1 until April 2, 1932.
When the scene was investigated mud was found on the nursery floor. Along with mud, footprints were found under the nursery but were impossible to estimate a close measurement. One of the most important pieces of evidence was the ladder used to climb up to the second story building. The ladder was built in two sections, one section was split during the arrival or escape after the kidnapping. Although some evidence was found a portion of evidence was not found. Fingerprints and blood were among the crucial portions of evidence not found.
The employees of the home were questioned several times throughout the investigation. The family asked friends to try to communicate with the kidnapper. People not known by the Lindbergh’s attempted to negotiate and come in contact with the mystery abductor. Charles and Anne’s attorney also hired a private investigator to solve the crime.
Linked to Case
May 12, 1932 the body of a small toddler was found accidentally by a driver. The body was found on the side of the road. The body was indeed a match to Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., with a fatal blow to the head. Once the body was discovered the case became a federal crime, meaning there was more involvement by the FBI. The FBI thought the kidnapper was an employee with close contact to the family. Violet Sharp committed suicide before her fourth interrogation. The police later found she was innocent and was not linked to the murder. The FBI tried tracking ransom money, to find a suspect.
The main piece of evidence remained the ladder used to climb to the nursery. It was custom built by the criminal. A disadvantage the police were faced with was the media. The ladder was moved for photography before the investigation began. This made it less accurate for the police to see the crime scene. While observing the ladder, the FBI noticed it was made out four different types of wood. This made it easier to find the four lumber yards the wood came from. The ladder also used several different types techniques such as chiseling and nailing. The two main tools used to produce the ladder were connected to a man with the last name Hauptmann.
New Jersey was home to a German immigrant, Hauptmann. Ransom money was tracked in New Jersey in a specific area. A man at the gas station thought Hauptmann was suspicious. Further investigation was made to search for the suspect. The police searched his apartment, in the apartment multiple pieces of evidence linked to the case was found. In his garage over $14,000 of ransom money was found. In his home a sketch was found of a similar ladder found at the crime scene, John Condon’s phone number and address was found written on the wall. When the police arrived into the attic floor boards were missing. The wood was a match to the ladder. Hauptmann’s handwriting was also very similar to the handwriting found on the ransom notes.
Enough evidence was found to bring to trial. Hauptmann was charged with capital murder, if found guilty he would be executed. Hauptmann pleaded guilty. His appeals to postpone his execution were denied. Hauptmann was also offered a compromise, a confession for a life in prison instead of execution. He turned down the offer. He was put to death April 3, 1936 by an electric chair, four years after the crime was committed.