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  #1  
Old 02-03-2013, 03:08 AM
c.d. c.d. is offline
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Default The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping

Just watched an interesting show on the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping. It was an investigation conducted by John Douglas, the famous FBI profiler who did a profile of the Ripper. After an extensive investigation, he concluded that the man who was executed for the kidnapping, Bruno Hauptman, was most likely guilty. But he also believes that Hauptman did not act alone. Although Lindbergh himself exhibited some suspicious behavior and was thought by some to be involved Douglas concluded that he was not.

Although I knew that Lindbergh was involved in the eugenics movement and was a Nazi sympathiser what I didn't know was that he returned to Germany in the 1950s under an assumed name and identity and fathered several children by three different German women. Apparently it was an effort to perpetuate his genes and was inspired by his belief in eugenics. DNA tests have proved that he was the father of the children.

c.d.
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2013, 03:43 AM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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Yes, I saw that last Wednesday. For once, I actually agree with Douglas or maybe he agrees with me because for quite some time I've thought that Hauptmann was guilty but did not act alone.

I know the program was only an hour but I felt a little shortchanged because no mention was made of either Isidor Fisch or J.J. Faulkner.

We have another new suspect but his link seems pretty tenuous to me. Maybe there's something there though.
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Old 02-03-2013, 04:54 AM
Errata Errata is offline
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I always assumed Hauptmann was guilty of bad judgement in what he was willing to do for a buddy, but not actually involved in the kidnapping. I also wouldn't be terribly surprised if the child fell out the window, since he was clearly old enough to hoist himself up in the crib... right next to a window that was typically open.

It is unfair to say that Lindbergh was a Nazi sympathizer, as much as he was a fan of Nazi industry. He believed in Eugenics and racial purity, but no more than any other man of his day. Chiefly he was an isolationist. His affairs were also spurred by finding out about his wife's affair. He married the first girl he ever dated, and was an extremely socially awkward man. It wouldn't surprise me if he simply never thought of having a casual temporary fling, or would have known how to have one if the opportunity presented itself, which it probably did given who he was. And he didn't indulge in it in his youth. I don't think he was spreading his seed for the betterment of mankind... I think he was essentially a bigamist.
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Old 02-04-2013, 05:11 AM
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I think there're two completely separate cases--the murder of the child, and the ransom shakedown.

I think Hauptmann was a (possibly unwitting) accomplice in the latter, but had nothing to do with the former.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:17 PM
RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
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I don't think there's much question that Hauptmann built the ladder. Aside from the board that came from his attic, you needed to be very good with a certain kind of saw that generally only carpenters used with much skill, to make the spaces for the rungs to fit in, and the rungs were wide apart, as though it used as few as possible, in order to be light.

The guy who wrote a recent book, and who, as a child, heard people conspiring, and discussing "Bruno," I think is tripped up by the fact that no one ever called Hauptmann "Bruno." He was always Richard. That was mentioned in the documentary.

Hauptmann had quite a lot of the ransom money, but not all of it, however, as far as I know, none of the rest has ever turned up.

Back at the time of the kidnapping, could you spend dollars in Europe very easily? or deposit them in banks? Every bank in the US was on the lookout for the ransom, but maybe not European banks. If a European bank got a cash deposit of US money, what would it do? would it put it in a vault, or immediately exchange it? How long would it take for the money to make its way back to the US then? I assume that it would get back as soon as the US ended the gold standard. I'm just suggesting that money coming from a European bank would not be scrutinized for the ransom serial numbers the way a large deposit or exchange from a private individual would be, and that would be especially true when European exchanges turned in any US cash they had before the switch to silver.

Even if Hauptmann worked alone until the ransom exchange, he may not have wanted to leave the country if he was hoping for citizenship, so he may have sent money back with a friend he knew was going to Europe, because he knew the money wouldn't be looked at carefully there.

The ransom may have gone back into US banks, and never noticed, because it came from European banks, not a person, and then it was destroyed (shredded and burned) along with all the old gold certificates.
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:42 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Good to see this case being discussed again, as it ranks very close to the top of the list of unsolved murder cases.

Regarding the ransom, it was purposely paid in Gold Certificates rather than dollar bills, as it was thought that someone passing such certificates, which were about to be withdrawn from circulation as the USA was going off the gold standard, would be easier spotted than someone paying in dollars, even large sums. And that's exactly how Hauptmann was caught when he bought gas using a Gold Certificate, many more of which were found when his house was searched. Of course, his supporters claim that they were planted there during the search.

I don't know if US Gold Certificates would've been legal tender in Europe before they were withdrawn; dollar bills certainly were. The other 'named' member of a possible conspiratorial gang was Isidor Fisch, who returned to Germany shortly after the kidnap, and apparently died there. If he had any Gold Certificates with them, it would seem they disappeared at the same time he did.

I'm not up-to-date with the literature on this case, which has always fascinated me, but for what it's worth I'm pretty-well convinced that not only did Hauptmann build the ladder (providing you accept the evidence of the timber expert called in by the FBI) but he also used it. Again, for what it's worth, I'm also fairly convinced that the English nurse who later killed herself was in on the act. Was the baby brutally murdered, or was it accidentally killed during the kidnap? Was the corpse found near the scene that of the baby, or a child from the nearby orphanage? Although Lindbergh identified the remains as those of his son, it appears that the skeleton was very badly damaged, and that it was unlikely Lindbergh could identify the rotted remains of the clothes it wore.

It has been suggested that the kidnap was an attempt by an imprisoned big-time criminal to earn himself a release by ordering his underworld associates to 'investigate' the crime and then miraculously 'solve' it. This has been scoffed at, but to me there's a tiny little grain of believability in it. And how about John Condon? It has always seemed odd to me that a man of Lindbergh's status should accept the help of a nobody.

Anyway, what the hell. It would take a lot to convince me that Hauptmann wasn't in it up to his neck, but as to his murdering the baby in cold blood, not so sure. It's still a great subject for discussion.

Graham
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:57 AM
jason_c jason_c is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.d. View Post
Just watched an interesting show on the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping. It was an investigation conducted by John Douglas, the famous FBI profiler who did a profile of the Ripper. After an extensive investigation, he concluded that the man who was executed for the kidnapping, Bruno Hauptman, was most likely guilty. But he also believes that Hauptman did not act alone. Although Lindbergh himself exhibited some suspicious behavior and was thought by some to be involved Douglas concluded that he was not.

Although I knew that Lindbergh was involved in the eugenics movement and was a Nazi sympathiser what I didn't know was that he returned to Germany in the 1950s under an assumed name and identity and fathered several children by three different German women. Apparently it was an effort to perpetuate his genes and was inspired by his belief in eugenics. DNA tests have proved that he was the father of the children.

c.d.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Errata View Post
I always assumed Hauptmann was guilty of bad judgement in what he was willing to do for a buddy, but not actually involved in the kidnapping. I also wouldn't be terribly surprised if the child fell out the window, since he was clearly old enough to hoist himself up in the crib... right next to a window that was typically open.

It is unfair to say that Lindbergh was a Nazi sympathizer, as much as he was a fan of Nazi industry. He believed in Eugenics and racial purity, but no more than any other man of his day. Chiefly he was an isolationist. His affairs were also spurred by finding out about his wife's affair. He married the first girl he ever dated, and was an extremely socially awkward man. It wouldn't surprise me if he simply never thought of having a casual temporary fling, or would have known how to have one if the opportunity presented itself, which it probably did given who he was. And he didn't indulge in it in his youth. I don't think he was spreading his seed for the betterment of mankind... I think he was essentially a bigamist.
Well said Errata. Lindbergh relationship with Nazi'ism was complicated. I knew nothing about these illegitimate children of Lindbergh. Is there any proof these children were fathered as a result of being inspired by Eugenics? Reading wiki(no laughing) one of his illegitimate daughters found a cache of over a hundred letters from Lindbergh to her mother. This sounds like a relationship not an experiment.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:31 PM
louisa louisa is offline
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I also had no idea that Lindbergh had fathered other children.

I haven't read all the posts on this thread so forgive me for my ignorance about certain matters pertaining to this case.

I've always believed that Hauptmann had nothing to do with the physical kipnapping of the child, but was more of an accomplice - hiding the money, that kind of thing.

I know we shouldn't go on appearances because they can be deceptive (Ted Bundy for instance) but I just can't picture Hauptmann wanting to kidnap a child for ransom.

Wasn't there talk about Mrs. Lindbergh's sister (who stayed with them occasionally) as being a bit unbalanced mentally? Didn't the child go missing once before, only to be found, unharmed, in a waste bin near the house? The sister had put him there.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:35 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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I thought that the story of Lindbergh fathering other children was nailed for once and all in a TV programme a few years ago, as being totally untrue. But as I said, I'm not up-to-date on the ins and outs of the case and its characters.

Graham
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:35 PM
sdreid sdreid is offline
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A large amount of the ransom bills was exchanged for new notes at a bank by a man calling himself J. J. Faulkner but he was gone before it was discovered that it was Lindbergh kidnapping money. Although bank employees didn't pay much attention to him, they were sure he wasn't Hauptmann.
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