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The Indianapolis times. [volume] (Indianapolis [Ind.]) 1922-1965, March 31, 1936, Final Home Edition, Image 9

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MARCH 31. 1936
Hopes of Flier, Wife Smashed When Child’s Body Was
Found 73 Days After Crime; Meanwhile, ‘Jafsie’
Had Paid $50,000 Ransom to ‘John’ for Infant.
By United Prrm
HOPEWELL, N. J., March 31.—The day and night of
the first of March in 1932 was bleak and cold in the Sour
land mountain region. A gusty wind whipped through the
forests back of the big white stone mansion three miles from
the small town of Hopewell, N. J.
Inside the home, comfort
able and warm, the world’s
most widely publicized baby,
Charles Augustus Lindbergh
Jr., spent the day like any
other normal infant at the
age of 17 months.
In fact this secluded spot had
been selected by the child’s famous
parents for the precise purpose of
Riving him a normal life by shield
ing him from the maudlin public
that insisted on interrupting the
private lives of the Lindberghs.
Present in the house as a dreary
dusk drew near were the child, its
mother, Anne Morrow Lindbergh,
and the regular household*staff.
Three Household Workers
The staff was composed of an
English butler, Oliver Whatley; his
wife, Elsie, who was the cook, and
Hetty Gow, attractive brunette
Earlier in the day Miss Gow had
been at the Englewood home of the
child’s grandmother, Mrs. Dwight
Morrow, and it had been planned* to
take young Charles there, too.
But the baby was suffering from
a slight cold; plans were changed
and Miss Gow was called to the
Lindbergh residence near Hopewell.
At 7 p. rn. Mrs. Lindbergh and
Miss Gow took the youngster to
nursery and saw that he was bun
dled warmly into his bed.
Lindbergh Returns Home
Mias Gow made the rounds of the
windows, closing shutters. There
was one, warped by the weather,
that could not be locked. She strug
gled with it unsuccessfully, then
turned out the lights and went out
of the room.
At 8:15 Col. Lindbergh arrived
unexpectedly from New York. He
was scheduled to have made an ad
dress at New York University, but
he had become engrossed in busi
ness problems and had forgotten
the engagement.
At 8:30 Whatley announced din
ner and the colonel and his wife
sat down to eat.
The meal finished, Mrs. Lind
bergh went upstairs to prepare to
retire. The colonel went to his
study to work over some papers.
Study Under Nursery
The stage now was set for the
first move in a crime that was to
shake the world and to cause more
universal public interest than any
other of modern days.
At approximately 9:30 Col. Lind
bergh heard what he described as
a “rather sharp crack.” He didn’t
pay any attention to it for the
whistling wind was breaking
branches from trees outside.
At 10, nursemaid Gow, ready to
go to bed, took one last look into
the nursery.
The baby wasn't in its bed. The
nursemaid hurried to Mrs. Lind
bergh's quarters, found that he
wasn’t there either and asked if it
might be that Col. Lindbergh had
taken him downstairs.
Family’s Fears Confirmed
“You had better ask Col. Lind
bergh,” said Mrs. Lindbergh.
At the nursemaid’s question,
Lindbergh threw his papers aside
and dashed upstairs, his long legs
taking two steps a time.
A hasty search revealed what
the Lindberghs and Betty Gow
feared. The baby was not to be
While Col. Lindbergh was the
nation's No. 1 hero and the baby
the nation’s No. 1 child, they had
been out of the news for some time.
Headlines of the day were con
cerned with sanguinary battles
between the Japanese and Chinese,
President Hoover's special mes
sage to Congress and the investiga
tion of the city government of
Mayor James J. (Jimmy) Walker.
Colonel Searches Estate
Theq were destined for the hell
box the second Col. Lindbergh
called Whatley and told him to in
form police the child was missing.
A few hours later the whole
world knew that the Lindbergh
baby was kidnaped.
The Hopewell police already hav
ing been informed. Col. Lindbergh
telephoned state police. Lindbergh
now grasped a rifle and rushed out
in the darkness in a futile trip over
his estate.
The police arrived and went to
the nursery. On the sill of the win
dow whose shutter would not lock
they found a footprint and a note.
Ransom Note Found
The note said:
“Dear Sir! Have 50 000$ redv
25 000$ in 20$ bills 15 000 in 10$
bills and 10 000 in 5$ bills. After
2-4 days we will inform you were to
deliver the mony.
“We warn you for making any
thing public or for notify the po
“the child is in gute care.
"identification for our letters are
The symbolic signature was com
posed of circles of red and blue
with holes punched at certain
This note was the first clew in
what was to become the greatest
manhunt the United States ever
has known.
Ladder 50 Feet Away
Below the nursery window were
imprints of a ladder and several I
blurred footprints. Investigators!
found a chisel and then, 50 feet
from the house, they found the
ladder. It was constructed in three 1
sections and it was broken at a
Joint where two sections joined.
It was presumed the ladder broke
under the oombined weight of the,
kidnaper and the baby and that
the breaking was the sharp crack
that Col. Lindbergh heard as he
pored over his papers in his study.
The Lindberghs, although they
did not know it then, were entered
on a 73-day stretch of cruel uncer
During that time they were to
run down hundreds of futile clews
and to be duped of $50,000 paid out
for the safe return of their son.
Body Found 73 Days Later
The cruelest blow of all was to
fall on the seventy-third day—May
12—for then the child’s body was
found in a shallow grave in the
Sourland mountains within sight of
the Lindbergh home.
The Lindberghs felt certain at
first that their son was safe. They
immediately promised to pay the
$50,000 ransom demanded. They
broadcast a solemn promise “not to
try to injure those connected with
the kidnaping ”
They published their son's diet
and asked those who held him to
follow it closely.
Disturbed by failure of the kid
napers to contact him and fearing
that it might be because of the law
enforcement officials and reporters
that surrounded his home. Col.
Lindbergh finally announced the
appointment of official intermedi
Those appointed were Salvatore
Spitale and Irving Bits, New York
underworld figures. They achieved
Jafsie Enters Picture
On March 8, an elderly and re
spected educator of New York’s
Bronx, Dr. John F. (Jafsie) Con
don, gave an interview to the
Bronx Home News. In it he offered
to act as an intermediary.
Surprisingly enough, his offer was
accepted almost immediately. Four
hours after the interview appeared
in print a letter was posted to him.
It read:
“If you are wulling to act as go
between in Lindbergh cace pleace
follow strictly instructions.
"Handel incloced letter personally
to Mr. Lindbergh. It will explain
everything. Don’t tell any one
about it so will be found out press
or police is notified everything are
caricell and it will b? a further de
lay. After you gets the money from
Mr. Lindbergh put then 3 words in
paper; Money is ready.
After not(e) we will give you
further instructions, x x x be at
house every night between 6-12
x x x between 6-12 by this time you
will hear from us.”
Lindbergh Became Convinced
Lindbergh was convinced of the
authenticity of the note to Condon
and eventually “Jafsie” turned $60,-
000 over to the purported kidnaper
in St. Raymond’s cemetery.
In return he received a receipt
for the money and false instruc
tions as to where young Lindbergh
could be found.
Dr. Condon, however, had the full
confidence of Col. Lindbergh and
Jafsie was the chief state’s witness
at the trial which ordered the execu
tion of Bruno Richard Hauptmann
for the kidnaping and murder of
Lindbergh’s son.
William Allen, a Negro truck
driver, was the person who acci
dentally stumbled upon the baby’s
body. He saw what he thought was
a child’s leg sticking out frem a
clump of leaves and earth. Physi
cians decided a fractured skull
caused baby Lindbergh’s death.
Exterior Construction of Electro
home Is Nearly Complete.
The Manufacturers’ Building at
the Fairground w r as thrown open to
day to exhibitors for the construc
tion and installation of display
booths, decorations and exhibits for
the Indianapolis Home Show to be
held April 16 to 26.
Exterior construction of the 1936
Electrophome, show centerpiece, is
near complete, John E. Bauer, mod
el home builder, said. Modern elec
trical home equipment is to be in
stalled in the Electrohon\e, spon
sored jointly by the Electric League
of Indianapolis and the Indian
apolis Home Builders’ Association,
Indianapolis Garden Clubs are in
charge of advance ticket sales.
MrS ‘ R ~ E - p eckham is chairman.
Flower Exhibit to Be Shown in
Gymnasium April 25, 26.
'Hie Mothers’ Association of Park
School is to sponsor a garden tour
April 25 and 26, with 11 gardens
open for inspection, and a flower
exhibit in the school gymnasium.
Mrs. G. H. A. Clowes is general
chairman. She is assisted by com
mittee chairmen Mrs, August C.
Bohlen, tickets; Mrs. Don T Test
lists and mailing; Mrs. Russell' Ryan’
flower exhibition; Mrs. Bowipan El
der and Mrs. Cornelius O, Alig, tea;
Mrs. Walter W. Kuhn, treasurer, and
Mrs. James F. Carroll, publicity.
Floyd E. James Enters Race
By United Press
SCOTTSBURO, Ind., March 21.-
X? James ’ superintendent of
Scott County schools, today , an
nounced his candidacy for the Dem
ocratic nomination for Representa-
C ° ngress from the Ninth
~ , 1
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$1,200,000 Expended in Bringing Hauptmann to Trial
By United Pre
FLEMINGTON, N. J., March 31.
! —lt took $1,200,000 and more than
| two years of grinding work by po
i lice and Federal agents to bring
j Bruno Richard Hauptmann to trial
!in Hunterdon County Courthouse
on Jan. 2. 1935.
At 9:45 a. m. on that day Haupt
mann was led in from the jail by
Lieut. Allan Smith of the New
Jersey State Police and Deputy
Sheriff Hovey Ixiw of Hunterdon
The prisoner wa;, seated in a fold
ing chair, with a guard on each side
of him. He had on a brown suit,
blue necktie and brown shoes, but
that wasn’t what everybody noticed
first. Hauptmann had changed the
way he combed his hair—it was
parted on the left side instead of
the right.
“Your honor,” said Egbert Rose
crans, defense counsel, “I move the
admission to the New Jersey bar of
Mr. Edward J.* Reilly of Brooklyn,
N. Y.” **
Reilly in Morning Coat
Reilly stood up—Reilly who had
won acquittals, in 1000 homicide
cases—a heavy, red-faced man in
striped trousers and morning coat.
“We are glad to have you with
us, Mr. Reilly,” said Justice Thomas
W. Trenchard.
The nation’s most sensational
murder trial was on.
It took a day and a half to get
a jury of four women and eight
Atty. Gen. David T. Wilentz had
never prosecuted a criminal case
until he found himself in the little
courtroom at Flemington, where the
heat of so many human beings
packed into so small a space raised
the temperature from 68 to 83 in
three hours.
Mrs. Lindbergh Called
He laid his lines carefully; minor
witnesses established the fact that
the crime was committed in Hunt
erdon County, and then Wilentz
walked half-way across the court
room and said:
“Mrs. Lindbergh, will you take
the stand?”
She had on a little black hat
that tilted down over her nose and 1
a black coat and dress. There was
no rouge on her face and she
seemed lost in the big, oak witness
chair. Wilentz carried over to Mrs.
Lindbergh a scrap of cloth and
asked her if that was part of the
shirt her son was wearing the night
he was kidnaped.
“Yes. that’s the shirt,” she said,
gulping back her grief.
“Your witness,” said Wilentz.
Reilly bowed to Mrs. Lindbergh
and the court.
“Mrs. Lindbergh’s grief needs no
cross-examination,” said Reilly.
Colonel Next Witness
Lindbergh was next. He had been
in court all the time, sitting about
eight feet from Hauptmann behind
the prosecution table. He con
tributed two pieces of testimony. He
said he heard a crash on the night
of the kidnaping— “something like a
crate breaking”—and the state let
the jury assume that was the kid
naper’s ladder breaking.
Then Lindbergh told of going on
April 2, 1932, to St. Raymond’s
Cemetery in the Bronx with Dr.
John F. (Jafsie) Condon and a box
full of ransom money. He heard a
voice, he said, calling “Hrv, doctor,
over here,” a voice guiding Condon
to the rendezvous.
“That was Hauptmann’s voice,”
said Lindbergh calmly.
Then came the “three old men”
—witnesses who were so damaging
against Hauptmann- that Justice
Trenchard recalled their testimony
in his charge to the jury.
Points Out Hauptmann
The first was Amandus Hoch
muth, a former soldier in the Prus
sian army, who lived where Feath
erbed Lane cuts into the main high
way, a few hundred yards from the
Lindbergh house. About noon on
March 1, 1932, Houchmuth said he
saw a green car, with a ladder on
the running board, skid into the
ditch. Inside was a tall, lean man
“who looked like he had seen a
"Point that man out if he is in
this room,” suggested Wilentz.
Hochmuth hobbled down from the
witness chair, went slowly across the
room and laid his right hand on
Hauptmann’s knee.
Albert Osborn was the second. So
deaf that he used a mechanical ear
device, he spent hours explaining to
the jury the odd curlicues people
make when they write. Interna
tionally known as a handwriting ex
pert, Osborn swore that Hauptmann
wrote all of the ransom notes.
Jafsie Names Bruno
Then came “Jafsie.”
He rubbed his hands on a hand
kerchief, glanced at the tiny Ameri
can flag in his buttonhole and
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stepped to the witness chair. It was
a crucial moment. Reilly had said
“the state’s case will stand or fall
on Condon’s testimony.
Patiently, Wilentz got the story
out of the old man; had him tell
about putting an advertisement in
the Bronx Home News, going to
Woodlawrn Cemetery at night and
talking to a man who called him
self “John,” and finally of a trip to
St. Raymond’s Cemetery, where he
paid $50,000 ransom.
“And who was this ‘John’ to
whom you talked in the two ceme
teries?” asked Wilentz.
“ ‘John’ was Bruno Richard
Hauptmann,” yelled Jafsie.
Nurse Tells Her Story
Betty Gow told her story, and
under cross-examination angrily
fought back at insinuations of de
fense counsel that she collaborated
in the crime. Other witnesses
chinked in details of the state’s
But the state saved its best until
last when Arthur Koehler, Depart
ment of Agriculture wood expert,
went to the witness chair. He told
an enthralling detective story of
how he had taken grains of saw
dust, splinters, nicks on boards
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and come to the conclusion that
Hauptmann’s tools were used in
building the ladder that the kid
naper abandoned under the Lind
bergh nursery window.
He went further than that; he
swore that one rail of the ladder
was ripped out of the flooring in
Hauptmann’s own attic.
“The sttfte rests,” said Wilentz.
No Eyewitnesses Produced
The state had woven a tight,
strong web of circumstantial evi
dence. Haupmann was seen near
Hopewell on the day of the kidnap
ing; he was identified as the man
who collected the ransom and wrote
the notes; he was identified as the
man in the two cemeteries.
He was caught pasisgn ransom
bills; ransom money was found in
his own home. But the state could
not produce a witness who saw
Hauptmann climb into that window
and kidnap the baby.
“It all reads like a movie scen
ario,” shouted Reilly, opening for
the defense.
Hauptmann could not have com
mitted this crime, the defense con
tended, because on the night of
March 1, 1932, he was sitting in a
bakery in the Bronx waiting for his
wife to get through work so he
could escort her home.
Several persons said they saw
him there. Elvert Carlstrom saw
him and remembered that Haupt
mann laughed at him because he
spoke broken English. Louis Kiss,
then a bootlegger, saw Hauptmann
there, too. Mrs. Hauptmann said
he was there.
Defendant Guided by Reilly
Then Hauptmann got on the
stand. Under Reilly’s guidance he
explained that a man named Isidor
Fisch, a former business partner,
gave him the ransom money that
was found in the Hauptmann
Where Fisch got it, Hauptmann
didn’t know and no one else knew
because Fisch went away to Ger
many and died of tuberculosis.
“Hauptmann, did you kidnap the
Lindbergh baby?” asked Reilly.
“Were you ever in Col. Lind
bergh’s house in your life?”
“No, I never was.”
“Did you build that ladder?”
Hauptmann looked at the ram
shackle ladder, laughed and said:
“I am a carpenter.”
Why did Hauptmann quit work
and live in ease after the ransom
was paid? Because he had made
some money in the stock market.
Peter Sommer testified he was
sure it was not Hauptmann who
kidnaped the Lindbergh baby De
cause he saw the actual kidnapers
on the Weehawfc.en ferry, escaping
from New Jersey.
A woman was with them, he said,
and she was Violet Sharpe, maid in
the home of Mrs. Wright Morrow,
who later committed suicide. She
carried a blond, curly-haired baby.
Isidor Fisch was with her.
“The defense rests," said Reilly.
Wilentz walked up and down in
front of the jury box, waving his
“Hauptmann is public enemy
No. 1 of all the world,” he shouted.
“He is the kind of man who would
cut out your heart and then go up
stairs to dinner. I hate to be in
the same room with him. The state
of New Jersey asks you to bring
back the only verdict possible in
this case—murder in the first de
“Judge not lest ve be judged.”
cautioned Reilly, reading the Bible
to the jury. "Don’t send this man
to his death and then, years from
now. learn that somebody else has
confessed on his death bed.”
The jury retired at 11:23 a. m.,
Feb. 13. At 10:28 p. m. the bell in
the Courthouse tower tolled—sig
nal that a verdict had been reached
in a capital case.
Hauptmann never flinched as h®
stood up to hear Trenchard say:
“Bruno Richard Hauptmann, you
have been convicted of murder m
the first degree. The sentence ts
that you. Bruno Richard Haupt
mann, suffer death at a time and
place and in a manner provided by
law.” .
<r Afl rn NEW YORK
3 sLI.uU <lncluding stopover
. 1 and sightseeing In
Leave APRIL 8
Fare covers three full days In N. Y.
with ali necessary expenses, sight
seeing. hotels, meals (except in New
Passenger Ticket Office
108 E Washington St.
Lincoln 6404-640^^

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