Case Studies
The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case Study

The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case Study

‘Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh” was a hero in America. On 20th May 1927, he was the first to fly alone across the Atlantic in his airplane (single-engine) named ‘‘The spirit of St. Louis.” Before turning 5 years of his travel, his son Charles Jr. was kidnapped on 1st March 1932 at night from the Hopewell nursery second-floor located in New Jersey, home. 

Here, in this case study, we will discuss how the Kidnapping case of Charles Junior was solved.

Evidence found at a crime scene

There were inadequate clues present at crime scene. On the left side of the nursery windowsill, a ransom note was found along with a ladder lying under the window on the floor. There were no fingerprints on the envelope of the ransom note. The handwriting analysis cleared out the doubt of the kidnapper that he was not well educated and had a German background.

Death of Charles Jr.

During the progression of this case, an interaction between the school principal named John F. Condon, and the kidnapper began. The school principal was a person who declared publicly to give rewards for the coming back of Charles Jr. Condon offered to give $50,000 as a ransom to bring back the child. It was stated in a note that they could find him around Martha’s Vineyard Island by boarding a boat name ”Nelly.” Regrettably, there was no such boat named Nelly. On 12th March 1932, a child’s decomposed body was found in a wooden space around Lindbergh’s home. The reason for death was either trauma of blunt force on the head or asphyxiation.

Ransom Money for Kidnapping of Charles Jr.

Police had documented every bill serial number that was used for the deal. Within the next 1.5-2 years, the money was surfaced occasionally between Chicago and New York. A considerable concentration turned up in the Bronx.

Ladder Linked as Evidence

When the investigator’s attention turned towards the ladder, Arthur Koehler, a wood products expert, was called for this case. When he examined the ladder, he noticed four types of woods were used to construct it, i.e., North Carolina, Ponderosa pine, fir, and birch. The fir found out to be a part of the flooring section that was used to complete the ladder left upper portion. It directed that the ladder builder ran out of wood. Therefore he used a portion of flooring to finish its construction.

Ransom Note as Evidence

In the meantime, an operator of a service station wrote down the number of a license plate that belonged to a suspicious man from whom he took a bill of 10 dollars and summoned up the police. The bill turned out to be a part of the ransom note. A German descent carpenter named Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested.

Ladder Mystery, The Lindbergh’s Kidnapping Case

On the upper floor of Hauptmann’s home, investigators found missing flooring from the support that had holes of 4 nails. It got matched precisely with the wood used to build a ladder found at the scene of a crime. Kohler also got a wooden plane that was handheld in the home of Hauptmann that had some defects matching with the unique marks of the ladder during the process of smoothing.

Accused Revelation and Punishment

Depending upon the evidence found by Kohler, along with the fact that some amount of ransom money was also found in the home of Hauptmann, he was convicted for abduction and murder of Lindbergh’s Son ”Charles Jr.” on 13th February 1935. On 3rd April 1935, he was executed. In this way, Lindbergh’s kidnapping case was solved.

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