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Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping

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The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping Trial

I. Events of the Time Period

During the time of the kidnapping (America in the1930's) America as undergoing some major political and economic changes. A controversial issue pf the time period was prohibition. Prohibition was the movement to stop the manufacturing and selling of alcoholic beverages. The eighteenth amendment outlawed the manufacturing, importing, exporting, transporting and selling of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Many Americans turned to illegal activities to get around the law. Many Americans resorted to going to places where alcoholic beverages were sold illegally and some Americans even made, sold and transported their own alcohol often referred to as "Moonshine". Because of this illegal activity, the number of violent crimes surged. Another change that shook the nation was the Stock Market Crash of 1929. Many Americans lost everything after the end of World War I when the stock market crashed. This event caused crime to increase more than ever. Following the crash America entered the time period known as the Great Depression. Such things as unemployment and a need to feed the family turned several Americans into criminals. A kidnapping epidemic hit America hard. These kidnappings were usually committed by gangsters and members of organized gangs. Adults were usually the targets as result of power wars between gangs. In 1932 the kidnappings began to spread from gang members to the general public and wealthy families, including children.

II. Background Information on the Lindberghs

Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born in the small town of Little Falls, Minnesota, on February 4, 1902. When he was eighteen he attended the University of Wisconsin and then dropped out at the age of twenty to go to flying school. Seven months of flying school got him his pilots license. He started out flying mail routes from Saint Louis, Missouri to Chicago, Illinois. At the age of twenty five Charles Lindbergh attempted to make the first cross Atlantic flight. He left Long Island, New York on May 20, 1927 and in thirty three hours and twenty nine minutes later Charles Lindberg circled the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France and then landed. This flight made Lindbergh an instant hero, especially in the US and Europe. When he returned to the United States he was commissioned a Colonel in the United States Air Service Reserve and became a technical advisor to commercial airlines. He also earned the nickname "Lone Eagle".

Anne Spencer Morrow Lindbergh was born on June 22, 1907. Her father Dwight Morrow was an American Ambassador and influential banker. This made Anne a millionaire heiress. She was a very talented writer. She wrote articles, stories and poems for her college's magazine. She attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. During her senior year there she achieved several awards for outstanding writing.

In 1928, Lindbergh and Morrow became acquaintances after Mr. Morrow invited Lone Eagle to dinner. Twenty-one year old Anne developed a crush on Charles Lindbergh. In the fall of 1928 they began to date. Soon after they became engaged and then married on May 27, 1929. By March 1930 Anne and Charles were expecting their first child. Anne also succeeded in earning her pilots license and became Charles radio speaker, co-pilot and navigator on many journeys. The pair broke the transcontinental speed record in April of 1930. They flew from Los Angles to New York in fourteen hours and forty-five minutes.

III. Baby Charlie

On June 22, 1930, Anne's twenty-fourth birthday little Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr. was born. His birth made the front pages of newspapers. Baby Charlie earned the nick name of "Eaglet", because of Charles nickname Lone Eagle. In 1932 when the press continues to hound the Lindbergh's decided to move out of the Morrows house to a fourteen room house they built on four hundred acres of land near Hopewell, New Jersey. In 1932 the couple was once again expecting. But, what was to be joyous time for the family was anything but joyous when tragedy struck the Lindbergh's on March 2, 1932. On this day baby Charles Jr. was kidnapped form the second story nursery.

IV. Crime Scene

Nurse Betty Gow was the first to discover that baby Charlie was gone. After she told the

Lindbergh's that Charlie was missing, Mr. Lindbergh went to the nursery and noticed that the window by the crib was lifted and on the window sill laid an envelope. Mr. Lindbergh told everyone not to touch anything so that the police could check for finger prints. Then Lindbergh went outside to look for the kidnapper. He started on the side of the house that the nursery window was located. This is where he found a broken ladder. When he returned back into the house he called the New Jersey State Police. Roadblocks were immediately established, cars were searched and neighbors were questioned. Many reporters and photographers showed up at the Lindbergh house along with the police. They searched through

the nursery for clues. They notices clumps of soil in the nursery. They also found two indentions from the ladder along

with footprints in the mud outside by the nursery window. The state police started arriving around eleven that night. The state police soon uncovered a chisel in the mud underneath the window. The nursery and envelop were dusted for fingerprints, but none were found. When the police opened the envelope they found a ransom note that they gave Mr. Lindbergh to read. The message was hand written in blue ink and the amount of money demanded was a good amount at this time.

Dear Sir!

Have 50,000$ redy (ready) 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 (money). We warn you for making anyding

(anything) public or for the polise (police) the

child is in gut (good) care.

The police also dusted the chisel, ransom letter and the ladder but once again came up empty handed. The police concluded that the kidnapping must if been well planned. The kidnapper must have studied the Lindbergh homes layout as well as the families routine. At dawn the next morning the police began to search the surrounding area of the Lindbergh home. The kidnapping made front page news all over the world within a day



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