Charles A. Lindbergh

The Kidnapping

According to the FBI’s website, in an article titled “The Lindbergh Kidnapping”, 20-month-old Charles A. Lindbergh Jr., was kidnapped on March 1, 1932 around 9:00 p.m. A ransom note for $50,000 was found soon after the kidnapping had been reported (“The Lindbergh Kidnapping”). The Lindbergh home was searched and while small amounts of mud were found in the nursery and footprints were found underneath the nursery window, there were no bloodstains or fingerprints (“The Lindbergh Kidnapping”).

Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.
A poster from the investigation

On March 6, 1932, Lindbergh received another ransom note, this time for $70,000 (“The Lindbergh Kidnapping”). Third and fourth notes followed soon after, making more specific demands about how the ransom was to be paid (“The Lindbergh Kidnapping”). In all, 13 notes were received before the baby was found (“The Lindbergh Kidnapping”). After the 12th note, $50,000 was paid to a stranger named “John” and the 13th note was received which contained directions to where the child was supposed to be found (“The Lindbergh Kidnapping”). The noted stated that the boy was on the boat “Nellie” close to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, however, upon searching the area, he was not found there (“The Lindbergh Kidnapping”).

On May 12, 1932, the body of Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. was found “partly buried, and badly decomposed, about four and a half miles southeast of the Lindbergh home” (“The Lindbergh Kidnapping”).  According to the FBI, “[t]he head was crushed, there was a hole in the skull and some of the body members were missing” (“The Lindbergh Kidnapping”). The boy was found to have been dead for about two months, killed “by a blow on the head” (“The Lindbergh Kidnapping”).

After much investigation Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who fit the description of “John” was found guilty of murder and sentenced to death (“The Lindbergh Kidnapping”). According to Time’s website, in an article called “CRIME: Lindbergh Law and After,” on June 17, 1932 the Lindbergh Law was passed which made “kidnapping across state lines a Federal felony.” According to and article titled “The Kidnapping” on PBS’s website, the fairness of the trial was questioned by some reporters and in the 1980s, the wife of the executed sued the state of New Jersey (where the Lindberghs had been living at the time of the kidnapping) twice (“The Kidnapping”). The suits were dismissed both times (“The Kidnapping”). 

The first ransom note
Many people, including those behind the website titled “The Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax” believe that the kidnapping could have been faked and that even Charles Lindbergh kidnapped his own son. As the website itself did not seem to be the most credible of sources I did not include information from it. However, if you are interested in what they have to say, you can click here.

To read a more detailed description of the investigation and the trial, click here.