Saturday, 17 September 2011


On May 21, 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh completed the first solo nonstop transatlantic flight in history, flying his Ryan NYP "Spirit of St. Louis" 5,810 kilometers (3,610 miles) between Roosevelt Field on Long Island, New York, and Paris, France, in 33 hours, 30 minutes. With this flight, Lindbergh won the $25,000 prize offered by New York hotel owner Raymond Orteig to the first aviator to fly an aircraft directly across the Atlantic between New York and Paris. When he landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris, Lindbergh became a world hero who would remain in the public eye for decades.

The aftermath of the flight was the "Lindbergh boom" in aviation: aircraft industry stocks rose in value and interest in flying skyrocketed. Lindbergh's subsequent U.S. tour in the "Spirit of St. Louis" demonstrated the potential of the airplane as a safe, reliable mode of transportation. Following the U.S. tour, Lindbergh took the aircraft on a goodwill flight to Central and South America, where flags of the countries he visited were painted on the cowling.
bourget field today
"Spirit of St. Louis" was named in honor of Lindbergh's supporters in St. Louis, Missouri, who paid for the aircraft. "NYP" is an acronym for "New York-Paris," the object of the flight.
Gift of Charles A. Lindbergh.
The "Spirit of St. Louis" was designed by Donald Hall under the direct supervision of Charles Lindbergh. It is a highly modified version of a conventional Ryan M-2 strut-braced monoplane, powered by a reliable Wright J-5C engine. Because the fuel tanks were located ahead of the cockpit for safety in case of an accident, Lindbergh could not see directly ahead, except by using a periscope on the left side or by turning the airplane and looking out a side window. The two tubes beneath the fuselage are flare dispensers that were installed for Lindbergh's flights to Latin America and the Caribbean.
Wingspan:14 m (46 ft)
Length:8 m (27 ft 8 in)
Height:3 m (9 ft 10 in)
Weight, gross:2,330 kg (5,135 lb)
Weight, empty:975 kg (2,150 lb)
Engine:Wright Whirlwind J-5C, 223hp
Manufacturer:Ryan Airlines Co., San Diego, Calif., 1927
Charles Lindbergh came to New Jersey in 1932 to reclaim his privacy after five years of living as the most famous, most photographed, most admired man on earth.

But instead of finding peace at his newly built estate in Hopewell Township, the hero aviator lost his infant son to a kidnap-murder that that was instantly billed the most infamous crime in U.S. history

Even to a public hooked on contemporary crime novels and Court TV, the Lindbergh case of 1932 remains endlessly fascinating.

It offers the heartbreak of a baby's death, the detective drama that led to Bruno Hauptmann's arrest two years later -- and the intriguing, if unproved, theory that the authorities may have executed the wrong man.

But before there was a Lindbergh case or a Lindbergh baby, becoming a public idol was the furthest thing from young Charles Lindbergh's mind.

He just wanted to land his plane in one piece.

On May 20, 1927, Lindbergh determined to fly the Atlantic, New York to Paris, in a stunt that wowed the public as a daring dash against all odds. He had no radio, no co-pilot, and no precedents -- for no one had ever attempted to cross an ocean alone.
Lindbergh Kidnapping

When he landed "The Spirit of St. Louis" at Paris' Le Bourget airfield, after 34 hours of nonstop flying from New York, a crowd of thrilled Frenchmen carried him off in jubilation.

Lindbergh was never more than what he seemed to be -- a shy, unpretentious Minnesota boy, only 25 at the time of his record-breaking flight. He did not posture or publicize himself. But his very modesty only seemed to make him that much more of a hero.

Well-wishers wanted to shake his hand everywhere he went. Newsmen pursued him, desperate for a quote, a photo, a bit of gossip. Cranks and charlatans wrote him with schemes to cash in on his good name.

On a goodwill flight to Mexico City soon afterward, he met his future wife, Anne Morrow, daughter of a prominent New Jerseyan who was ambassador to Mexico.

She, too, was shy, but perceptive. "Fame - opportunity - wealth and also tragedy & loneliness & frustration rushed at him in those running figures on the field at Le Bourget," she later wrote.

In 1930, the newlywed Lindberghs had a baby, Charles Jr. His birth was front-page news everywhere, but the family shunned all publicity and shielded themselves from prying eyes by retreating to a new home.

They bought a 425-acre tract in the remote Sourland Mountains, 14 miles north of Trenton, at a site Lindbergh personally selected by flying overhead. Surrounded by thick woods and hills and accessible only by a twisting dirt road, the ir dream house where they could raise their toddler son in peace.

The fieldstone house became front-page news, too, and many a newspaper printed maps of it along with pictures of its private airstrip.

The Lindbergh were a busy couple. But not too busy to coddle and play with their baby. Charles Jr. had the blond hair and dimpled chin of his dad, the slender features of his mom. Charles Sr. would take him for "airplane rides" by tossing him in the air, and teach him the names of his toy animals.

The boy loved it. But he also got sick a lot, as toddlers do. On the night of March 1, 1932, he caught a cold.

His Scottish nursemaid, Betty Gow, sewed him a flannel nightshirt, tucked him into a crib and let him sleep.

At 10 p.m., she went upstairs to check on him. The crib was empty.

Betty Gow was a nervous wreck. The father stayed calm. He phoned the state police in Trenton.

"This is Charles Lindbergh," hhe said. "My son has just been kidnapped."

The troopers had few clues to go on. The kidnapper, or kidnappers for all anyone knew, left behind a homemade ladder in three pieces, which had been used to get into the second-story nursery. There was a crudely written ransom note, too.

"Dear Sir!" it began, and went on with a demand for $50,000.

"After 2-4 days we will inform you were to deliver the mony We warn you for making anyding public or for notify the police The child is in gut care."

Once, it had seemed like nothing could shock an America already punch-drunk from gangsterism and the Great Depression. But the Lindbergh kidnapping opened the country's heart.

Offers of help poured in from every corner of the United States. It wasn't just that Charles Lindbergh was a hero -- it was that every parent could share in the horror of having a child stolen away.

The Lindberghs, editorialized the Trenton State Gazette, "enjoy an esteem which is worldwide. Now the sympathy which their sorrow arouses is equally limitless and sincere."

Thousands of police officers from New Jersey, New York and the FBI joined the case. Anne Lindbergh gave out the baby's diet for the kidnapper to read -- half a cup of orange juice, cooked cereal and vegetables, two table
spoons of stewed fruit -- and every big newspaper in the country carried it.

From his jail cell in Chicago, Al Capone offered to help in the search, insisting that his underworld contacts could free the boy with a single phone call.

At about the same time, Congress felt spurred to enact the so-called Lindbergh Law, making kidnapping a federal crime punishable by death.

In the Bronx, N.Y. a retired school principal named John "Jafsie" Condon offered to act as a go-between to exchange money for the baby. He set up a meeting in a cemetery with the shadowy man who wrote the ransom notes. At one meeting, the stranger -- Condon later described him as a "triangle-faced" man -- asked a question.

"Would I burn if the baby is dead?" he asked.

Lindbergh had to believe the baby was alive. He authorized payment of the full $50,000, which was delivered to the man in the cemetery on April 2 in return for a written slip of information.

The note said that the baby was located on a boat off Cape Cod. An intense search, joined by Lindbergh himself flying up and down the Massachusetts coast, turned up no boat and no sign of the baby.

Still, America kept up hope for Charles Jr.'s return. In the comics world, Dick Tracy fulfilled everyone's fantasy that spring by rescuing the kidnapped son of a beloved hero and then pounding the tar out of the brutal gangster who committed the crime.

In the real world, the Lindbergh baby was dead, of course.

He had been dead from the instant he was snatched out of the Hopewell estate. On May 12, truck driver William Allen of Trenton pulled over to the side of Hopewell-Mount Rose Road to relieve himself. In the woods, just four miles from the Lindbergh home, he stumbled over a mound of earth and leaves that concealed a small, skeletal body.

A coroner identified the body as Charles Lindbergh Jr. Cause of death was "external violence" to the head.

Even in death, the baby did not get any rest. Photographers sneaked into the Swayze & Margerum funeral parlor on Trenton's Greenwood Avenue, took pictures of the dead body and hawked them on the streets.

It took 2 1/2 years for police to catch a break in the Lindbergh case.

Serial numbers on the ransom notes had been recorded and passed on to businesses and bank clerks across the country. One of the bills found its way to a Bronx gas station, and was traced to a car belonging to 35-year-old Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who lived a few blocks away.bruno

Hauptmann was taken in for questioning Sept. 19, 1934. He turned out to be a wiry, triangle-faced German immigrant and carpenter. For two years he had done no work and lived independently, off money he said he earned playing the stock market.

Cops tore apart his apartment in the presence of his wife, Anna, and year-old son. Detectives peppered him with accusatory questions. Why did you kill the Lindbergh baby? Where did you hide the money? Did you have confederates?

Under pressure, Hauptmann stayed cool and stuck to his claims of innocence. But he told a lie: that he had no ransom money in the garage. Cops later found thousands of dollars worth of Lindbergh money there.

They also said they found a missing floorboard. Placed in the gap, a plank from the kidnapper's ladder matched it perfectly.

In January 1935, Hauptmann went on trial in Flemington. (The venue was Hunterdon County, not Mercer County, because a check of deed maps proved that while the front door of the Lindbergh property was in Mercer County, the nursery itself where the crime occurred was over the county line in East Amwell).

H. L. Mencken was only half-kidding when he called the trial "the greatest story since the Resurrection."

More than 10,000 people surrounded the Main Street courthouse on days of especially dramatic testimony. Walter Winchell, Damon Runyon, Edna Ferber and Dorothy Kilgallen were among the celebrities covering the event for the New York papers.

"Outside the courthouse, one man would sell pennies for 10 cents -- each penny was engraved with 'Lindbergh trial, Flemington, New Jersey," recalled Thelma Miller, who was a teenager when her dad, a sheriff's deputy, got her admitted to the trial as a spectator.

"Another man was selling little replica ladders. And all these ladies around in fur coats and diamonds -- it was quite a scene."

The trial had a hero and a villain. The hero was Lindbergh, who came to the trial every day. The villain was the foreigner Hauptmann.

In the court of public opinion, he was a baby-killer, a monster. Even though he preferred "Richard," the press turned him into the more sinister-sounding "Bruno" for headline purposes.

In the Flemington courthouse, he was probably doomed from the moment that Lindbergh testified against him.

Lindbergh said he could identify the defendant from two words he shouted at Condon during a ransom drop: "Hey, doctor!" And when subjected to withering cross-examination from the lead prosecutor, David Wilentz, Hauptmann turned snappish and unsympathetic. He even had to admit the lie about the ransom dollars.

Assigned to guard Hauptmann was a young state trooper, Hugo Stockburger. Now 92 and living in Milltown, Stockburger said he never experienced anything as intense in his life before or after the trial.

"I would sit down at the witness stand with Hauptman's right wrist in my hand -- they wouldn't handcuff him because it made him look like a criminal," Stockburger said. "Reporters passed me notes: What did he say? What did he have for breakfast?"

Stockburger, who also guarded Hauptmann's Flemington cell from noon to 6 p.m., was a German immigrant like his prisoner. But they rarely conversed, except to talk about the weather.

"Some people ask me, did you have compassion for the guy? I say, compassion? This guy was a cold-blooded killer. The day after he was convicted, his expression was the same as any day during the trial."

Hauptmann was found guilty of murder on Feb. 13, 1935, and sentenced to die in the electric chair. Under New Jersey's capital murder statute, the prosecution did not need to prove he intended to kill the baby; only that the baby died as result of a break-in. No one ever determined whether Charles Jr. was clubbed over the head or died in a fall.

There were some who believed Hauptmann was an innocent victim of a frame-up; that belief is just as widespread today, in an era when faith has diminished in government and the courts.

Yet all Hauptmann's appeals were turned down at the time, and up to the present day no one has offered definitive evidence that any other person was responsible.

April 3, 1936, was Hauptmann's execution date. Three jolts of electricity -- 2,100 volts each -- killed him. When the hearse carrying his coffin motored out of the death house of New Jersey State Prison in Trenton, fleets of cars gave chase with newsreel cameramen standing on the roofs.

Charles Lindbergh was not around for comment. Five months before, feeling embittered and hounded, he had deserted his Hopewell estate for a new home in England -- seeking not simply privacy, but isolation.
Whispers began to circulate that Lindbergh may have killed his own child because the boy was allegedly retarded which would have been unacceptable to Lindbergh because of his Nazi ideology of ‘Aryan perfection, and white supremacy.’  Lindbergh was a white supremacist who despised Jews and Blacks.  He was considered a Nazi wannabe. Lindbergh became so enamored of Nazi Germany, admiring the policies of Hitler’s 
The state’s case against Hauptmann was compelling.  Hauptmann was positively identified by Dr. John Condon as the man with whom Dr. Condon had met and delivered the ransom money.  Prosecution experts testified that the ladder used in the kidnapping had been made from wood found in Hauptmann’s attic and that Hauptmann’s handwriting matched that found on the ransom notes.  Eyewitnesses testified that it was Hauptmann who had spent some of the Lindbergh gold certificates and that he had been seen in the area of the Hopewell estate on the day of the kidnapping.  Based on this evidence, Hauptmann was convicted and sentenced to death.regime.  After making a couple of visits he even began making plans to move there
German born carpenter Bruno Richard Hauptman was arrested and charged with the kidnapping after he passed marked bills of the ransom money at a local grocery store.  Hauptman insisted that he found the money in the closet of his home which was once occupied by his friend.  He said the man owed him money so he decided to keep the cash.  Despite the fact that Hauptmann’s supervisor from the “Majestic Corp,” brought forth a time card purporting to show that Hauptmann was at work.  If Hauptmann was working, he would not have had time to get to Hopewell within the correct time framework to commit the crime.  Nevertheless, Hauptmann was convicted and sentenced to the electric chair, where he died proclaiming his complete innocence.
In 1993, two books came out claiming that there never had been a kidnapping; that Lindbergh and his family were actually covering up a killing. bUT THERE IS ANOTHER SCENARIO.
.LINDBERGH KILLED HIS OWN SON BUT NOT INTENTIONALLY, HE WAS A PRANKSTER AND MAY HAVE DROPPED THE SON OUT OF THE WINDOW BEFORE HIS WIFE CAME HOME . THIS WAS A CHILDISH PRANK  HOPING TO SEE HIS WIFE GO FRANTIC LOOKING FOR THE HIDDEN SON.The American system of justice goes in hand with their system of the truth and therefore  A Local 6 News investigation uncovered documents that confirm a possible connection between Robert Aldinger (pictured, below) and the prime suspect in the 1932 kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh Jr. The Lindbergh kidnapping remains shrouded in mystery today, 70 years after the crime, Local 6 News reporter Mike Holfeld reported.

However, Aldinger believes that his mysterious history may shed some light on the mystery. After receiving a phone call from a family member concerning his past, Aldinger has reportedly spent the last four years of his life trying to find out who he really is, Holfeld reported. "I am either Robert Aldinger or I am Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr.," Aldinger said. Is Rober Aldinger actually Charles Augustus Linbergh Jr.? Aldinger's claim that he may be Charles Lindbergh Jr. and that he was switched with the "real" Robert Aldinger before the kidnapping prompted a Local 6 News investigation into Aldinger's past. The Local 6 News investigation in New Jersey uncovered that the prime suspect in the Lindenbergh kidnapping, Richard Bruno Hauptmann, lived with the Aldinger family in 1924 and 1925. So, Lena and Rudolf Aldinger and their sons, Fred and Rudy were Hauptmann's extended family, Holfeld reported.
Local 6 News also reported that Aldinger family members were questioned by detectives during the kidnap investigation, according to state police archives. Yet, they never asked the next generation of family members, Holfeld reported. Holfeld asked, " Is it possible that child was caught in Bruno Hauptmann's kidnap extortion plot?" Could the "real" Robert Aldinger have been killed instead of Charles Lindbergh Jr.? "Robert, the real Robert Aldinger died in the early part of 1931," Aldinger said. "The remains that were found in 1932, I deduce, kept in some manner of preservation. It's very, very possible that Hauptmann was responsible for the death of Robert Aldinger," and not Charles Lindbergh Jr. Holfeld reported that documents show there was a link between the Aldinger family and Hauptmann. Tuesday night, Local 6 News looks at the DNA evidence. Watch Local 6 News Tuesday for Holfeld's next report.touches the oplague of the nation as the phrase Pathogical liars.

German born carpenter Bru

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