The Imaginary Realms of
Gilbert M. Stack

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Today in History: Bruno Hauptman Arrested

Posted by Gilbert Stack on September 19, 2015 at 7:20 AM

On this day (September 19) in Bruno Hauptman was arrested for kidnapping and murdering Charles Lindbergh’s son. The 20 month old child was taken out of his room on the night of March 1, 1932. A ladder and a ransom note was left at the scene. With the help of a controversial figure named John Condon (who claimed he had been contacted by the kidnappers) Lindbergh paid a $50,000 ransom to recover his son. The boy was not returned and his body was found in a woods near the Lindbergh house shortly thereafter. The coroner determined that he had died of a head injury and it was theorized that the kidnapper had dropped the child while carrying him down the ladder from his bedroom.

 

The trail to the kidnapper/murderer(s) went mostly cold. Gold notes which had been used to pay the ransom occasionally appeared in circulation, but it was not until September 1934 that one of the gold notes led the police to Bruno Hauptman. A search of Hauptman’s garage produced $14,000 of the ransom money, a note with John Condon’s phone number on it and wood that matched the wood used to construct the ladder used in the kidnapping. Despite this evidence, many people, led by Hauptman’s wife, continued to insist that he was innocent. Despite these protestations, he was eventually found guilty and executed by electrocution.

 

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