Lindbergh comes face-to-face with suspect

September 27 1934
share with facebook
share with twitter

NEW YORK, Sept. 27, 1934 (UP) -- Col. Charles A. Lindbergh, disguised in horn-rimmed glasses, spent 10 minutes today in the same room with Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who is accused in the kidnaping and murder of the noted aviator's first born son.

The meeting came as federal authorities believed another arrest was imminent in the kidnaping case.

The scene of the dramatic was District Attorney Samuel J. Foley's office in the Bronx. The room was filed with policemen guarding doors and windows and Hauptmann did not know that Col. Lindbergh was present.

He was wearing a cap and the glasses which change his appearance. It was understood that Col. Lindbergh's presence was at his own request.

The famous aviator made a hurried trip to the Bronx County Courthouse where he stood in a group of policemen and looked at Hauptmann as the latter was being led to court for arraignment on extortion charges.

For fully 10 minutes Col. Lindbergh peered at the accused man through the horn-rimmed glasses, but gave no outward sign of his emotional response.

He came over hurriedly from Englewood, N. J., and entered the Courthouse without being recognized. His disguise was one Col. Lindbergh has used frequently on trips to New York City.

Hauptmann pleaded not guilty when arraigned on a charge of extortion. His bail was set at $100,000.

Hauptmann's court appearance was brief. He walked into the room between two guards and looked straight ahead. A stubble of beard added to his attitude of dejection. He did not speak as the plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf by his counsel.

No one in the courtroom at the time knew that Col. Lindbergh was in the building. He did not attend the arraignment, but slipped away quietly after viewing the suspect.

After the arraignment Mr. Foley said he would put the Hauptmann extortion case "on the general calendar" and would not set a trial date until later.

Meanwhile, Hauptmann's attorney, James M. Fawcett, prepared to go before the Bronx County Court to demand dismissal on charges of lack of evidence of the indictment, which was returned yesterday. He also said he has been threatened with death unless he withdraws from the case.

New Jersey officials intimated they would wait until Hauptmann had been tried in New York before moving his extradition to that state, where he will face trial for murder and kidnaping. They denied reports that they hesitated to force the issue because of lack of conclusive evidence, by revealing evidence involving Hauptmann in the actual crime they said was strong enough to justify extradition and trial.

J. Edgar Hoover, head of the Federal Division of Criminal Investigation, was prepared at a moment's notice to leave Washington for New York in anticipation of the imminent arrest of Hauptmann's alleged accomplice in the crime.

Mr. Foley said he planned to bring Hauptmann to trial in two weeks on an "air-tight" case of extorting $50,000 from Col. Lindbergh, the ransom paid April 2, 1932, by Dr. John P. Condon for the return of a baby that already had been murdered.

Defense Attorney Fawcett, as he was leaving the courthouse, said he had received numerous letters since he undertook Hauptmann's defense.

He exhibited one from Rochester, N. Y., which said in bold block letters:

"It is up to you. Hauptmann is not guilty. He was hired by us as a lookout."

Another, from Asbury Park, N. J., began:

"Watch your step in this case."

Mr. Fawcett said he had been threatened with death by persons who telephoned him last night.

He said that, although he had no criticism of Judge Lester W. Patterson, who set Hauptmann's bail at $100,000, "or of anyone else in this case," he would move for dismissal of the indictment at his first opportunity.

"There is not enough evidence to hold this man," he said.

Workmen under the direction of detectives continue dissecting the Hauptmann home and garage today, hopeful of finding additional incriminating evidence. Yesterday they found $840 more of the ransom money cleverly hidden in augur holes, bringing a total of $14,500 the ransom money found in Hauptmann's possession. It was believed Hauptmann, an expert carpenter, could have constructed innumerable of these caches in the two buildings.

Yesterday's discovery allowed detectives to show that Hauptmann detectives to show that Hauptmann possesses or has possessed a total of more than $50,000 since April 2, 1932, when Dr. Condon paid the ransom to the mysterious "John."

A summary of Hauptmann's finances:

Present assets of Hauptmann and Mrs. Hauptmann--$16,000.

Hauptmann's losses in stock market speculations--$7,000.

Ransom money found in Hauptmann's garage--$14,590.

Ransom bills spent in 716 places--$5,100.

Hauptmann's supposed loan to his friend Isidor Fisch--$7,500.

In the same cache where yesterday's money was found, was a tiny automatic pistol of German make. Authorities immediately sought to connect the .25-caliber weapon with the crime. Dr. Charles H. Mitchell, county physician of Mercer county, N. J., where the baby's body was found, said it was possible that a bullet from a small caliber pistol made the abnormal opening found behind the left ear of the body.

New Jersey authorities, in insisting they would extradite Hauptmann eventually, disclosed they had three witnesses who had identified Hauptmann as the man they saw near the Lindbergh Hopewell home the day before the kidnaping.

Hauptmann will face a maximum term of 20 years imprisonment if convicted of extortion in New York state. He would face the death penalty if tried for murder in New Jersey.

A further new development came when it was revealed that insignia of a German World War army unit had points of similarity to the symbol used as a means of identification on the ransom notes.

The Lindbergh ransom symbol consisted of two interlocking circles, in outline, with a solid disc inside the ellipse formed by the overlapping portion of the outline circles. The disc contained a dot-like hole in its center.

Most Germany army units had for insignia either numbers or initials. But there was a symbol for a special anti-tank shock artillery troops, formed hastily toward the end of the World War from machine gunners and sharpshooters. It was as follows:

Two overlapping blue circles, with a red point in the ellipse formed by the overlapping portions. The red point symbolized a bursting grenade.

Hauptmann served with the machine gunners of the Saxon Grenadiers. It was not known whether he was one of the machine gunners recruited for the anti-tank unit.

The machine gun unit with which Hauptmann served also had insignia-a target, formed of two or three circles, and worn on the left arm as a chevron. The other circle was 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Trending Stories