The Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax
Discovery of the Corpse In The Woods
warning: unpleasant photo of child's corpse
On May 12, 1932, William Allen, a truck driver, stopped to relieve himself in the woods on a highway in Mercer County, NJ and accidentally stumbled upon the remains of a child. He yelled to his co-worker, Orville Willson, "My God, there's a child - a dead child over there!" The body was laying face down, partly buried with dirt and leaves, in a shallow grave about four and a half miles southeast (or 2 miles within walking distance) of the Lindbergh's Hopewell, NJ home .
It was 45 feet from the highway near Mount Rose, NJ. The body was badly decomposed but it would later be determined that the skull had been fractured. Some of the body parts had been eaten away by animals and there was also a burlap sack - (see photo by Ronelle Delmont) nearby in which blonde hairs of the child suggested he must have been carried away from his crib in this crude manner. Authorities believed the body had been in that shallow grave for 72 days.
click here to read the "autopsy" report
The remains were positively identified by the child's nurse, Betty Gow who had sewn a new flannel undershirt for the baby before putting him to bed. She had used a spool of blue silk thread. Police showed her the little t-shirt before her identification of the remains was actually made at the coroner's office. It was definitely the same undershirt with the identical blue silk thread.
Lindbergh, away during the accidental discovery of the child, returned quickly and insisted on identifying the body.
He did so, in 90 seconds, by counting the teeth and inspecting the foot for the child's unique overlapping toes (notice the circle in photo). A preliminary examination proved that the baby had been dead for about two months and the cause of death, Dr. Charles H. Mitchell reported, was a fractured skull caused by external violence.
The police realized that the Eaglet must have been dropped, accidentally, from the crudely built, homemade ladder found at the Hopewell estate during the "kidnapping." One of the side rails had been split, causing a rung to collapse during the descent. Identical copies of that ladder would be repeatedly subjected to police tests and every time a re enactment was done the imitation ladder would break again due to the weight of a grown man carrying a 30 lb. bag on the way down.
So many writers have speculated that the child found in the woods was NOT the Lindbergh baby. One of the reasons for so much skepticism is the fact that Lindbergh ordered an immediate cremation after identifying the corpse. Lindbergh maintained complete control over his own burial in 1974, giving strict orders about his remains to his sons. He did not order a cremation of his own remains so it is a suspicious aspect of his earlier behavior in committing his firstborn's corpse to ashes only hours after it was found.
The identity question could easily be solved with a DNA test of hair and teeth that are housed at the Trenton Police Museum which displays most of the trial evidence. There are also finger prints of the baby taken by Dr. Erastus Hudson several weeks after the crime with his newly invented technique of lifting latent prints that could not be seen by Sgt. Kelly.
A DNA analysis could easily be done on specimens housed at the Trenton Police Museum. However, doing so may open a can of worms for the NJ Police who would be risking exposure to other materials in their archives - like the supposedly incriminating ladder they claimed came from Hauptmann's attic floorboard!
THE REAL LINDBERGH BABY?
There are numerous people who claim to be the real Lindbergh baby.
Lindbergh ordered an immediate cremation - he even went to the crematorium and watched the procedure - and would later, in August 1932, scatter the baby's ashes from an airplane. This took place on the very day that Anne went into labor with their second son, Jon.
The lack of a corpse, the inadequacy of a legitimate autopsy (the unauthorized funeral director performed it) and the bizarre conditions of the entire case have led many serious investigators to think the child found in the woods may not have been the Eaglet.
Some, like Wayne D. Jones, (Murder of Justice: New Jersey's Greatest Shame), believe the famous toddler was only kidnapped and sent to South America and, in his place, another child's remains were planted. Noel Behn, author of Lindbergh: The Crime, also believed the corpse was not that of the Lindbergh child.
Reeve Lindbergh, however, in her recent memoir - Under A Wing - has written that she, and all of her siblings, have the same deformity of overlapping toes. Yet, many people claim they are her baby brother.
AHLGREN & MONIER
Gregory Ahlgren and Stephen Monier, in their book Crime of the Century: The Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax, have theorized that the child died, accidentally, in a fall from the broken ladder while being used as the butt of another sadistic prank.
Lindbergh had hidden his child in a garbage dumpster 2 months earlier as a "joke" to scare his wife. According to her letter, written to her mother-in-law on the night her child disappeared, she thought this was another "joke."
Lindbergh would have had exactly half an hour to hide his blunder, hence the shallow grave and close proximity (2 miles walking distance) of the corpse. The co-authors theorize that Lindbergh dug the shallow grave hurriedly as he was expected home by a certain time. The location of the corpse was exactly halfway between the rented Mt Rose home (pictured above) and High Fields - a comfortable dumping ground for someone familiar with the locale. It is in the wrong direction if heading towards the Bronx!
A&M also believe the child found in the woods at Mt. Rose was the real Lindbergh baby although numerous people claim they are the "real" child.
After the baby's discovery The New York Daily News enraged the public with stories like this:
GET THE LINDBERGH KILLERS!
The kidnapped Lindbergh baby has been found - slain. The damnable fiends, the inhuman monsters, who kidnapped the baby and presumably were responsible for the bilking of Colonel Lindbergh out of $50,000 are still at large. Until the killers are tracked down and brought to justice, the children of America will not be safe. And the rest of the world will be able to point to this country and say: "That is the country where criminals can persecute decent citizens in absolute defiance of the law."
Does the Federal Government wish to preserve its integrity and its dignity, and so preserve the power of all other governmental agencies in this country? If it does, it will put its best men on the trail of these fiends, and keep them on the trail until the fiends are captured and convicted of first degree murder. The American people, shocked and grieved, will, we believe, demand such action by the Government in a voice that cannot be ignored.\
Sam Bornstein to the LKH Public Forum
Apr 14 2003
Time Magazine, June 13, 1932:
"Authorities of Brockton, Quincy and Lowell, Mass. refused entry to Walter L. Main's circus unless it eliminated from its program a sideshow in which Negro William Allen told how he discovered the body of Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr. Circusman Main withdrew Negro Allen following his New Bedford debut, which aroused slight interest."
Charles Jr.'s Airplane Trips
Sun Apr 7 2002
New York Evening Journal
March 2, 1932
"BIRTH OF LINDY BABY HAILED BY WORLD"
"...When Charles Jr. was only four weeks old, it was reported he might take his first airplane ride on a trip to the North Haven, Me., home of his grandparents.
This plan was postponed for a while, however, and for the first few months of his life the baby remained at the Morrow home, guarded like a medieval prince and seen only by the intimate friends of the Morrow family and his famous father.
A little later the proposed flying career of the eaglet went into a ground loop when physicians decided the child must not be taken for any sky rides.
The doctors ruled that no matter how much cotton was stuffed into the baby's ears, there was danger that the roar of the engine would impair his hearing for life.
That decision didn't cancel the trip to Maine, however, and little Charles-the-second was taken up there for several visits and for a long one to Maine when his parents flew to the Orient last year.
The object in taking him there was to keep him far from the infantile paralysis epidemic then sweeping New York and environs. With fresh food and milk and the Maine air, the danger from the disease at the Maine home was regarded as negligible."
Ronelle Delmont's Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax Forum
Michael Melsky's Lindbergh Kidnapping Discussion Board
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