The Lindbergh Kidnapping  Hoax 

 Dr. Shoenfeld's Crackpot Theories  

  Who Was Cemetery "John" ? 

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Analysis  or Just Plain Bunk ?


THE CRIME AND THE CRIMINAL : A Psychiatric Study of the Lindbergh Case  1936

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  Did Jafsie Originally Identify Hauptmann?  Liberty Mag 4/11/1936 (PDF)

  Dr. Condon supposedly corresponded with a man at two cemeteries.  Jafsie (His initials were JFC) said the man told him his name  was John.  The police released a description of "Cemetery John" for the newspapers

"Age, 30 to 35; height, 5 feet 9 inches; athletic build; 

speaks with Scandinavian or German accent; 150 to 160 pounds; 

rather light complexion; medium light hair; sharp almond eyes; high forehead; pointed chin; 

when last seen, wore soft brown hat, long black overcoat of light fabric, and black leather shoes."

The police also put a psychiatrist to work ( a friend of Walter Winchell's) analyzing the supposed character of John.  Dr. Schoenfeld  believed Cemetery John was German. He said that John possessed some kind of mechanical skill and most certainly constructed the kidnap ladder at home.

Dr. Schoenfeld also believed that John thought of himself as unconquerable because he wrote 14 ransom demands!

 And in the letters, he always argued. For instance, he argued how Lindbergh could spend so much time looking for other suspects when John was the one. He also would probably carry some of the ransom money with him to show he was powerful and fearless.

Not only did Dr. Schoenfeld believe John thought he was powerful, but he thought that because John was fearless, he would not keep the ransom money hidden and spend it cautiously. He would spend the money like it was normal money- not afraid to be caught. Dr. Schoenfeld decided to study where the money was discovered and pinpoint where he believed John would reside. He created a rectangle on a map and told authorities that John would live within the rectangle. 

The police searched all German communities within the rectangle, but came up empty-handed.  Hauptmann, coincidentally,  lived within Dr. Schoenfeld's rectangle - but,  not in a German community.  Dr. Schoenfeld noticed that in the last note from the supposed kidnapper, there was an erased word. 


 Where it said "Gay Head,"  underneath one could read Gun Hill. The doctor thought that perhaps this was a subconscious thought that was accidentally written or perhaps John personally made the mistake.


Although most argued that John was very much sane, Dr. Schoenfeld said that John was suffering from a state of dementia praecox, otherwise known as schizophrenia. He believed that John was probably once a patient at a mental institution.

When Hauptmann was arrested, Dr. Schoenfeld investigated further. The false name, Perlmeyer, used by Hauptmann when he first arrived in New York, was, in Dr. Schoenfeld's mind, a combination of Perl and meyer. 

Dr. Schoenfeld believed that Hauptmann had an unconscious feminine identity using a female name, Pearl, as the prefix of a false name. Also, Dr. Schoenfeld believe that Hauptmann's son, Manfried Richard, could be psychological evidence. Richard was used, he said, because of Hauptmann's male ego. Manfried was said to mean man freed. Dr. Schoenfeld believed that Hauptmann named his son this because he was not captured and punished for the death of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. Another reason Hauptmann might have picked Manfried for a name was because of Baron Manfred Albrecht von Richthofen, "the Red Knight."


(Note: Dr Schoenfeld's pseudoscientific analysis of Manfried's name is quite astonishing in view of the very glaring fact that the Lindberghs named their second child JON.  Their child was born long before Hauptmann's arrest when the supposed kidnappers were still at large and 50,000.00 of their money had been stolen by someone supposedly named John!  Worse, their firstborn had been found dead and the only link was a guy in a cemetery named John.     In view of these mystifying facts, Dr. Schoenfeld sounds, at least to me, to be a crackpot psychiatrist.  Not so different from the psychics we see on TV today who make up from their OWN imaginations, outrageous assumptions about things they cannot possibly determine without actually interviewing the suspect.  Yes,  there are Profilers used by the FBI and law enforcement authorities and often they are able to imagine what kind of person has done a horrific crime just from the layout and circumstances of the crime scene.  But, Schoenfeld's "profile" borders on the insane.   Dr Schoenfeld is just grasping at straws here. He, like all the others, was just looking to get into the act. ) 

Dr. Shoenfeld believed that Hauptmann had homosexual tendencies. The doctor believed that John was associated with Lindbergh in private fantasies. (Boy! Does this say a lot about Dr Schoenfeld himself!  )  He said that the two connected circles, the signature of the ransom letters, symbolized Charles Lindbergh, von Richthofen, and Hauptmann. Both Lindbergh and von Richthofen had achieved great fame; Lindbergh in 1927 for being the first aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic, and von Richthofen for being a wartime hero. Hauptmann, Dr. Schoenfeld speculated, wanted to prove he was Lindbergh and von Richthofen's equal - that he, too, could attract such great attention. He also was jealous of Lindbergh's importance and resented his prestige. Also, John wrote Lindbergh's name and address on an envelope where the sender's name belonged as if saying, "I AM LINDBERGH," the doctor said. Some believe that the guy was just too ignorant to realize where the address belonged. With this jealousy and oneness felt for Lindbergh, John decided to kidnap the Lindbergh baby, Dr. Shoenfeld claimed.

bob mills
dr. dudley schoenfeld
Sat Dec 15  2001

Yet Dr. Schoenfeld was an influential adviser to Wilentz throughout the appeal process. At least two books I've read, BOTH OF WHICH MAINTAIN BRH WAS HLK, credit Schoenfeld with giving credence to the notion of a lone kidnapper. Until then, the New Jersey Police, the New York Police, the FBI and Lindbergh all assumed that one man, acting alone, couldn't have pulled it off. To restate the obvious...who told the kidnapper(s) the Lindberghs would be in Hopewell on a Tuesday, when they never had been before? Would any kidnapper from the Bronx have driven 4 1/2 miles in the opposite direction to dispose of a baby's body, on a main road no less, exposed to the headlights of oncoming traffic, then turn 180 degrees and head for New York? Not very likely, folks. Why would Jafsie Condon choose a local Bronx paper with limited circulation to first contact the kidnapper(s)of a baby in Central New Jersey, unless he'd already heard rumors of a plot based in the Bronx? Dr. Schoenfeld never answered these questions, needless to say.

Bob Mills to the LKH Forum        

      Cemetery John / Hauptmann / City Island

May 5, 2003

I believe it's undisputed that Hauptmann spent a lot of time at City Island, both before and AFTER Apr. 2, 1932. A description of Cemetery John, provided by Condon, was in police hands after that date. Likewise, taxi driver Perrone proffered a description. Condon, who met Cemetery John a second time, is known to have visited City Island on a number of occasions. For all Cemetery John knew, Perrone might have also spent time there.

If Hauptmann had been Cemetery John, it means an extortionist and suspected kidnapper in the crime of the century wandered around a busy recreational area for 2-1/2 years, aware that Condon (a public gadfly who had inserted himself into the case) and Perrone knew him on sight, and that every cop in the Bronx had his description in hand. T

he odds on his being noticed were very high. Yet  Hauptmann never tried to disguise himself, grow a mustache, dye his hair, or in any other way avoid discovery.

hauptmann himself
 May 5  2003

Hauptmann himself made the same case you just made when he met with Gov. Hoffman. He said something to the effect that surely Condon would have recognized him on City Island, as he (Hauptmann) was there all the time in he summer, as was Condon. Also,  Hauptmann himself would surely have recognized Condon   (not an easy guy to miss), a and in all likelihood would have sought safer havens to spend his vacation time,- -yet he didn't, he   continued   to return to the island, undaunted.  "Is this the behavior of a guilty man?", Hauptmann asked. 

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