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Excerpts from Lt. Bornmann's Trial Testimony  




Oursler is the ONLY published eyewitness to the attic fiasco 

The Arguments Below Are From The Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax Forum

steve romeo
dear Capt. lamb
Thu Feb 21  2002

somebody sent me a copy of this hotel stationary letter written from the hotel Lincoln in new York city from Koehler to Capt. lamb December 10, 1933---- 

dear Capt. lamb-- it has seemed to me for some time that rail 16 was a piece of tongue and grooved stock taken from the interior of an old building. I believe it was tongue and grooved because both edges were hand sawed and hand planed, it came from the interior because it shows no sign of having been exposed to the weather for any length of time. and it came from a old building because it has cut-nail holes in it. such lumber might have been used to seal a inside of a barn against the cold. but where in new York city would one find a barn? today I had a surprise. I took the elevated  up to where Condon lives to see what that section of the city looks like. Unfortunately I left his address in my room at the hotel, so I couldn't tell which his house is and I didn't want to ask anyone. I knew which block it is because I looked it up on a map just before I left. 

I was surprised at its old buildings in that block, I saw one garage which apparently was a remodeled barn, because it was to large for a garage, although I cannot be certain of course. you see the connection? of course I may be all wrong, but it seems to me there are enough possibilities to give the matter further attention. if that board was taken from the interior of a building and we can locate that building, the spacing of the nail holes should indicate just where it was taken. I have the distance between the nail holes in my notebook. what I think happened is this; those fellows stole 4 pieces of fir lumber and stole or bought the 14 foot piece of pine. When they worked on the ladder one of the pieces of fir went wrong on them. It may have had a serious defect in it which they did not see sooner, or it may have split in working it up. They either did not have time or they did not want to take the risk of getting another piece of 1x4 so they took this piece of old lumber and cut it to the right width and used it instead of the fir. Very sincerely yours Arthur Koehler

The Rail Ruse
Mon Feb 11  2002

Did Rail 16 come from Hauptmann's attic? 

The fabrication revealed - 

Part I.

Trial Transcript 3735 Reilly Direct Miller:

Q: Did you look at these boards at all while you were in the attic?
A: Naturally, I got glasses and I got to look down.
Q: Did you? Did you?
A: What is that?
Q: Did you look at the boards?
A: I looked at them, certainly, when I walked along.
Q: You had your glasses?
A: Certainly.
Q: And you had your candle?
A: Yes sir.
Q: Now did you see any board missing from this board to the board over to this wall?
A: No, I didnít see that.
Q: How long -
A: I didnít see that.
Q: How long were you up there where you had the light, the natural light from the window?
A: As long as I was there.
Q: Well, how long was that?
A: Oh, about six or seven minutes. Thatís all I need to see anything.
Q: Well, you had the natural light from the window and you had your candle, didnít you?
A: Right.
Q: And you didnít notice any board that was missing?
A: No, I didnít notice any.
Q: Well, did all the boards appear to you to be in their place?
A: Right.

Here we have testimony that after the kidnapping, that there is no missing attic floorboard....   

Hauptmann arrested September 19th. The Police need a "smoking gun" to connect Hauptmann to the kidnapping...Bornmann's search begins....

Kennedy p 211:

[Bornmann] He had noticed that Hauptmann had built his garage of yellow pine, and a length of timber he was seen to have taken away on Sept. 25th....

There was lumber in Hauptmann's garage, and a lumber yard just blocks away. Hauptmann's attic was accessible only through a trap door in the ceiling of his closet - once the shelves were removed.

Kennedy p 232:

On December 8th, both Koehler and Wilentz denied that the wood from the ladder came from Hauptmann's home.

"There is absolutely no truth in the matter at all," says Koehler which, in view of his claim to have fitted Rail 16 to the attic floor with Bornmann just two months earlier.....

There obviously was a reason for this lie to the press...but what was the motive?

TT 2059 - Peacock Direct Rauch:

Q: Now, prior to October 15th 1931, were you in the attic of that house?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: What date?
A: Around October 5th.
Q: And was the attic floor complete on October 5th, 1932?
A: Yes, sir.
Q: When did you next go into the attic of that house?
A: Around two weeks after his arrest.
Q: Was the attic floor complete at that time?
A: No.
Q: What part of it was missing?
A: I missed a strip of a board-rather, I would say, nine feet in length; not the entire board, but a part of it.

So according to Rauch, two weeks after Sept 19th, a nine feet piece of attic flooring is missing from the attic.

TT 2151 Peacock Direct Bornmann:

Q: On September 26th, 1934, were you at his home?
A: Yes, sir, I was
Q: And for what purpose?
A: For the purpose of searching for evidence.
Q: Did you make a search of the attic of the defendant's home at that time?
A: I did.

TT 2152:

Q: Who was with you-
A: Long
Q: -this day?
A: On the 26th, I was accompanied by Police Carpenter Cramer, Enkler and Detective Tobin of the Bronx.
Q: Now, when you got into the attic what did you find?
A: We first made a search for money, we didn't find any money and during this search I found that all the floor boards were not of the same length, that is the one in the south west corner, a portion of it had been removed.

TT 2155:

Q: Now, did Mr. Enkler and Mr. Cramer do anything to the remaining board in the attic when they were there with you?
A: No, sir After examining that board I then removed about nine foot of this (indication).
Q: And what did you do with that board?
A: I had Police Carpenter Cramer remove the cut nails from it.
Q:And what-
A: And I then took that board down to the second floor and locked it in a bedroom.
Q: Then what further was done with that board?
A: I made a report to Captain Lamb as to-

TT 2156:

Q: Now I show you a board and ask you whether or not you took this from the attic of the Hauptmann home?
A: Yes, sir, I did. That is part of this section- that board runs from here, six foot eight and a half of it.
Q: And that was removed by whom?
A: It was removed by me.

Mighty strange how Bornmann testifies that he discovers a missing floorboard and removes a section of attic flooring on Sept 26th. Clearly Rauch testifies that only (1) nine foot piece was missing during his visit into the attic after the 26th. Who is lying?

TT 2168 Pope Cross Bornmann:

Q: When was the first time you were up in the attic, Officer?
A: September 26th.
Q: And how many times were you up there after that before Mr. Koehler came....
A: Once more I believe
Q: And during that interval how may local policemen were up there?
A: To my knowledge there has never been a local policeman in that attic.
Q: How many troopers were up there?
A: Myself only and Sergeant Schultz, the photographer.
Q: How many Department of Justice Agents up there?
A: None to my knowledge.

TT 2170:

A: Well there were a few policemen around there.
Q: Yes. How many do you call a few?
A: Detective Tobin, myself, two police carpenters, and two police guards I believe.
Q: Now how many times were the police carpenters up in the attic before Mr. Koehler arrived on the scene?
A: They were there with me, that was all.
Q: How many times?
A: Once.
Q: Just once?
A: Yes.
Q: To your knowledge?
A: Yes.
Q: And when was that, what date, if you know?
A: September 26th, 1934, about 10:30 am
Q: Now, so far as you know was that the first time that any policeman went up to the attic? As far as you know yourself!
A: As far as I know, yes.
Q: And then after that you don't know how many policemen were there do you?
A: I don't know how many were there.
Q: Yes.
A: No, sir. There were none there to my knowledge.

Bornmann testifies that he was the first Policeman to go into the attic. He wasn't, he was lying....but why?

Kennedy p 211:

The attic had already undergone a number of extensive searches in the six days since Hauptmann's arrest.

The following made searches of Hauptmann's attic:       

Sept 19

- Trooper Horn accompanied by NYPD Detectives and FBI Agents.

Sept 20

- Sergeant Wallace, Agens Breed, Agent Kavanaugh, Corporal Leon, NYPD Lt. McCarthy, Agent Wright.

Sept 21

- Agent Wright

Sept 22

- Sergeant Zapolsky, Sergeant Wallace accompanied by NYPD Detectives.

Sept 23

- Agent Breed

Sept 24

- NYPD Detective Petrosino

Hoffmann File Memo - 2- 25-35 (in part):

Copies of reports in this file indicate that on September 20, 1934, Trooper Leon, in company with Lieutenant McCarthy, NYC Police Department, and Agent Wright searched the premises, namely, 'the kitchen, bedroom, nursery, parlor, attic and cellar, but make no mention of a board being missing from the attic floor, although they were specifically searching for anything in the line of evidence in the Lindbergh case.

Again, on September 22, 1934, Sergeant Zapolsky and Sergeant Wallace, NJSP, and four NYC detectives were assigned to search the Hauptmann home 'and pick up anything that we thought was the property of Isidor Fisch and also be on the lookout for the instrument stated above.' (Instrument which may have been used in making the symbols on the Lindbergh ransom notes)

On September 26th, 1934, Detective Bornmann, in company of carepnters and detectives of the NYC police Department reports the missing board.

Bornmann even searched the attic himself at 9AM prior to his 10:30AM search....

Kennedy Page 293:

Then on September 26 Bornmann went up there, accompanied by Detective Tobin, Superintendent Wilson and two carpenters. "We immediately proceeded to make a thorough search of the attic," he reported to Lamb. "Nothing of value was found with the exception of several small pieces of wood and shavings and several cut nails..."

Scuduto Page 380:

In several later reports of the same date, Bornmann does describe his discovery in the attic. But it is difficult to understand why Bornmann went through the trouble of writing the first report which says five police officers combed the attic without success when, if he is to be believed, he had not completed his search. A report for the files is a summation of a detective's activity during the day or on one specific assignment. None of the police and FBI reports in my possession was written until the day following an assignment and some were written days later. For Bornmann to write a report about a 9 a.m. search of the attic, and then to write follow-up reports of the same date, is at least to be viewed with suspicion.

Hoffmann File Memo - 2- 25-35 (in part):

It is very strange that this boards absence from the attic floor was not previously noticed, especially by the searching party of September 22nd, who were looking for what must be some sort of a small article (the symbol maker) and who also were undoubtedly searching for more ransom money, a task which would of itself attract their attention to anything of an irregular nature in the attic or elsewhere in the house.

FBI Memorandum - Special Agent Rosen - 5-26-36:

The identification of the wood in the ladder, resulting in the opinion that the wood in the attic of Hauptmann's residence was identical with that of the ladder, was developed subsequent to the withdrawal of this Bureau from an active part in the investigation, and occurred after the New Jersey State Police had rented the Hauptmann residence.

Stockburger Report 12-13-34:

Fisher: Richard, I read a story in the paper today where the State claims that they found a piece of wood in your house that fits with part of the ladder.

Hauptmann: (Laughing saying) It's impossible, that's a lot of nonsense.

Fisher: I didn't believe it.

(Don't miss the exciting Part II......)

Rail Ruse - Part II
Tue Feb 12 2002

Part II - More Points to Ponder.

TT2173 Peacock Direct Enkler:

Q: When you gained entrance to the attic, tell the jury what you did.
A: Well, we were looking around and then Detective Bornmann drew our attention to the boards, the floor boards on the south side of the building. These boards, they run from the east to the west side. And on the first board, row of boards, there was about 8 foot missing, leading to - that would be on the south west side, end.

Wow! Thats an amazingly quick discovery. How did Bornmann fail to see the missing board on his previous search on that very morning - I wonder? By the way, sounds like this missing section was what Rauch saw....only after Bornmann supposedly took up the other section and testified it went into a locked room where a uniformed NYPD officer was given the key. If Bornmann is to believed, someone placed that board back into its original place before Rauch's visit and without Bormann's knowledge. Then, after Rauch's visit, they removed that very board and placed it back into the secured room. Sound like a possiblity?

TT2173 Peacock Direct Enkler:

Q: Will you tell us what you did that day?
A: Mr. Koehler, or Bornmann, I don't know which, had placed this on the beams, this board on the beams and there were four nail holes and he asked us to go and take nails and place them in to see if they would fit.......

Very strange.....Enkler was there - but doesn't remember who actually did the experiment or asked him to place the nails through the holes to see if they fit.

TT 2160 Pope Cross Bornmann:

Q: Now-
Mr. Peacock: Mr. Pope, pardon me one moment. I want to offer this photograph in evidence, your Horor, which has been referred to by the witness.
Mr. Pope: I thought it was in yesterday.
Mr. Peacock: No. The one that was in yesterday didn't have this rail attached.
Mr. Pope: Oh, just a minute, Mr. Peacock. May we have just a minute!
The Court: Yes.
Mr. Pope: You mean this piece was not in the one yesterday (indicating)?
Mr. Peacock: No, just this piece.
Mr. Pope: Well, yes; we object to this photograph because it is a photograph that is manufactured by the police to show certain conditions and positions of a board, which they wanted to show, and it was not a natural condition.

Mr. Pope: It does not represent the true condition of the house at the time the police went there, and inspected it, but in order to make it show what it shows there now, they had to do a little manuevering with a piece of board and some other things. Of course it is not representative of a true condition which would be binding upon this defendant. We object to it.

Mr. Peacock: Your Honor, for demonstration purposes, the board that was shown in the picture was placed there by the witness as he said, it showed that the nail holes fitted through this board to the joist being connected as the other end of that board. It is rail 16 from the ladder.

Mr. Pope: It was never part of the floor, only arguementively they want to make it appear as though it might have been. I have never known photographs to be admitted that were manufactured, that were manipulated, and then admitted for the purpose of showing the true condition. Photographs are admitted for the purpose of showing the true condition of the ground work or whatever it is that they pretend to describe, not for the purposes of showing a manufactured or manipulated condition that may be used somebody in arguement of the case. In other words, this is a false photograph and not a true one.

Could not have said it better myself, yet this photo is admitted by Judge Trenchard anyway....Pope uses this picture to the Defenses advantage....take a look-

TT2181 Pope Cross Enkler:

Q: Well, what is it?
A: There is a difference of about an inch.
Q: Well , then there is a space there?
A: There is a space there.
Q: All right, then, in order to make the nail holes fit you had to put that space there, didn't you?
A: No, sir.
Q: Well, if you had butted the rail up against this board, would the nail holes coincide?
A: No, sir
Q: Then you did have to move it away, didn't you?
A: Yes, leave a space, yes, sir
Q: Certainly

TT2191 Pope Cross Cramer:

Q: 226. They are not alike in color, are they?
A: This one seems to be handled a little more than that one.
Q: They are not alike in color, are they?
A: No.
Q: That is the answer. Now, looking at the attic floor up here, where this piece of rail is laid on the beams, you notice that it looks in the photograph as though the abutting end of the rail was raised up and was lying on the end of the board nailed down and running from the east to the west isn't that right?
A: No
Q: I say it looks that way on the photograph?
A: Now, wait until I see (witness steps to the photograph) no, it don't. It looks as if there is a space in between.
Q: That is what I wanted you to say.
Q: Now, there was a space in between the two boards, wasn't there?
A: There was, yes.
Q: About how wide was that space, if you remember?
A: Well, it was about at one end, we will say, three-quarters of an inch, and about a half an inch, and it run to about seven-eighths or an inch.
Q: In other words, you mean that the abutting end of the rail, or what would be the abutting end of the rail if it did abut up against the other board-
A: Yes
Q: -was sawed off evenly?
A: This was sawed off even.
Q: Yes
A: -but the piece that cut out of there was not sawed off even.
Q: That was sawed crooked?
A: Yes
Q: Just come down here now, Mr. Carpenter, just look at that alignment across there. It is just about as perfect and straight as it can be, isn't it?
A: yes, sir.
Q: And so is this, which is the end of the beam lying on the floor is it?
A: End of the board, right-not straight.
Q: It is not straight, I see.
Q: Just come down here, will you, Mr. Carpenter? Do you think that is pretty straight (placing a blotter on the photograph)?
A: Yes
Q: The space is between the lower edge of the rail-wait a minute- the space between the lower edge of the rail and the top edge of the rail is equal, is it?
A: I don't think so.
Q: Now you show me what is the matter with it if I am not holding the blotter all right.
A: The blotter is all right. This lays on the top of the edge of this (indicating)
Q: That is what I thought all along.
A: Just like this (indicating). There is one board and this is laying on top of it like that.
Q: That is what I have been thinking about all day long.
A: The board is here and this piece here is laid down (indicating). This place here and this piece down and the edge is laid on top of the edge of this.
Q: That is what I thought.
A: There is the board on the floor. It is laid on top of it just like that. (indicating).

TT2197 Pope Re-Cross Cramer:

Pope: .....This board then was permanently fastened to the floor?
A: Yes
Q: At that time. This was loose?
A: Yes
Q: I see. So in order to make the nail holes match-
A: Yes, sir.
Q: -it was necessary to manipulate the ladder rail a half an inch away from the edge of the permanently fastened board.
A: To make them fit all the holes.
Q: Yes.
A: Just like that.

So there you have it. Pope uses the Prosecutions own picture and witness to demonstrate that the Rail 16 evidence was manipulated and if the board was cut as testified to - would not have fit, but rather would have actually overlapped.

Hindsight is 20/20
Tue Feb 12  2002

TT2171 Pope Cross Bornmann:

Q: Now how many times were the police carpenters up in the attic before Mr. Koehler arrived on the scene?
A: They were there with me, that was all.
Q: How many times?
A: Once
Q: Just once?
A: Yes
Q: To your knowledge?
A: Yes.
Q: And when was that, what date, if you know?
A: September 26th, 1934 about 10:30 a. m.

No one lies without a motive.

Re: Not to mention the number of holes.
Sat Feb 16  2002

I plan on looking at this a little more closely in the future.The first official report that I have documenting the (4) nail holes is Betts and Brush dated June 1, 1932.I also have reference to Captain Snook's report showing (3) nail holes in rail 16.
Since the chain of custody was snapped like a twig time and time again, this is probably more evidence that Pope was right and the actual ladder found at Hopewell had been tampered with and altered into something much different.

It has been suggested to me by more than one person that because the nail holes in Rail 16 were nailed "on a slant" which is how the holes coincide with the joists, then that is proof that S-226 (Attic Board) and Rail 16 are a match.


"There were some three or four large round nail holes in several of the other side pieces. Here again the nails were driven at an angle." Since it is alledged that Koski put the (4) nail holes in Rail 16 when he built that attic, when did he put the nails holes in the other rails?


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