The Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax 

 Robert Thayer 

 7 page  Statement of Robert Thayer  (PDF)

Obituaries of Robert Thayer 

Thayer's Diary Notes

Ben Bradlee memoir excerpt on Thayer

Robert Thayer was one of the "insiders" from the very beginning of the investigation yet he was never called to testify at Hauptmann's trial 3 years later. He was a colleague of Henry Breckinridge, Lindbergh's lawyer. Lindbergh's first call, after deciding his child had been kidnapped, was to Henry Breckinridge - even before alerting the State Police.

 Thayer was immediately called into the case by Breckinridge.  He would have been an important witness yet his testimony was never given nor was he contacted or quoted in any press publications. He  mysteriously disappeared from the case and ended up working for the CIA in Europe. Gave up a lucrative law practice and was never called to testify at Hauptmann's trial though he gave this 7-page statement to NJ State Police  after the the corpse  was discovered on May 16, 1932

The Lindbergh child was found on the Mt Rose - Hopewell Highway, only four miles from its crib.

(Thanks to Siglinde Rach for submitting these documents from the W Trenton Archives)

 Robert Thayer's  Obituaries 

The Washington Post

January 29, 1984, Sunday, Final Edition

SECTION: Metro; Obituaries; B4

HEADLINE: Robert Thayer, Naval Officer, Diplomat, Dies

BYLINE: By J. Y. Smith, Washington Post Staff Writer


Robert H. Thayer, 82, an attorney who helped investigate the Lindbergh

kidnaping, was a Navy intelligence officer in World War II, a former U.S.

minister to Romania and a trustee emeritus of the National Trust for Historic

Preservation, died of leukemia Jan. 26 at Georgetown University Hospital.

Mr. Thayer, who lived in Washington, was born in Southboro, Mass. He received

bachelor's and law degrees from Harvard University and went to New York to

practice law. There he worked with Gen. William J. (Wild Bill) Donovan, who

headed the Office of Strategic Services in World War II, on a commission to

revise public service laws.

In 1932, he assisted Col. Henry S. Breckinridge, who had been retained by

Charles A. Lindbergh after the kidnaping March 1 of Lindbergh's nearly

2-year-old son. He stayed at the Lindbergh residence in Hopewell, N.J., until

the body of the child was found May 12, 1932, and assisted police in obtaining

the cooperation of banks in checking the serial numbers of bills that had been

paid in the $50,000 ransom. Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a paroled German convict

who had entered the country illegally, was convicted of the crime and was

executed in 1936.

During World War II, Mr. Thayer was commissioned in the Navy. He was an

intelligence officer in the South Pacific early in the war and then went to

Europe, where he took part in the invasions of Normandy and southern France. He

returned to the Pacific in time for the invasion of the Philippines.

In 1945, he was an assistant to John Foster Dulles, who became secretary of

state in the Eisenhower administration, at the organizing conference of the

United Nations at San Francisco.

In 1950, Mr. Thayer began a career in diplomacy as assistant to the U.S.

ambassador to France. In 1955, Eisenhower appointed him minister to Romania, a

post he held until 1958. He then went to the State Department as assistant

secretary for educational and cultural affairs.

Mr. Thayer left the government in 1962 and was director of governmental

relations of the American Field Service until 1972.

He was appointed a trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in

1966 and was vice chairman of the board from 1975 to 1977, when he was made a

trustee emeritus.

He also was coordinator of foreign gifts for the John F. Kennedy Center for

the Performing Arts, a director of Kennedy Center Productions and a member of

the advisory council of the School of Advanced International Studies of Johns

Hopkins University.

He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Foreign Policy

Association, the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs and the

English-Speaking Union.

Mr. Thayer's military decorations included the Bronze Star and the Navy

Commendation Medal. He also was a member of the French Legion of Honor.

He was a member of the Harvard Club of New York, the Metropolitan Club in

Washington, the Somerset Club in Boston, the Porcellian Club in Cambridge,

Mass., and the Travellers Club in Paris.

His wife, Virginia Pratt Thayer, whom he married in 1926, died in 1979.

Survivors include three children, Robert H. Jr. of Lorton, Stephen Badger of

Washington and Sally Sears of New York City; and a brother, John O. of Boston.

The New York Times

January 29, 1984, 

Robert H. Thayer, 82; 

Ex-Envoy to Rumania

Robert H. Thayer, a longtime New York City lawyer who once served as United

States Minister to Rumania, died of leukemia on Thursday at Georgetown

University Hospital in Washington. He was 82 years old.

Mr. Thayer, who lived in Washington, held several appointed posts at state

and national levels. From 1950 to 1954 he was Assistant United States Ambassador

to France. He was appointed Minister to Rumania by President Eisenhower in 1955

and served until 1958. Then he served as assistant Secretary of State for

Cultural and Educational Affairs until 1962.

He began his law career in New York in 1926, after graduating from Harvard

Law School. In 1932 he worked closely with Col. Henry Breckinridge on the

investigation of the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh's son. In 1938 he became an

Assistant District Attorney of New York County under Thomas E. Dewey. He left

the position in 1941, became a lieutenant commander in the Navy and worked

throughout World War II on intelligence activities.

After the war he was appointed Assistant to the Commissioner of the New York

State Division of Housing by Mr. Dewey, who had since become Governor, and in

1949 was appointed by Mr. Dewey to lead the New York State Commission Against


He is survived by two sons, Robert H. Thayer Jr. and Stephen B. Thayer, both

of Washington, and a daughter, Sally Sears, of Manhattan; by a brother, John

Otis Thayer, and a sister, Violet Parker, both of Boston.


Notes from Thayer's handwritten diary during the earliest days following the kidnapping. 
"Saturday: March 5, 1932
Very tense day -- everyone expecting something -- message from H. B. [Henry Breckinridge] in morning that he was very peaceful and getting some sleep -- few calls.
Sunday: March 6, 1932
Same as Saturday -- No messages except apparently letter # 5 received at H. B.'s office + read to L. [ Lindbergh] over phone by Jim Falin, law clerk of H. B.
L. very cheerful -- practical jokes all evening..."



.....I became, in effect, the Rosenberg attache', charged with receiving delegations that came to the embassy to protest the verdict and the death sentence. This was an extremely difficult task. Contemporaneous newspaper accounts provided us with nothing like the detailed knowledge of the case that we needed to counter the emotional protesters. The last straw for me came when the blind mayor of  Ivry, a worker suburb of Paris and a stronghold of the PCF (Parti Communist Francais), showed up with his buddies, shouting questions, and we still had no material from Washington to answer them.

On a Saturday morning I went to my immediate boss, the em­bassy's public affairs officer, Bill Tyler, for help. Since we couldn't get any help from Washington, why didn't we send our own man-me, obviously-to New York to read the transcript of the entire Rosenberg Trial (and appeals), return to Paris as quickly as possible, and write a detailed, factual account of the evidence as it was pre­sented, witness by witness, and as it was rebutted, cross-examination by cross~examination?. Tyler thought that was a great idea. When could I-should I leave? Right away. Fine, but it was Saturday. The banks were closed and no one had cash for the air fare. "That's all right," said Tyler. "We'll ask Bobby for some francs."

Bobby was Robert Thayer, son of the founder of St. Mark's School, a longtime friend of my mother and father, and the CIA station chief in Paris. He reached nonchalantly into the bottom drawer of his desk and fished out enough francs to fly me to the moon, much less to the Federal Courthouse in the Southern District of New York, and I left that afternoon. This incident caused me some embarrassment years later, when a woman named Deborah Davis argued in a book about Katharine Graham that I had worked for the CIA as an agent. Her "evidence," obtained through a Free­dom of Information request, was an internal CIA document noting that Bobby Thayer had advanced the cash for my air fare.  

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