The Execution of Bruno Richard Hauptmann
Deputy Police Chief Charles E. Williamson's Story
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New York Evening Journal
March 2, 1932
"MOTHER FEARS FOR LINDY BABY, 'ILL' WHEN STOLEN"
Contributed to the LKH Forum by Sue Campbell
"The tragic scene of those first few minutes after the Lindbergh infant's
kidnaping was vividly described by Deputy Police Chief Charles E. Williamson,
of Hopewell, N.J., one of the first officers to reach the home.
FIRST TRAGIC TIDINGS
His story follows:
"I was in my home last night about 10:20, when the telephone rang. The person
at the other end of the line said 'will you please hurry over?' I asked if it
was the Colonel himself talking, and he said, 'no, this is the butler. I'm
speaking for him.'
I asked if Col. Lindbergh was there. The butler replied in the affirmative,
and I told him I would be there in a few minutes. I picked up Chief Harry Wolf
and we sped over to the house.
Col. and Mrs. Lindbergh and several others met us at the door. They ushered us
into the living room, where the Colonel told us what happened.
Both were standing up well under the circumstances, and while we questioned
them for a few minutes they sat in chairs, close to each other. Col. Lindbergh
was the calmest of the two, although Mrs. Lindbergh did not cry. She cried
after we left, I was told.
Col. Lindbergh took us out in the yard, and we found the ladder, about fifty
feet from the house. Both Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh accompanied us up to the
Col. Lindbergh told me that he knew as soon as the report came to him that the
baby was gone, that he had been kidnapped. I asked the Colonel if he had heard
any unusual noise. He replied that he had not heard any noise except the wind
blowing around the house.
While we were outside we followed footsteps for a distance and decided that
the kidnap car must have been parked on Featherbed Lane (the road leading to
the Lindbergh estate).
There were car tracks on this past the old bridge, on the dead end of the
road. The footprints led across the field.
Col. Lindbergh said he could see no reason why anyone should want to kidnap
his baby. I pointed out to Mrs. Lindbergh that there were no clothes gone from
Mrs. Lindbergh said: 'The poor child has had a cold and will suffer. We have
been doctoring the baby for several days.'
I asked Colonel Lindbergh if he suspected anyone. He replied: 'No'
Colonel Lindbergh said the nurse last saw the child between 7:30 and 7:45. As
we stood in the room he pointed to the unlocked window and said: 'They must
have gotten in through that window.'
Mrs. Lindbergh, during our questioning, interrupted and asked the colonel:
'Don't you think we should notify our mothers immediately?'
Mrs. Lindbergh then took the phone and called her mother at Englewood, and a
few minutes later placed a long-distance telephone call to Detroit, and talked
to Colonel Lindbergh's mother.
I stepped out of the room while she was calling, but I did hear her say when
she reached her mother: 'Our baby has been kidnapped.'
I told Mrs. Lindbergh that from the preparations made, the kidnapers must have
been professionals, determined to get the child at any cost. 'Yes,' she
replied, 'and it probably would have happened even if we were at mother's.'
The Colonel then asked if we ought to look around some more at the footprints
in the mud or should we wait for the State troopers. I replied, 'I guess we'd
better wait, for the troopers will be here any minute.'
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