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Lindbergh Kidnapping collection

Special Collections and Archives

Lindbergh Kidnapping collection

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Special Collections and Archives

Lindbergh Kidnapping collection

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Borowitz Crime Ephemera: Lindbergh Kidnapping collection

Finding Aid

Prepared by Dyani Scheuerman and Rhonda Rinehart,  2004; Last Updated: March 2021

Inclusive Dates: 1927-1992
Extent: 3 cubic feet (1 record storage box, 2 oversize boxes)
Physical Location: 11th floor

Historical Note: On May 20, 1927, Charles A. Lindbergh became a famous figure in American history when he made the first solo trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris. Five years later, on March 1, 1932, he again became the object of much media attention when his 20-month-old son, Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. was kidnapped from his nursery. The events that followed the kidnapping, including the search for the young Lindbergh boy, negotiations with the kidnappers, discovery of the child's decomposed body, and the trial of the kidnap and murder suspect Richard Bruno Hauptmann, culminated into a complex and puzzling case involving numerous people. The case's popularity led to the "Lindbergh Law," which defined the crime of kidnapping to be a federal offense punishable by death. The case itself was unanimously considered an open and shut one, which led to Hauptmann's execution for the kidnapping and murder of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. on April 3, 1936. However, nearly 80 years later, many questions surround this case and "the trial of the century," including Hauptmann's guilt.

Scope and Content: This collection, donated by Albert and Helen Borowitz, contains photographs, clippings, posters, and other documents related to the Lindbergh kidnapping and subsequent trial of Richard Bruno Hauptmann. A large portion of this collection includes press photographs and newspaper clippings, which give a telling glimpse into the ethos and pathos of 1930s media, and its direct influences on events surrounding the Lindbergh case. Many of these photographs, complete with detailed captions, were used in various newspaper publications during the years of the kidnap and trial. Five distinct time periods are well-represented by this collection, and include the Lindbergh family before the kidnapping took place, the kidnapping itself, the time frame during the search for the child, the investigation, and the courtroom trial of Hauptmann. The complete FBI file report about the case is also present in this collection as well as "Reward" and "Wanted" posters circulated during the case. In addition, a pamphlet satirizing a fictional kidnapping paralleling the Lindbergh case and mailed to the Hauptmann jury prior to the trial, is an important item in the collection.

Related Material: Evidential and press photographs taken during the investigation are present in a separately-acquired collection, entitled Lindbergh Kidnapping Photographs, 1931-1932. Special Collections and Archives also holds several books about the Lindbergh case, which are cataloged in KentLINK.

Restrictions on Use: Kent State University does not own copyright to the photographs in this collection. Permission must be obtained from copyright holder(s) for duplication.

Box 1: Photographs, Clippings, and Other Materials
Folder -- Contents

Press Photographs

  1. John H. Curtis, one of the five intermediaries in kidnapping case, April 1, 1932
  2. Ernest Joseph Brinkert, possible suspect identified by Violet Sharpe [Lindbergh household maid], June 11, 1932
  3. John Hughes Curtis, one of the five intermediaries in kidnapping case, June 27, 1932
  4. Charles Boettcher, Jr., friend of Lindbergh family, February 14, 1933
  5. Mrs. Gaston B. Means, wife of Gaston Means, whose husband was one of the five kidnap intermediaries, May 8, 1933
  6. View in West Farms court of Hauptmann trial, September 21, 1934
  7. Isador Fisch and Henry Uhlig, September 23, 1934
  8. Isador Fisch, passport photograph, September 24, 1934
  9. Isador Fisch, from whom Hauptmann claimed he received ransom money, September 27, 1934
  10. Isador Fisch, unidentified friend, and Henry Uhlig, September 27, 1934
  11. Anita Lutzenberg, Hauptmann friend, September 27, 1934
  12. John Bowman, alias John O'Day, held for questioning in Lindbergh case, September 30, 1934
  13. James M. Fawcett, attorney for Bruno Hauptmann, October 11, 1934
  14. Joseph M. Furcht, Hauptmann employer, October 17, 1934
  15. Hunterdon County Courthouse, January 8, 1935
  16. Greta Henkel, Hauptmann acquaintance, January 26, 1935
  17. Elvert Carlstron, Hauptmann trial defense witness, January 30, 1935
  18. Elvert Carlstron, Hauptmann trial defense witness, January 31, 1935
  19. Elvert Carlstron, Hauptmann trial defense witness, January 31, 1935
  20. Philip Hockenbury, Charles Walton, and Liscom C. Case; three jurors in Hauptmann trial, January 31, 1935
  21. Elvert Carlstron, Hauptmann trial defense witness, February 2, 1935
  22. Sam Streppone, Hauptmann trial defense witness, February 5, 1935
  23. Witnesses for Hauptmann's defense, February 6, 1935
  24. Carl Henkel, Greta Henkel, Hentry Uhlig, acquaintances testifying on Hauptmann's behalf, February 9, 1935
  25. Philip Hockenbury, juror, February 14, 1935
  26. Rev. Michael J. Kallok, Catholic priest who testified against Bruno Hauptmann, April 9, 1935
  27. Neil Burkinshaw and Nugent Dodds, pled for a stay of execution for Bruno Hauptmann, January 16, 1936
  28. Attorney General David Wilentz with his wife, February 24, 1936
  29. Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, October 7, 1953
  30. Charles Lindbergh entering courtroom, undated
  31. Bruno Hauptmann and Charles Lindbergh, undated
  32. Attorney General David Wilentz showing ransom letter, undated
  33. Artist's rendering of Bruno Hauptmann entering the execution chamber, undated

Newspaper clippings about Lindbergh family and kidnapping case (most date from 1930s)
Processing Note: Photocopies of clippings are in front of folder with original newspaper clippings filed behind.

  1. Lindbergh early flights
  2. Morrow family
  3. Anne Morrow Lindbergh speaking engagements
  4. Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. and family
  5. Lindbergh home and scene of kidnapping
  6. Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. kidnapping and publicity photographs
  7. Crime/kidnap chronologies
  8. Murder/crime scene
  9. Editorial sketches
  10. Kidnapping bulletins
  11. Children mistaken for Lindbergh baby
  12. Principle figures and clues in case
  13. Betty Gow [Lindbergh baby's nurse]
  14. Violet Sharpe [Lindbergh household maid]
  15. Aids in case
  16. Kidnapping case intermediaries
  17. Al Capone's offer of aid
  18. Kidnapping/murder suspects
  19. Ransom notes
  20. Hunterdon County courthouse [scene of Hauptmann trial]
  21. Judge and prosecutors in Hauptmann trial
  22. Hauptmann trial jury
  23. Bruno Hauptmann, family, and acquaintances
  24. Hauptmann defense
  25. Hauptmann trial evidence
  26. Location where ransom money found
  27. Witnesses and testimonies in Hauptmann trial
  28. Charles Lindbergh court appearances and testimony
  29. Stories related to Lindbergh case
  30. Other kidnappings/threats
  31. Special interest stories and photographs related to case
  32. One year anniversary of Lindbergh kidnapping
  33. Jon Lindbergh, second son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  34. Lindbergh later flights
  35. Lindbergh letters and ties to Germany, New York Times, August 2, 2003

Ephemera and articles about Lindbergh case

  1. $25,000 reward poster for information in Lindbergh case, undated
  2. No. 2310 Criminal File: Exposed! Aviator's Baby Was Never Kidnapped or Murdered [fictional case parallelling Lindbergh kidnapping and trial; mailed anonymously to jury members prior to trial, no date]
  3. Napkin from the Union Hotel, in Flemington, New Jersey [base of operations for journalists during Lindbergh case]
  4. Publication about Highfields, former Lindbergh estate and current correctional facility
  5. The Lone Eagle - Lindbergh [children's book about Lindbergh's life and trans-Atlantic flight], undated
  6. Hauptmann, play reviews, 1992
  7. Hauptmann, playbill [Cherry Lane Theater presentation], May 1992
  8. Some Things That Can Go Wrong at 35,000 Ft. [play about the Charles A. Lindbergh family in 1939, presented by Case Western Reserve University Department of Theater Arts, June 2-19, 1994]
  9. Trial of the Century, [pamphlet about the Lindbergh trial and Flemington courthouse, includes short bibliography]
  10. "The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case," by Samuel S. Leibowitz, TV Guide, undated
  11. "Betrayed by Their Own Hand," by Harriet Thorndike, The Family Circle, undated
  12. "Lindbergh and the Press," by Silas Bent, Outlook, April 1932
  13. "Why I am Defendeing Hauptmann," by Lowell M. Limpus, Real Detective, February 1935
  14. "Why We Convicted Bruno Hauptmann," by Elmer Smith, juror number six, American Detective, April 1935
  15. "Who Helped Hauptmann?," by Edward Dean Sullivan, Inside Detective, May 1935
  16. "Will Lindbergh Save Hauptmann?," by Edward J. Reilly, Liberty, October 1935
  17. "Jafsie in the Cemetery," by Dr. John F. Condon, Liberty, February 1, 1936. [Condon acted as one of the five intermediaries during the Lindbergh kidnapping case, and used the pseudonym 'Jafsie']
  18. " 'Jafsie' and the Ransom Money, "by Dr. John F. Condon, Liberty, February 15, 1936
  19. "Now Jafsie Tells," by Dr. John F. Condon, Liberty, March 21, 1936
  20. "Jafsie in Panama Discusses New Evidence," by Fulton Oursler, Liberty, March 28, 1936
  21. "Jafsie Answers Hauptmann's Death-Cell Accusation," by Rev. D.G. Werner, Liberty, April 11, 1936
  22. "Strange Stories that Jafsie Told," by Fulton Oursler, Liberty, April 18, 1936
  23. "What Hauptmann did with the Missing Money," by D. Thomas Curtin, Liberty, May 1936

91A. "What Led to the Lindbergh Kidnapping," by the West Virginia Anti-Saloon League; James F. Fulbright, undated but likely 1932. [Argues that increased crime and not Prohibition led to Lindbergh kidnapping.]
Acquisitions Note: Purchased for the Borowitz Collection, 2018.

  1. "What Will Happen Next in the Lindbergh Case?," by Frederick L. Collins, Liberty, November 7, 1936
  2. "Gaston B. Means - Master Bad Man," by May Dixon Thacker, Liberty, April 1937

Sheet Music about Lindbergh Family

  1. America Did It Again, by Ted Koehler and Marty Bloom, [song dedicated to Evangeline Lodge Lindbergh], 1927
  2. Lindbergh (The Eagle of the U.S.A), by Howard Johnson and Al Sherman, 1927
  3. Lucky Lindy!,words by L. Wolfe Gilbert, music by Abel Baer, 1927
  4. Baby Lindy, by Clarence Gaskill and Irving Mills, 1930

Box 2: Oversized Items
Folder -- Contents

  1. Newspaper article about Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight, St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 23, 1927
  2. Publicized list of currency paid in ransom to Lindbergh kidnappers, 1932, [2 copies, one is damaged and missing bottom half]
  3. 'Wanted' poster for information in Lindbergh kidnapping, March 11, 1932, [2 copies]
  4. Newspaper article about ransom money, Detroit Sunday Times, April 16, 1932
  5. "Nation Hunts Lindbergh Baby Slayers as Body is Found," The Cleveland News, May 13, 1932
  6. Newspaper photograph of Lindbergh baby, The Detroit News, May 29, 1932
  7. "New Lindbergh Sensation: 'Jafsie' Condon to be Detained for Questions," headline, Sunday Pictorial Newspaper, January 12, 1936
  8. Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr. newspaper photograph, undated
  9. "Analyzing Lindbergh's Glands to Show Why He is Without Fear," newspaper article, undated
  10. "Hauptmann," [play review], New York Times, May 29, 1992
  11. Newspaper photograph montages of Lindbergh case, May 1932
  12. Newspaper headlines about Lindbergh case, May 13, 1932
  13. Complete edition of New York Times, [includes articles about Lindbergh cse], March 6, 1932
  14. Complete edition newspapers about Lindbergh baby murder, May 1932

Box 3: FBI Summary Report

  1. FBI Lindbergh Summary Report [photocopy], March 1, 1932 - February 1, 1934.
  2. CD copy of FBI Lindbergh Summary Report, March 1, 1932-February 1, 1934
    Alternate Form Available: There is a PDF copy of this file, available upon request.