Here are some of the questions that Jim is most frequently asked regarding the Lindbergh Case. If you have questions that are not answered here or in his books The Lindbergh Case and The Ghosts of Hopewell, feel free to ask Jim using the contact information at the bottom of this page. Jim will try his best to answer as many questions as possible. Check back to see if your question has been added to this page.
- Did Hauptmann commit the crime alone?
There has never been any hard evidence in the Lindbergh case pointing to a specific accomplice. Hauptmann was greedy, and a loner, and the type of crime he committed is typical of crimes by desperate, sociopathic lone wolves like him. During the 2.5 years between the ransom exchange and Hauptmann's arrest, he, an unemployed carpenter, spent $36,000. That sum, added to the $14,000 in ransom money found in his garage, equals the full amount of the ransom payment. If Hauptmann had help, the accomplice didn't get paid.
- Did Mrs. Hauptmann know that her husband was a baby killer?
Mrs. Hauptmann, until after her husband's arrest, had no idea what he had done. It's hard to believe, however, that at some point after his arrest that it didn't dawn on her that he was the Lindbergh kidnapper. Mrs. Hauptmann wasn't the brightest person in the world, but she couldn't have been that stupid.
- Why didn't Hauptmann confess to keep himself out of the electric chair?
Hauptmann had good reason to believe, right up to the moment he was executed, that the governor would commute his sentence to life. By the time he realized that this was not going to happen, it was too late.
- How did Hauptmann know that on the night in question, the Lindberghs would be at their house in Hopewell instead of the Morrow estate in Englewood where they had been staying during the week until their new house was finished?
Hauptmann didn't know this until he arrived in Englewood to kidnap the baby. When he realized they were not there, he figured they had already moved into their new home across the state.
- Was the Lindbergh investigation bungled?
No, that is one of the many myths about the case. It was in fact dogged and inspired, much more thorough and innovative than the typical modern crime investigation. Had Col. Lindbergh not kept the police in the dark about the ransom negotiations, they would have arrested Hauptmann when he showed up at St. Raymonds Cemetery for the ransom money.
- Was Hauptmann beaten by the police after his arrest?
No doubt they roughed him up. This was, after all, 1935. But because he never confessed, his treatment at the hands of the police never became a legal issue. Whether or not he was beaten had no relevance to whether of not he was guilty.
- Why did Violet Sharpe, the Morrow maid, kill herself?
She was ill, depressed, and afraid. She was worried what the police would find out about her personal life when they conducted her routine background investigation. Other than being a victim, she had absolutely nothing to do with the crime. Among hack writers and the Hauptmannites, she is a favorite accomplice in the crime of the century.
- Is there any chance that the corpse found two miles from the Lindbergh estate was someone other than the Lindbergh baby?
No. The age of the corpse and its time of death corresponded to the age of the Lindbergh baby and the date of his kidnapping. Clothing on the body matched what the Lindbergh baby had been wearing on the night he was abducted, and there was enough of his face remaining to allow a positive identification by his father. This hasn't stopped nineteen grown men from claiming to be the Lindbergh baby.
- Was there perjury at the Lindbergh trial?
Yes. Some of the prosecution eyewitnesses were questionable, but they were irrelevant since the state made its case with the physical evidence. Almost all of the perjury came from the defense side of the case.
- Why do so many people think that Hauptmann was innocent?
Because having an innocent man to railroaded to his death by a bunch of stupid and corrupt cops is a more interesting story than the police working hard to catch the right man. A lot of people are fascinated, and comforted by, the idea of police misconduct leading to injustice. In an era where what one believes is more important than what one knows, Bruno Hauptmann can be innocent, and the Lindbergh baby alive, selling computers in Connecticut.