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The Lindbergh Kidnapping The Biggest Story Since the Resurrection


Know that the abduction occurred on March 1, 1932 ... He was finally electrocuted at Trenton State Prison on April 3, 1936 at 8:47 p.m. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Lindbergh Kidnapping The Biggest Story Since the Resurrection

The Lindbergh Kidnapping The Biggest Story
Since the Resurrection
  • Presented by Jaclyn Holcombe, Matthew Shelnutt,
    and Chad Chisolm

  • Know that Charles A. Lindbergh was considered an
    American Hero for completing the first flight
    across the Atlantic Ocean
  • Know that the abduction occurred on March 1, 1932
  • Know that the initial ransom note was for 50,000
  • Know that Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. was killed by
    a massive fracture to the skull
  • Know the 5 characteristics used in 2005 to prove
    the rail 16 and the attic board were once one
    piece of wood milling characteristics, natural
    characteristics, knot patterns, surface grain
    patterns, and end grain relationship

  • Know that Silver Nitrate, a newer technique at
    the time, allowed for the lifting of fingerprints
    from the ladder
  • Know that TLC is a destructive ink analytical
    technique, and that microscopy is indestructive
  • Know that handwriting evidence played a large
    role in convicting Hauptmann
  • Know that Hauptmann was convicted of first degree
    murder by a unanimous jury
  • Know that the Lindbergh Law states that it is a
    Federal felony to kidnap across state lines

The Lindbergh Family
  • Charles A. Lindbergh
  • was considered an
  • American Hero for the
  • first flight across the
  • Atlantic Ocean
  • Charles Lindbergh and
  • his wife, Anne M.
  • Lindbergh, lived in
  • Hopewell, New Jersey
  • Charles A. Lindbergh Jr., the Lindberghs first
    child, was born in 1930

The Crime of the Century
  • Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. was kidnapped on March
  • 1932 at 20 months old
  • A ransom note for 50,000 was left in his nursery
    when the baby was removed from his crib
  • The next day a second
  • ransom note was delivered
  • demanding 70,000
  • The ransom was delivered
  • on April 2, 1932

Kidnapping Turns into Murder
  • The babies remains were found in May 1932, 73
    days after he was kidnapped
  • He was found by a truck driver in the woods close
    to the Lindberg home
  • Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. had been killed by a
    massive fracture of the skull 2 to 2 ½ months
    before he was found


Charles A. Lindbergh Jr.s remains and the his
clothing compared to a clean clothing
The Suspect
  • Bruno Richard Hauptmann was an illegal German
    immigrant that came to the United States in 1923
  • Police found Hauptmann when he paid for gas in
    Bronx, New York using a gold certificate
  • He was caught with a 20 gold note in his wallet
    and 14,000 in ransom money in his garage

The Ladder
  • The wooden ladder was used to reach the nursery
    window on the 2nd floor
  • It was made in 3 sections and held togehter by
    wooden dowels so that it could easily be fit into
    a car
  • The ladder was left at the Lindbergs home
    approximately 100 yards from the house

The Wood Expert
  • On May 1933, wood expert, Arthur Koehler from the
    U.S. Forestry Products Laboratory, was brought
    into the case to perform an in-depth wood
    analysis on the ladder
  • He was able to determine that some of the lumber
    used to make the ladder had been shipped by the
    National Lumber and Millwork Co. from South
    Carolina to a New York lumberyard near
    Hauptmanns home
  • Koehler made this determination by comparing saw
    marks in the lumber from the ladder to the lumber
    that had been milled by the National Lumber and
    Millwork Co.
  • Hauptmanns response was No real carpenter could
    produce such rough work

Rail 16
  • Koehler was also able to prove that rail 16 came
    from Hauptmanns attic floor
  • While searching his apartment, the detectives
    noticed that a section of the attic floor had
    been removed
  • Koehler and one of the detectives took rail 16
    into the attic and compared it to where the board
    had been cut away
  • There were many similarities between rail 16 and
    the remaining piece of the board
  • 4 square nail holes in rail 16 matched up with
    one of the beams in the attic
  • The grain was also the same in both pieces of the

Hauptmanns Attic

The floor where part of the board is missing
The floor with rail 16 in place
2005 Reexamination of the Ladder Evidence
  • Rail 16, the attic board, and other evidence
    still exist so Kelvin Keraga and other experts
    used todays technology to reexamine the evidence
  • First, they proved that the police did not tamper
    with evidence by switching any of the wood using
    photos that had been taken immediately after the
  • Keraga also used the same photos to verify that
    the current rail 16 and attic board (S-226) were
    the original pieces of evidence from the 1930s

  • Next, Keraga and the experts established that
    rail 16 and S-226 were the same board at one time
  • They were able to come to this conclusion based
  • Milling characteristics cut perpendicular, 8
    knife marks per inch, 6th mark more distinct, and
    coupled marks
  • Natural characteristics Southern Yellow Pine,
    color, sapwood, and came from the center of the
  • Knot patterns S-226 above rail 16 which is
    consistent with the growth direction of the tree
  • Surface grain patterns knot on S-226 alters the
    that area of the wood, surface area curves and
    yearly growth rings match on both boards
  • End grain relationship overlapping end grain
    pictures of both boards shows there
    three-dimensional relationship

(No Transcript)
Forensic Fingerprinting
  • Shortly after midnight State Trooper Frank Kelly,
    a fingerprint expert, arrived on scene at the
    Lindbergh home.
  • Dusting was the most widely used technique at the
    time of the kidnapping, and its use didnt allow
    for the collection of any fingerprints from the
    room the baby was in, the ladder, or the note
    left behind.
  • Dusting is typically reserved for porous
    surfaces, and the powder sticks body oils left on

Silver Nitrate and Fingerprints
  • A fairly new technique at the time was the use of
    silver nitrate to lift fingerprints.
  • The silver nitrate reacts with the chloride found
    in fingerprint residue and silver chloride forms
    in ultraviolet light, this new compound reveals
    a reddish-brown fingerprint.
  • The use of this technique successfully allowed
    for the removal of partial fingerprints from the
    ladder involved in the Lindbergh kidnapping.

Contemporary Analyses
  • Perhaps more fingerprints could have been
    collected from this scene and used as evidence if
    investigators had access to the techniques found
  • Chemical treatments such as tartrazine yellow,
    merbromin, amido black etc. for high contrast and
  • Enhancement via superglue fuming, which reacts
    with water in the prints, and produces a white
    mark that can be stained.
  • Ninhydrin reacts well with prints on paper and
    porous substances reacts with amino acids to
    turn purple.
  • Iodine fuming, such that the iodine is absorbed
    by oily components in the prints, and turns a
    yellow-brown. Benzoflavone can be added to fix
    the fingerprint, which turns it dark blue.

Analysis of Handwriting
  • A total of 1,400 words were collected from all of
    the submitted ransom notes and notifications sent
    by Hauptmann, as well as his collected personal
  • These printed words were used by investigators to
    link Hauptmann to the crime, based on some of the
    following criteria
  • Word and letter spacing
  • Height and width of a letter
  • Lettering slant, or the degree of slant to the
    left or right.
  • Diacritic placement, or where the ts are crossed
    and the is are dotted.
  • Pen lifts, or when and where a pen is lifted
    during words or between words.

Ink Analysis
  • Forensic analysis of ink is used to identify the
    same or different inks on a document for
  • There are several techniques to analysis inks
  • Non-destructive
  • Infrared luminescence
  • Visual luminescence using a microscope
  • Destructive
  • Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC)
  • Capillary Electrophoresis (CE)

Non-destructive Technique
  • Analysis of documents under a microscope can be
    informative as a first step. The investigator may
    be able to see slight changes in ink color, not
    visible to the naked eye, that could be
    indicative of alterations, or in this case
    handwriting similarities

  • Different pens may coincidentally contain inks
    which have identical infrared and visual
  • If inks cannot be differentiated from one another
    by these examinations it is unlikely to be able
    to identify a specific pen as having written
    various entries on a document.

Ink Analysis
  • Today, crime investigators specialized in
    forensic science are using Thin Layer
    Chromatography to identify different inks
  • New process, is called Capillary Electrophoresis

Fact about Inks
  • Most inks are not made of just one color of ink,
    but are made of several colors of inks that
    combine to form the desired color
  • Green ink, for example, is a combination of blue
    ink and yellow ink
  • Black ink, which was used to write the ransom
    note, is often a combination of several colors.
    Black inks from different manufacturers will be
    composed of different combinations of colors
  • Investigators can analyzed the black inks from
    different pens found in the suspects' possession
    and compared them with the ink used to write the
    ransom note

Destructive Technique
  • thin-layer chromatography (TLC)
  • An ink sample is spotted on a silica-gel slide
    and separated into its components by a solvent
  • The spots can then be visualized under visible or
    ultra-violet light then compared to a reference
    library (e.g. the Secret Service's TLC library
    consists of 8,500 inks)
  • It's an important technique

To the Case
  • The Plaintiff could have used ink samples from
    the ransom note and compared it to something the
    defendants wrote
  • TLC is also used to isolate dating tags that have
    been added to inks by some manufactures

Disadvantages to TLC
  • The process can't be automated
  • The TLC plates should and needs to be stored in a
    controlled environment (if not, no spectroscopic
    data is obtained)

Destructive Technique
  • Capillary electrophoresis (CE)
  • A minute volume of ink is injected in a narrow
    silica capillary filled with a buffer solution.
    Electrical current is then applied to the
    capillary to separate the ink into its components
  • Each component passes a photodiode array
    detector, which records an ultraviolet-visible
    spectrum. This process also detects non-dye
    additives in the ink that potentially can be used
    as identifiers.

Advantages of CE
  • This process permits the separation of ink into
    its different pigments
  • Automated
  • Fast
  • Results can be stored in a database for future

  • Because of the small volume necessary for
    analysis, the remaining solution could be further
    processed using current law enforcement
    procedures for confirmation.
  • This technique is not limited to ballpoint pen
    inks and can be applied to food dyes, textile
    dyes, and ink-jet dyes.

  • The trial began on January 3, 1935 in Flemington,
    New Jersey
  • Jury was released on February 13th, 1935
  • at 1121 a.m. to determine the verdict
  • After 11 hours, the jury reach a unani-
  • mous vote of guilty of first degree murder
  • Judge Trenchard sentenced Hauptmann
  • to death
  • He was to be electrocuted during the week
  • of March 18, 1935 but it was postponed due
  • to his appeal
  • He was finally electrocuted at Trenton State
    Prison on April 3, 1936 at 847 p.m.

Lasting Results
  • Due to the Lindbergh baby kidnapping on June
    17th, 1932, Congress passed the Lindbergh Law
    which states
  • Kidnapping across state lines is a
  • Federal felony

  • http//
  • http//
  • Johnson, David. "Lindbergh Kidnapping
    Remembered." Information Please Database 2007 11
    004 2008 lthttp//
  • Aituo, Russell. "The Lindbergh Kidnapping The
    Theft of the Eaglet." The Crime Library. 12 004
    2008. Turner Entertainment News Media Network. 13
    Apr 2008 lthttp//
  • http//
  • Leeds, Curtis. "Lindbergh New Technology key in
    convicting Bruno." Hunterdon County Democrat. 09
    11 2007. Hunterdon County Democrat. 13 Apr 2008
  • Keraga, Kelvin. Testimony in wood. 2005.
  • "Lindbergh Kidnapping Evidence Photographs." New
    Jersey Department of State Archive. NJ Department
    of Law and Public Safety. 13 Apr 2008
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//
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