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Bruno Hauptmann - gulty or innocent?


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#1    Antilles

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 12:58 PM



In 1927 Charles Lindbergh became the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic from NY to Paris.
In 1932, his infant son was kidnapped and murdered.
In 1936, Bruno Hauptmann was executed for the child's murder.
Did they get the right man?

Edited by Antilles, 13 July 2012 - 01:33 PM.


#2    Super-Fly

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 03:05 PM

If he was the wrong man, what does the family get, some sort of pardon?

Intersting post OP.

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#3    Antilles

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 09:53 AM

http://seamusoriley....-testimony.html

You can read it for yourself.

He's pretty dodgy in some of his answers and he's on trial for hs life.

Maybe he was trying to shield someone.


#4    Eldorado

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 10:07 AM

View PostSuper-Fly, on 13 July 2012 - 03:05 PM, said:

If he was the wrong man, what does the family get, some sort of pardon?

Intersting post OP.

Tis a book and movie deal they''ll get.  (sorry for being so cynical)


#5    Antilles

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 10:27 AM

eldorado, I've started this thread because I'm interested in the case.

I'm not selling a book and I don't have a particular suspect to push.

I haven't made up my mind whether or not Hauptmann was guilty or innocent.


#6    regi

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 01:30 PM

I had to go back and refresh my memory about this case. I'd recalled that the evidence of guilt seemed overwhelming, and after going back and reviewing the case, it appears that it was.

Oddly, I currently have a library book which reviews the case (along with 4 others) called Murder, Culture, And Injustice, which provides the following information.
The 32 day trial was- at the time- "the longest and most sensational trial in American history", with "unprecedented media coverage."
"Lunch counters offered daily specials named for the key figures in the trial". Vendors sold souvenirs.
Journalist Norman Levy wrote that "All sense of proportion and much decency has been lost."
Edna Farber wrote (of the circus atmosphere) it "Made you want to resign as a member of the human race."

I think it's recognized and acknowledged that Hauptmann did not get a fair trial, and that's true for several reasons.
I regret that, but despite that fact, I do think he was guilty.

Here's an interesting passage from the above mentioned book, page 96
"Hauptmann's record thus revealed a criminal past marked by boldness, determination, and a modus operandi strikingly similar to that employed in the Lindberg case. Haughtmann had shown himself to be patient, hardened, and resourceful. Hauptmann revealed some of the characteristics of a classic sociopath, or anti social personality. Handsome and determined to maintain an appearance of innocense, Hauptmann often made a favorable impression on observers. Lindbergh himself captured Hauptmann's dualistic character, later describing him as 'a magnificent- looking man, splendidly built,'  but with eyes 'like the eyes of a wild boar- mean, shifty, small, and cruel."


#7    Antilles

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 01:40 PM

Every post you make you have to go back and refresh your memory.

You think he's not guilty.

Why?


#8    regi

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 01:52 PM

View PostAntilles, on 14 July 2012 - 01:40 PM, said:

Every post you make you have to go back and refresh your memory.

You think he's not guilty.

Why?

I have to refresh my memory because I don't walk around with specific cases foremost in my mind.
A lot of life's happened since I've read anything about this case, and I remembered believing that the man was guilty, but I also remembered that there were other suspects.
You know, sometimes one's perspective can change, Antilles.
I've been fascinated by true crime possibly (I suspect) longer than you've been alive, and it might have been that long since I've read about the case.


#9    Super-Fly

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 03:44 PM

View PostEldorado, on 14 July 2012 - 10:07 AM, said:

Tis a book and movie deal they''ll get.  (sorry for being so cynical)

LMAO

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#10    Eldorado

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Posted 14 July 2012 - 03:49 PM

View PostAntilles, on 14 July 2012 - 10:27 AM, said:

eldorado, I've started this thread because I'm interested in the case.

I'm not selling a book and I don't have a particular suspect to push.

I haven't made up my mind whether or not Hauptmann was guilty or innocent.

I wasn't talkin of you, rather Bruno's kin.


#11    JonathanVonErich

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:49 AM

Interesting thread Ant, been a while since somebody took the time to start a thread about the Lindbergh kidnapping. :)

Like I said in the Sheppard thread, I recently bought a great Encyclopedia about wrongly convicted people ( or alleged wrongly convicted people ), and of course the case of the Lindbergh baby is an important part of the book. I think Hauptmann was involved in the kidnapping. I never had the feeling that he was completely innocent. Was the trial fair ?? No. Do I think Hauptmann should have been executed for the crime ?? Not at all. However I think he knew who committed the crime and I believe he could have been involved in the kidnapping.

Still, the trial was unfair and the fact Hauptmann was executed for this crime is just wrong.

For a good analysis of the case I recommend The Cases that haunt us, by John Douglas. http://www.amazon.co...ergh kidnapping


#12    TheMacGuffin

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 05:47 AM

My great-grandmother told me that she waited up listening to the radio in 1936 just to make sure that he "got it".  Hauptmann was a very unpopular person when he died in "Old Smokey" here.

Posted Image

He was caught with nearly $15,000 in from the ransom money hidden in his garage, which did look a little bit suspicious.  That's how he really got caught, by trying to pass some of these bills at a gas station, and his explanation that he was just holding this for a friend who had gone back to Germany was not very convincing.  All of these bills were gold certificates that had been withdrawn from circulation in 1933, although the feds still had the serial numbers.

One unexplained mystery has always been where $30,000 of the ransom money went.  Did Hauptmann hide it somewhere else or did he have accomplices?  Only about $5,000 had been found before the other stash was discovered in Hauptmann's house so the rest is unaccounted for.

I don't believe he was innocent, but maybe he wasn't acting alone.

http://www.rarenewsp...com/view/550117

Edited by TheMacGuffin, 15 July 2012 - 06:03 AM.


#13    Antilles

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 09:46 AM

I think Hauptmann was involved but I don't think he acted alone. So, who was his accomplice?

He either wouldn't say and went to the chair protecting someone or it was the fishy Mr Fisch who was dead and couldn't help him anyway.

I think Hauptmann made the ladder and despite the accusations about police interference etc I think that's a fairly accurate call.

That money in his possession and his fishy story - still doesn't ring true after all these years.

But there was never any solid proof that he went anywhere near Lindbergh's house or that he took the child. The ladder and the money tie him in but they don't make him solely guilty.

He shouldn't have been executed that's for sure but I get the idea that feeling against him was running very high. So a chance at a trial before an impartial jury was never gonna happen.

You look at the news reel of the trial ( how come that was allowed?) and the prosecutor spends his time yelling at him. How Lindbergh made an ID of his voice after hearing 2 words over 2 years before is plainly ridiculous.


#14    regi

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 01:05 PM

The unaccounted for money is interesting because if it was ever traded, it should have turned up.
If anything, I think that shows it's unlikely that Hauptmann had an accomplice.

I've read about what the evidence was and I don't always read that a chisel was found somewhere in the vicinity under the window, and that particular size chisel- said to be a commonly used size- was missing from Hauptmann's tool box.
If that single thing is true, then I find it either strong circumstantial evidence, or an incredibly unfortunate coincidence. (I know common tools go missing, but it has to be figured in with other evidence.)

Re: Lindberg's ID of Hauptmann's voice, according to the book I mentioned (in which I've found errors) Lindberg was said to have consciously committed the voice to memory.
I know that Lindberg wanted the right person prosecuted, and I don't think he would have ID'd Hauptmann if he had any a doubt. Of course, he could have been simply mistaken, but who knows?

I tend to believe the witnesses who actually had contact with Hauptmann because the contact itself was very unusual and I think that would make Hauptmann more memorable to them.

I think he maintained innocence for the sake of his wife and child, and himself too.


#15    Antilles

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:57 AM

You hear someone, 2 years ago, speak 2 words to someone else and you remember that voice so completely that you can positively ID the voice?

Lindbergh wanted if not revenge then justice and I can fully understand that. The cops go hey this is the guy and Lindbergh goes yeah, absolutely, I remember his voice.

Well if no-one else has ever found that to be an incredible story then let me be the 1st. :yes:

If it had been an 'ordinary' trial then such testimony would never have been allowed.

Hauptmann never had a chance at a fair trial.





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