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    Charles A. Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping: The Hauptman Trial. Contained in this lot are four items related to the trial of Bruno Richard Hauptman, accused of the kidnapping and murder of the 20-month-old son of noted aviator Charles A. Lindbergh. The child was taken from the second floor bedroom of his Hopewell, New Jersey home on the night of May 1, 1932. A ladder was used to gain access and a ransom note left behind demanding $50,000. Despite payment of the ransom, the baby was apparently killed the night of his abduction and the body found nearby on May 12th. The passing of a marked ransom bill at a service station was the lead that resulted in the arrest of Hauptmann. A search of his garage disclosed $13,000 of the ransom money hidden in a tin shellac can. The resulting trial was described by H. L. Mencken as the "greatest news since the Resurrection." It was covered in newsreels and daily radio broadcasts. Hauptmann chose a defense team headed by Edward "Death House" Reilly, a flamboyant and totally incompetent attorney. Reilly was supposed to be paid for his services by William Randolph Hearst and later sued the Hauptmann's for $25,000, which he failed to recover. Hauptmann claimed the ransom money was not his, but had been given him by a friend who had returned to Germany and could not be reached. Despite a weak prosecution case, Hauptman was convicted and electrocuted in April 1935. For the rest of her life, his widow attempted unsuccessfully to clear his name. These items long ago came from the estate of Joseph Connolly, who is named on the "Press Pass" included in the lot. Connolly became the General Manager of William Randolph Hearst's King Features Syndicate in 1928 and then K.F.S. President in 1934. This lot includes: a letter sheet from defense counsel Reilly titled "The Lindbergh-Hauptmann Trial" with red imprint representing the ladder that Hauptmann allegedly constructed and used in the crime, 2) an album page with original ink sketch of Hauptmann signed by Henry Major, a caricaturist for the Hearst's newspapers whose work also appeared in many journals under the moniker "The Gay Philosopher, 3) a "Press Pass" issued and signed by the county sheriff for the King Features Syndicate President as "Mr Connolly and Wife" for January 24th and 25th 1935 and 4) an album page with four autographs including: Hauptmann's attorney who signed "Edward J. Reilly.-(defense-chief-counsel"; a noted defense lawyer who signed "Hyman Bushel on a vacation"; and journalists Adela Rogers St. John and Damon Runyon, who were covering the trial. Before "O.J.", there was Bruno Richard Hauptmann.


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    Auction Dates
    May, 2011
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 837

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