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Bite the Bullet - Dorothy Godfrey Wayman
Sat Feb 25, 2017 14:52

Below is another account of a prominent journalist who met the Lindberghs and had first hand involvement with the case.

Dorothy Godfrey Wayman sometimes wrote under the pseudonym Theodate Geoffrey.

Here is a very recent article about her life:

From Bite the Bullet

by Dorothy Godfrey Wayman:

"The classic murder of our day undoubtedly was the Lindbergh kidnaping, so tremendous in its implications, so long drawn out in its investigation that no one reporter could cover it singlehanded. I had two personal angles on it as well as a preliminary introduction."

"When Charles A. Lindbergh, at the height of his glory as the Lone Eagle after his epic solo flight across the Atlantic, married Anne Morrow, he was already committed to fisticuffs in his "press relations." He profited nothing by the suave example of his diplomat father-in-law, Dwight Morrow. He snarled at reporters and knocked cameramen into the mud and declined to take editors into his confidence. In June 1938, when I was "covering" the wedding of John Roosevelt to Anne Clark at Nahant, I had a chance to see the success of more sophisticated tactics. Young John, just twenty-two, and as modest a youth as ever I met, recognized the public interest in his nuptials and enlisted the co-operation of the press by satisfying it with a minimum of invasion of his privacy. John held a daily press conference at which he answered questions on the understanding, faithfully kept, that for the rest of that day and evening, there would be no interruption of his personal plans and undertakings. On the question of his honeymoon, he told us quite frankly that he wanted a week without callers at Campobello and that before sailing for Bermuda he and his bride would meet the press and pose for photographs. And that was just the way it worked out."

"Lindbergh, however, disregarding the devotion of his public, elected to start on a honeymoon even more secretly that the take off when "We" flew to Le Bourget. A New York reporter discovered that a cabin cruiser Mouette, outfitted, provisioned and fueled for sea, entered into the picture. Promptly every newspaper editor telegraphed each of his reporters and correspondents from Miami to Maine to locate the Mouette and ascertain if the Lindberghs were aboard. In those days I knew practically every fisherman and coastguardman on the Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound shores of Cape Cod, and I relayed my quest to them. At six o'clock one June morning in 1929, a bronzed man pounded on my door to tell me that a strange craft had come into Woods Hole harbor during the night and was laying far out."

"Breakfastless I hurried to the shore, borrowed a rowboat and paddled out over dancing blue wavelets toward a cabin cruiser, gleaming with varnish, bright brass winking in the sun. My binoculars picked out the name on the stern Mouette. As I approached, a slender girl with the sweetest face I ever saw, framed in a bit of silk we have since learned to call a babushka, came on deck, followed by the beardless Viking figure with tousled yellow-brown hair and icy blue eyes familiar to the world. He went aft and bent the colors to the jack staff just as I arrived alongside and clicked the trigger of my camera.

"Colonel Lindbergh?" I asked.

"Who wants to know?" he snapped, straightening up all six feet and three inches of his lean, square-shouldered body, the white shirt fluttering against his ribs in the morning breeze."

"The Boston Globe," I answered dutifully.

"Fellow reporters never believe this story, but it is true and one of my nicest memories. Anne Morrow smiled timidly. Charles Lindbergh put one long arm around her slender waist and looked at me pleadingly."

"Couldn't you please just go away?" he asked.

"Of course I can," I smiled. "We just want to know that you are all right. Good-by and God bless you."

"The young happiness in their two faces touched me and made me feel a hundred years old. How many eons since I had been a bride with no babies, no job, no responsibilities -- I couldn't reckon."

"So the Lindberghs were located and it was I who located them, and they were very young and charming and shy. By the time they reached North Haven, Lindbergh was being truculent with the press again, but I always remember that smiling June morning and two happy youngsters at the crest of life. And none of us knew that day that their path led on down to the blackest depths of the Valley of the Shadow."

"In March, 1923, little Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr. was kidnaped. His gentle mother broadcast over the air..."

    • Sue re:Bite the BullettTanialee , Mon Feb 27 01:44
      This was an excellent find Sue. She really showed the mean side of Lindy with the press but then a more gentle nature with Anne on thier honeymoon. And the story of the cement walled thugs hideout,... more
      • William C. AtwaterSue for Tanialee, Mon Feb 27 18:41
        Maybe Lindbergh should have followed the example of John Roosevelt by giving the press SOME information with the promise of not being harassed? Well, Tanialee, what of the William C. Atwater running... more
        • Sue for Tanialee /WilliamC.AtwaterTaniale, Tue Feb 28 01:38
          Certainly, Lindy should have given the press something to the press as a generous offer so he and Ann wouldn't be so beleaguered by media chase but he was who he was, stubborn. At least Prince... more
      • Re: Tanialee/SueTanialee , Mon Feb 27 01:47
        Boad Nellie
    • Bite the BulletSue, Sat Feb 25 16:05
      "His gentle mother broadcast over the air an appeal to his captors to feed him his accustomed formula. His father was conferring alternately with police and with acknowledged criminals who claimed to ... more
      • Bite the Bullet ContinuedSue, Sat Feb 25 16:53
        (Correction: Meant to type March 1, 1932 on first page!) "Everyone remembers the ransom notes delivered to Jafsie Condon and the ransom paid in the [Bronx] cemetery by Dr. Condon while Colonel... more
        • Re: Bite the Bullet ContinuedSue, Sat Feb 25 18:41
          "Would it not be natural to believe, in their sin-haunted souls, that Colonel Lindbergh had betrayed them to the authorities? Would they not with all haste take their departure from such... more
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