(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 Lindbergh waited in agonizing suspense around the corner; and the midnight rush to New Haven for a plane in which to contact the Boad Nellie off the Elizabeth Islands, but none of us know whether the baby was actually alive when the ransom was paid. However, I was witness to a strange coincidence that might, or might not, have affected the outcome of the ransom negotiations; and I also know a name, never yet published and I am afraid not to be published until Lindbergh himself authorizes it -- the name of the man Lindbergh and Dr. Condon were seeking in the Elizabeth Islands on their second flight there."
"First, to understand this coincidence, you must have certain dates in your mind. On March 1, 1932, the Lindbergh baby disappeared from his nursery at Hopewell, New Jersey. The ransom was paid over on April 2, and the body, identified as that of Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., was found, May 12, in a shallow grave a few miles from Hopewell. It was found by a Negro truck driver in an area that had been searched for weeks by police and volunteers, just a few feet in from a well-traveled road."
"One thing more should be recalled. Immediately after the baby's disappearance his tiny fingerprints were developed from the nursery furniture and Colonel Lindbergh at first insisted he be given the baby's fingerprints by the kidnapers before the ransom would be paid. Now if the child had died almost immediately, what simpler procedure than to take prints from his little fingers in order to collect the ransom. But if the child were at sea, aboard a vessel, how much more complicated for the agents on land, negotiating about the ransom, to reach him and obtain the prints?"
"At any rate, when the ransom was paid Dr. Condon was quoted as saying he had carried on negotiations with a sailor with Teutonic accent who declared he had seen the baby alive on a boat. That was March 16, 1932. At the trial two years later of Richard Bruno Hauptmann the prosecution dwelt but little on the boat angle. When the ransom was paid, on Saturday, April 2, Dr. Condon received for Colonel Lindbergh an illiterate note, ostensibly from the kidnaper, directing him to go to the Elizabeth Islands near Horseneck beach where he would find the child in care of a woman on the Boad Nellie. Colonel Lindbergh at once took off in a Sikorsky amphibian and spent Sunday, April 3, scouring the area from Martha's Vineyard to Westport, without finding the Nellie."
"However, on Saturday, April 2, the collier William C. Atwater struck on Sow and Pigs reef in Vineyard Sound and sent out an SOS. At once gray government craft began converging on the scene. The destroyer McDougall, the big white cutter Acushnet, the coast guard patrol boats 149 and 974 came racing into Vineyard Sound from all directions, and the power surfboat from Cuttyhunk added itself to the fleet that was going to the assistance of the grounded collier."
"It has never been denied nor explained that during the last week in March a strange man entered a drugstore in Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, and purchased a considerable quantity of a prepared baby food. Now, just supposing that there was a Boad Nellie with the Lindbergh baby aboard, cruising in the waters around deserted Nomansland and the Elizabeth Islands, waiting for ransom negotiations to be completed, in touch perhaps by radio with the land agents, aware that the ransom was to be paid April 2, and a rendezvous appointed with Lindbergh at the Elizabeth Islands. What do you imagine those guilty souls would think when they saw government destroyers, cutters, patrol boats rushing into the area?"
"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