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The Sanity Of Hauptmann
Sat Jan 13, 2018 02:54

My thoughts on Schonfeld are conflicted, Bob. His book on the LKC is brilliant for what it is, and there are flashes on insight that "catch" Hauptmann, in a manner of speaking, in their brilliance. Since it's been a long time since I've read the book and I don't have a photographic memory, just a very good one, I can't quote chapter and verse from the Schonfeld book, though I remember discussing it with Michael Melsky, either here or on his site and we both agreed that for what he was Dr. Dudley Schonfeld did a bang-up job of it in his LKC book.

It's almost as if, without knowing what actually happened with the Lindbergh baby, and no concrete evidence pointing to anyone in particular Schonfeld was able to construct a character with many traits in common with Bruno Hauptmann and convince the authorities that he was on some kind of inside track on the kidnapping,--a real life impossibility for him--and this fueled, tragically for Hauptmann, David Wilentz's resolve when Hauptmann was eventually caught with the ransom bills. This was good luck for the prosecution only. It's almost as if,--emphasis on those two words--Schonfeld was psychic in his guessing the sort of man likely to be caught up in the web of the Lindbergh kidnapping, as he seems to have written his book as a novelist would, and his thoughts on the case impress me to this day even as I don't believe Hauptmann had anything like the involvement in the LKC that Wilentz said he did.

As to Hauptmann's actual sanity I have no doubt that he was sane. I think it's fair to say that he had more than his fair share of anti-social personality traits, but this is a character disorder, not a brain disease. When Schonfeld delved more deeply into the personality of the man arrested and tried for the crime he seemed to lose hold of common sense. There's still no evidence of homosexuality in Hauptmann's personality, which neither proves nor disproves his sanity, though it casts doubt on the reasoning abilities of Dr. Schonfeld. Nor, as per the case brought against Hauptmann in court, was Hauptmann a lone wolf sort of individual. I'd call him an introvert and leave it at that. He had many friends and he enjoyed socializing with people he felt at ease with, as do most of us.


  • schonfeld and the goldwater rulebob mills for sue, Fri Jan 12 03:39
    Sue, I wasn't questioning Hauptmann's sanity. I don't know of anyone who thinks Hauptmann was nuts. The issue for me was, "How did Hauptmann suddenly become a lone-wolf kidnapper, when every cop on... more
    • Re: schonfeld and the goldwater ruleMichael 5260, Sat Jan 13 12:07
      Hauptmann wasn't nuts. Not in the legal sense. He knew right from wrong and had many opportunities on the night of the kidnapping to turn his car around and go home. He choose not to do so. Dudley... more
      • Man's name is Dudley Shoenfeld (nm)Sam, Sun Jan 14 13:27
      • what were the odds?bob mills for michael, Sun Jan 14 07:48
        Michael, the Goldwater Rule wouldn't have applied to Schonfeld in any legal sense. Obviously, it came 40 years too late. I had (years) earlier made the case that Schonfeld had acted unprofessionally... more
        • Re: what were the odds?Michael 5260, Sun Jan 14 11:41
          Schonfeld didn't personally examine or analyze Hauptmann. He examined and analyzed the contents of the ransom notes and developed a profile of the kidnapper. I can't fault Schonfeld for giving a... more
    • The Sanity Of Hauptmann — jdb, Sat Jan 13 02:54
      • hauptmann and Schönfeldbob mills for jdb, Mon Jan 15 09:53
        Thanks, John. I agree with you, and with Michael Melsky, that Hauptmann was sane. My comments about Schonfeld weren't in regard to his competence, rather to his professional ethics. Granted that the... more
        • It's Just As Welljdb, Mon Jan 15 18:21
          It's just as well there's the Goldwater rule, although without it we might have been "spared" (for those of us who don't like him) President Donald Trump. I don't like terms like "pathological... more
          • trump and the goldwater rulebob mills for jdb, Tue Jan 16 09:32
            The New York Times article I cited mentioned the Goldwater Rule in the context of the question, "Is Trump sane?" It never cited Scho(e)nfeld or Hauptmann, but i made the connection here. I hear you... more
            • Politics & Sanityjdb, Tue Jan 16 15:52
              Sadly, Bob. the American political process has become unhinged. It's always been problematical, and yet it's become near unmanageable; and it's not even fun to follow anymore. We're in a near... more
              • 21st century politics, and wilentzbob mills for jdb, Tue Jan 16 18:59
                Thanks, John. Wilentz conducted a brutal prosecution of Hauptmann. It was the 1936 Berlin Olympics in reverse...a Jewish American prosecutor engaging in a vendetta against an Aryan defendant, with... more
                • correctionbob mills for forum, Mon Jan 22 13:37
                  Allow me to correct a misstatement in this posting. Sean Wilentz is a professor at Princeton, but he is not David Wilentz' grandson. Otherwise the posting is accurate in claiming that David Wilentz... more
                  • Much Appreciatedjdb, Mon Jan 22 15:00
                    Your correction is much appreciated, Bob. By me anyway. I have to wonder, though, just how many people there are in New Jersey named Wilentz who are NOT related to David. It's not a common name but I ... more
                    • distant cousin, maybe?bob mills for jdb, Tue Jan 23 14:31
                      It's quite remarkable, John. I first read about Sean Wilentz years ago (can't remember the source), and I'm sure the writer cited a family connection. You'd think someone named "Wilentz" in New... more
                • Painfuljdb, Tue Jan 16 19:22
                  It was a painful election, Bob. Maybe the most excruciating for me at a personal level as I intensely disliked both candidates, and for different reasons. I can't even remember who I voted for except ... more
                  • flawed justicebob mills for jdb and forum, Thu Jan 18 12:33
                    You and I are on the same page here, John. I thought of the LKC while reading an article in today's New York Times that cited the state of Louisiana for the many times its state attorney refused to... more
                    • Whited and HochmuthRichard E Sloan, Sun Jan 21 14:08
                      The obviously perjured testimony of those two should have been enough to have Wilentz censured. But Lindy's own ID of Bruno's voice after so long a time swayed the jury right at the outset. They may... more
                    • The Trialjdb, Sat Jan 20 23:54
                      Thanks, Bob. The LKC trial was a travesty, and Edward Reilly's conduct reprehensible. It's appalling what's permitted sometimes in our criminal justice system, and while it appears to be improved... more
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