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bob mills for jack and michael
ransom note questions
Wed Jan 24, 2018 06:20

Let's assume for the sake of argument that Hauptmann alone wrote all the ransom notes. Do we conclude from this that he was a lone kidnapper?

What did the cops think? If they had concluded, along with Michael and Jack, that no extortionist could have duplicated the handwriting and/or disguised the fact that notes #1 and #2 came from a single sheet of paper, how is it that they all took it for granted that the kidnapping was a gang operation? Clearly they did.

An American idol's son is taken from his crib in a remote area of New Jersey. A retired school principal in the Bronx, NY places a notice in a low-circulation, neighborhood newspaper offering to negotiate with the kidnapper, and as he expects (!!!!), he gets an immediate response.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The cops immediately suspected something fishy here.

The volunteer go-between meets with the (presumed) kidnapper twice. He gives the cops the best description he can, based on the two nighttime meetings. The description includes a "hacking cough." The ransom money is paid, using all gold certificates for identification purposes.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Isidor Fisch, not Hauptmann, had tuberculosis.

From prison, Al Capone, in prison for avoiding income tax, offers to return the Eaglet to the Lindberghs in exchange for his freedom. The cops allow Lindy to decide on Capone's offer. Lindy declines, believing a different gang is involved. Capone knows that if his offer is shown to be fraudulent, he'd be subject to additional jail time for obstruction of justice.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Like the cops, Lindy is sure it was a gang operation. Capone knows it, too, because the gang was working in his behalf.

A year passes. FDR is elected, calls for redemption of gold certificates. The first sizable piece of ransom money appears, under the name J.J. Faulkner. This proves to be a non-existent person, but Jane and Jane Faulkner, mother and daughter, once lived at Plymouth Apartments, where the listing "J./J. Faulkner" appeared on the dumbwaiter roster. The superintendent at Plymouth, an ex-con named Duane Baker (Bacon), left town with the rent receipts days after the ransom exchange. Baker connects in two particulars with Charles Henry Ellerson, a Morrow chauffeur and one of the few people who knew the Lindbergh family would be at Highfields for the only Tuesday night ever.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Any kidnapper without inside knowledge would never have guessed that the family would depart from its usual "weekends only" pattern.

Two-and-a-half years go by. Bruno Richard Hauptmann quits work as a carpenter, spends his time trading stocks and acting like a man of leisure. The man Condon calls "Cemetery John" has apparently vanished from sight, yet Hauptmann is in plain sight. The cops are frustrated, and Walter Winchell refers to them as inept fools for not finding Cemetery John.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Isidor Fisch has died in Germany by this time.

Hauptmann is caught with $14,000. of the original $50,000. ransom. He tells the cops the money belonged to Fisch, but his story is compromised by the fact that he'd already spent part of it, and never notified Fisch's family after Fisch's death. Hauptmann is identified as the ransom note author, and the builder of the kidnap ladder, a piece of which is discovered missing from his attic, but only after 19 previous investigations of that attic had failed to discover the missing piece.

EDITOR'S NOTE: The discovery was made after Hauptmann's apartment was being occupied by a police officer, Anna having moved out with her son.

Hauptmann is convicted as a lone kidnapper. An entire kidnap gang had somehow disappeared into the ether.

  • TimingJack, Wed Jan 24 00:55
    Especially with the time frame involved. A couple days at best and I even wonder about that. The note MAYBE was passed around to some forgers, then the paper had to be matched, and the ongoing... more
    • ransom note questions — bob mills for jack and michael, Wed Jan 24 06:20
      • ?Jack, Thu Jan 25 08:25
        Who is "editor's note"? Do you do that yourself so that you can look important? Who does it? Editor's note: The original writer may be senile - watch out!
        • questions that are really insultsbob mills for jack, Fri Jan 26 04:18
          "Editor's Note" is a rhetorical device used by writers to separate a thought from a narrative. Apparently you haven't read much in your life, or you'd know better than to ask that question. It's one... more
          • "Editor's Note"Jack, Sun Jan 28 12:47
            Well, you find the term "Editor's Note" in any book and tell me where it is! It's a never used term which is simply an unneeded addition to make the writer feel important. As a writer, Bob, you... more
        • Number of KidnappersJack, Thu Jan 25 08:32
          We don't necessarily believe that there was only one kidnapper. But feel that, even after all these years, it is evidentually undetermined. Most likely and for sure there was at least one.
          • YearsJack, Sat Feb 3 16:16
            For as many years as this crime has been examined. if there was any hot news such as an Al Capone connection it would surely have come out and be public knowledge by now. There is nothing like that... more
          • NowJack, Thu Jan 25 09:15
            You don't have to look more important to me, Bob. I know about you and have been impressed. Sorry for your illness, but I guess poop happens. Pretty crummy for sure! I've been lucky. Lotta years and... more
      • Re: ransom note questionsMichael 5260, Wed Jan 24 12:06
        Bob, we do not have to assume Hauptmann wrote the ransom notes. There is no reason to pretend for the sake of argument. Hauptmann wrote all the ransom notes, addressed the envelopes, and wrote Dr.... more
        • we'll have to agree to disagreebob mills for michael, Wed Jan 24 14:16
          Michael, my assumption has always been that Hauptmann went to the electric chair because the gang working for Capone used a mob threat against him, one that wasn't fully understood until years later, ... more
          • ReplyJack, Thu Jan 25 09:29
            I'm not sure Michael watches this site regularly. I have a few answers just from mine and general knowledge about the case. Do you have anything backing up the Velachi statement. Sounds very not... more
            • what?bob mills for jack, Thu Jan 25 16:08
              Jack, you misconstrue my comments very badly. I'm sure it's an accident, but I want to take pains here to set you straight. In no way, shape or form am I a sympathizer with Al Capone. But I believe... more
          • Re: we'll have to agree to disagreeMichael 5260, Wed Jan 24 15:58
            Bob, I can't conceive of why Capone and his gang would have been interested in the Lindbergh baby. It is speculated that Capone and his crew were raking in $60 to $100 million per year. Capone... more
            • thinking like al caponebob mills for michael, Thu Jan 25 05:22
              I certainly agree with you, Michael, that $50,000. was chump change to Capone and his men. But Capone's freedom was worth vastly more than that to him, and his offer to return the Eaglet to Lindy... more
              • Re: thinking like al caponeMichael 5260, Thu Jan 25 11:57
                Bob, as far as Rail 16 goes it could be a case of tunnel vision. As you mentioned the police were looking for ransom money not wood evidence. So when Bornmann noticed the missing wood he gets the... more
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