Dorothy Bartlett McCardle
Sat Nov 10, 2018 13:40

Dorothy Bartlett was working as a crime reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer when she became involved with the Lindbergh case on May 12, 1932, when the baby's body was discovered.

Bartlett later became a journalist for the Washington Post.

(She married Carl W. McCardle, a fellow journalist at the Inquirer, two years after the Lindbergh kidnapping.)

When the 1976 TV movie about the Lindbergh case was aired, reporters, among others, surfaced to share their memories.

Around 1976, McCardle wrote about her LKC experiences, recounting her memories of the case for the Washington Post.

There is a reprint of the (whole?) article in the book Stalking the Feature Story by William Ruehlmann, published in 1977.

See: "A Page from a 1930's Reporter's Notebook" by Dorothy McCardle, pages 18-21, in the Ruehlmann book.

The Ruehlmann book credits the Washington Post as being the source of the article, but does not give a year for its publication.

Apparently, a letter from the University of Virginia written by Marian C. Scott to McCardle, responds to McCardle's article that had recently been published in the Washington Post in 1976. In that letter she talks about where Scott was (on board a ship to Istanbul when she learned the Lindbergh baby was found), and that Scott was the one who had to knock on Miss Alice Morrow's door on the ship to inform her that the baby had been found. In that letter, is the admission that the only pictures of the baby were taken by Anne's mother and Alice Morrow.

According to the Washington Post article, Dorothy McCardle claims to have had two (2) exchanges with Hauptmann at the trial.

Did these exchanges occur between McCardle and Hauptmann?

"During the trial I talked to Hauptmann twice--as much as one could talk to this strange dour man who cultivated secrecy all his life. I spoke with him once more, two days before his death."

"Our first exchange came during a brief admission in trial proceedings. I asked him a question as state troopers stood around him. But I could not understand the gutteral words through his heavy accent. So a trooper interpreted for me."

"'He says he wants your address and phone number'," said the trooper."

"Hauptmann leaned his full length back in his chair and from behind drooping lids eyed me up and down suggestively, like a man in a common bar, not at a bar of justice. A tight little smile hovered around his mouth."

"The second time I asked him a question was right after the testimony in the courtroom on the condition of the baby's body when it was found. It had been mutilated by the small wild animals of the area. Nearby was an old burlap bag, as if someone had dumped the body and then ran to escape detection."

"I was writing a human interest story, and wanted to get a comment, almost any comment."

"'Did you forget your bag when you dumped the baby in the grave?' I asked Hauptmann."

"His leer turned to a look of rage, and his gutteral voice could be heard around the room as he half shouted at me."

"'You, you get out of here!'" He was stuttering in his fury."

Dorothy McCardle seems to have stopped at nothing to investigate a story.

"A Page from a Reporter's 1930's Notebook" and the book called Don't Quote Me! by Winzola McLendon (published in 1970) claim that McCardle went to the estate soon after the baby was found in May 1932.

Both sources quote McCardle as saying that she eavesdropped
from somewhere behind a window (seems to be downstairs, the library window) and listened in on what Lindbergh was telling the trooper(s).

Page 199 in Don't Quote Me!:

"...over rain-soaked ground, when I covered the Lindbergh case...that time I got right up under the window which was open, and heard everything Lindbergh was saying..."

McCardle is quoted in "1930's Reporter's Notebook":

"Finally, we emerged from the woods, crouched down and ran behind mounds of earth thrown up around a high wall at the rear of the house."

"Straight ahead behind the wall, a window was raised a few inches in a downstairs room, where a man was sitting and talking to New Jersey state troopers. We recognized Lindbergh from his hair and jacket. Then glancing upstairs, we could see..."

"As we hid and shivered at the thought of imminent discovery, we could hear snatches of conversation coming from the other side of the wall."

"Lindbergh was telling the story of his fruitless search for his child by plane and boat at sea, lured by false clues, at the very time the body was found in a rude open grave not far from home."

"We were so engrossed in the tragic story that we lost track of time, until we realized suddenly that it was dawn..."

I wonder if McCardle ever wrote the autobiography that she was going to entitle: Crime to Caviar?

Dorothy McCardle's reminiscences seem to follow close to Lorena Hickock's memories of crawling through the snow to investigate the goings-on at the Hopewell house.

McCardle, Dorothy. "A Page from a Reporter's 1930's Notebook" Washington Post. (Reprinted by permission of the Washington Post.) Stalking the Feature Story by William Ruehlmann,1977.

    • the eaglet and the burlap bagbob mills for sue and forum, Sun Nov 11 04:17
      You come up with wonderful stuff, Sue. Apparently Dorothy Bartlett (McCardle) assumed that the Eaglet's body had been left in the woods at Mt. Rose Heights by Hauptmann on the night of the... more
      • Re: the eaglet and the burlap bagSue for Bob, Mon Nov 12 16:51
        Yeah, Bob, the importance of asking the right questions. McCardle got Hauptmann's goat when she asked him about the burlap bag. Maybe that's all she wanted to do -- get a reaction. I'm surprised a... more
        • ellerson's "accident"bbb mills for sue and forum, Tue Nov 13 04:30
          Ellerson somehow drove his car to the edge of a cliff along the Palisades and jumped to safety at the last second as the car plunged to the edge of the Hudson River and burned almost beyond... more
          • Re: ellerson's "accident"Joe for Bob, Wed Nov 14 10:22
            Bob, there is no evidence I know of that Duane Baker and Henry Ellerson knew each other. Mind you, I'm all ears if you actually have any, as Duane Baker is still very much on my personal radar.... more
          • Ellerson and The Palisades CliffsSue for Bob, Tue Nov 13 19:42
            Besides Joyce Milton, what other sources record the details of what happened in the Henry Ellerson accident? What evidence is there that Ellerson's car was "burned almost beyond recognition"? Did the ... more
    • Re: Dorothy Bartlett McCardleJoe for Sue, Sat Nov 10 14:03
      Great find and post Sue, this kind of information is priceless. There is a very fertile field of human interest accounts surrounding this case to be appreciated outside of the realm of law... more
      • Re: Dorothy Bartlett McCardleJoe, Sat Nov 10 15:48
        And I should add they are capable of providing some unique and very valuable perspectives.
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