Today's Article - The Crime of the Century

This article is for quizzes on Tuesday April 28th...

The kidnapping of Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., the eldest son of aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was one of the most highly publicized crimes of the 20th century. The 20-month-old toddler was abducted from his family home in East Amwell, New Jersey, on the evening of March 1, 1932. Over two months later, on May 12, 1932, his body was discovered a short distance from the Lindberghs' home in neighboring Hopewell Township. A medical examination determined that the cause of death was a massive skull fracture.

After an investigation that lasted more than two years, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested and charged with the crime. In a trial that was held from January 2 to February 13, 1935, Hauptmann was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death. He was executed by electric chair at the New Jersey State Prison on April 3, 1936. Hauptmann proclaimed his innocence to the end.

 Newspaper writer H. L. Mencken called the kidnapping and subsequent trial "the biggest story since the Resurrection". The crime spurred Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act, commonly called the "Lindbergh Law", which made transporting a kidnapping victim across state lines a federal crime.


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