Little Bits of History

May 12

Posted in History by patriciahysell on May 12, 2017

1932: The body of Charles Lindbergh, Jr. is found. Charles was born on June 22, 1930 to Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The world-famous aviator met the author and future aviatrix in Mexico City the same year he made his most famous flight. They were married in a private ceremony on May 27, 1929. They owned a house, Highfields, in a secluded area on Sourland Mountain. They purchased in this area in part to escape from their celebrity status. On March 1, 1932 the baby was put to bed by Betty Gow, the family nurse/nanny. At 9.30 PM, Charles, Sr. heard a noise as he was reading in the library, a room directly below the nursery. He did not investigate, believing the noise to have come from the kitchen.

At 10 PM, Gow discovered the crib empty and went to see if Anne had taken the baby. He was not there. Charles was alerted and ran to the nursery where he found a note on the windowsill. He picked up a gun and went outside to see if he could find his son. The police were called and they were on their way with the family lawyer and followed by a trail of reporters. Investigation turned up a tire print in mud, attributed to the kidnapper. In a bush outside the nursery window, three pieces of wood were found which were part of a homemade ladder, nicely designed but poorly crafted. Local police were aided by New Jersey State Police in the search of the home and the surrounding area.

Forensics wasn’t as sophisticated as today, so when a fingerprint analyst finally examined the ransom note and pieces of ladder, he found 400 partial fingerprints, all of them worthless due to the number of people who had handled the pieces of evidence. No adult fingerprints were found in the nursery even in areas where adults had admitted touching items. The baby’s prints were found. The ransom note itself was short and asked for $50,000. It was filled with spelling mistakes and grammatical errors along with an odd drawing of interconnected blue circles with a red dot inside and three holes punched through the paper. News spread and yet the baby wasn’t found even with the entire country looking for him.

There was a $25,000 reward offered by New Jersey for the return of “Little Lindy” and the Lindberghs added another $50,000 of their own money for the safe return of their son. On March 6, a new ransom note arrived and asked for $70,000. More notes and evidence arrived. On April 2, $50,000 was handed over and a note was received saying the child was in the care of two innocent women. Little Lindy was not returned. On this day, a delivery truck pulled over to the side of the road about 4.5 miles from the Lindbergh house. He went into the woods to urinate and found the body of a toddler. Little Lindy was found. He had a badly fractured skull which was the cause of death and it was determined he had died shortly after his abduction.

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few, and they are more beautiful if they are few.

The loneliness you get by the sea is personal and alive. It doesn’t subdue you and make you feel abject. It’s stimulating loneliness.

Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day – like writing a poem or saying a prayer.

For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair. – all from Anne Morrow Lindbergh

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