Cemetery John: The Undiscovered Mastermind Behind the Lindbergh Kidnapping

Cemetery John: The Undiscovered Mastermind Behind the Lindbergh Kidnapping

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by Robert Zorn
     
 

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For seventy-five years, the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's infant son has gone unsolved.

Evidence, opinion, and logic have discredited the notion that Bruno Richard Hauptmann --electrocuted in 1936 --acted alone. In this meticulous and authoritative account of the crime, the trial, and the times of the Lindbergh kidnapping, Robert Zorn clears away

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Overview

For seventy-five years, the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's infant son has gone unsolved.

Evidence, opinion, and logic have discredited the notion that Bruno Richard Hauptmann --electrocuted in 1936 --acted alone. In this meticulous and authoritative account of the crime, the trial, and the times of the Lindbergh kidnapping, Robert Zorn clears away decades of ungrounded speculation surrounding the case. Inspired by his father's relationship with the actual accomplices --including the mastermind --he presents the clearest ever picture of a criminal partnership, which would shake every class and culture of American society. Using personal possessions and documents, never-before seen photographs, new forensic evidence, and extensive research, Robert Zorn has written a shocking and captivating account of the crime and the original "Trial of the Century."

From the ecstatic riots that followed the Spirit of St. Louis on either side of the Atlantic, to the tragic night that would shake America's sense of security, to the horror of the New Jersey morgue where Lindbergh insisted on verifying the identity of his son, Zorn's skillful treatment meets this larger-than-life story and gives it definitive shape --revealing the true story behind the crime, for the first time.

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Editorial Reviews

The Wall Street Journal
Mr. Zorn embeds his theory in a deft narrative that borrows gracefully and with credit from many previous books about the Lindberghs and the kidnapping
The Daily Caller
Robert Zorn's account of his own investigation into this 80-year-old mystery is as compelling and dramatic as the crime itself. The term 'page turner' is used too frequently, but Cemetery John is just that. Once you start reading it, you will not stop. This book should be on the top of everyone's summer reading list. You won't be disappointed.
From the Publisher
"Narrator Sean Runnette has a gentle, probing voice that always seems to be asking questions, a style that works well with a book such as this." —AudioFile
Library Journal
Five years after Charles Lindbergh flew The Spirit of St. Louis from New York to Paris, his infant son Charlie was kidnapped in the "Crime of the Century." Only Richard Bruno Hauptmann was executed for the crime, even though the police knew in 1932 that he didn't work alone. In this take on the crime, Zorn holds that his father, the late Eugene C. Zorn Jr., overheard what he believed to be plans to kidnap the child, and that a second kidnapper, working with Hauptmann, left enough clues behind for Zorn's father, then 15, to put together a case. The book lays out his evidence alongside FBI analysis as well as personal stories from the author's father's childhood. VERDICT Zorn truly believes he has discovered the mastermind behind the Lindbergh kidnapping, but he blurs some of the case's facts and justifies theories that do not line up with evidence. Zorn also fills the book with Lindbergh hero worship and neglects to mention Lindbergh's affairs or Nazi sympathies, and these aspects further mar the author's credibility. While an interesting read for Lindbergh fans, this does not definitively close the case.—Kathleen Quinlan, Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
Debut author Zorn makes a compelling case that the 1932 Lindbergh kidnapping was orchestrated by a Bronx deli clerk who got away with the crime scot-free. The author argues that German immigrant John Knoll masterminded the kidnapping of world-famous aviator Charles Lindbergh's young son. Convicted of the crime in 1935, Bruno Kauptmann was executed the following year, without mentioning any accomplices. On the night of March 1, 1932, Zorn writes, kidnappers climbed a ladder up the side of the Lindberghs' New Jersey home to steal the sleeping toddler from his bed. Although his parents met the ransom demands, their son was never returned; little Charlie Lindbergh's remains were found near their home more than two months later. Zorn's connection to the case is personal. His late father, economist Eugene Zorn, grew up in the South Bronx, where Knoll rented a room. The elder Zorn recalled witnessing a conversation about the kidnapping in 1931, when he was 15, among Knoll, his brother and a man Knoll called "Bruno." Reading about the case in 1963, Eugene's memory of the exchange returned, sparking his suspicion of Knoll, who, even by the accounts of Knoll's own family members, was a disturbed, stamp-collecting loner obsessed with aviation and deeply jealous of Lindbergh's fame. Eugene shared his theory with the Lindberghs in a letter but never received a response. Several of the book's 23 photographs and illustrations reveal striking similarities between the police sketch of "Cemetery John," who collected the $50,000 ransom, and Knoll, now deceased. Knoll skipped town just before the start of Kauptmann's trial. Zorn's research includes new forensic evidence, personal and historical documents, and interviews, laying the foundation for a thrilling true-crime tale that offers a resounding answer to the question of who was really responsible for the kidnapping.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781468301939
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
06/14/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
500,802
File size:
3 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Narrator Sean Runnette has a gentle, probing voice that always seems to be asking questions, a style that works well with a book such as this." —-AudioFile

Meet the Author

Robert Zorn is a graduate of Duke University and the Wharton School of Business. His unique qualification to tell this story is his relationship to his father, the late Eugene C. Zorn, Jr., a nationally respected economist, and the only person who ever witnessed the conspiracy behind the kidnapping

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