Hauptmann's Ladder: A Step-by-Step Analysis of the Lindbergh Kidnapping

Hauptmann's Ladder: A Step-by-Step Analysis of the Lindbergh Kidnapping

by Richard T. Cahill Jr.


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Hauptmann's Ladder: A Step-by-Step Analysis of the Lindbergh Kidnapping by Richard T. Cahill Jr.

Winner of Foreword Reviews'Gold INDIEFAB Book of the Year Award, True Crime

In 1936, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh Jr. Almost all of America believed Hauptmann guilty; only a few magazines and tabloids published articles questioning his conviction. In the ensuing decades, many books about the Lindbergh case have been published. Some have declared Hauptmann the victim of a police conspiracy and frame-up, and one posited that Lindbergh actually killed his own son and fabricated the entire kidnapping to mask the deed.Because books about the crime have been used as a means to advance personal theories, the truth has often been sacrificed and readers misinformed.

Hauptmann's Ladder is a testament to the truth that counters the revisionist histories all too common in the true crime genre. Author Richard T. Cahill Jr. puts the "true" back in "true crime," providing credible information and undistorted evidence that enables readers to form their own opinions and reach their own conclusions.

Cahill presents conclusions based upon facts and documentary evidence uncovered in his twenty years of research. Using primary sources and painstakingly presenting a chronological reconstruction of the crime and its aftermath, he debunks false claims and explodes outrageous theories, while presenting evidence that has never before been revealed. Hauptmann's Ladder is a meticulously researched examination of the Lindbergh kidnapping that restores and preserves the truth of the crime of the century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781606351932
Publisher: Kent State University Press
Publication date: 02/12/2014
Series: True Crime History Series
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 818,171
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Richard T. Cahill Jr. received a B.A. in history and political science from Mount Saint Mary College and a J.D. from Albany Law School. His professional experience includes clerking for a criminal court judge, serving as both an assistant district attorney and a criminal defense attorney, and practicing civil law.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction xi

1 "They've Stolen Our Baby" 1

2 Ransom Notes, Ladders, and Chisels 7

3 The Kidnapper Makes Second Contact 17

4 J. F. C. 34

5 Violet and Curtis: Two Bogus Stories Begin 43

6 "Cemetery John" 49

7 The Negotiations Continue 59

8 Double-Crossed 76

9 The Wild-Goose Chase 86

10 "I Am Perfectly Satisfied That It Is My Child" 95

11 The Police Take the Reins 103

12 The Sad End of Violet Sharp 108

13 From Bad to Worse 116

14 The Frustration Mounts 122

15 Shoenfeld and Koehler 129

16 The Trail of Gold 140

17 Bruno Richard Hauptmann 146

18 The Interrogation Begins 152

19 "I Have to Be Very Careful. The Man's Life Is in Jeopardy" 162

20 More Pieces to the Puzzle 173

21 Legal Gymnastics in New Jersey 183

22 Extradition 192

23 The Bull of Brooklyn 201

24 The Trial of the Century Begins 207

25 "Der Alte 1st Verrückt" 218

26 "John Is Bruno Richard Hauptmann" 227

27 Paper Evidence 239

28 "He Is Conceding the Defendant to the Electric Chair!" 245

29 The Prosecution Gains Momentum 253

30 The State Rests 259

31 Hauptmann Takes the Stand 267

32 More Testimony from the Hauptmanns 277

33 "Where Are You Getting These Witnesses? They Are Killing Me" 286

34 The Defense Rests 293

35 Rebuttal and Summations 304

36 Wilentz Closes 314

37 The Verdict 324

Epilogue 331

Notes 346

Index 391

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Hauptmann's Ladder: A Step-by-Step Analysis of the Lindbergh Kidnapping 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent book and clearly THE boom to read on the Lindbergh Kidnapping. 
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite Hauptmann’s Ladder seeks to answer the question of who really killed the Lindbergh baby. With so much information available on this topic, one must wonder what Richard T. Cahill Jr. can possibly bring to the table. Well, as it turns out, two solid decades of research into the topic. The result of the research is a clinical and thorough approach to the evidence and testimony given at the time of the infamous kidnapping and supposed murder. It is his diligence to the facts of the time that make this such a different true crime tale. The contradictory witness statements do cast doubt on Hauptmann’s guilt, despite the fact we know Hauptmann was found with bills from the ransom as well as his second apartment. Cahill goes to great lengths to let the reader reach their own conclusions, which makes this book all the more appealing. Richard T. Cahill Jr. has written a comprehensive analysis of the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, filled with facts. If there is any bone to pick with Hauptmann’s Ladder it is that Cahill presupposes that the state ‘got it right’ with his conviction. While that may be true technically, very little credence is given to the plausibility that the convicted man was framed. Given the importance of Charles Lindbergh at the time, it is easy to see an immigrant with poor English skills becoming the fall guy. This book was well-researched and written solidly and, even if I still have my doubts, the collection of facts here will allow you the one thing many authors before Cahill have not: to draw your own conclusion.