On February 13, 1935, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death. At the time, it had been called the trial of the century, not matched again until the O.J. Simpson trial.
The victim was the first child, a son, of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. He had allegedly been kidnapped on March 1, 1932. Based on two decades of investigation, Ana Kyle contends Hauptmann was innocent. The rest of the facts, she explains in her two books, are ambiguous. She speculates that the evidence seems to point to a cover up of something that had happened to the child. And that cover up was engineered by Charles Lindbergh himself along with his friend from Harvard the author Thomas Wolf. The wife and servants in the house were deluded or cowed into silence. A number of those servants met untimely deaths.
As we sat mesmerized in the New Haven Public Library tonight, Kyle presented her theory. She has 36 years experience as a court-certified Document Examiner of Questioned Documents and conducts psychological profiling through handwriting. Her books include:
- "Two Men and One Pair of Shoes: The Trial of Richard Hauptmann" 
- "The Dead Poets Plus One: The Lindbergh Kidnap Case" .
She had reviewed the documents, ranging from the ransom notes to the trial transcript [located at the Yale Law School], along with what had been reported to the police. What she concluded is that, with Charles Lindbergh sitting in the room directly under the child's nursery, it would have been unlikely or downright impossible for a supposed kidnapper to set up a ladder, enter the nursery, carry down the child, and exit. In addition, she detected that the original ransom notes couldn't have been composed by the uneducated Hauptmann.
Kyle hypothesized they were written by Wolf, author of "Look Homeward, Angel." He could have participated in the hoax for the adventure and money. She does not know what happened to the child but suspected something had prior to the alleged kidnapping which was orchestrated as a cover-up. The corpse discovered over two months after may or may not have been him. Lindbergh ordered an immediate cremation. Did the son survive? No one knows.
Soon after the trial, the Governor of New Jersey reviewed the trial documents and had a sense the original crime scene investigation had been botched because the police obeyed Lindbergh's order not to search the house or question anyone in it. Perhaps feeling guilty, Wolf indirectly contacted him. The author died at the age of 38.
This isn't the first time the finger has pointed at Lindbergh. He was known as a cruel man, with a strong mean streak. Some speculate he might have been jealous of the baby or engaged in tormenting him that went too far. He was known to frequently hide the baby in the big house. That mean streak might had drawn him to Hitler who was also a master of cruelty. What makes Kyle's theory so persuasive is that it's so comprehensive.
We who attended this presentation had to be thrown out of the library at closing time. We debated Kyle's contentions on the sidewalk for a long time.