So I just finished this book called The Ghosts of Hopewell, which argues that Bruno Richard Hauptmann kidnapped and murdered the Lindbergh baby alone, and was therefore rightly convicted. Frankly, I didn’t think the book was very well written, but it does argue repeatedly that conspiracy theories regarding the case are extremely speculative and that numerous “bad actions” that have given it a negative connotation (like the fact that the cops beat the crap out of Hauptmann after arresting him) are really not relevant to the issue of Hauptmann’s guilt or innocence. But I do have some questions after ready it:
Do any of you who are familiar with the case believe that Hauptmann was innocent? If so, please tell me why.
The author repeatedly refers to Hauptmann having “murdered” the baby, but doesn’t go into any detail about how he was killed, except that it was assumed (after a very poorly done autopsy) that he died as a result of a blow to the head. But many have speculated that the blow to the head might have been caused by accidentally hitting the baby’s head on the window/dropping him when the ladder the kidnapper used collapsed. That wouldn’t be murder (unless it was felony murder, a charge I don’t know existed back then, but it might have); that would be something less, like negligent homocide. But then the author speculates that the kidnapper might have just tossed the baby out the window, which would be murder. Does anyone know what really happened to the child or, in the alternative, what the rationale was behind charging Hauptmann with first-degree murder, either than rampant public outrage, I mean?
Does anyone think Hauptmann was guilty but did not act alone – that there really was some conspiracy and he was the only one caught? If so, please tell me why.
How persuasive of Hauptmann’s innocence to you find the fact that he steadfastly proclaimed that he was innocent until the day he was executed, even when offered life in prison instead if he confessed?
Sorry to beat a dead horse if we’ve already gone over this, but I couldn’t remember if we have lately or not. Thanks.