Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax 

 Lindbergh Baby Nursemaid - Betty Gow 

Gow's Boyfriend, Red Johnson 

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Ollie Whately     Elsie Whately    Charles Lindbergh  

Betty Gow     Anne Lindbergh      March 1, 1932  

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Bessie Mowat Goway was the Scottish nursemaid, hired by the Lindberghs, to care for their first-born son, Charles Jr. Due to his mother's long absence the Little Eaglet had become more attached to Betty than to his own mother.

On Tuesday, March 1, 1932, Anne Lindbergh called Betty at the Morrow household in Englewood to ask if she could come to Hopewell to help look after Charles Jr. Betty agreed to make the trip although she had already made plans with her boyfriend, Henry Johnson, (alias, Red Johnson) and was supposed to go out with him that evening.

According to her testimony, Betty called him up to cancel. He was not home, but she left him a message that she would be going to Hopewell. They could reschedule the date for later. Johnson did not get the message because he did not stop home. He went to pick up Betty, but was told that the Lindbergh baby had a cold and Mrs. Lindbergh had sent for Betty.

Johnson decided to call Betty later that evening at Hopewell. Betty informed him that the baby was better, but she would still be spending the night at Hopewell. Johnson said that he would be driving to Connecticut in the morning, but he would probably return by the time Betty was back at the Morrow estate in Englewood.

Johnson claimed he had gone to Connecticut as planned. When he returned on March 4, he found the police waiting for him. After searching his car the Police found an empty milk bottle and believed it was used to feed the "kidnapped" Lindbergh baby. He said he was on a milk diet and that he always drank milk!


These were very unusual circumstances since the Lindberghs never stayed over this long at the newly constructed Hopewell house. They actually lived at the Englewood mansion "Next Day Hill" which belonged to Anne's mother who had recently become a widow. The Lindberghs observed a strict schedule of driving from Englewood to Hopewell (about 2 hours drive) each Saturday and returning each Monday morning. They never changed this weekly routine. The baby had become so attached to Betty Gow that Anne wanted to have the baby all to herself during each weekend. Since the family had never stayed longer than Monday morning on any of their weekend visits to Hopewell, how would any observer, casual or otherwise, have known that the Lindberghs had changed this rigid schedule? It strongly implies an inside job and although it is true that someone inside the Lindbergh household had to be involved in the child's disappearance, Betty Gow is NOT a plausible suspect.


Ollie Whateley's statement of March 3rd:

"… About 10:30 A.M. Tuesday Mrs. Lindbergh told me to look up the train times from Englewood as she decided to keep the baby in Hopewell for a while longer and thought it best that the nurse come down from Englewood. After I obtained the train time I called the nurse in Englewood and told her to take a train that would bring her into Hopewell about 3:30. A short time later the nurse called back and told me that due to the delay in waiting for the train she had obtained permission from Mrs. Morrow to have one of the Morrow chauffeurs drive her down, this information was given to Mrs. Lindbergh who approved of it. At about 1:30 in the afternoon the nurse arrived in the Morrow car driven by a Chauffeur [sic] known to me as Henry."

Elsie Whateley's statement of March 10th:

"… About nine o'clock Mrs. Lindbergh came down and had breakfast. I had been upstairs arranging the beds and when I came down about ten o'clock Whateley told me that Mrs. Lindbergh had asked Whateley to find out the trains that came to Hope-[well] as she had decide to phone for Betty, the nurse, as she intended to stay over Tuesday owing to the child's condition. Whateley got the train times and forwarded the information to Englewood to Betty by telephone. On the same call Mrs. Lindbergh spoke to Betty and asked her if she would come down as soon as she could, as she decided to stay over Tuesday, as she wouldn't risk taking the baby out. At about 11:30 Whateley told me that he had just received a call from Betty and Betty told him that Mrs.Morrow [sic] decided to let her come down by auto, so that she would save time. About one P.M. she arrived in the Morrow car, driven by Henry…"

Betty Gow's statement of March 10th:

"… Around noon time Monday, February 29th Mrs. Lindbergh telephoned me at the Morrow home in Englewood and told me that she intended to keep the baby down until Tuesday, because he had a slight cold. On Tuesday March 1, 1932 at 10:30 A.M. Mrs. Lindbergh called me from Hopewell. She advised me to come down by train, but when I got in touch with Mrs. Morrow, Mrs. Morrow suggested that I come down by auto. I then called Mrs. Lindbergh, told her of what Mrs. Morrow had said and she approved of it. I then called Henry [Red] Johnson, but he was not at home… I left quarter of twelve with Henry, the chauffeur. We stopped at a drug store in Englewood to buy something and we arrived here at two o'clock…"

Charles Lindbergh's statement of March 11th:

"… Miss Gow often remained in Englewood over the week-end while we took our son to the farm. We had not been at the farm for two weeks prior to the kidnapping [sic] and originally expected to return to Englewood Monday morning. Due to our son developing a cold it was decided not to return on Monday and the same decision was made for Tuesday. We did not know twenty-four hours in advance that we would be on our farm Tuesday night. Miss Gow was requested to come to the farm Tuesday morning."

Anne Lindbergh's statement of March 11th:

"… After lunch [Monday] I called up my mother's home and I spoke to Betty and told her that we were not coming up to Englewood, because I thought I wiser to keep the baby in bed that day. I think I said, we will see how he is tomorrow. I said nothing about her coming down… [Tuesday] I had breakfast about nine o'clock. About ten o'clock I was very tired, as I hadn't slept very much and I thought it best to have Betty come down. I also had a cold. I asked Whateley to phone to the station for the train times. Then I called Englewood and called Betty to the phone. I spoke to Betty on the same call. I told her to come down, as I had decided to stay over Tuesday, due to the baby's condition. Shortly afterwards Betty called me on they phone, she stated that Henry was not busy and if it would be all right to come down with him in the automobile. Betty and the chauffeur came down around [illegible, probably "one"] o'clock…"


Betty returned from Scotland 3 years later to testify at Flemington. During the trial Hauptmann's  Defense Attorney  Ed  Reilly attacked Gow and her loyalty to the Lindberghs. He accused her of calling Red Johnson, not to cancel their date, but to give him a signal that the coast was clear and that he could come for the baby.

Gow later said to reporters, "To insinuate that I knew more about the tragedy that I made known to the court was most unjust." She lived out her life - (she passed away this year) - in her homeland, Scotland.


Jan.10, 1935 NY Daily News 

 Excerpts from article submitted to the LKH Forum by Richard Sloan 

Oslo, Norway, Jan.9. 

Henry (Red) Johnson...has volunteered to testify at the trial..., but has not yet received his fare to the United States....
"'I am anxious to tell what I know...but so far I haven't received money to pay my expenses. ...
"Johnson, whose real name is Hendrick Finn Johansen, now goes under the name of Finn Johansen, in an effort to escape notoriety.
"He denied vehemently that he was hiding or trying to escape anyone who might seek to bring him to this country.
"'As a matter of fact, when I earn enough money, I want to go to the United States. I like the country.'
[Johnson had been deported for being an illegal alien. RS]
"The one-time sailor friend of Nurse Gow paid tribute to her testimony on the witness stand.
"'She was very brave,' he said. 'But she only told what we both told before, and it was the truth.'
"Asked if he were still in love with Betty Gow, Johnson chuckled and said, 'She's a mighty fine girl, but it's news to me that we are engaged.'
"Johnson is in financial straits and has been selling fruit at an open air stand here, while living in modest quarters in a poor street.
"He pressed his American interviewer to know 'how good is the beer in the States."
[I guess he said nothing aboutthe milk! RS]

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