The Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax
THE HAUPTMANN JURY - Flemington, N. J.
Jan 2 - Feb 13, 1935
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The Flemington Jurors
Elmer Smith, Ethel Stockton, Charles Snyder, Verna Snyder, Rosie Pill, Charles Walton.
Second row: Robert Cravatt, Philip Hockenbury, George Voorhees, May Brelsford, Liscom Case, Howard Biggs.
by Judge W Dennis Duggan, JFC
reprinted from The Albany County Bar Association Newsletter 01/04
May 1935 Who Helped Hauptmann? by Edward Dean Sullivan
The Hallam Report - 1935 -1936
Hauptmann Case Jurors, 4 Women, Quickly Chosen; Col. Lindbergh a Spectator
(following excerpts are from the New York Times article- submitted by Steve Romeo)
Colonel Lindbergh Present
Colonel Lindbergh attended the opening session, sitting inside the rail in front of the bench, in the same row as the accused man, and only four seats away from him. Mrs. Lindbergh did not appear.
It was observed that Colonel Lindbergh was carrying a pistol in a shoulder holster. Although his coat concealed it most of the time, it was visible when he leaned forward to consult with the lawyers at the State's counsel table.
This gave rise to a rumor that the colonel had received recent threats against his life, but this was denied in an authoritative quarter. It was explained that Colonel Lindbergh has carried a pistol for five years, two years before the kidnapping, and is an expert small-arms marksman. From time to time, dating to a period before the kidnapping, it was added, the colonel and his family have received threatening letters, mostly from cranks and persons obviously disordered mentally, but no such letter has been received for a long time.
Follow Procedure Closely
Both Colonel Lindbergh and Hauptmann followed the proceedings with close interest, but in different ways, while the prospective jurors were examined as to their qualifications. Colonel Lindbergh was obviously intensely interested. He rested his chin on his hand, sometimes leaned forward eagerly, frequently made notes on a small pad of paper, and always peered searchingly into the face of every venireman or woman who took the stand. Hauptmann kept his eyes fastened on the occupants of the chair also, but with a peculiar kind of stare which has been characteristic of him in all his public appearances since his arrest. Sometimes the spectator believes this look in his eyes to be apathetic, at other times it seems to be an unusually penetrating expression of interest.
Charles Walton (foreman)- 55, machinist, father of 4 kids
Elmer Smith- 42, insurance salesman, father of 3-year-old son
Ethel Stockton- 32, mother
Charles Snyder- 40, farmer, father of 2 kids
Verna Snyder- blacksmith's wife
Rosie Pill- 55, widow, grandmother
Robert Cravatt- 28, camp educational supervisor, single
Philip Hockenbury- 58, railroad worker
Goerge Voorhees- 54, farmer, father of 3 kids
May Brelsford- 38, housewife
Liscom Case- 60, retired carpenter
Howard Bigs- 55, bookeeper
top of page
Judge Trenchard, to the jurors - "Do you believe that?!"
Lindbergh Kidnapping Trial Judge Had Roots in Area
By Doug Fuhrmann
The Daily Journal
Januaty 3, 2005
(thanks to Sue Campbell for submitting this to the LKH website)
Once there was a media circus known as the trial of the century.
Seventy years ago this month -- long before anyone heard of O.J. Simpson or Judge Lance Ito -- the nation's attention focused on the hamlet of Flemington, Hunterdon County, where an accused murderer was being brought to justice.
The public had followed the story with fervor and horror since 1932, when Charles A. Lindbergh's 20-month-old son was discovered missing from the famous aviator's New Jersey home.
Charged with kidnapping and killing the child was a German carpenter from the Bronx named Bruno Richard Hauptmann.
His trial ended an exhaustive two-and-a-half year investigation led by the state police's Col. Norman Schwarzkopf, father of future Gulf War commander Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf.
When proceedings kicked into full gear in January 1935, thousands, including more than 700 journalists, descended on Flemington.
Walter Winchell, Damon Runyon, Dorothy Kilgallen and Adela Rogers St. Johns were among the era's media stars flocking to the square--mile borough as homes, storefronts and hotels became makeshift pressrooms and radio studios.
At the center of it all, Justice Thomas W. Trenchard, a native of the greater Cumberland County area, presided over the trial.
Born in Centerton, Trenchard attended public schools in Bridgeton, where he later lived at the corner of Commerce and Giles streets.
He sat on the Cumberland County court bench at the turn of the century before moving on and up to become an associate justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.
Known for his compassion and sense of fair play, Trenchard allowed the sequestered jury time for walks and outings during the 43-day Hauptmann trial.
In February 1935, after an 11-hour deliberation, the jury found the carpenter guilty.
Trenchard sentenced him to death. Despite several delays and an alleged confession made by a disbarred Trenton attorney as the final execution day neared, Trenchard continued to endorse the verdict.
"If executions were put off every time some nut made a last-minute confession, the business of the state would never be carried out," Trenchard reportedly said.
Executed in April 1936, Hauptmann claimed innocence to the end. His trial, and the media frenzy which surrounded it, set a precedent, making kidnapping a federal crime under the jurisdiction of the FBI.
Trenchard retired in 1941 and died the following year in Trenton.
In his late 70s at the time of his death, he is buried in Bridgeton.
Doug Fuhrmann is researcher and librarian of The Daily Journal. His column runs on Mondays.
LADEEZ! GENTS! SEE
'EM -- THE BRUNO JURY!
Offer for 12 to Appear on Stage Tour Confirmed by Foreman
Source: NY Evening Journal, Feb. 16, 1935 (Contributed by Mark Falzini)
by William Donoghue
Flemington, Feb. 16.
A barker's breezy spiel will provide the introduction at the next public appearance of the jury which voted death for Bruno Richard Hauptmann. Confirming the Evening Journal's exclusive announcement, Charles Walton today declared that he and his fellow jury members hope to troupe as a unit throughout the country at so much per week."It would be very dignified and nice," said Walton, a 36-a-day machinist who served as jury foreman. He expects to get $500 a week for his bit in the set.
The jury troupe will complete plans tomorrow at the first meeting of the Hauptmann Trial Jury Association in the Flemington home of Mrs. May F. Brelsford, juror No. 10, president.
"We can all use the money," said Walton at his home in High Bridge. "We will just appear before the public." Even Liscom C. Case, juror No. 11, the man with the bad heart who kicked a camera out of the hands of a photographer, is expected to go along with the act.
$300 PER WEEK
Mrs. Verna Snyder, the 291-pound housewife of Centerville, will go along. IN fact she is so afraid of endangering the offer she will not talk of the jury deliberations, she admitted. Like her fellow jurors, excepting the foreman, Mrs. Snyder stands to make $300 a week for the 12-week tour.
Details of the proposed act have not been made public, but it is reported the jurors will be required only to parade in single file onto the stage as a tuxedo-garbed interlocutor acts as a court crier.
Solemnly the ballots will be taken and again and again night after night, Hauptmann will be found guilty as charged from the stage of theaters in New York, Chicago, Kalamazoo and other points.
If the proposed contract is accepted, some of the jurors will be leaving the confines of Hunterdon County for the first time in their lives. As Fred Snyder, village blacksmith of Centerville said:
"It will help broaden Verna."
the Jury Really Sequestered?
excerpts from the LKH Public Forum
Does anyone know if the Jury for the trial was sequestered? Were they exposed to any outside media once the trial began? Where could I find this information?
Was the Jury sequestered?
Tuesday, 16-Mar-1999 06:48:42
depends on how you define 'sequestered'.
"[The jurors] were constantly kept together, were attended by four constables...they lodged on the third floor of the local hotel
UNION HOTEL - photo: ronelle delmont
and exercised on the porch of the
second floor. The hotel is opposite the court house and entertained the public
generally including reporters. The jury took their meals in the main dining room
behind screens at the farthest point from the entrance door." (From the
Opinion of the Court of Errors and Appeals). That, alone, sounds like it might
have been alright. There are some considerations that Court didn't add:
jury walked (with its four constables) to and from the hotel to the
courthouse every day through the mob of people in the street. The mob was
not restrained from expressing its opinions to the jury as they crossed.
The jury exercised on the second floor porch within full view and hearing of the what was happening in the street below them.
most significantly, on the other side of the 'screen' from where the jurors
dined sat the press corps. The reporters routinely discussed the case at
meals, including many of the things the jury was 'sequestered' to avoid
to one story, only one of the reporters ever suggested that the corps watch
what they said because of the proximity of the jury, or that they keep an
open mind. That reporter was Damon Runyon who, interestingly, wrote for the
same Hearst papers who hired Reilly.
So, were they 'sequestered'? Not IMHO.
Was the Jury sequestered?
behind that flimsy little curtain the jurors were able to hear at least three
different live radio broadcasts including Sam Leibowitz. At one point a reporter
yelled out something about Hauptmann being a Nazi. Apparently Damon Runyan was
the only one in the room who tried to remind his fellow journalists that
Hauptmann was innocent until proven guilty. But, as one of the authors tells us,
his voice was "like a sparrow in the wind".
jury was mostly made up of Germans whose ancestors settled in the N.J. and PA
area as early as the 17th Century. To this day, these people refuse to even
mention the word Nazi, not because they are ashamed, for they had nothing to do
with either war, but because they don't want anyone trying to make any false
connections. (And believe me, these people have had to deal with a lot of
prejudice) So then, all these jurors had to hear was Hauptmann is a Nazi and
"presto" he became their number one enemy.
I don't think so.
How was the jury chosen?
to the LKH Public Forum by Carol
Re: No Honor
Sat Aug 18 11:10:04 2001
I bet you didn't know that a month after the trial was over, Ethel Stockton got a job in Hauck's office as a stenographer.......
The way they picked the jury is very interesting too. Here's some of the information. The list can be found in Part VI of the articles Governor Hoffman wrote for Liberty magazine. Here are some gems:
that she wants to see Hauptmann get all that is coming to him. Should be a good
"Very good type. He remarked that Hauptmann should get the chair."
"Very poor head. Has remarked that she couldn't send Hauptmann to the chair if he was found guilty."
"Can be reached for $$$$$$$$$$$."
"Good type of juror. Father-in-law of Sergeant___ of the State Police."
"Good type of juror. Belongs to K.K.K. and they are against Fisher in the township."
"Stated state has a weak case against Hauptmann. Poor type juror. OUT."
"He is acquainted with Millard Whited and would doubt very much the veracity of this man's testimony."
"She would be weak and hesitate about sending a person to chair; also learned she had said Hauptmann resembles a person she knows and she couldn't convict him."
what Hoffman said about how the list of potential jurors was compiled.
special investigators were paid $100 each in order to check the persons from
whom the jury was to be selected. Local people were used for this purpose. I
have before me their findings as compiled by Detective Sergeant John Wallace of
the State Police for the information of the prosecution... Every person on the
jury list was carefully labeled "Republican or Democrat."
the defense had no knowledge of this list. This sounds like something that slimy
weasel Wilentz would think of. - Carol
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