The Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax
Excerpts from a conference held on May 18th, 1932 regarding the Lindbergh case. Held in the office of Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Superintendent,
New Jersey State Police.
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by Judge W Dennis Duggan, JFC
reprinted from The Albany County Bar Association Newsletter 01/04
Thanks to Mark Falzini, Archivist, at the NJ State Police Museum for contributing this important documentation.
Part Two of May 18th Conference
June 1, 1932 Police Conference
Present: -Mr. Nathan, Mr. Connelly and Mr. Fay from the Department of Justice; Mr. Wilson and Mr. Madden, Treasury Department; Mr. Lanigan, Assistant Attorney General, State of New Jersey; Prosecutor Marshall, Mercer County; Prosecutor Hauck, Hunterdon County; Inspector Walsh, Jersey City Police Department; Colonel Schwarzkopf, Major Schoeffel and Lieutenant Keaten, N.J. State Police.
[Pages 1-6 were discussions between Col. Schwarzkopf and Mr. Nathan regarding jurisdiction and inter-agency co-operation. Page 7 begins a review of the facts of the case] At the end of page 6, Schwarzkopf discusses the Board of Strategy:
Col. Schwarzkopf: My thought of this board of strategy would be I would like to have the tree prosecuting authorities sit in on every meeting of that board. The way the situation stands, the kidnapping was in one county, the body found in another county We do not know if the murder was committed in the county in which the body was found, Prosecutor Hauck has the kidnapping charge and Prosecutor Marshall of Mercer County has the murder case. The murder case take preeminence, however, if the murder was committed in Hunterdon County, it will revert back to Prosecutor Hauck and the Attorney General's Department should certainly be represented as Prosecutor Hauck has indicated he would call upon the Attorney General to assist him should it revert back to his county. The Prosecutor of Mercer and the Prosecutor of Hunterdon Counties and the Attorney General's Department should form a very definite part of this board of strategy to sit in consideration. I feel also the government agencies that have been working on this case like Mr. Madden and Mr. Wilson should be a part of that group and the Department of Justice and your representative, Mr. Fay and Mr. Fay will now enter the immediate family of the investigators, it will be his case as well as ours and should be among those present at these conferences and I think together with my principal investigators who are Inspector Walsh and Lieutenant Keaton who are thoroughly familiar with every phase of the case, that should about form the group in addition; in addition to that I would want Major Schoeffel here because throughout this case I have made very sure there was at least one other person on the case who knew just as much about the case as I did so if anything should happen to me it will not hinder the progress of the case but there will be someone there to carry on; as nothing has happened to me and I have taken that precaution that there should be someone ready to carry on I think that would about make up our group, that is about the group we have at this time; also Sergeant Moffatt of Newark. I know these gentlemen, the two prosecutors and the assistant attorney general and I know their attitude is never one of interference but rather one of an attempt to saturate themselves with the details and the atmosphere of the case.
Prosecutor Hauck: The only reason I have been interested so much in the case is that it is from my county.
Col. Schwarzkopf: I have been doing a lot of talking here so I am going to ask one of these gentlemen to give a recitation of the details of the case.
Inspector Harry Walsh, Jersey City Police Department:
The important facts as I know them are that first, the baby evidently was taken from its nursery window by means of a ladder which some time during the process of taking out of there was broken. It is sectional, made of three sections, each section if I remember right is 6' 8" long. Steps on two sections of the ladder are morticed or countersunk as I understand it and after this ladder was made up I am quite satisfied it broke, the Colonel will point out where the break is. After the discovery of the baby kidnapping the ladder was found within twenty feet of the house along side of a cedar tree. The police found the ladder unassembled, two sections assembled and the third laid parallel on the ground. Close to where the ladder was found there was a wood chisel, 3/4 of an inch in width and a chisel that had seen some service and it was respected for its mechanical use because of the razor-like edge. At the time of the kidnapping the baby wore thumb guards, a wire contraption to prevent the baby from sucking its thumbs; twenty-nine days after the baby had been kidnapped one wire guard was found a half mile from the house at the entrance to the property, by the nurse, Betty Gow. It is a wire contraption attached over the thumb with a piece of half-inch tape and that tape forms a loop at this point and winds around the wrist (indicating). This thumb guard was found in the middle of the road just about half way between the two ruts. We place a significance on it and it was found by Betty Gow. At the time of the kidnapping the window from which the baby was stolen was closed after the crime had been perpetrated and on the window sill was a note.
Mr. Nathan: One of the numerous stories is that there was a very heavy wind on that night is that correct?
Inspector Walsh: I explained that the ladder was broke. On the shutter of the lower window there is an indentation, an attept to reconstruct the ladder outside from the angle which the ladder was standing one part of the ladder used caused a dent because of striking against the shutter. There were three windows in that room all unlocked, one open, two of the windows had the shutters closed and locked and the window entered was the one window that had the open shutter, that was not locked. They went directly to the window that the shutter was not fastened.
Mr. Nathan: Could it have been fastened?
A. It was warped.
Inspector Walsh: The grounds about the house on this particular night was a yellow clay and a lump of that clay had an impression in it, it would leave you with the opinion whoever put it there had some sort of sock over his shoe, that is how I was impressed. The note was on the window sill. The window was closed and the note was left inside on the window sill.
This statement amplified by Col. Schwarzkopf.
Inspector Walsh: Another important fact as I see it is that if it has been the habit of the family to come up on the week end and leave Sunday night or Monday morning and this is the only occasion the family stayed on Tuesday. The baby developed a cold and it became necessary for them to stay there on Tuesday night and not until Tuesday morning at half-past ten did they definitely decide that and the nurse left Englewood at twelve or between twelve and twelve-fifteen and arrived possibly an hour and a half afterwards. I feel that if this was an organized mob they would have planted the house for fifteen or thirty days and they would know that the family was never stayed at the house on a Tuesday night so it is reasonable to believe that sometime between 10:30 on Tuesday morning and the time this crime was committed, someone connected with either of the two families by reason of employment could have acted as the finger for this job.
Mr. Nathan: Was anyone else informed of the change of plans except the nurse?
Col. Schwarzkopf: About eight o'clock that evening, approximately that time, the Lindbergh's were in communication with the Breckinridges but had not been during the day. Colonel Lindbergh was scheduled to make a talk in New York that night and he tells me that unintentionally he completely forgot that talk and returned home. The people expecting him got in touch with Colonel Breckenridge and asked him where Colonel Lindbergh was and Colonel Breckenridge in turn called Colonel Lindbergh.
Mr. Nathan: Was there a typographical error in the letter from the bank where Col. Lindbergh was scheduled to talk?
A. We have not gone into that.
Inspector Walsh: Another important fact connected with this, and I am speaking with reference to ap hone call responsible for the nurse's going there is this, She was keeping company with Henry (Red) Johnson, former sailor and former resident of Englewood. On Monday she played cards with him at the Morrow home and had an appointment with him for Tuesday, unaware of the fact that she would be summoned to Hopewell; when she received the summons to Hopewell she mad an effort to communicate with him immediately but was unable to do it but she communicated with the woman where he roomed and left a message, that is the only call she made she stated from the time she left for Hopewell and until 8:15 or 8:20 that evening she heard nothing of Johnson at which time he called her at Hopewell. I interviewed Betty Gow personally and I found that during the Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh's flight to Japan and China she was in sole possession of this child and she had not been visited by any member of the Morrow family and she could have walked away with it, she had complete charge of it for forty days on account of the flue epidemic. Another important fact is that the butler or cook, Ollie Whately was there on this night as was his wife and at times that Colonel Lindbergh was not there he was in the habit of taking people through the house. Henry Johnson, the former sweetheart of Betty Gow has been to Hopewell on at least three occasions. The house is a big house and it is an easy matter for anyone standing just a short distance from the house to conceal himself and become acquainted with the movements of the family by reason of the fact that now window in the house has shades or curtains. The house is not yet completed and was not completely occupied by the family and they had only partially moved in and the matter of shades and curtains was not finished and as a consequence the house is wide open and anyone can look in and you cannotsuccessfully conceal yourself or your movements in the house from anyone outside. We feel that is significant because while one theory is it was an inside job, at the same time with this curtain or shade proposition it is easy to observe everything going on in the house and it is not necessarily an inside job. The phone is located in the pantry and if I remember rightly it was about 8:20 or between 8 and 9, Johnson merely called to find out why Betty went to Hopewell and merely to say good bye before he went to Hartford to see his brother. A lot of people place a lot of significance on Johnson, the possibility that he was involved but from the time of his arrest up to and including a week or two after his arrival on Ellis Island, no one appeared, no one offered any help, no one applied as his lawyer, no one made any attempt to obtain any habeas corpus writs and I take from that the best evidence of the fact that no one on the outside was in any way fearful of any squeal Johnson might make and I understand it is only recently he has been supplied with counsel.
Mr. Nathan: Johnson's character is what?
A. Comparatively decent. He has been finger printed three times and we find no record and the Gow girl has been investigated and there is the complete history of the Gow girl in our possession from her childhood up.
Col. Schwarzkopf: The Gow girl has only been in this country three years and her record was further checked by Major Schoeffel in England, the same way with the Watley's.
Inspector Walsh: With regard to the location of the house * as near as I can judge, the nearest house is about one half mile away from it. The entrance drive is supposed to be three thousand feet and right at the entrance to their property is a house across the road. If Colonel Lindbergh came out of the house and surprised the kidnappers, they could have got him with a machine gun and the next door neighbor would not have heard the shot.
Mr. Nathan: Could a note have been left on the window sill, inside, by anyone leaving from the window with the wind that was blowing?
A. Maj. Schoeffel: That night between 8 and 11 there was not much of a
wind but from then on it was bitter cold and it was windy.
Inspector Walsh: The house, during its course of construction had some 120 employees working there and everyone has been checked, every parolee has been checked from every institution around there including all mental cases. Nothing further was heard from the kidnappers until Saturday, March 5th, when a secret ransom note was received, addressed to Colonel Lindbergh and this ransom note, in substance, said "You did not follow our instructions, you notified the police, we had to take someone else in, we are raising the ransom from fifty to seventy thousand dollars, the baby is well, and that is about the substance of the note and this note was mailed in Brooklyn on Marc 4th and was received Saturday, March 5th. The next point may have some significance * on Sunday March 6th an Italian clergyman, he might be a priest or spiritualist, together with a fortune teller arrived in Princeton and wanted to talk to Colonel Lindbergh, and Colonel Breckenridge went over and talked to them. They started in apparently on a fortunetelling proposition, yet it was noticeable that at certain phases of their conversation, they would make inquiry as to whether a note had been received. Colonel Breckenridge not of course wanting to reveal any information said no. They made inquiry as to who opened the mail that was received at the house and I don't know whether they were told the police were opening it or a detail opening it, at least they got the impression that someone other than the family was opening the personal mail. They said you will receive a message in the near future. They made statements as to the condition of the child being well being in an old unpainted house in the attic with high windows through which the sun poured in and in good care, within four and one half to five miles of the Lindbergh house pointing in a south-westerly direction. Some significance was placed in them, particularly two days later when another note was received, mailed on the seventh and received on the 8th, addressed to Colonel Breckenridge at his New York office and asking him to deliver it to Colonel Lindbergh, mailed this time from Madison Square section of New York City from Station "D".
Mr. Nathan: In these notes, was there a code?
A. No. There here, we have copies of them and they will be shown to you It is the usual story of a fakir to talk about receiving a message.
Col. Schwarzkopf: With reference to all of the ransom notes, the water mark on the paper was the same, they were small envelopes, 5th Avenue linen, a writing paper that can be purchased in any of the five and ten cent stores.
First and second notes shown to all present.
Col. Schwarzkopf: The third note says: Dear Sir: Did you receive our letter from March 4th. We put the mail in one of the letter boxes near Boro Hall, Brooklyn. We know police interfere with your private mail, how can we come to any arrangements this way, in the future we will send out mail to Mr. Breckenridge at 25 Broadway. We believe police captured our letter and did not forward it to you, we will not accept any go between from you we will arrange this later. There is no worry about the boy, he is very well and will be feed according to the diet (etc.). We are interested to send your boy back in good health (etc), (and then they go ahead and repeat practically what was in the second letter about the ransom about the different denominations of the bills and state they warn you not to mark any bills nor take them from one serial number. This was the third letter received). The one way to communicate with these people was by means of advertisement and it was right after this time that Dr. Condon came in to the picture. Dr. Condon placed an advertisement in the Bronx Home News, an open letter and offered to act as intermediary and promising to add his life savings to the ransom if he were appointed as intermediary, he did that entirely on his own initiative. On March 9th a letter was mailed to Dr. Condon. In the mean time there were several circumstances which appeared to be communications from the kidnappers but there is no need to go
In the mean time there were several circumstances which appeared to be communications from the kidnappers but there is no need to go into any detail on this.
Mr. Nathan: Does the Bronx paper mentioned have any circulation?
A. They have a very considerable circulation in the Bronx. We have gotten a report, I think about 160,000.
Mr. Nathan: If you wanted to communicate with the kidnappers, would it not seem to you the best thing to do would be use some other larger newspaper?
A. Correct, however, the Bronx Home News was the one the doctor had written for and he did have a direct contact with this paper, and he went to his own newspaper.
Col. Schwarzkopf: Following that advertisement and as the doctor says two or three telephone calls which he now says were with "John," the man with whom he dealt, he received a letter, this letter which was mailed on March 9th and which reads in part as follows: Dear Sir: If you are willing to act as go between in Lindbergh case, study instructions, hand the enclosed letter to Mr. Lindbergh, it will explain everything do not tell anyone about it as soon as we find out the press or police is notified everything are cancelled and it will be a further delay. After you get the money from Mr. Lindbergh, put them three words in the New York American "Money is Ready", after that we will give you further instructions, do not be afraid, we are not out for your thousand dollars, keep it only act strictly, be at home every night between six and twelve, by this time you will hear from us. That did not contain the cut but inside the envelope was enclosed a letter addressed to Colonel Lindbergh and this one does have the signature on it, that was mailed on March 9th, Dr. Condon came down on March 10th.
Mr. Nathan: At that time had Rosner entered the case.
A. It was about this time.
Col. Schwarzkopf: The baby was kidnapped on a Tuesday night. On Wednesday Ruth Pratt, Congresswoman got in touch with Colonel Bill Donovan and said you must put Morris Rosner on that case, she recommended it to Bill Donovan and Bill Donovan then recommended the introduction of Mr. Rosner and Rosner was brought down by Mr. Thayer. Rosner was vouched for by two United States Senators and was supposed to have done some under cover work for the Department of Justice for two years and was supposed to have been a very reputable man, he never double crossed either the under world or the over world as it were and a man that could be depended upon. He was to be the contact man. Subsequently it was decided in private conferences by the family in which the police was not included. We did not know him except that Colonel Lindbergh told us Rosner was all right, we looked at him and thought maybe he was a gangster, we were told no that he was vouched for. He was always in the inner circle of the family, knew the early developments of the case and saw the first and second and third letters; at one time taking either the first or second letter to New York with one or two Troopers in an automobile, this is a long time ago I may be vague on some details, Rosner had a copy of the note and he delivered that to Colonel Breckenridge who showed it to Owney Madden, Spitale and Bitz, all before the Conodon letter. It was on this occasion Madden advised Breckenridge not to show any more notes to anyone including himself.
Mr. Nathan: Have Mrs. Pratt and Colonel Donovan seen the note?
A. Not that I know of.
Inspector Walsh: the positive identification that is afforded on each one of these notes is that when these notes are super imposed, these three holes fit one another in each instance including the ransom note, the first and second note, the Condon note and right down the line every note that had been received with the signature, these three holes when put over one another those three holes are one over the other. They are free hand drawings and it was a copy made by Counselor Thayer that had been given to Rosner. The holes in these notes are the same as would be made with a ten penny nail. The size of the paper varies, some is on wider paper but the holes are exactly in the same place.
Mr. Nathan: When Rosner had the note in his possession, he was accompanied by Troopers at all times?
A. At not time that we know of was he in sole possession of the note. He had Troopers going up with him, he handed the note to Colonel Breckenridge, [pictured below] the copy he has had and the copy he still has but the original was at not time in his sole possession.
Inspector Walsh: Here is something again significant, they can draw a diagram of the package in which the money is to be put and if you notice the hidden lines are quite properly shown by dotted lines and it is a very decent perspective, a great deal more so than the average person would be able to make. It is a further indication of some quality on the part of the kidnapper because it is a very decent perspective and it shows some knowledge of mechanical drawing by the hidden lines. In this letter they designate Dr. Condon as the go between, they state give him seventy thousand dollars, make one pack, 6 x 7 x 14 inches, that makes it a little larger package, they state we have notified you already in what kind of bills, we have warned you to set no trap in any way, etc. And they go on * After we have the money in hand we will tell you where to find your boy, you may have an airplane ready, and they ask for a delay of eight hours. At that time further advertisements were put in the paper trying to establish contact. The words were put in * "Money is Ready" but other things were added to it in the New York American, that was the paper designated. The result of that was the fifth letter which was delivered to Dr. Condon by a taxi driver known as (Pinella ?_), he told him the circumstances under which he had receied it, a man stopped him at 188th St., and the man told him to deliver it which he did. In this letter they say * in part, Mr. Condon, we trust you but we will not come in your house, it is too danger even you cannot know if police or secret service is watching you, follow these instructions: Take the car and drive one hundred feet from the last station where there is an empty frankfurter stand you will find a note underneath a stone, act accordingly. After three quarters of an hour be on the place, bring the money with you. (And as I pass this note around I would like you gentlemen to note the way the 3/4 is written which is typically a craftsman's way of writing it. The description the taxi driver gives of the man who gave him the letter accords pretty well with the doctor's description of "John". The Doctor took Al. Reich, followed these instructions went to the point they designated and under a stone placed where they says, they found a piece of paper which reads follow the fence, etc., (I will let you gentlemen read this). This was two or three days after this letter of the 9th which was received on Saturday, about the 19th of March. That night Dr. Condon went out there, he got to Woodlawn cemetery, followed these instructions and got to the corner of Jerome Ave and 233rd St., and stayed around there for fifteen or twenty minutes and said in a loud voice to Al Reich (Al is a former boxer * about 12 or 15 years ago he was good but is now somewhat punch drunk and is a continuous associate of the doctor, he is actually a body guard.) He said in a loud voice * "Well I am not going to wait any longer, I am going home." having no intention at the time of doing so and he looked up and at the cemetery gate saw a handkerchief waving at him. (This gate and surroundings drawn on blackboard by Col. Schwarzkopf). The cemetery gates * there are three of them, two of them are eight feet high and the center gate is between 10 and 12 feet high with pickets on top of it and a bar across the center. The doctor met John and they started a conversation, it was in this conversation that he found out the man's name. While talking to John, a cemetery guard came along, John heard him coming so he sprints up, put his feet on the cross bar and vaults over this fence and runs across 233rd St. with the doctor running after him and calling him. There is a traffic semaphore at this corner of Van Courtland park and there is a workman's house in the park with a bench here (indicating). All along the cemetery are lights. John started for the trees in the park and the doctor was calling for him to stop, John slowed down and actually stopped about here (indicating). The doctor said he did not run like an athlete, we have a pretty good description of him, the doctor came up to him and said why are you running away, if you walk and talk no one will pay any attention, when you run the police will come and catch you and convinced John that he should take things easy and they sat down on this bench.
Mr. Nathan: Are you convinced that Condon is on the level?
A. No. (Inspector Walsh).
Inspector Walsh: You will notice in the note that house is spelled wrong and "gut" and Dr. Condon says you will know this man if you ever meet him by the way he talks for instance, he cannot say perfect but always says perfet and doctor is doctor and it would lead you to believe that John is one and the same person that wrote the letter and the man that exhibited himself.
Mr. Nathan: Presumably the baby was dead at the time these negotiations were going on and the body may have been found at any moment, yet they were carrying on negotiations for the payment of money?
A. There was a lot of press activity and if the body had been found, extras would have been out on the street and they would have been notified almost immediately, they knew where the body was and it was a cinch for them to go up there with a feeling of security that the body was there five miles from the Lindbergh home, they could have gone there and found that out for themselves and got back to New York in an hour and a half without any trouble. The broken ladder may be responsible for the baby's death, the ladder may have fallen on top of the baby.
Mr. Nathan: Would there not have been a noise?
A. Evidently there was a noise. Colonel Lindbergh called the attention of his wife to a noise and when they go out here is this ladder with the broken spiral after the kidnapping and again they could have muffled the baby's mouth and suffocated it while doing it, they may have spent the rest of the time out from the house trying to revive the baby.
Mr. Nathan: Did the autopsy show the head had been crushed?
A. Compound fracture, both sides all the way around the skull. The feature about it was that the skull was not compressed, it seemed to be more or less of a clean break and some instrument of great weight must have hit it as there was no splintering. There are twenty-nine employees at the Englewood estate and we took statements from every one of them at an early stage of the investigation and everyone checked with the exception of one girl and we will go over her again tomorrow, she does not know where she was the night of the kidnapping and she gives you no means of checking her story. Whoever took the child certainly knew that the baby was there and probably knew that no one was with the child at that time. Colonel Lindbergh said the other day that Mrs. Lindbergh did not know what she was going to do until 11:30 that morning when she called Betty Gow and told her to come down.
Col. Schwarzkopf: There followed after that a few notes where e.g. they asked for a code, the family asked for a code through an advertisement and they sent back word they were not going to give them a code and they asked for positive identification and they sent back to Dr. Condon the sleeping suit, a Dr. Denton #2 sleeping suit which was the same kind that the baby had worn the same night the baby had been taken away, however, this suit had one button off and it had apparently been washed and was not accepted as conclusive, it was accepted as being the same kind of a suit but as being the suit, there was nothing to positively identify it.
Mr. Nathan: The same people knew about the Dr. Denton sleeping suit?
A. I don't think Rosner knew that.
Col. Schwarzkopf: Following Owney Madden's suggestion, Rosner did not know of Dr. Condon's contact, he saw letters one, two and three and no more. This correspondence went on for some time, there followed letters 6, 7, and 8 then came letter No. 9 and I might say there that Colonel Lindbergh's financial advisors told him you have to take a chance some time, they were Mr. Bartow, Vice President of Pierpont Morgan's, Mr. Davidson and Mr. Lamont, they said you cannot control this situation because they have the baby, you will have to meet them somewhere along the line and the Colonel finally told me that he felt if he was going to meet their terms, he wanted to do it as quickly as possible and find out where he stood and if it was a double cross he wanted to know it and the advertisement was put in the New York paper for the pay off and then this note was sent to Dr. Condon, (this letter read by Col. Schwarzkopf). In the mean time a letter was received telling them if the money is not paid by April 8th, they will increase it to one hundred thousand dollars and that was one of the points that decided the Colonel and he said if I am going to do it before April 8th I might as well do it now and on the night of April 2nd, again a Saturday night, this letter was left at Dr. Condon's home by a taxi driver who is not known, we know the first one (This letter read by Col. Schwarzkopf). Colonel Lindbergh went with Dr. Condon who followed out the instructions in the note he stopped the car in front of the nursery the doctor went and got a letter and went across the street to Wittemore Avenue, the Colonel where he was sitting could hear a voice calling out. Right at that point there is a curve,
(designating on black board). The doctor saw John, who was standing near a new grave where we got a good foot print. There is a hedge fence about six feet high. The doctor talked to John about hard times and he agreed to take $50,000 instead of $70,000 and asked where the money was. Dr. Condon stated it was in the car, so the doctor walked back to the car and said to Colonel Lindbergh take $20,000 out and handed the doctor the box especially made for this purpose and the doctor took the box and walked away and gave it to John, he handed it over the hedge, the doctor shook hands with John and he said thank you very much for all you have done, you have been perfet in this arrangements, he recognized it was John by his talk. He said to them at this time you must tell me where we can get the baby and they said we will let you know, he said no you must tell me and John said I will have to talk to my partners and he went off to two men standing in the background some distance off and he came back and said all right if you will promise not to open this for two hours I will give you a letter telling you where the baby is * this letter stated the boy is on the boat "Nellie", 28 ft long, two persons on the boat, between Gay Head and Elizabeth Island, they rode around for a while and Dr. Condon opened it up about 3/4 of an hour afterward and Col. Lindbergh made arrangements to fly over the place and no such boat was there, this is all we know about the case and there has been no communication with the kidnappers.
Inspector Walsh: On May 12th, the body of a child was found in a bad state of decomposition. The county physician says it could get in that condition for between two and three months, depending upon the weather. During that time we had several snow storms, plenty of rain lots of wind and warm and cold days. When the baby was found it had a shirt on which absolutely matched the shirts which the baby wore in size, label, etc., it had a home made shirt on which was positively identified by Betty Gow by the material and embroidery.
Mr. Nathan: Any physical marks to identify the baby?
A. About ten or twelve. The identification of the baby was made by Colonel Lindbergh, the description of the body found matches closely to that of the doctor who attended the baby prior to the kidnapping, about two weeks before it was kidnapped. The hair taken from the body and some of the hair the baby had has been analyzed by a chemist as to size, color, etc and he says they are identical, the physicial characteristics, the turning under of the toes and right (fontenel ?) absolutely check.
Mr. Nathan: Where any of the bills paid as ransom turned up anywhere?
A. Yes. Two.
A. Both in New York City. There was a twenty-dollar bill located in a Savings Bank at Eightieth St, discovered about twenty-four hours after having been deposited and Mr. Madden had a great many depositors to interview and was unsuccessful in tracing same.
Mr. Madden: The Five dollar bill was deposited in a Bronx Trust Co., on Wall St. It was deposited by the Schraf Candy Co who have six different stores and had put their deposits all together and they were included in this one deposit.
Mr. Wilson: There are one or two things about the twenty dollar bill, the bill was discovered in the possession of a man who drew $47.00 in interest money as I recall it about eleven o'clock Tuesday morning following the Saturday night the ransom was paid but it appeared quite clear that the bill got into the bank between nine o'clock Monday morning and eleven o'clock Tuesday morning so a record was obtained of every depositor who had deposited funds in that bank between those hours whose deposits were in excess of $20.00 and it was impossible to determine from the currency notation just what denominations were making up the deposits, as I recall it there were about 75 people who had deposited currency in excess of $20.00 between those hours. Interviewed all of those people and interviewed the persons suggested by them.
Mr. Nathan: Nothing since in the way of a bill?
A. No. The name of the people suggested by depositors were turned over to the police commissioner and just how far they checked I do not know.
Mr. Nathan: Did the police make any formal record of this report?
A. They have a record of the personal interview.
Mr. Nathan: Of course you gentlemen are convinced that Condon is straight?
A. (Inspector Walsh): No, this is only what I hear, I do not know whether it is the truth but I understand he has been arrested on two or three complaints of corrupting the morals of minors and another sex case or carnal abuse. We were four-and-one-half hours getting his story from him.
Mr. Nathan: I cannot get it through my head, the nerve of these people, knowing the child's body is there where it was found and at the same time negotiating for the money?
A. Inspector Walsh: I think that part is easy, it was easy for them to go and verify the place where the body was found and return to New York in a short time.
Mr. Nathan: I wonder why Condon would work through the columns of a newspaper?
A. Condon has been writing for the newspapers for a number of years.
Mr. Nathan: I think if I were advertising I would go to the paper with the largest circulation in New York.
Mr. Nathan: Is there any question about a demented child in the Morrow family?
A. No, that has been brought up a number of times.
Inspector Walsh: Getting back to the thumb guard which was found about three thousand feet from the house, this guard was fastened on the outside of the garment, only one was found and we feel the garment was taken off there as the guard was fastened over the garment and tied fairly tight and if the garment was taken off there the baby was dead when it was taken off.
Mr. Nathan: How do you account for the thumb guard out of the car?
A. We don't figure there was a car there, if there was one, we figure it was outside the gateway to his home.
Mr. Wilson: On all suspects that are investigated or taken in the custody of police, careful inspection should be made of any money on them.
There was a suggestion made that we stop publicity on any further bills recovered.
Major Schoeffel: When this baby was taken it had on a double diaper and rubber pants fastened with two heavy safety pins, they are missing and have never been found and I might say that the ladder will fit into a Chevrolet, Dodge or any light sedan, will fit inside.
Major Schoeffel took up the matter of publishing the note to all police departments, without the symbol and this was agreed upon, however, Mr. Nathan stated that it would mean a great deal of work as lots of people would be writing in again.
END OF TRANSCRIPT
Police Conference held at the Training School on Wednesday, June 1st, 1932
The following were present: Colonel H. Norman
Schwarzkopf, Colonel Chas. A. Lindbergh, Mr. Frank Wilson, Treasury Department, Inspector Harry W. Walsh, Lieutenants
R.A. Snook and A.T. Keaten, N.J. State Police; the following suggestions were noted.
1. The whole assemblage was convinced that one man wrote all the ransom notes.
2. It is more likely that he is a German than anything else and the whole assemblage was convinced of the strong German influence and German education.
3. All were more or less convinced that this man has had previous experience which is borne out by the methods he used and the cool deliberation which he has demonstrated all the way through.
4. He has some knowledge of drawing.
5. All were convinced he has better than ordinary education.
6. He has a vivid imagination.
7. He shows a lot of ingenuity.
8. He has a good knowledge of criminal methods; referring particularly to the reference to the serial numbers; other knowledge of the psychology of Colonel Lindbergh and other people, in saying not to notify the police and in saying, "you have notified the police", etc. and in selecting a man like Condon.
9. An excellent ability to construct letters as brought out in Osborn's report. The construction of those letters, to get his ideas across is extraordinary. He can say a lot in a few words.
10. Evidence of higher education by conveying information by asking questions.
11. It is not thought he built a ladder like the one used before because of what occurred. It is quite evident that he did not test the ladder before using it as evidenced by the breaking of the ladder.
12. Criminal experience is shown by continued negotiations in spite of the heat.
13. There is no question but what he has a great deal of nerve and courage.
14. From his description of places and instructions as to the meeting places, he evidently has a thorough and intimate knowledge of the Bronx.
15. Another confirmation of his mental faculties is the reference to Horse Neck Beach ,which is not a nautical method of giving directions, but would indicate rather, his reference to a map.
16. He did not display a particular definite knowledge of Hopewell and vicinity.
17. The body was found at the first reasonable place where it could be disposed of and where he could park off the side of the road after leaving the Lindbergh Estate.
18. The use of the newspaper as a means of communicating with him again indicates experience.
19. Ingenuity was displayed on the third letter by addressing it to Colonel Breckinridge and putting a return address on it of Colonel Lindbergh, Hopewell, N.J.
20. It was the consensus of opinion of the group to hold up the original note and to publish in some expeditious manner the signature.
21. He showed calmness and foresightedness in taking the sleeping suit off the dead child for use later as a means of identification, knowing that he could not produce proof of the living existence of the child.
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