Friday, February 1, 2013

Most Asked Question

Among the many comments I have been getting about what I said on "Who Killed ....."  the most frequent issue raised is:  How would Lindbergh go about secreting his child, presuming Anne knew nothing about the endeavor?  Where and how could one possibly do that?  These are important questions.  The answers I will give will, of course, not satisfy many.  Truth is, as John Douglas said last night, there will be lots of questions that will never have answers in this case.  Take, for example, the table that was found in 1948, and re-discovered to everyone's amazement by Mark Falzini in an evidence bin at the archives.  It was this table that had a legend written on it claiming innocence for Hauptmann, and explaining where the rest of the money was buried.  (A picture of the table viewed from the bottom, is reproduced in the original edition of "Case" before page 210).  What Falzini discovered  after carefully looking at the table was that the holes in the ransom notes fit perfectly over the holes where the table top was attached to the base.  Every hole fit perfectly for every ransom note, suggesting that they had been punctured at the same time.  What was behind the writing on this table?  Who could have done this simply by guesswork?  There it sits at the archives and museum - waiting for a final answer.

So with that in mind, let me address the issue as I see it today, 11 a.m., February 1, 2013. 

As I put at the heading of my "Afterwards," Charles Lindbergh testified that most people did not know what he did during the day time - or presumably at other times as well.  That he worked with Dr. Alexis Carrel on a variety of projects, most famously the artificial heart, is well-known.  It is possible that Dr. Carrel -- a fervent eugenicist talked with Lindbergh about his "problem."  They could have decided to do something, using Carrel's contacts with a variety of institutes, one close to the Lindbergh home, "The Skillman Institute for Epileptics."  Remember that this condition was treated then as a serious mental illness inheritable, and efforts were made to keep those afflicted separate from society so that they would not reproduce.

I wrote in the Afterwards that there were sightings that night of cars leaving the area of the Institute on the way to (possibly) Highfields.  Among these was a car that could have been Hauptmann's.  We simply do not know.

What we do know is that powerful people at that time had the ability to move heaven and earth to change their situation -- especially if it was potentially embarrassing.  We also know that at the height of the eugenics movement, the attitude toward the handicapped was very different than today, with the "Special Olympics," and the recognition that society gains, not loses, from their contribution.  This has been an important recognition that came after many other movements, such as those for equality for women, civil rights decisions from Brown vs Board of Education, etc.