Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested, convicted, and executed
in the one of the 20th century's most famous criminal cases - the Lindbergh-baby kidnapping
This was billed as the "Crime of the Century" and became one of America's first true media circuses. An estimated 700 reporters covered the trial.
On March 1st, 1932 famous aviator Charles Lindbergh's 20 month-old son -- Charles Jr. -- was kidnapped from the Lindbergh's New Jersey home. Despite numerous ransom notes and several payoffs, the child was never returned. Eventually a decomposed body was found and identified as that of Charles Lindbergh Jr.
More than 2 years later a German carpenter -- an illegal alien -- was arrested for the crime. Bruno Hauptmann had spent one of the marked bills used in the ransom at a local gas station. The gas station owner wrote down the license plate number and it was traced to Hauptmann.
Police found much of the ransom money hidden in the walls of Hauptmann's garage. On February 14th, 1935 that, and other circumstantial evidence, led a jury to convict him.
Hauptmann's lawyers filed appeals, but they were denied. His attempts at receiving clemency were likewise futile. Through it all, Hauptmann steadily maintained his innocence.
Eventually, on April 3rd, 1936 Bruno Richard Hauptmann was executed by electric chair.
Books have been written and films made portraying Hauptmann as innocent. Many who oppose capital punishment point to this case as a very likely execution of an innocent man. The lead investigator on the case, at the time Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, was Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf - the Father of General 'Stormin Norman' Schwarzkopf of Gulf War fame.
Nearly 50 years later Hauptmann's wife, Anna, was still seeking to have her husband cleared. As in so many instances we will probably never know the truth with any reasonable certainty .