Talk:Richard Hauptmann

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Some Info on Hauptmann's background needed[edit]

Unlike the article on Fisch, there is no information whatsoever contained in the article about Hauptmann's life before the Lindbergh baby case. It would be interesting to know where he was born, when he came to the US if he was an immigrant, a word or two on his work history and social background etc.Tom Cod (talk) 02:23, 5 March 2010 (UTC)

The information footnoted (2) concerning his robbery is incorrect. According to the Actual Police Reports from Germany it was the man with Hauptmann who had the gun. Melsky (talk) 13:42, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

  • If that's the case, and you have a reference (I assume it would be access to the Actual Police Reports) to support your contention, then make the change and put in the reference for verification. Alternatively, add this as a rebuttal point in the text with the reference. (talk) 15:33, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Guilt questioned[edit]

While some may question his guilt and he may have protested his innocence until death (what would he have gained by confessing?) there was much evidence to convict:

  1. Seven handwriting experts said he wrote the ransom notes.
  2. The ransom money was found in his garage.
  3. The ransom was paid 2 April 1932. Early that month Hauptmann told his wife he had a fool-proof scheme to win on the stock market. From then on he always had a lot of money, though he was unemployed. The family wealth at 2 April 1932 was $4,941.40 (mostly in his mortgage). From then until his arrest (19 September, 1934) his expenditure was $15,530.63. Total wealth on arrest was $56,059.65, which after income is a net increase of $49,950.44 over the family wealth before the $50,000 ransom was paid. Over this time he had a net loss on the stock market.Hauptmann also had a rape on his criminal record.Some people might think he was innocent.Should they have exicuted him, or given him a chance to talk?
  4. In the eight years before the kidnapping he deposited $1.47 in silver coins in the bank. In the two and one half years after he deposited $453.25 in coins in the bank. (Was this change from passing the ransom notes?)
  5. Hauptmann admitted to spending the ransom money, for about one month before being caught. He matched the description of the man who passed the bills one year before.
  6. Dr. Condon identified him as "John".
  7. Lindbergh recognized his voice as that of "John".
  8. Boards for the ladder were cut from his attic. His planer was used.
  9. A 3/4" chisel was left at the scene, used to make the ladder. A 3/4" chisel was missing from his tool-set and the one left at the scene matched the make/model of his chisels.
  10. A green sedan with a ladder was seen at intersection of the highway and the lane to Lindbergh's house on the day of the kidnapping. Hauptmann owned such a car, he was identified as the driver. In the year after the kidnapping he changed the colour of the car.
  11. His alibi for the days of the kidnapping and ransom payment was that he was working at the Majestic Apartment House as a carpenter. Records show he started after the kidnapping and was absent on the Saturday the ransom was paid. He worked on the Monday after, then quit without reason.
  12. A witness (Hildegarde Alexander) saw him observing Dr. Condon (Lindbergh's negotiator) at a railway station during the negotiation period.
  13. On two occassions, a couple of weeks before the kidnapping a stranger was seen 1 and 1.5 miles from house. Hauptmann was identified by two people as this man. Avalon
Should we even have that whole section in there without citations for each reason? Harksaw 18:25, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

When I read this article, I got the distinct impression that modern scholars tended to think he was not guilty of the crime. As such, if we are going to include a list of the 'problem testimony' and bad evidence, then I think we should include the stuff listed above as well. I came in here to see what people were saying, and surprisingly found the talk page more informative and interesting than the article. Joey 18:32, 8 April 2006 (UTC)

I think a problem arises when you put a list like this together but do so by selectively observing the points you wish to make. Isn't it important, for example, that Dr. Condon originally said Hauptmann was NOT John? He would eventually change his position while under duress because the Police threatened to arrest him as an accomplice if he did not. And so if each and point above can be challenged in this way - isn't it important to make note of it so all the information concerning it may be considered? M. Melsky (talk) 16:11, 31 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Selective information is posted because people are biased (and present only 1 side of an argument) or they only have access to limited reference material (which itself is biased). There is, of course, one other slight variation on the first reason and it is for those people who access several resources and, for one reason or another, decide that a certain position is better supported than the other. At any rate, the solution in terms of WP is to put in all points of view. Just be sure to provide proper references and the system will work. (talk) 15:40, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps his widow's decades-long struggle to clear Hauptmann should be mentioned. I think she died in the 1990s.Jrm2007 (talk) 16:28, 23 November 2007 (UTC)

Some things to consider from my own research of this crime:

1. The chisel found at the scene of the crime was a different brand (and possibly a different size, 1" according to some sources) than the chisel missing from Hauptmann's tool box. He used only Stanley brand tools. 2. Some sources say that Fisch was a known money laundrier. Therefore, it would not be out of the realm of possibility for him to have some or all of the ransom money. He would not have to have been part of the kidnapping. Also, Fisch paid for his ticket to Germany with (a) gold certificate(s) currency. 3. Hauptmann's time card from the day of the kidnapping was obivously altered. 4. A local lumber yard sold hundreds of board feet of the same lumber which Hauptmann used to remodel his attic. It was not Hauptmann's planer which was identified as making the marks on the lumber, rather the electric planer at the sawmill had a distinct pattern and all lumber from that lot sold by the local lumber yard had that same distinct pattern. A US Department of Agricluture lumber expert testified to this. 5. All ceiling joists are standard spaced. The nail holes in tha attic floorboards were so "loose" according to one source that they could fit almost any attic. Furthermore, police and federal agents searched Hauptmann's house 19 times before a NJ state Policeman, alone at the time, supposedly "discovered" the missing floorboard. 6. Many sources say that the police did not look closely enough at the boyfriend of the Lindbergh maid and his friends. Also the butler's friends. Apparently they were somewhat unsavory characaters. 7. The ladder was a clumbsly made affair and Hauptmann was a skilled carpenter. 8. Was the shelf supposedly containing the shoebox high enough and deep enough that Mrs. Hauptmann may not have seen it, especially if it was pushed clear to the back? 9. "John" was identified as having a Norwegan accent. Hpuptmann had a German accent. Also, Lindbergh at first told the police that he was in a car ,with the windows rolled up, half a block away when "John" said his famous three words. "John" was described to the police as having a red complexion and brown eyes. Hauptmann was fair complected and had blue eyes. 10. Are you sure Hauptmann's conviction was for rape? I recall it as being for robbery (in Germany in the 1920's) some years before this incident.

None of this means that Hauptmann was necessarily not guilty, but it

is food for thought.Mike lrum (talk) 23:38, 29 May 2010 (UTC)Mike Irum70.246.224.227 (talk) 22:59, 29 May 2010 (UTC)Mike70.136.142.122 (talk) 16:59, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:44, 29 May 2010 (UTC) 
Ludovic Kennedy's excellently researched 1985 book "The Airman and the Carpenter" details rebuttals against all the items listed above. Nowhere in that does he mention that Hauptmann "bought his wood from the same place as the kidnapper", in fact there was no evidence at all that any of the wood could be linked with Hauptmann.

Thedoctor98 (talk) Sunday, 30 January 2011 at 09:58:36 (UTC)

  • To answer the question: "what would be gained if Hauptmann confessed" ... He would have gain a lot. Firstly, newspapers were in a bidding war for it and his Wife and child would have been paid at least $100,000 for it. Next, Hauptmann's sentence would have been commutted to life. Melsky (talk) 13:43, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Additional Comments on Guilt or Innocence[edit]

The article describes the evidence as "strong but circumstantial," which implies that circumstantial evidence is less trustworthy than direct evidence. In many cases, the opposite is true. An "eyewitness" testimony is often incorrect, either because the witness mispercieves the event, fails to recollect it properly, or has an ulterior motive against the accused. Circumstantial evidence is often more convincing and less susceptible to such matters, as long as every reasonable explanation favoring innocence is explained away beyond a reasonable doubt. In my view, the evidence against Hauptmann was overwhelming (see comment above), and there is no reasonable doubt in my mind as to his guilt. John Paul Parks (talk) 16:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)John Paul ParksJohn Paul Parks (talk) 16:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

  • The lack of confession, when he had so much to gain by it, the fact each point of evidence against him could be called into question, the Prosecutorial & Police misconduct, and the lack of creditable Witnesses create reasonable doubt. Overall, the totality of the circumstances make him look guilty, but examining it piece by piece and considering this was NOT a "one-man" job creates all of the interest in this Case. Melsky (talk) 13:45, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

While I believe it may be a good idea to mention other books and their Authors, I cannot see the benefit of swallowing up the page by devoting much of it to one of them. It creates an irreversible black hole. Relying on The Ghosts of Hopewell, for example, is absurd. The Author uses several pages of his book to malign Governor Hoffman, and mocking the abilities of investigators Hoffman utilized. Oddly, he omits certain facts which negatively affect his positions concerning these very same people. Doesn't it matter, for example, that Wilentz wrote a letter of recommendation for one of them? Or that another was employed by Breckenridge? Or yet another worked for Prosecutor Hauck? Spending a couple of days at the NJSP Archives, or a few more thumbing through the Hoffman Collection is not enough if you plan on writing a book - and the errors & mistakes in these publications absolutely prove it. My point is this page should be devoted to the facts instead of advancing an outdated book on the subject. Mention them all, if you must, but I think it should be kept in proper perspective. M. Melsky (talk) 12:25, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

Ransom Money Still in Circulation[edit]

The fact that ransom money was discovered to be in circulation after Hauptmann's execution is not surprising. He was given $50,000 in gold certificates. At the time of his arrest, there were only $14,000 in gold certificates in his possession. Obviously, he spent, and therefore put into general circulation, $36,000 in gold certificates. These were spent again, or turned in, as the law required. The possession of a single gold certificate from the Lindbergh ransom money is not evidence of guilt, but having $14,000 of the ransom money in a box in your garage certainly is! John Paul Parks (talk) 16:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)John Paul ParksJohn Paul Parks (talk) 16:58, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

  • You are wrong here John. Passing a ransom gold note in 1935 was a serious clue to be investigated. Just spending a non-ransom gold note was very unusual by this time. The problem was the State, having committed itself to the "one-man" job position, didn't want to pursue these leads. The Cops were called-off of these passings, and they tried to figure out a way to get the papers to stop reporting them. Melsky (talk) 13:44, 30 July 2011 (UTC)

Crime of the Century Neoconservative propaganda?[edit]

In 2002 sleazy New Hampshire cop Stephen Monier was appointed a U.S. Marshall by none other than George W. Bush[1]. Now, allow me to me use the same speculation and guilt-by-association methods he and Gregory Ahlgren (a lawyer, by the way) use against Lindbergh in their ridiculous book. During the year (1993) the book came out, the so-called "neoconservative" imperialistic wing of the Republican Party was locked in a power struggle with the "America First" or paleoconservative wing which the latter eventually lost. Wouldn't the neocon wing (which has more money than God) have a vested interest in spreading lies about the most famous and controversial leader the latter ever had? What is Monier's connection to them, and how did it help his career? Do the ACLU types and other leftists who endorse this book know who they are really supporting? I'm not jumping to any conclusions here, but doesn't this raise a lot of questions about Monier and Ahlgren's neutrality and their intentions?02:29, 9 October 2006 (UTC)

I think you are reading way too much into this as much of the world does not revolve around "liberals" "neo-conservatives" or the agenda of political junkies. In this case I think the motive was plain old commercial opportunism, the desire to make a buck out of an old headline story, albeit a tragic one.Tom Cod (talk) 00:29, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

"ghosts on the underground"[edit]

There's mention of him on this show, where a lady took a picture which showed him in the background outside of a tube train in the darkness. Not sure how worthy of mention this is, or how interested people are in adding information about this, so I'll leave it up to someone else to add.

An interesting thing about the sighting is that the picture is exactly the same as the waxwork model in Madame Tussauds (him sitting in the electric chair) and skeptics assumed it was a poster or something although Tussauds say no poster was ever made with him in it as far as they know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:33, 24 October 2007 (UTC)

I personally think that this should be added to the article - it's fascinating and certainly relevant, in a pop culture reference kind of way. I guess someone out there illegally used the Tussaud image in a poster and never came forward. WongDarlar (talk) 01:27, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Pardon I remember reading or watching a television program on this case where the narrator said that Hauptmann was offered life imprisonment over death if he confessed to the killing. He declined to do so. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Opusv5 (talkcontribs) 13:55, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Rewording of First Line[edit]

You should reword the first line, saying something like, "Bruno Hauptmann was executed for the abduction and murder of Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr." I'm not saying that BH didn't commit these crimes. But he never confessed, and there's no evidence to prove that BH murdered the baby. Best to say what he was convicted of, and leave it at that, rather than sound like you're making a definitive judgment. (talk) 14:12, 2 December 2010 (UTC)

The question of 'judgment' is moot since it was decided a long time ago by a jury of peers. People seem to forget or overlook the reality of the case. The fact that BH never confessed is irrelevant — there are many guilty persons who, for one reason or another, never confess to their crime(s). And, yes, there are also wrongly-convicted persons who never confess. But the point is that it's impossible to differentiate the two types based on their behaviour when it comes to confessing, or not confessing. As for 'evidence to prove' BH murdered the baby, the jury in the matter clearly felt that the evidence provided was sufficient. People today may or may not agree with that decision but the jury's collective belief about it, at the time, is unambiguous:
"After giving final instructions, Judge Trenchard sent the jury out to begin deliberations at 11:21 on February 13. At 10:28 that night, the courthouse bell rung, signifying that the jury had reached its decision. A few minutes later, jury forman Charles Walton stood with trembling hands to announce: "We find the defendant, Bruno Richard Hautpmann, guilty of murder in the first degree." Judge Trenchard asked the ashen Hautpmann to stand as he pronounced sentence: "The sentence of the court is that you suffer death at the time and place, and in the manner specified by law." The thirty-two-day-long trial was over." (Excerpt from
RB Ostrum. 12:50, 5 May 2011 (UTC)
  • RB,

It is not irrelevant that Hauptmann did not confess, and to suggest such a thing reveals that you simply have not done enough research. Exactly why he did not CAN be determined if one looks hard enough. It's just easier not to. The real problem concerning this Case is that someone reads a book or two then suddenly considers themselves an "Expert." As far as the Jury goes, how much do you know about them or their situation? I ask because much is left to the imagination if one relies on the books. It's a different story if source material is reviewed. M. Melsky (talk) 11:59, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Melsky, you have absolutely no idea what research I have or have not done. My point relating to the lack of a confession was and is simple. You can look at it as much as you like but you can never tell 'why' someone did (or did not) do something simply from the fact that they did (or did not) do it. That was my point. If you want to try and infer their reasons then you must base your inference on something other than their behaviour. If you want to do that, go right ahead. My other point dealt with the issue of 'judgment' about whether or not a murder had occurred. And that too is simple because the actual judgment (right or wrong; justified or not) occurred when the jury announced it's determination in the matter. Any discussion about whether they were right or wrong is a different issue — certainly a discussion worth having but, since we are now decades removed from the event, great care must be taken in the process.
Now, if you have access to "source material" that others don't know about, then please put it out there for review. That's the essence of how WP works — provide verifiable information, not speculation or guess-work. I don't subscribe to either of the latter, only the former. If you have something then post it. — RB Ostrum. 16:03, 1 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Ostrum: Great care must be taken. That's the very reason I am here - to help clean up and make this page more reliable by supporting it by and through source documentation. Here are some of my footnotes I have used on this page:
1. Cpl. William F. Horn, NJSP, September 25, 1934
2. Det Sgt. John Wallace, NJSP, September 20, 1934
3. Lindbergh Statement to Lt. J. Sweeney, March 11, 1932
4. Hauptmann v. Bornmann et. al. USDC (NJ) Civil Action No. 86-2426
These are examples of "source documentation" I obtain via Archival Research. Please direct me to the footnotes you've added to this page. Which are yours? You see, operating from a position of ignorance is something a lot of people do - just don't expect me, as it relates to a subject I am extremely knowledgeable in, to believe it or let it go unchallenged. WP has some really great pages. However, they also have unreliable ones as well. On these its seems people basically pick and choose what they will plagiarize from the various books then throw it at the wall to see what sticks. Or, they pontificate about a subject they really know nothing about. Simplifying something that is complex is a sign that someone hasn't done their research. So yes, I do have an "idea" concerning what "research" you've done as it relates to this Case. Now, when I get some time I will utilize the copies of Hauptmann's German Arrest Records to fix the error I mentioned at the top of this discussion page above, or in the alternative, I can just let you tell everyone it doesn't matter what the true circumstances were. M. Melsky (talk) 20:23, 2 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I commend your efforts. But unfortunately the references you've listed are not complete enough to let anyone verify the information (except possibly the last one). That makes them insufficient as references (please see Wikipedia:Attribution and Wikipedia:Verifiability) unless you provide more details about where to find the information. I'm not 100% sure what you mean by "Archival Research" though I suspect you're talking about research that you have done personally. That is great but unfortunately completely inappropriate for wikipedia because it clearly constitutes original research (please see Wikipedia:No original research). That particular policy can be a real pain but it is what it is... and I didn't write it. All I can say is please take care not to introduce original research.
Your description of WP is probably correct to a point, but plagiarism is not acceptable (please see Wikipedia:Plagiarism). If you think there has been plagiarism, please point it out or fix it yourself. That's how WP works.
Please note that I'm not "operating" from any particular position, nor I am I trying to be argumentative about anything whatsoever. I'm sure you are very knowledgeable on the topic and that's great. It's wonderful when an expert is available to monitor an article. All that I'm actually interested in is a balanced presentation of factual, supported information about the topic, just as are you. But I'm also very concerned with adhering to WP policies and procedures.
The discussion about whether or not there were flaws in an historical investigation or prosecution, or if the jury's decision was correct or warranted is very interesting. Unfortunately, it is the type of issue that often leads to personal opinion (please see Wikipedia:Neutral point of view) and/or original research (again see Wikipedia:No original research) being presented by some editors. And neither of those is allowed in wikipedia. Some of your comments suggest a potential for the latter but you can assess that for yourself (it really is a common issue for a true expert on any topic because they will have done the research themselves but they can't put it on WP unless it fulfills the requirements of being a reliable source).
You seem to think that I have some personal interest one way or the other about this issue — let me be clear about this; I do not have any opinion at all. So long as the topic is treated fairly and in accordance with WP policies then I'm perfectly happy with anything being presented here. Cheers! — RB Ostrum. 02:54, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
  • With all due respect, may I remind you what you said above: People seem to forget or overlook the reality of the case. So what's the "reality" and what are your sources for telling us exactly what to believe? Is it really reality or your reality? Sadly for some, if its not in a book or on the internet - then it doesn't exist.
Next, you seem to be making an effort to assign me actions I have not taken. If you refer to the WP Bruno Richard Hautpmann page, you will absolutely beyond all doubt see that I have not engaged in what WP defines as "Original Research." Next, what I have choosen to footnote are primary sources, something which WP says is perfectly allowable. Your position seems to be that if someone were to cite a random book then it would be more preferable then a NJSP Report concerning the actual event. I do not intrepret the WP rules to mean this - quite the contrary. You cannot get any more neutral then citing the actual report concerning an event then, based upon what it contains, letting the chips fall where they may.
While some things I have mentioned on this discussion page may be challengable as "Original Research" I only mention them here to counter a flawed postion. To exemplify the difference consider this.... I fixed the part of the page where it once said Hauptmann had the gun when robbing the women in 1919 because he didn't. It's not my opinion, theory, speculation, or otherwise - its the truth based upon the actual documents themselves - I didn't write the actual Arrest Records or Court Documents. The problems arise because certain Authors have chosen not to do source material research covering certain facts, therefore, their sources (if any even exist) are not reliable. Then the "fact" that never happened gets repeated over and over again and again because everyone follows their lead instead of double checking or researching it themselves. If you want to know why everyone believes Hauptmann had the gun and robbed two women with infants in tow I can explain, but at the risk of being reprimanded, (even on this venue where it is allowable) its not worth it to me and really wasn't my goal in the first place as I've already stated.
Next, "Archival Research" is this: First one finds an Archive that has historical source material regarding this Case. Once there, you review and research that documentation. I started to research in this way because I was following up information found in books. Once I did, I discovered much to either be in error, or a flat out fabrication. Simply because someone has been published doesn't mean the information in that publication is reliable. I've learned long ago that seeing an actual Police Report trumps listening to what someone (who wasn't there) has to say about the events covered within that report.
Which brings me to your next observation.... What exactly about my footnotes do you have a problem with? I've checked the WP page to which you referred me and don't agree with your personal assessment about them. I am more then happy to spoon feed anyone anything they need in order to accept the Official Police Reports, Statements, Documents, etc. etc. What is it you would like to see here? Should I say which Archive they come from? I have each and every document I footnote so if you'd like I could scan them to you. Shall I do that to get your approval before I use them? I do see a problem with my footnote on the Gaston Bullock Means page though. You see, the only place I have ever found this trial transcript was through a Collector who sold me Prosecutor Rover's copy. And so I got it out of my filing cabinet, and have no idea where it might be located elsewhere. If that disqualifies the citation feel free to remove it, I only posted it because it said (citation needed) in the page and I had the only one I know of. M. Melsky (talk) 20:58, 3 August 2011 (UTC)
  • The "reality" I was referring to above was simply that Hauptmann was convicted by a jury of his peers for murder. That's all I meant though, in retrospect, my comments were not as clear as they might have been. As for whether or not not that decision was correct, I have no particular opinion at all.
You commented that "Sadly for some, if its not in a book or on the internet - then it doesn't exist." I agree with you on that point and it's not my personal perspective on things in general. The problem arises from WP policy that requires the use of reliable, published sources of information. That tends to delimit what gets referenced on WP sometimes to the detriment of an article.
As for OR, I didn't say that you had engaged in it on this page. I was simply pointing out the possibility and reminding you that it's important to avoid doing so. As I said earlier, it can be an issue for those who are experts on a topic simply because they have done OR as part of their efforts to learn about a topic.
Primary sources can be great as references and I agree with your comment that things like the original NJSP Report is a great resource. So long as the information can be verified, then it's perfect. WP certainly permits the use of primary sources but there are some caveats to keep in mind when doing so. For example, see scholarship which says, in part, "Articles should rely on secondary sources whenever possible. For example, a review article, monograph, or textbook is better than a primary research paper. When relying on primary sources, extreme caution is advised: Wikipedians should never interpret the content of primary sources for themselves. See Wikipedia:No original research." So, if you can reference the original actual Arrest Records or Court Documents, then please do so. In that regard, your description of "Archival Research" is what I thought you meant. There is nothing wrong with such research and obviously there is much to be gained. But anyone doing this has be extremely careful not to produce or post 'original research'. Again, I'm not saying that you have done this — just pointing out the need for care in the approach. Quotations, excerpts or paraphasing from such documents are entirely fine so long as they reflect the original document content and, in that regard, I'm sure you've been quite careful and accurate.
I'm not sure what you mean by references to a 'random' book but WP requires publication of source information. I agree that some references are better than others but, if something has been published by a third-party, then people can reference it. That's the way it works. At the same time, if information hasn't been published (or is self-published), then it can't (or shouldn't) be used. Please note that I don't know if any of that applies to any of your references — in fact, I suspect it doesn't apply.
I appreciate your comment about countering a flawed position (and I like your example) but, unfortunately, OR is not justified for any reason whatsoever. As I said earlier, that particular policy can be a pain but it is what it is. As an alternative, if the information in the article is incorrect or misleading, then you have three options. If it's unsupported by any reference you can challenge it or delete it outright. If it's supported then you must find a counter-factual reference. But resorting to OR isn't an acceptable option.
The problematic aspect of the footnotes you provided (which I suspect will be easy to rectify) is the need to permit others to verify the information. You don't have to spoon-feed anyone but the requirement is to provide sufficient information about the reference so that someone else can verify the info. In the usual WP twist, it doesn't mean that people will actually do it but they have to be given enough info to permit it. The type of documents you have mentioned seem like they would be difficult to find (and I commend you for doing so in the first place) but that creates more need for detail about where they reside. At the same time, I don't think this would take very much beyond what you've provided. In fact, I suspect it would only require more info about the physical location of the documents since I assume they are the originals. Alternatively, if they have been published somewhere, then there should be some reference that permits them to be accessed.
By way of an example, your first reference was "Cpl. William F. Horn, NJSP, September 25, 1934" which I can assume comes from some police report but I don't have any idea which one nor where it might be found should anyone want to verify it. I don't really know what it needs to achieve this but I would guess there might be a specific report or accession number which together with a location (NJ State Archives?) would make verification possible. You will know better than me what information is actually needed to permit someone to access the report(s).
As an aside, you certainly don't need my (or anyone else's) approval to post something. I'm just trying to avoid unnecessary conflicts or challenges should any other editor wonder about something you post.
The fact that you personally have the documents doesn't help, and may complicate, matters. It's the location of the original documents that counts. If you have the only originals, then I'm not sure how it would work because that seems to cross over into 'original research' again (though I could be wrong about that). Again, I am not trying to annoy you nor cause difficulty for you or anyone else. In fact, I'm trying to avoid problems.
I have absolutely no opinion about the contentious issues relating to the topic. I believe that the historical record is the historical record and that should be the starting point for the page. I acknowledge that there may be very good and valid reasons to challenge that record, but I think it will be very difficult to do so while adhering to WP policy simply because I don't know how you can do it with resorting to OR in some form. But that's just my opinion and it certainly doesn't mean that it can't be done. BTW, I would love it to be proven wrong in that regard. I definitely look forward to your posts on this topic. Cheers! — RB Ostrum. 01:06, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
  • Thank you for the discussion and I will fix the footnotes to address the points you have made soon. We may or may not be at loggerheads, regardless, its a healthy situation to exist in order to achieve the goal we both wish to see. I will ask you as a favor to watch what I do then if it turns out to be something you do not agree with by all means let me know so that it can be remedied. M. Melsky (talk) 11:38, 4 August 2011 (UTC)
  • I don't really think we're opposed to one another at all; I'm quite sure we both want the topic to be shown in a balanced light in accordance with Wikipedia:NPOV. Discussion is always good even if it takes a while to work through the details (I can't say that these types of posts are the easiest mechanism when the points are either subtle or potentially negative). I do look forward to seeing any information you can add to the topic and I'm sure the end result will be excellent. I will, of course, comment if something seems out of sorts or debatable from the perspective of WP policy. — RB Ostrum. 15:00, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Lindberg kidnapping article covers the trial, Hauptmann article should be about him[edit]

The article has had a vast amount of detail about the evidence in the trial and subsequent theories added. As the kidnapping has its own article which covers the trial it just confuses matters to have another, lengthy and different version. It seems this article is cycling through being used to put a countervailing to that expressed by the legal process and the main Lindberg kidnapping article and then the opposite once someone adds blocks of text to contradict that view. As a result it is much too long, detailed and hard to read. It should be enough to briefly summarize the evidence that convicted Hauptmann in a court of law (and subsequently prevented that verdict being overturned) and to mention that some maintain he was wrongfully convicted.Overagainst (talk) 21:35, 4 May 2011 (UTC)


This page includes [[Category:American people of German descent]]. Was Hauptmann an American citizen? If not than he is a German person of German decent living in America, not an American of German decent. --Zaiger (talk) 18:14, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

Alternative last words.[edit]

There was a Readers' Digest (yes, not the most reliable or objective of resources) story about this in the 1960s. In it, BH's words immediately after being sentenced to death are claimed to be something like "little bits of paper, little pieces of wood". (talk) 09:12, 11 July 2012 (UTC)


The title should be Richard Hauptmann as this was how he was known to his family and friends. PatGallacher (talk) 02:09, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

John Knoll and "Nova"[edit]

The Nova episode detailing the kidnapping and the accomplices, and one probably being John Knoll (Cemetery John)? Its amaxing. Is it worth mentioning in the article? --2600:100F:B122:182:0:24:169A:CA01 (talk) 10:34, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

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