Reported in the News Letter on April 4, 1936: Hauptmann executed for Lindbergh baby murder

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Bruno Hauptmann, the German carpenter who kidnapped and murdered the Lindbergh baby, was executed at 8.41 o’clock yesterday evening. He made no confession.

Thus, at last, justice was done.

Hauptmann was electrocuted in the presence of fifty-five witnesses – mainly journalists. He was attended by two clergymen and had to walk only a few paces from his cell to the death chamber.

At 8.41 Hauptmann was taken into the death cell. He was pale and weak. Within half-a-minute he was strapped into the chair, and the executioner, Elliott, adjusted the electrodes and placed the cap, which had been soaked in brine, on his shaven head.

The condemned man did not speak. He was given three electric shocks, and at 8.47 the prison physician pronounced: “This man is dead.”

The straps were quickly loosened from Hauptmann’s body, and guards carried it into the autopsy room.

Col Kimberling, the prison warder, discussing with reporters the condemned man’s last moments, said: “There really is not much to say. Hauptmann made no request, no confession. He had not lost his courage. But at no time did he smile.”

Col Lindbergh’s infant son was kidnapped on March 1, 1932. A note demanding 50,000 dollars ransom was left on the window sill of his nursery. A month later the money was paid to a person named “John” in the Bronx Cemetery. The child however was not restored to his parents. On May 12 the body was found a few miles from Colonel Lindbergh’s residence.

On September 19, 1934, Hauptmann paid for some petrol with a note that had formed part of the ransom. Other notes were found hidden in his garage.

On February 13, 1935, Hauptmann was convicted of the murder of the child, and was sentenced to death.