Pioneering pilot Charles A. Lindbergh and his wife, heiress Anne Morrow Lindbergh, were among the most famous couples in America. Seeking privacy, the Lindberghs built a mansion in the isolated woodlands of central New Jersey where they lived with their 20-month-old son Charles Jr. and a small domestic staff.
On the night of March 1, 1932, Charles Jr. was kidnapped from his nursery. A handwritten note left at the scene demanded a $50,000 ransom. Under relentless public scrutiny, the Lindberghs complied with the ransom demands, but on May 12, the child’s remains were found two miles from their home.
German immigrant Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested and convicted for the crime amid a frenzy of biased media coverage. Hauptmann maintained his innocence until his execution in 1936.