On a riveting edition of After Hours AM/The Criminal Code — True Crime, Wednesdays 9-11pE with hosts Joel Sturgis, Eric Olsen and secret weapon, forensic psychologist Dr. Clarissa Cole — we explore the still-controversial kidnapping and murder of the young son of Charles Lindbergh in 1932, with author and defense attorney Greg Ahlgren, whose classic CRIME OF THE CENTURY: THE LINDBERGH KIDNAPPING HOAX (co-written with Stephen Monier) broke shocking new ground when it was first published in 1993. We speak with Greg at 10pE; at 9pE, Clarissa leads us through the week’s top True Crime news.
CRIME OF THE CENTURY: THE LINDBERGH KIDNAPPING HOAX
In 1927, Lindbergh was the first to fly solo across the Atlantic in his Spirit of St. Louis. By 1932, he was perhaps the most famous man alive. After it was announced that the twenty-month old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh had been abducted on March 1, 1932, the entire world grieved for their loss. Seventy-two days later, the boy’s body was found in the woods next to a roadway, a short distance from Lindbergh’s house, near Hopewell, New Jersey.
Deferred to as a great American hero, Lindbergh was allowed to be the chief architect of the investigation into his son’s kidnapping. He demanded that the body be cremated without an autopsy. This book traces the two-and-a-half year investigation by the New Jersey State Police, headed by Colonel H. Norman Schwarzkopf, which led to the arrest, trial, conviction, and execution of Bruno Richard Hauptmann. It challenges the effectiveness of the investigation, and the evidence advanced by the prosecution, which convicted Hauptmann. It also details the role that Mr. Lindbergh played in the investigation. More importantly, it dissects evidence previously overlooked of Lindbergh’s own role in his son’s disappearance, which, in combination with the authors’ expert analysis, leads to a new and bold assertion as to who actually committed the “Crime of the Century.”
Best selling author Greg Ahlgren is a criminal defense lawyer in Manchester, New Hampshire. He has been a criminal justice professor, a state legislator, a political activist, and has appeared as a frequent guest on both national and regional television and radio shows on true crime and historical issues. His books include the Civil War novel FORT FISHER: THE BATTLE FOR THE GIBRALTER OF THE SOUTH, alternate history time-travel novel PROLOGUE, the international thriller THE MEDICI LEGACY, and together with Stephen Monier he co-authored the true crime book CRIME OF THE CENTURY: THE LINDBERGH KIDNAPPING HOAX.
Prior to CRIME OF THE CENTURY’S publication in 1993, many commentators on one of America’s most famous crime had questioned Hauptmann’s guilt, but had been unable to offer a cogent alternative hypothesis. Combining their respective expertise as a criminal defense lawyer and a seasoned police investigator, Ahlgren and Monier were the first to theorize that perhaps there had been no stranger abduction and that the “kidnapping” had been hastily concocted to mask a domestic tragedy. Controversial at the time of the book’s original publication, this theory has now gained widespread acceptance as a plausible explanation of the Lindbergh kidnapping case.
Recreationally, Ahlgren has been a licensed private pilot, an avid sailor, and a not-so-avid skier. To the pilot in the cockpit of that American Airlines 727 trying to land at Albany directly behind him on a beautiful summer afternoon in 1976, he wants you to know that your eyes did not deceive you.
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