MILITARY BOOKSHELF - 10

By MAJ Glenn MacDonald
U.S. Army Reserve (Ret.)

When we have done "theme" BOOKSHELVES in the past, it has met with a very favorable response. Well, lately there have been some excellent books published on what has been called "The Crime of the Century" - the kidnap- murder of the Lindbergh baby.

We try to bring you news and reviews of books that, while released by relatively small and in some cases little known publishing houses, deserve your attention. Such is the case with those volumes we recommend to you below.

Please buy these books, knowing that we won't waste your time (or money) on junk, or just because a major publisher dumps whatever stuff they have on us and expect to get a thumbs up.

It doesn't work that way.



"BENEATH THE WINTER SYCAMORES
AN ACCOUNT OF THE LINDBERGH KIDNAPPING"
By Jim Bahm
privately printed
(Amazon.com)

This is the best, and most intriguing, of the spate of Lindbergh case books we present to you this month.

In 1936, Bruno Richard Hauptmann was executed for the murder and kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby. He shuffled his way to the electric chair at Trenton State Prison without saying anything other than "I am not guilty of the crime I am charged with."

Prior to Hauptmann's execution, fellow death row inmate Arthur Jones befriended the German carpenter. In secret, Hauptmann confided the details of
his involvement in the kidnapping to Jones.

What he told him was shocking - others as part of a loosely organized ring, spirited the child into the dark, windy night of March 1, 1932. But why? What was the motive? And who were these conspirators?

In 1950, Arthur Jones handed a young prison guard a note containing this intimate information. The guard tossed it in his dresser drawer, where it would remain for fifty years.

Three New Jersey governors also buried this valuable information, not wanting to rehash the details to such a controversial and tragic event.

In 1999, author Jim Bahm took the note that was given to that prison guard - his father - and began writing a book on what has been called the infamous "Crime of the Century." For the first time, this information is brought to life in a creative non-fiction account.

We rate this book a full four-stars.


"A TALENT TO DECEIVE - WHO
REALLY KILLED THE LINDBERGH BABY?"

By William Norris
(www.synergebooks.com)
Columbia, Tenn. 38401

On a stormy night in 1932, Charles A. Lindbergh Jr., son of the world-famous aviation pioneer Charles Lindbergh, was kidnapped from his parents' home in New Jersey. The small child's body was discovered nearby some six weeks later after a nation-wide manhunt and world-wide expressions of sympathy and outrage.

It was labeled the "Crime of the Century."

In September 1933, a German carpenter named Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested, tried, and - three years later - executed for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby. There was only one problem with this: Hauptmann was innocent.

The identity of the real murderer has never before been revealed. After 15 years of research, William Norris has finally tracked him down, revealing the duplicitous behavior of Charles Lindbergh, who began by obstructing the investigation, and ended by sending Hauptmann to the electric chair on perjured evidence.

But why should Lindbergh, the great American hero, do such a thing? Who was he trying to shield and for what conceivable reason? The answers can be found in this book. It's a compulsive read for anyone who cares about the truth

A TALENT TO DECEIVE gets all four stars.


"THE SIXTEENTH RAIL - THE EVIDENCE, THE
SCIENTIST, AND THE LINDBERGH KIDNAPPING"

By Adam J. Schrager
(www.fulcrombooks.com)
Golden, CO 80403

The author is an investigative reporter and producer with WISC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Madison, Wisconsin. He has covered politics for more than twenty years and has won numerous journalism accolades, including more than twenty Emmy awards.

We tell you this, because the author of THE SIXTEENTH RAIL has just the type of background needed to probe the mystery of all mysteries, some 80-odd
years after it took place.

This book captures the true science behind the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and offers a fresh look at a crime that has baffled experts since 1932.

For the first time, forensic scientist Arthur Koehler's work in tracing the ladder used in the kidnapping to Bruno Richard Hauptmann is revealed. Award-winning journalist Schrager details Koehler's process in riveting fashion, making this book a must read for all fans of CSI and NCIS.

Three stars for this one.


"HAUPTMANN'S LADDER"
By Richard T. Cahill Jr.
(www.KentStateUniversityPress.com)
Kent, Ohio 44242

When Bruno Richard Hauptmann went to the electric chair in 1936 for the kidnapping and murder of the Lindbergh baby, almost all of America thought he was guilty. Only a few magazines and tabloids published articles questioning his conviction.

In the ensuing decades, many books about the Lindbergh case have been released. Some have declared Hauptmann the victim of a police conspiracy and frame-up, and one posited that Lindbergh actually killed his own son and fabricated the entire kidnapping to mask the deed.

Because books about the crime have been used as a means to advance personal theories, the truth has often been sacrificed and readers misinformed.

HAUPTMANN'S LADDER is a testament to the truth that counters the revisionist histories all too common in the true crime genre. The author
provides credible information and undistorted evidence that enables readers to form their own opinions and reach their own conclusions.

Cahill presents theories based upon facts and documentary evidence uncovered in his twenty years of research on this case. Using primary sources and painstakingly presenting a chronological reconstruction of the crime and its aftermath, he debunks false claims and explodes outrageous theories, while furnishing evidence that has never before been revealed.

Four stars for another great book by Kent State University Press.

 

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