The Kidnapping That Shook The World
How Charles Lindberg’s fame led his tragedy to become a global sensation
Charles Lindbergh was your ordinary individual — a young boy with the dream of becoming a pilot. He was born in Detroit, Michigan, and spent most of his childhood in Washington, D.C. He wanted to join the United States Army Air Force but was turned down because they weren’t in need of pilots. So, he began to fly as an airmail pilot instead. Little did he know that he would soon become a worldwide celebrity. In 1927, he became the first person to single-handedly fly nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean, landing himself a place in history. Unfortunately for Lindbergh, this wouldn’t be the last time his name surfaced the news worldwide. On March 1, 1932, Lindbergh’s world came crashing down.
The night of March 1 Lindbergh’s 20-month old son, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., was kidnapped from their home in Hopewell, New Jersey. The child’s nurse, Betty Gow, had realized the boy was missing from the nursery, and immediately reported it to the couple. The police were called and a search was conducted. They discovered muddy footprints in the nursery leading to the window where a ladder leaned against the wall of their home and a ransom note demanding $50 000 left in his place. The unimaginable had occurred — the little boy had been kidnapped.
The search for the boy began. The kidnapper was clean-cut leaving only traces of mud on the floor of the nursery. Not a single fingerprint or a bloodstain was found. Even the footprints that were initially photographed turned out to be immeasurable. Soon after, the news of the kidnapping had spread worldwide causing a global panic. Random people reached out to help, offering clues that turned out to be fake. Investigators were exhausted — their efforts were yielding nothing. Police were now left with no other choice — they had to pursue the ransom note.