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Lindbergh Case Paperback – September 1, 1994

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fisher, a former FBI agent, teaches criminal justice at Edinboro University in Pennsylvania. Refuting those who claim that Bruno Richard Hauptmann was framed, the author presents a convincing case that he was guilty of the kidnap-murder of 20-month-old Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. In this well-documented study Fisher thoroughly covers the case, from the night the baby was taken from his home in Hopewell, N.J., on March 1, 1932, to Hauptmann's execution on April 3, 1936. The author vivifies the people involved: the child's parents; eccentric Dr. Condon who paid the ransom to "Cemetery John"; the competing investigators; the charlatans who offered to ransom the baby for huge sums; etc. Although Fisher notes that the police made mistakes and that Hauptmann's defense was incompetent, he argues that evidence of the accused's guilt is overwhelming. Photos.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press; 0003- edition (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813521475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813521473
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,259,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 31 people found the following review helpful By jim crawford on September 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
No matter what else one may think about this work, Fisher's book deserves to be read, if for no other reason than that it presents a thorough survey of the ''official evidence'' in the police files. Right at the beginning, he says that he believes Hauptmann to have been guilty, but then throughout the course of the book presents facts, among reams of other evidence, which indicate the distinct possibility that Hauptmann was innocent ---reasonable doubt at the very least. And, rather mysteriously in my view, he leaves out and/ or ignores crucial evidence from previously published authors like Anthony Scaduto and Ludovic Kennedy.
Boards in the Hauptmann attic, for example, which the government claimed were material from which the kidnappers' ladder was made, were disputed as legitimate evidence by defense experts, experts who never testified because Hauptmann's chief lawyer didn't bother to have them do so, quite possibly because of a continuous and severe lack of money with which to conduct investigations and cover witnesses' expenses.
Then again, defense fees were being largely covered by William Randolph Hearst, a fact which, given Hearst's record of suspiciously motivated involvement in other noteworthy national situations, should make any observer immediately cautious because it raises the distinct possibility of Hearst having been interested only in the publicity value of the case rather than in matters of guilt or innocence.
Further, Fisher ignores the dirty tricks alleged to have been undertaken by the prosecution and denigrates NJ Governor Harold Hoffman's attempts to save Hauptmann from death by having him admit his guilt.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Russell A. Rohde MD on October 23, 2007
Format: Paperback
"The Lindbergh Case", Jim Fisher, Rutgers Univ. Press, NJ, 1987 ISBN: 0-8135-1233-6, HC 430 pages plus 30 pages of Notes, Sources & Index plus 22 B & W photographs. 10 1/4" x 7 1/4".

Jim Fisher, lawyer, previous FBI agent and teacher of Criminal Justice, has chronicaled, rather tersely, the A to Z of the Lindbergh case using records not previously released until 1981, the NJSP records and the Hoffman papers, etc.

The author's writing style blends factual or verbatim quotations with a thoughtfully reconstructured conversational dialogue that admittedly departs from the purest journalism, but garners acceptance by utilizing adequate notes, etc. to effect a pleasant conversational style prose that makes reading almost effortless and ought not alter veridicality.

A lot of "loose ends" are tied or concluded, and many factoids are included so that much detail prevails that appeared lacking in previous books I've read on this case, some of them via Notes but others spelled out in great details, i.e. the details and results of the jury's many votings, the verdicts and setting & re-setting of execution dates, last minute appeals, etc. However, in the end, the reader like the author will find the evidence given to the jurors is compelling beyond a reasonable doubt. It is a long book and the print is small, but the intent, the evidence, and its presentation provides a cerebrally ambitious journey for the reader.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Clark Matthews on May 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Author Jim Fisher is a criminology professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and is a former FBI agent. He has produced what I think is the most thorough and comprehensive overview of all aspects of the Lindbergh case record. The result is a readable (not sensational) chronicle of virtually all the facets and personalities of this complex and still-baffling case.
"The Lindbergh Case" covers every aspect of the sensational 1932 kidnap/murder case and its aftermath, drawing extensively from public and non-public sources. I thought that Fisher evenhandedly examined all credible evidence remaining in the records. He says up front, however, that his conclusion is that Hauptman acted alone, planning the kidnap and cold-bloodedly killing Lindbergh's infant son for the ransom money.
I appreciated Fisher's candor. But just as much, any thoughtful reader will appreciate Fisher's inclusion of much evidence that flatly contradicts his conclusion, or at least points to reasonable doubts about Hauptman's sole guilt.
Fisher's evenhanded and thorough approach destroys today's most scurillous theory about the Lindbergh baby's death -- that Charles Lindbergh killed the baby himself. If the idea was ever seriously credible, the weight of the evidence for Hauptman and other conspirator(s) snatching the baby is overwhelming ... in fact, Fisher dutifully includes the account of a Jersey State trooper, who saw 2 sets of footprints leading away from the house in the mud before the yard was trampled. As I say, Mr. Fisher is thorough and honest in his reporting -- he concludes Hauptmann acted alone but includes ample data that render his conclusion inexplicable, or at least questionable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Justin berns on December 18, 2014
Format: Paperback
This is a perfectly adequate book. However, the author, in his haste to prove Hauptmann guilty, ignores exculpatory evidence and takes much artistic liberty with case records. Most importantly, it is never explained how a carpenter from the Bronx could drive at the very last minute to an incredibly hard to navigate area, find the Lindbergh home (which local investigators even had trouble finding), make his way across the property undetected (leaving no footprints towards the house) to the sole open window (which is left unlocked for reasons unexplained), climb up a shaky ladder, cross a two-foot window sill and two foot chest (with a suit case and a child's toy on it), cross the room which was essentially an obstacle course (wind screen, the child's dining set, etc), abduct the child undetected (he was known to everyone to be a screamer), leave a note, make his decent and then escape. All of this, mind you, took place on the only weeknight the child ever stayed at this home (a decision which was made only hours before). It's utterly impossible.

Every original investigator believed this to be an "inside" crime and at the very least, believed several people were involved. After all, while no footprints were found leading towards the house, a set of two were found leaving it. Hauptmann's arrest and securing his conviction required people to develop a case of amnesia in a staggering way.

Other things ignored:

- John Condon said Hauptmann was not the person he exchanged ransom with, until he was threatened to be charged as a conspirator, then he changed his story.
- No prints were found in the nursery. No partials. Nothing. Only a few of the child at low height levels. Even in places where witnesses testified they touched earlier that night.
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