Crime Investagation

The Lindbergh Kidnapping


On March 1, 1932, Charles Lindbergh Jr., the 20-month-old son of the famous aviator, was kidnapped. A envelope was left by the window that had a note asking for $50,000 ransom money, in deferent amounts of currency. The body was found two months later, by a trucker going to the toilet, a few miles from there home in East Amwell, New Jersey. A medical examination determined that the cause of death was a massive skull fracture. Over the period that the baby had been left there in the corn fields animals had eaten one it's legs and both hands.

Modus Operandi

For this criminal had only done one crime there was nothing to compare to for a pattern.


All the serial numbers were taken from all money that he received as ransom payment as later they found where was spent by tracking the circulation of the bills, authorities were led to Bruno Hauptmann, who was found with over $14,000 of the money in his garage. Hauptmann claimed that the money belonged to a friend.

To prove him guilty they used key testimony from handwriting analysts matched his writing to that on the ransom notes.

Additional forensic research connected the wood in Hauptmann's attic to the wood used in the make-shift ladder that the kidnappers built to reach the child's bedroom window. Hauptmann was convicted and executed in 1936.

Handwriting analysts, Wood traces, Tracking the circulation of the bills

Forensic handwriting examination



The first step is to analyze the known writing sample (exemplar) and the unknown writing sample for distinctive characteristics. The examiner looks for unique qualities such as letter and word spacing, letter and word slant, size and proportionality of letters, unusual formations of letters, flourishes and other individual attributes.


The next step in the ACE process is to compare the differentiating elements from the known sample to those of the unknown sample. The examiner considers spelling, grammar, punctuation and phraseology as well.


The final step is to evaluate the similarities in the known and unknown samples. While differences are a good indication of a nonmatch, no single similar characteristic, no matter how unique, can determine a match. Therefore, all the likenesses must be considered. Because no formal guidelines exist for how many similarities constitute a match, the examiner must make that judgment in the context of each particular case.


Specialized Light Sources, Magnifiers and MicroscopesCameras, Flat Copy Lenses, Overhead Projectors and Transparencies, Protractors and Metric Measuring Devises, Electrostatic Detection Devices, Computers

Forensic Ink Analysis
Handwriting Analysis Evidence: "Document Examination" 1969 FBI Training Film 12min


Hauptmann was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death. He was executed by electric chair at the New Jersey Sate Prison on April 3, 1936, at 8:44 in the evening. Hauptmann proclaimed his innocence to the end.