All-American hero Charles “Lucky Lindy" Lindbergh's baby boy was snatched from his crib on March 1, 1932, launching what is arguably the most famous manhunt of the 20th century.
In the frantic immediate aftermath of the kidnapping at their remote Hopewell, N.J., home, the 30-year-old pilot and his wife Anne discovered a chilling ransom note above a radiator - confirming their worst fears.
NOWHERE TO BE FOUND
Riddled with spelling mistakes and overall bad English, the letter demanded $50,000 in return for 20-month-old Charles Jr. Within an hour, cops swarmed the area looking for any clues that might lead them to the missing tot, who was nowhere to be found.
As time passed, the boy's family was besieged with offers of support from total strangers aghast over the tragedy suffered by the first man to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
Crime experts, politicians, astrologers, handwriting analysts and even jailed mob boss Al Capone got into the act. In the weeks that followed, two more ransom letters arrived.
In April, the case looked like it would come to a successful conclusion when someone provided instructions for delivering the ransom in exchange for information about where the boy could be found. But the lead turned out to be bogus. A month later, America was stunned by the news that the child's body had been found in a shallow grave a few miles from the Lindbergh mansion. His skull was crushed. He'd been murdered the night he disappeared.
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Some armchair investigators then theorized Lindbergh himself had killed his son because the boy was mentally disabled. Meanwhile, the hunt for the killer stalled until Sept. 18, 1934, when a marked bill from the ransom turned up at a gas station and led to German immigrant Bruno Hauptmann.
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