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Victim or Villain: Did Charles Lindbergh Stage His Own Baby's Kidnapping?

Theory: Lindbergh Faked Kidnapping After Experiment Killed Son
Source: FBI

A new theory gaining ground among historians suggests aviator Charles Lindbergh volunteered his son for medical research and staged a kidnapping to cover up the baby's death.

Mar. 3 2024, Published 12:00 p.m. ET

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A new theory surrounding the infamous Lindbergh baby kidnapping of the 1930s claims that aviator Charles Lindbergh may have volunteered his child for medical research, staging the abduction to conceal the baby's death.

Advocating for this provocative idea is a true crime author and retired judge, who passionately argues that an innocent man was wrongly executed for the crime.

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The case, which captivated the nation, officially closed with the conviction of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, an immigrant from Germany living in New York illegally.

Decades later, a new narrative emerges, championed by respected historians in the Bay Area, proposing a macabre twist to the Lindbergh saga, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Lise Pearlman, the retired judge and acclaimed true crime author, contends that crucial leads were overlooked, witnesses likely perjured themselves and vital evidence was withheld from Hauptmann's defense.

Pearlman's assertion centers on Lindbergh orchestrating the kidnapping, urging New Jersey authorities to release archived evidence that could corroborate her claims.

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Charles Lindbergh, celebrated as "Lucky Lindy" for his solo trans-Atlantic flight in 1927, and his wife, Anne Morrow, captured the world's attention with the birth of their son, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, in 1930.

The toddler's disappearance from their Hopewell home in 1932 triggered a nationwide hunt, with ransom notes escalating demands.


The case took a grim turn when the child's remains were discovered, brutally mutilated, indicating a violent death. Hauptmann's eventual arrest was spurred by the tracing of ransom money and circumstantial evidence, culminating in his conviction and subsequent execution.

Pearlman's theory diverges drastically, implicating Lindbergh in a sinister plot involving underground medical experimentation.

She suggests Lindbergh, influenced by his advocacy of eugenics, entrusted his son to Nobel laureate Alexis Carrel for dubious research purposes. According to Pearlman, the child may have undergone fatal procedures as part of a chilling medical experiment.

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This hypothesis, supported by medical literature and photographic evidence, claims that Lindbergh was complicit in his son's demise, fabricating the abduction narrative to conceal his involvement.

While Pearlman's theory is novel, it echoes previous speculations regarding Lindbergh's role in his son's tragic fate, as detailed in the 1993 book "Crime of the Century: The Lindbergh Kidnapping Hoax."

In revisiting this notorious case, Pearlman challenges conventional wisdom, prompting a re-evaluation of one of America's most enduring criminal mysteries.


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