March 1 - 1932 - The Kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr.
When the 20 month old Charles Lindbergh, Jr. was taken from the crib in his upstairs bedroom, the crime was destined to become the "Crime of the Century."His father was perhaps the most famous man in America, the aviator Charles Lindbergh. Initially, the clues led to a variety of possibilities, but then a kidnapper was revealed to be seeking the ransom through a random intermediary. Once a man known only as "Cemetery John" received $50,000 in ransom money, the case went cold. Over two years later, a gold certificate that was part of the ransom money was traced to a German immigrant named Bruno Richard Hauptmann. Hauptmann was found to have a large chunk of the ransom money in his possession, as well as many things that pointed to him being Cemetery John. After being handed to New Jersey authorities, Hauptmann was tried in what become known as the "Trial of the Century," after which he would be sentenced to death and executed. The kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby would remain the most significant criminal case in America for decades.