The Lindbergh Baby | Who Kidnapped and Killed Charles Lindbergh III
Yet Ahlgren and Monier aren’t alone. In January, Atlantic Monthly Press published Lindbergh: The Crime, an account of the case by Noel Behn, the best-selling author of Kremlin Letter and The Brink’s Job. According to Behn, who says he obtained access to Governor Hoffmann’s papers during the eight years he spent researching his book, the child was killed by one of Anne Lindbergh’s close family relatives. “A cover-up,” he says, “was orchestrated by Lindbergh.”
In the meantime, Ahlgren and Monier have received letters and calls from the descendants of domestic help and bluecollar workers from around Hopewell. Most, like the daughter of an airplane mechanic, claim that their parents had told them over the years that Lindbergh was somehow involved in the death of his son. “Every time the subject of Hauptmann came up,” the woman wrote, “my dad would say, ‘They killed an innocent man. Lindbergh did it.’ ”
They know the case may never be resolved. “When I lay awake at night,” says Monier, ”I’d like a better resolution. There are just too many unanswered questions.”
Ahlgren believes they could get an indictment against Lindbergh based on their research. “But I don ‘t know if we could get a conviction,” he says.
Monier agrees: “You’d be taking on a giant.”
Still, both have come to look at their own roles in the criminal justice system in a new light. “For me,” says Ahlgren, “it has to do with Hauptmann’s prosecution. I realize the legal protections we have today aren’t that old, and they’re not necessarily here forever.”
“The other side,” says Monier, “is that police officers have a tough job to do, and we have to do it carefully if we don’t want guilty people to go free.” Beyond that, he adds, “I think my perceptions of how we look at historical figures has changed. I realized that the last chapter on a public figure is never fully complete.”