March 4, 2007
More than seven decades after his execution for committing "the crime of the century," Bruno Richard Hauptmann still has his defenders and sympathizers.
by Lona Manning
As Bruno Richard Hauptmann counted down the days to his execution at the State Prison in Trenton, N.J., his wife Anna went on the lecture circuit, asking her fellow German immigrants to donate to the Hauptmann defense fund. Her husband was not guilty of the "Crime of the Century," she pleaded -- he had not kidnapped and murdered the little Lindbergh baby.
Many checks were mailed directly to Hauptmann at the Death House. He realized that the donors who sent only one dollar didn't necessarily believe in his innocence, they wanted him to endorse the check so they could have the autograph of the man condemned for killing the child of the world-famous aviator, Charles Lindbergh.
But he's acquired a host of new supporters in the decades since he died in the electric chair. Conspiracy theories abound about the Lindbergh kidnapping case, and many people unfamiliar with – or dismissive of – the evidence, believe Hauptmann was framed.