Testimony of Bessie Gow

BESSIE MOWAT GOW  called as a witness in behalf of the State, being first duly sworn, testified as follows:

Direct examination by Mr. Wilentz:

 Q. I think you just stated, Madam, that your name was Bessie is it Mowat, M-o-w-a-t?
 A. Yes.
 Q. Now residing in Scotland, are you not?
 A. I am now residing in Englewood, New Jersey.
 Q. Well, you are visiting Englewood?
 A. Yes.
 Q. You are living in Scotland?
 A. Yes.
 Q. You had been in the Colonel's employ how long?
 A. Since February 25, 1931.
 Q. In what capacity were you employed by the Lindbergh family?
 A. As a nurse maid.
 Q. How old was he {Charles, Jr.} when you came to work there?
 A. Eight months, I believe.
{Miss Gow had remained at Englewood, as she normally did, when the Lindberghs went to Hopewell for their weekends. She was called on March 1st at 11:00 a.m. to come down; after arriving, she assumed her regular duties of caring for the baby.}

Mr. Wilentz: Just a minute, Miss Gow. If your Honor please, do you suppose we would be imposing very much if we attempted to get a little less noise outside? I don't know as the jurisdiction extends to the sidewalk, but we
The Court: Well, we will try, we will certainly try, Mr. Attorney General.

{The judge sends a deputy out with a message for the Sheriff to quiet the crowd outside.}

 Q. ... from that time on, will you please recount the events?
 A. About quarter of six, I should say, the baby came running into the kitchen, ran around the table several times and spoke to Elsie. I took his hand then, took him upstairs for supper. I left him in his room for, oh, one minute, not as long as it took me to get his cereal from the kitchen. Came upstairs again; gave him his supper....Mrs. Lindbergh came into the nursery...We undressed him and just as he was about ready for bed I decided to give him some physic. In taking this he spilt some over his nightclothes. I undressed him again and decided that I would have time to make him a proper little flannel shirt to put on next his skin.... Mrs. Lindbergh played with the baby while I cut this little shirt out. I stitched it up very hurriedly and put it on the baby after having rubbed him with Vicks.
 Q. And can you tell from this piece of clothing which I give you whether or not any of this was the garment that you used by looking at it?
 A. Yes, this is the exact garment that I used.
 Q. When you say this is the exact garment that you used, do you mean that that is a part of the cloth that you used?
 A. Yes.
 Q. The rest of it you used for the baby's shirt?
 A. Yes.
 Q. Now I show you Exhibit S-13 and ask you whether or not you have seen this since the finding of the child's body?
 A. I have.
 Q. And what is S-13?
 A. This is the exact little shirt I made for the baby that night.
 Q. And this was the shirt worn by that child that night when it was taken out of that house?
 A. It was.
{Mr. Wilentz then has Miss Gow affirm the thread used in the shirt, a matching piece of seam trimmed off, and a thumb protector and the method of affixing it to the bed clothes.}
 Q. Well, finally the child was ready for bed, I take it, and you left the room?
 A. Yes, the child was ready for bed, I put him in his bed, Mrs. Lindbergh and I went around the windows, closed the shutters, we closed all the shutters tight except the one at the window, the southeast window; this one we couldn't quite close, it had evidently warped, so we closed it as best we could and left it that way.
 Q. Now, that was about what time, then, that you left?
 A. This was about half past seven.
 Q. Was the baby in its crib?
 A. Yes.
 Q. And I suppose you pinned the blanket and the upper bedclothes to the mattress?
 A. To the mattress.
 Q. Now then, it was about what time that you left the room?
 A. I left the baby's room for the last time at about eight o'clock; I remember distinctly looking at my watch.
 Q. ... All right, now eight o'clock and you are coming downstairs. What happened downstairs while you were down?
 A. On my way to the kitchen I passed through the living room
The Court: Mr. Attorney General, are you having any difficulty hearing the witness?
Mr. Wilentz: Well, I am not having so much difficulty with the witness, except that the noise is leaving me in an absolute fog, if your Honor please. I am just bewildered with it.
The Court: I think these noises, the shouting that is going on under these open windows is very detrimental to the conduct of this trial. There ought to be some way for the local authorities here to control this situation.
Mr. Wilentz: May I suggest, if your Honor has no objection and the defense has no objection, that we ask Colonel Schwartzkopf to have some of his men help us?
The Court: I think that ought to be done. We will wait here and see if conditions can't be improved.

{Miss Gow proceeded to the West wing where she, along with the Whatelys, had their supper.}
 Q. And that was until about what time?
 A. That would be about half past eight. We heard Colonel Lindbergh's car coming in; he passed through the kitchen and spoke to me in passing. I told the condition of the baby.
 Q. And how long did you remain in the dining room?
 A. I imagine about twenty minutes to half an hour.
 Q. Now, during that time was Mrs. Whately within your sight?
 A. She was.
 Q. And from time to time how about Mr. Whately?
 A. I saw him also.
 Q. And what time did you finally leave the downstairs quarters?
 A. I believe about nine o'clock.
 Q. By the way, before we get upstairs, when you were downstairs, did you see the dog?
 A. I did.
 Q. Where was it?
 A. He was with me, in our sitting room.
 Q. And he was there when you left?
 A. Yes, as I recall he was.
 Q. So that he was there during the entire period that you were there that hour or so?
 A. Yes.
{Upon going back upstairs, Miss Gow and Mrs. Whately went to Mrs. Whately's room to look at a new dress and to gossip.}
 Q. How long did you remain up there?
 A. Until a few minutes before ten o'clock.
 Q. And then what happened?
 A. I looked at my watch and saw that it was almost ten o'clock. I said, "I must go to the baby." I immediately got up and walked along the upper passage to the baby's bathroom.
 Q. Well, you went into that bathroom and from there into the child's nursery?
 A. Yes.
 Q. When you got in there, what did you find?
 A. I didn't put any light up but let the door of the room open so that the light from the hall would come in. I crossed to the French window and closed it, plugged in the electric heater and stood for about one minute waiting for the room to lose its chill. I then crossed to the cot and bent over with my hands on the rail and discovered I couldn't hear the baby breathe. I bent down, felt all over him and discovered he wasn't there. I thought that Mrs. Lindbergh may have him. I went out of the baby's room into the hallway and into Mrs. Lindbergh's room. I met her or saw her coming out of the bathroom and asked her if she had the baby. She looked surprised and said no, she didn't. I said, "Well, where is the Colonel, he may have him." I said, "Where is he?" She said, "Downstairs in the library." I turned quickly and ran downstairs to the library where I saw the Colonel sitting at his desk reading. I said, "Colonel, do you have the baby?" He said, "No. Isn't he in his crib?" I said, "No." He ran past me upstairs and into the baby's room. I followed him and from there entered Mrs. Lindbergh's room. He didn't say anything. He ran into his closet, came out again with a rifle and all three of us went into the baby's room. He said, "Anne, they have stolen our baby."

Mr. Wilentz: Would you like to have a glass of water, Miss Gow?
 Q.... Now, Madam, then the Officers Wolfe and Williamson came in and what did you and the other, the ladies of the household do, while the officers were there?
 A. We sat in the sitting room downstairs. {Miss Gow, Mrs. Whately and Mrs. Lindbergh.}
 Q. Doing what?
 A. We didn't speak.
 Q. And for how long a period did that continue?
 A. Until Mrs. Lindbergh's friend arrived from New York, about an hour.
 Q. And all that time you mean that you ladies sat there in that room in silence?
 A. Certainly.

{Miss Gow, upon being summoned back to the child's room, saw the note being examined and also a dirty smudge on the sheets of the crib.}

 Q. Was the impression or the smudge of such a nature as to indicate what it was?
 A. A brownish muddy color.
 Q... And from that time on there were a great number of police officers and newspapermen and photographers and others in and about the premises; isn't that so?
 A. Yes.
 Q. And during one of those days, Miss Gow, did you find the thumb guard?
 A. I did.
 Q. Will you please tell us the circumstances of that discovery?
 A. I believe it was May 12th Oh, no, it was not about one month after the baby was stolen. It would be in the afternoon after lunch, Mrs. Whately and I were in the habit of taking walks down the driveway.
 Q. On the premises?
 A. On the premises. We walked down to the gate where the police were stationed, talked to them for a little while and on the way back I should say about one hundred yards from the gate we both noticed this object on the road. I recognized it immediately and picked it up.
 Q. Was it then in the same condition as it is today in this courtroom? Still knotted?
 A. Still knotted.
 Q... Well, finally, after April 1st, we get to May, and on the 12th day of May, 1932, Miss Gow, I take it you were still in the employ of Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh and a member of the household?
 A. Yes.
 Q. And while there, as the result of information given to you, did you go to some place to see the child?
 A. Yes.
 Q. Where did you go and with whom?
 A. I went to Trenton, I believe with, as I recall it, Detective Coar and Leon.
 Q. And when you got to Trenton, did you go to the morgue?
 A. I did.
 Q. Did you see a body there?
 A. I did.
 Q. Whose body was it?
 A. Charles Lindbergh, Jr.'s.
 Q. About how much did the baby weigh, if you will remember, about that time?
 A. As I recall, about twenty-six and a half pounds.
 Q. And about how tall?
 A. I should say about thirty-three inches.
 Q. That is as to his weight and height about the 1st day of March, 1932?
 A. Yes.
 Q. Thank you, Miss Gow, and that is all, except for the question that you came here from Scotland to testify, did you not?
 A. I did.

Cross examination by Mr. Reilly:

Mr. Reilly: Miss Gow, do you prefer to rest a minute?
 A. No, I am alright.

{The defense questions Miss Gow's credibility due to the State of New Jersey's paying her expenses to return for the trial. Mr. Reilly infers that she was paid above and beyond the costs of travel.}

{The defense also attempts, unsuccessfully, to link Miss Gow with a number of different people in an effort to infer her assistance in the disappearance of the baby.}
 


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