BRUNO RICHARD HAUPTMANN, the defendant, called as a witness in his own behalf, being first duly sworn, testified as follows:
Direct Examination by Mr.Reilly:
Q. You are the defendant in this action, is that correct?
A. It is.
Q. Where and when were you born?
A. 26th of November, 1899, Germany.
Q. What part?
Q. Did you go to school in Germany?
A. Yes. Eight years public school, and two years, two to three years, like a trading school.
Q. In the regular German school did you learn to write German in the regular German script?
A. I did.
Q. Did you learn to write any English in Germany?
Q. And after you left school, you say you attended a trade school. What trade did you study?
A. Carpenter trade and machinery.
Q. Were you apprenticed at any age?
Q. At what age did you begin to work?
Q. Where did you work?
A. In mine home town, Kamenz.
Q. Did you continue to work as a carpenter until the War broke out?
Q. How old were you when you went to War?
A. Seventeen and a half.
Q. And how many years did you serve in the Army?
A. One and three-quarter.
Q. During your service, were you wounded?
A. Slightly wounded, gassed.
Q. You were gassed?
A. (Nodding head.)
Q. When did you come out of the Army?
A. It was around Christmas time, '18.
Q. 1918, about a month after the Armistice, is that correct?
Q. Were you able to get any work at that time?
Q. Germany was in a very poor condition, wasn't it?
A. It was.
Q. Now, during the period of reconstruction in Germany, about 1919 and 1920, you were convicted of some offense there?
A. I was. The Spring time of 1919.
Q. And as a result of that did you serve any sentence?
A. Yes. In Beuthen, B-e-u-t-h-e-n.
Q. And afterwards you were paroled?
Q. When did you first attempt to enter the United States?
A. Summer time, 1930 23.
Q. You boarded a steamer did you not, as a stowaway?
A. I did.
Q. You were discovered on the ship and taken to Ellis Island?
Q. And returned to Germany?
Q. When did you next attempt to enter the United States?
A. I guess it was August the same year.
Q. You were caught again and returned to Germany?
Q. When was the third time?
A. November, the same year.
Q. You were successful that year and entered the United States?
Q. Did you find employment after entering the U.S.?
A. Yes. As a dishwasher in New York, down near the South Ferry.
Q. How long were you a dishwasher?
A. About a month and a half.
Q. How much were you paid a week?
A. Sixteen dollars.
Q. Where did you get a position after you left the restaurant?
A. A position as a mechanic with Washburn & Wild.
Q. Did you take a position after that as a dyer in a dying business?
Q. And after that as a machinist?
A. Yes, in Brooklyn.
Q. And each time you would try to improve your position: is that correct?
Q. Then did you finally obtain a position as a carpenter?
A. Yes. At Sixth Avenue and 40th Street.
Q. And did you receive a salary of approximately a dollar an hour?
A. Yes. Eight dollars a day.
Q. Now you were a professional carpenter, weren't you? You studied in Germany? You got, you say, as much as eight dollars a day for your services?
Q. Now when did you first meet the lady that afterwards became your wife?
Q. And her maiden name?
A. Anna Schoeffler.
Q. After meeting Miss Schoeffler, did you live in some house in Yorkville?
Q. And Yorkville is a German colony, isn't it?
Q. One of the men, when you came over on the different ships, was his name Albert Diebig?
Q. Then you and he lived together for a while, didn't you, at 154th Street?
A. Yes. Then to an apartment on 97th Street on the East side.
Q. While you were living on 97th Street, what were you working at?
A. I was working as a carpenter.
Q. Do you remember obtaining a position as a carpenter in Lakewood, New Jersey?
A. Well, I get this position through the newspaper in October, 1924.
Q. And did the position end the day before Christmas, 1924?
A. This position ended on Christmas Day.
Q. How much did you make a week on that job?
A. Around fifty dollar a week.
Q. Well, now, were you spending all the money you made or were you saving it?
A. I spent very little I say.
Q. About how much a week would you spend out of fifty dollars?
A. I say around twelve dollars.
Q. Did you open a bank account or did you keep the cash with you.
A. I opened right in the beginning a bank account, United States Bank, around the end of '20 or '23?
Q. When you were working as a carpenter in 1925 do you remember what your average wages per day were?
A. Well, I always get my union wages, this time I guess it was ten and a half dollar a day.
Q. Did you save some of that money every week?
A. I did.
Q. Then did you work for Heinselmann on East 9th St. until you were married?
Q. When did you and Anna Schoeffler marry?
A. The 10th of October, 1925.
Q. Now, at the point where you had come over to Lakewood, NJ as a carpenter in answer to the ad you came over to Lakewood, right?
A. No. I went to an address in New York and this gentleman he sent me over to Lakewood to construct a one-family house.
Q. And how many carpenters worked on that job?
A. Well, that was only Mr. Diebig and myself.
Q. Was Diebig a carpenter?
A. No, I took him along as a helper.
Q. And that job was finished Christmas 1924?
Q. After you married, where did you live?
A. First I live for about one or two weeks on 154th St. between 4th and Amsterdam Ave. After that I moved to 122nd St, Park Ave.
Q. Then how long did you work for a man named Olson?
A. This is around three or four years, sometimes they got to stop for month or two months, if there wasn't much work to do.
Q. Were you out of work very often during 1925 and 1929?
A. Not very often.
Q. Well, now, do you remember during 1928 and 1929 that you worked for someone Saturdays and Sundays?
A. Oh, yes. We built three houses after working time; that means after the usual working hours Saturday afternoon and Sundays.
Q. And how much did you make on the job at working overtime in your odd hours on those three houses?
A. Oh, it was approximate one thousand dollars.
Q. And how much of that did you save?
A. Well, I took some to the bank, and some of the money I always keep in the house. That is a habit I have.
Q. Do you remember how much you had in your house at the end of 1929?
A. I would say three thousand five hundred.
Q. In cash?
A. In cash.
Q. And was Anna working all the time until practically the birth of the baby?
A. Well, she worked all the time with the exception of two times she went to Jurope, to her home town, to visit her parents.
Q. How much did Anna make a week?
A. She makes about $20 or $25, I guess, and about eight dollars tips.
Q. About $30 or $33 a week. Did she save most of it?
A. Well we kept our household from the money from my wife. I used to save my wages.
Q. Now in March 1931 did you buy a Dodge four door sedan?
A. March 1931.
Q. How much did you pay for it?
A. $725 in cash. Brand new, but a 1930 model.
Q. And is that the car you had when you were arrested?
A. That is the car.
[Mr. Reilly has Mr. Hauptmann elaborate on his work record over the next few years, exhibiting his solid work ethic and carpentry skill. The Hauptmanns took an automobile trip to California in 1931, lasting about three months with their return in September or early October 1931. The return trip came via the South, including Florida. Mr. Hauptmann began working at the Majestic Apartments on March 15, 1932, quitting on April 2nd by his testimony.]
Q. What time did you go to work on April 2nd [a Saturday]?
A. I left the house at seven o'clock in the morning.
Q. And you worked until what hour in the afternoon?
A. We worked until five o'clock.
Q. And the Majestic Apartment is how many miles away from your home in The Bronx?
A. Pretty near eight miles, I figure.
Q. Now you heard the timekeeper from the Majestic Apartment testify that you did not work on April 2nd. Do you say positively that you did work on April 2nd?
Q. And you were paid for it?
A. Paid for it.
Q. And that you resigned on Monday[the 4th]?
A. I originally resigned on Saturday; on Monday I went down to try to get my pay check, but I get answer I got to wait till the 15th.
Q. Now you were supposed to get a hundred dollars a month, weren't you?
A. Supposed to get it.
Q. As a matter of fact all they gave you was eighty, and that is why you threw up the job, isn't it?
Q. So that on April 2nd, 1932, you worked for the Majestic Apartment the entire day until five o'clock at night?
Q. And you took what train home?
A. I used the Bronx Park subway. This takes me to 177th Street. There I have to change for White Plains.
Q. And the White Plains subway takes you how near to your house?
A. Well, I got to walk nine minutes to my house. It is about seven blocks.
Q. And about what time did you arrive home that Saturday night?
A. Around six o'clock.
Q. Do you recall the evening of April 2nd, 1932, after supper?
A. Well, when I came home, my wife was home already and around seven o'clock Mr. Kloeppenburg came in the house because this is usual our music evening is the first Saturday in every month.
Q. Now I want you to explain to the jury what you mean by the first Saturday of the month, music evenings; what did you do and what happened in your home?
A. Well, he was playing the guitar and I was playing the mandolin and we used to play together and enjoy ourselves for about an hour, hour and a half, to keep in practice.
Q. Any singing?
A. Of course singing too.
Q. And how late was this monthly gathering, when would it wind up?
A. Not before eleven o'clock, twelve o'clock altogether.
Q. Now on April 2nd, 1932, after you came home from work in the neighborhood of six o'clock, did you ever leave your home that night?
A. No, sir.
January 25, 1935.
BRUNO RICHARD HAUPTMANN resumed the witness stand.
Direct Examination (continued) by Mr. Reilly:
Q. The apartment from which you were arrested, what street was
A. 222nd Street.
Q. How long had you lived in that apartment?
A. Two years.
Q. You had nothing to do with building that house, did you?
A. Nothing at all.
Q. Now, the time you married your wife, did she have a bank account?
A. Yes, Central Savings Bank.
Q. And did she continue to deposit money in that bank?
Q. Do you remember the winter after you were married?
Q. Did you buy a lunchroom at 223rd Street and Lexington Ave.?
A. I did. From Albert Diebig.
Q. How much did you pay for that lunchroom?
A. Nine hundred dollar in cash.
Q. How long were you in business there with Diebig?
A. Only four, six weeks.
Q. Then did you sell it?
A. I sold it, yes.
Q. For how much?
A. Thirteen hundred.
Q. Made a profit of $400 on it, is that right?
A. That is right.
Q. Now at the end of 1929, including the mortgage of $3,750, how much do you say you were worth?
A. Approximately $9,000.
Q. What year did you enter the Wall Street market?
A. I guess it was the end of '29.
Q. And you bought and sold stocks right up to the time of your arrest?
Q. Now when did you meet Isidor Fisch?
A. Suppose the early part of March or the early part of April, 1932.
Q. Did he go anywhere with you in relation to Wall Street?
A. Well, used to go to Steiner-Rouse & Co. I didn't have any account with Steiner-Rouse this time; my account was by Charleton Mott & Co., Broadway. I watched the board at Steiner-Rouse.
Q. And by the board you mean the board in the office that shows the various changes in the quotations on the Stock Exchange?
A. That is correct.
Q. Did Fisch give you any money to buy stock?
A. Yes, he did.
Q. When was the first transaction that you recall Fisch giving you money?
A. It was, I guess it was around August '32.
Q. What business was Fisch in?
A. Fur trading.
Q. Did you afterwards become his partner?
A. Yes. I make it half and half. We kept it this way, he kept care of his line of business and I kept care of the stock.
Q. Did you advance him any money?
A. I give him $600.
Q. Did you ever receive any money from the fur business?
A. Small sums and large sums.
Q. What was the largest sum you say you received as your share in any one year from the fur business?
A. I guess the largest sums, over a thousand dollars.
Q. Do you remember when Fisch went to Europe?
A. I do. December, '33.
Q. And he never returned, did he.
A. No. He died.
Q. Before he sailed did he leave anything with you for you to take care of while he was in Europe?
A. He left two suitcases.
Q. What else?
A. Four hundred skins, Hudson seal.
Q. What else?
A. And a little box.
Q. The seal skins were purchased in your partnership between Fisch and yourself?
Q. And did you have those skins in your possession when you were arrested?
Q. And are they now in the possession of the New York City police?
A. I guess they are.
Q. Now this little box that you described, what kind of box was it?
A. Well, I find it later out it was a shoe box.
Q. Now will you describe to the jury under what circumstances it was that he left this shoe box with you?
A. Well, of Mr. Fisch request it was he was throwing a party when he left for Chermany, it was at his request in our house; we invited a couple of friends and about nine o'clock, Fisch came out and got a little bundle under his arm. I answered the doorbell, my wife was in the baby's room. He came out and we went in the kitchen and he said, "I leave it, I leave something, if you don't mind, keep care of it and put if in a tight place." I didn't ask what was in it, he only said that is paper in it. I thought maybe they are bills. I put it in a broom closet.
Q. And how long did that shoe box remain there before you disturbed it?
A. The middle of August, '34.
Q. And what caused you to disturb it?
A. I was looking for it was Sunday, it was nasty weather outside was looking for a broom. When I took the broom I must hit the box with the broom handle and I looked up and that way I saw that it is money. I damaged the box.
Q. And you saw money.
Q. What money did you see in that box?
A. Only gold certificates.
Q. About how much?
A. I didn't count it from the beginning.
Q. Is that the money that you afterwards started to spend?
A. That is the money.
Q. Is that the money that was found in your garage?
A. It is.
Q. And was Fisch dead at that time?
Q. How many satchels did he leave with you when he went to Europe?
Q. What did you do with those satchels after his death?
A. After his death, I opened the big satchel and searched it for bills. I couldn't find anything in there and I closed it again and left it in the garage.
Q. While Fisch was in Germany, did he write to you?
Q. I am now pointing to State's Exhibit 1, which shows the estate of Col. Lindbergh as of March 1st, 1932. Hauptmann, were you ever in Hopewell in your life?
A. I never was.
Q. On the night of March 1st, 1932, were you on the grounds of Col. Lindbergh at Hopewell, NJ?
A. I was not.
Q. On the night of March 1st, 1932, did you enter the nursery of Col. Lindbergh
A. I did not.
Q. and take from that nursery Charles Lindbergh, Jr.?
A. I did not.
Q. Did you leave on the window seat of Col. Lindbergh's nursery a note?
A. Well, I wasn't there at all.
Q. You never saw baby Lindbergh in your life, did you?
A. Never saw it.
Q. March 1st, 1932, you referred to here yesterday in a general way. Will you again tell the jury where you were from the time you got out of bed until you went to bed that night?
A. Well, I wake up about six o'clock, took the wife down to the bakery between half past six and a quarter to seven.
Q. Again, I ask you how many miles would you say it was from your home to the bakery?
A. A good mile.
Q. After Anna entered the bakery, where did you go?
A. I went right home, put the car in the garage, and went to White Plains Ave. subway station. I went to the Majestic Hotel.
Q. And when you arrived there, did you see anybody?
A. Well, I went to the carpenter shop. Of course, my tools was down there already. I took the tools down the day before and was going to start work. The foreman said, I got to see the superintendent first.
Q. Continue your movements.
A. When I saw the superintendent he said I can't start. Well, I showed him the letter from the agency. He said, "I am sorry, it is filled up." So I left the tools right in the Majestic and took the letter and went down to the employment agency where I got the job trying to get them ten dollars back what I paid for it. I couldn't get it them ten dollars and he said, "Come around next day, maybe something else coming in." And after that I went to other agencies and I went over to Radio City which was under construction, trying to get a job over there, but I couldn't. And I went home around five o'clock, maybe a little bit later or earlier, I don't know.
Q. What time did you go back and call for Anna?
A. I was there around seven o'clock.
[Mr. Hauptmann testified that he walked the owner's police dog and he and Anna ate supper, as usual, at the restaurant owned by the Fredricksons.]
Q. What time did you and your wife leave there?
A. Came before nine o'clock; it was after nine o'clock.
Q. Did you drive your wife home?
Q. What did you do?
A. I went home. Took the car in the garage, went right away to bed.
Q. And on March 2nd, 1932, what time did you get up?
A. The same time again, six o'clock.
Q. And did you and your wife go anyplace?
A. I took the wife down to the bakery. After that I took the car home in the garage again and went down to Sixth Ave. In entering the subway station, I read the paper and is the first time I read about the Lindbergh case.
[Mr. Hauptmann denies writing or mailing any of the additional letters,
as well as ever possessing the sleeping suit. Between March 1st and the
15th, he continues searching for a job, working on a daily basis at a lumber
yard near his home. He is finally allowed to start at the Majestic Apartment
on the 15th or 16th of March, 1932.
Mr. Hauptmann denies having any familiarity with Woodlawn Cemetery, including his presence there on March 12th, 1932, at the alleged meeting with Dr. Condon. The rough distance from his house is put at 40 to 50 blocks plus the width of the cemetery. He further denies ever having been at the frankfurter stand or the shack by the bench with Dr. Condon.
Mr. Reilly has the three sections of the ladder brought out.]
Q. Now, how many years, Bruno, have you been a carpenter?
A. About ten years.
Q. You have seen this ladder here in court, haven't you?
Q. Did you build that ladder?
A. I am a carpenter. (Laughter)
Q. Did you build that ladder?
A. Certainly not.
Q. Come down and look at it, please.
A. (Witness leaves witness stand and examines ladder.) Looks like a music instrument.
Q. In your opinion, does it look like a well made ladder?
A. To me it looks like a ladder at all, I don't know how a man can step up.
Q. Now did you take this ladder in your automobile or any automobile from the Bronx and convey it to Hopewell, NJ?
A. I never transported a ladder in my car.
[Defendant denies having any dealing with the ladder: construction,
conveying, or discarding. Likewise he denies owning the chisel. He additionally
denies being present at St. Raymond's Cemetery and receiving the $50,000
from Dr. Condon on April 2nd, 1932, the night when he played music with
Mr. Kloeppenburg, the first Saturday of the month.
Mr. Reilly re-addresses the shoe box with the gold certificates in it. The money had become thoroughly wet from a roof leak around a plumbing vent pipe; Mr. Hauptmann had complained about the leak ever since moving into the apartment. In describing the kitchen/broom closet, we find that the ice box, next to the closet, is not one of the new Kelvinators or Frigidaires, but the type holding a block of ice. The shoe box, due to about six months of sporadic wetting from the plumbing vent leak, was "practical falling apart."]
Q. Now, describe to the jury without any leading from me, please,
the condition of the money in the box as you saw it for the first time.
A. Well, I when I saw the money I took the box down and took it in a pail, because the water was running round my, down my arm in the sleeves, took it in the pail and carry it down to the garage.
Q. Well, was the money flat, rolled up, divided, or tell us more about the condition of it.
A. It was, it was bundle.
Q. Describe the bundle.
A. I guess it was four bundles in there. Dem, dem bundles was mostly mesh up, but must be wrapped in paper, not in thick paper, in thin wrapping paper, brown paper, and there was newspaper in the box too, I guess they wasn't filled up at all; it was empty space, there was some newspaper; I didn't look at the newspaper at all. I took the money out, squeezed the water out, put in the basket, loosened it a little bit, put it in the basket, and the rest, I mean the empty box and the paper I put in the garbage.
Q. All right. You took the money into the garage. What did you do with the money?
A. Put it in a basket and covered it up. And then laid the basket up on the ceiling so nobody could see it not exactly lay it on the ceiling. I put it on the upper shelf which reached the ceiling and put a nail and two strips in front of it and put another basket on top of the basket where the money was laying in.
Q. What was the condition of your account with Fisch when he sailed for Europe?
A. Well, when he sailed we made what you say a clean table because we didn't know where we are and so on and my account on the market was $12,000 and there was five thousand five hundred in Fisch's account.
Q. You say your account was $12,000. Explain what you mean by that.
A. The stock I got in possession was worth twelve thousand dollar. That was on the 25th or 26th of October, 1934.
Q. Well, did you owe anything on that $12,000 worth of stock or was that a margin?
A. No, that was actual money. The stock was worth more, but the rest was a margin.
Q. And how much of that $12,000 belonged to Fisch?
A. Only $2,500. The rest was my money.
Q. Now you knew, did you, that Fisch was dead when you found this money?
A. Yes, I knew.
Q. Now, after drying it, what did you do with it then?
A. When I took it down, I took a few of them and put in circulation.
[Mr. Hauptmann denies ever having been in Greenwich Village, at the Sheridan Square theatre and having purchased a ticket with one of the ransom bills.]
Q. In checking my notes during the noon recess I found that the
date I wanted to inquire about was November 26th, 1933, the date that Miss
Barr, I think her name is, says you passed in a five dollar Federal Reserve
Lindy bill to her window. I understand that you testified November 26th
is your birthday. Is that correct?
A. That is right.
Q. Now, have you a recollection as to where you were on the evening of November 26, 1933?
A. I was home, have a little birthday party at home there, a couple of friends present.
Q. Do you recall who was present?
A. Mrs. Miller, his little daughter, my wife, and a friend of my wife from her home in Germany and I.
[Next, Mr. Hauptmann uses memoranda he was allowed to make in jail from photostats of his accounts so as to better describe his finances.]
Q. Let's start with August 8th. Have you got that sheet there?
A. Yes, I got it in my hand.
Q. The entry of August 8th indicates a deposit, does it not, of Warner Brothers Pictures? Do you recall when you purchased that?
A. That was 51 of Warner Pictures I bought long ago, I guess about three quarters of a year ago. I didn't mark it all down here on the sheet when I bought it.
Q. Now you traded in the market back and forth, different stocks: is that right?
A. Well, that is with Steiner-Rouse & Co.
Q. And did you know the customer's man in Steiner-Rouse?
A. Yes, I do.
Q. Did you ask him for advice at different times as to what stock he thought was a good stock to buy or to sell?
A. Oh yes; that is the usual way you ask.
Q. Now, Bruno, on the question of cash that was deposited by you at any time in Steiner-Rouse, was there one dollar of that cash Lindy ransom money?
A. There was no Lindy money at all.
[Mr. Reilly proceeds to go item by item, ascertaining whence came the money for respective transactions, whether from Hauptmann's own money or from Fisch's contributions.]
Q. There was a good deal of trading in April ['33], wasn't there?
The purchases were about $10,000 and the sales were about $7,500, weren't
A. It is about, yes.
Q. Now on the 28th of April you deposited in cash, $2,500. Where did that come from?
A. In this month I bought for Mr. Fisch a hundred New York Central.
Q. Did he give you cash?
A. Always in cash...
Q. Now the trading was very heavy in May and June, buying and selling almost every day.
A. There was buying and selling every day.
Q. At the end of the month you had a balance of $7,973.72?
A. Debit balance, yes.
Q. That is what you owed the firm as against the stocks they were holding; correct?
A. That is correct.
Q. Now, during July, you did in that month about $49,300 worth of business on the books of Steiner-Rouse; is that right?
Q. Where you had done the month before $50,000?
Q. And you did in the month of August with Steiner-Rouse $75,000 worth of business, didn't you?
Q. And through sales and profits, with no cash placed into the account at all, [through the margin account.]
The balance stood as you and Fisch indebted to Steiner-Rouse on August 31st, $11,735.90, that you owed them.
A. Debit, yes.
Q. Then they were carrying quite an extensive block of stocks?
A. Yes, quite a lot. Fourteen different corporations.
Q. Now the 14 different blocks of stocks, were they holding 5,900 shares of stock in those 14 corporations?
A. I count 5,700.
Q. Is it correct that at the end of September, when the house struck a balance with you and Fisch, the balance, the debit balance had grown to $22,172.96?
A. That's correct.
Q. But no cash was placed in the account up to the 29th of September?
A. That's correct.
Q. The stock was carrying itself?
Q. In October, you began to sell?
Q. And your operations in buying and selling during that month?
A. It was $46,592.93.
Q. And your balance due the firm dropped from $22,000 to $6,000, right?
A. No. Balance dropped to $1,380.16.
Q. And the trading was quite active in November, was it not?
A. Well, I don't say so, quite active, compared with the last couple of months this was.
Q. Only did about $21,000 that month?
[Mr. Reilly comes back to the fact that the stock account was carrying itself, as no cash had been deposited in it from July '33 until February, when Mr. Hauptmann deposited $1350, which was in reality merely a replacement of a portion of a $1500 withdrawal he had made 10 days earlier as a loan to a friend.]
Q. So the account was carrying itself August, September, October,
November, December, January and February without the inclusion of a dollar
of your money except for the dividends I have referred to?
A. That is correct.
[The pattern continued, with no cash deposit required to cover the activity, reducing the debit balance in August '34 to a credit balance of $1,242.41, while also occasionally withdrawing money for living costs. The account was totaled and closed on September 14, 1934. Mr. Reilly moves to Mr. Hauptmann's bank accounts and follows the record from the time of the kidnapping. One interesting deposit, March 15, 1933 of $1,250: "That's the money when President Roosevelt called in all the gold certificates and the gold coin. I put in $750 in gold certificates and $500 in gold coin."]
Q. Now on March 25, 1933, I notice you had a balance of $2,528.35.
That money was transferred to Anna Schoeffler's account, wasn't it?
A. Yes. The reason was I got in an automobile accident in New York and I run over a man, but it was entirely not my fault. This man was standing behind the elevated post, the road was very slippery and in the same moment I was going to pass the elevated post and he was stepping right in front of me and he slipped and I went over his leg, and on account of that I was afraid. This gentleman happened to be a lawyer, and that is the reason I transferred the account to my wife's name, the stock account and the bank account. I thought he was going to sue me. I settled with the lawyer...
Q. Then that is the last large withdrawal until after you were arrested?
A. That is right.
Q. And then the next one went to a lawyer, is that right?
A. The next one went to a lawyer.
Q. And he is not here?
A. He is not here.
Q. I want you to explain to the jury about whether or not you had any money in this tin can?
A. That is about $12,000 in gold certificates in that can.
Q. And did you have some money in this board that was offered in evidence?
A. I did. I can't remember how much.
Q. You said if you had a big book here you could figure your stock transactions better. Where is that book?
A. I guess it is in the possession of the police.
Q. Now, when you were taken to the New York City police station were you beaten by the police?
Mr. Wilentz: I object.
A. I was.
[Mr. Wilentz indicates the State of New Jersey is independently trying
the defendant, not relying on any confession or other evidence offered
by the State of New York.]
Mr. Reilly: I can connect it.
Q. What date were you arrested?
A. September 19th, 1934.
Q. And in time you landed in the Greenwich Station House?
Q. During the period between the time you were brought in and the time you were asked to write and give certain exhibitions of your handwriting, were you beaten in that station house?
A. Not in this time.
Q. Were you beaten yes or no?
Q. When did it start?
A. The second night when I got arrested.
Q. Where were you?
A. New York police station.
Q. After that were you taken to The Bronx?
A. After that I was taken to The Bronx.
Q. You were arrested on the street, weren't you?
A. I was.
Q. And you were held for some hours in your car, is that right?
Q. Then they put handcuffs on your hands and you were searched?
Q. Then did they take you back home and search your house?
Q. Then you were told it was Lindbergh money?
A. It was told me in the house. That is the first time I hear it, I got Lindbergh money in my possession.
Q. Then they took you to Central Savings Bank and searched your safe deposit box, didn't they?
A. Yes. No money there.
Q. Then where was the next place they took you?
A. It was a police station, Greenwich Street.
Q. Now in the station, the first night what did they do to you, if anything?
A. The first night they required the request writing.
Q. Yes. Now in writing the did you spell the words of your own free will of did they tell you how to spell the words?
A. Some of the words they spell it to me.
Q. Did they ask you to spell "not" n-o-t-e?
A. I remember very well they put an "e" on it.
Q. Did they ask you to spell "signature" as "sing"?
A. They did.
Q. So when they were dictating the spelling, that was not your own free will in spelling, was it?
A. It was not.
[Objection by Mr. Wilentz as leading.]
Q. As far as the spelling of these words that I have indicated, and other words that are misspelled in these request writings of yours, was that your voluntary spelling or your voluntary act, or was it the act and spelling dictated to you by policemen and officials who wanted you to write it that way?
A. It was because of the dictation.
Q. And in that writing, they kept on for how many hours?
A. I can't remember exactly the time of the request writing, but I know real well it was late, it was really late in night time, probably after 12 o'clock. I refused to write.
Q. What did they do to you?
A. They forced me. They said, "You won't get any sleep, you got to write."
Q. Did they ever do anything to you physically?
A. Not exactly, but they didn't give me any chance to sleep.
Q. Over what period did the so-called request writings, how long a period was it in all before they finished with you?
A. From the hour of my arrest to I'd say around two o'clock in the morning the next day.
Q. And how many times did he request you to write?
A. I don't recall. Many times. I fell asleep on a chair when they poked me in the ribs and said, "You write."
Q. After the writing, before you went to The Bronx, did you get any knocks of any kind?
A. Well, that is I got the treatment, it wasn't home at all.
Q. Now what was the treatment? [objections ensue.]
Q. I will ask you, Bruno, was the statement in The Bronx that you made, were you mindful and fearful of the treatment that you had received downtown in New York when you made the statement in The Bronx?
A. To explain this: When Mr. District Attorney Foley was asking me how did they treat me, the coppers in the Bronx, but that did not cover the treatment in the New York police station. I said the treatment in The Bronx jail and in the courthouse to Mr. District Attorney Foley was fair, but it covers only The Bronx, but the treatment in the police station in New York, it was entirely different, it was just the opposite that way. I got the effect from this treatment for two months, that is the reason I lost over thirty pounds.
[Mr. Reilly addresses the Court, this being 4 P.M. on a Friday, and
his still battling tonsilitis and the flu. He requests the week-end off
for the trial, so as to consult defense witnesses having to travel down
from the Bronx and to rest fully for the defense and rebuttals coming.
He asserts that he hopes to shorten his witness list by a third from the
The Court acquiesces, recognizing the "rather unusual cooperation between the State and the defense in speeding up this trial."]
Cross-Examination by Mr. Wilentz:
Q. Mr. Defendant, you came into this country illegally, didn't
A. Yes, sir.
Q. You have enjoyed the privilege and opportunity of earning a livelihood, haven't you?
Q. You have had an opportunity in this court today to tell the whole truth. Have you told the truth?
A. I told the truth already.
Q. And the statements you made to District Attorney Foley, do you stand on the statements you made to him or do you want to change those
A. I told the truth to District Attorney Foley about my treatment in The Bronx; that is correct.
Q. About this case, not about the treatment, about the Lindbergh case, the murder, did you tell him the truth about that?
A. To a certain extent.
Q. And to a certain extent you didn't tell him the truth, is that it? Did you tell him the truth only to a certain extent and lie to another extent?
[Mr. Pope objects, the Court sustains, Mr. Wilentz withdraws the question.]
[Mr. Wilentz explores the defendant's conviction in Germany on several charges, all occurring between the end of WWI and March 1919, followed by a replay of the three attempts at illegal entry into the U.S. He also pursues some handwriting comparisons and a board w/holes drilled in it, five of which had ransom money in them. Mr. Hauptmann says the holes were originally for holding small bits, but admits that the last, larger hole he made to hold a small pistol. Court adjourns for the day.]
January 28, 1935
Cross-Examination (continued) by Mr. Wilentz:
[Mr. Wilentz ascertains that the defendant has been thorough in keeping
his "books" detailing all his accounts and expenditures over the years,
with the sole exception that he has omitted some money in order to hide
it from his wife. He explains that he had wanted to surprise her one day
by being able to build her a house, but Mr. Wilentz infers other secrets
kept from Anna.
More handwriting comparisons: specifically the transposition of "g" and "h" in words such as "light".]
Q. I want to point out to you another thing, r-i-g-t-h, and
n-i-g-t-h, do you see those?
Q. One in your standard writing and two in your disputed writings. Now, you had a habit of doing that, didn't you?
A. A habit.
[Mr. Wilentz comes back to the account books.]
Q. Didn't you stop keeping these accounts as soon as you got the
idea of kidnapping this child just as is set forth in that letter [one
of the ransom letters]?
A. I never got any idea to kidnap any child.
Q. Didn't you stop keeping accounts within two weeks of the birth of the Lindbergh child, and didn't start again until a couple of months after the ransom money was paid?
A. I didn't even know the Lindbergh child was born.
Q. Now, in May 1931 you got a letter from the broker for $74.89. You weren't doing as well in the brokerage accounts as you did in your carpenter work, were you?
A. I couldn't watch the broker because I was working the same time.
Q. And so you were losing money?
A. Yes, that is correct.
Q. In other words, you found out you couldn't do the brokerage business and the carpenter work both and do them well, is that right?
A. That is right.
Q. And while you were trying to earn a few dollars as a carpenter, Wall Street was taking away hundreds, right?
A. That is right, that is right.
Q. So you, of course, got to the point where you were losing money. You lost money until April 2, 1931, in your brokerage accounts, didn't you?
A. Yes, I did.
Q. About $3,000 that you earned as a carpenter and your wife earned as a waitress?
Q. Is that right, you lost in the stock market?
Q. You weren't such a good stock market operator, were you?
A. Well, you have to the first time you got on the stock market you have to pay for it.
Q. And the first time you build a ladder you don't build a good one, do you?
A. I never build a ladder.
Q. Let's take a look at that $74 again. Didn't you pay him $50 on May 25th?
Q. And then you got a telegram from the broker to pay the $24, didn't you, in December 1931 Three months before the Lindbergh child was kidnapped, didn't you get this telegram: "Having no response " Pardon me. Just take a look at that registry receipt. Is that your signature?
Q. Now read the telegram, please.
A. "Having no response to our previous communication, this is to advise you that we intend selling sufficient stock to liquidate the balance without further notice. Carleton & Mott."
Q. As a matter of fact, at the end of 1931 you were running very low for money, weren't you? You were losing money in the market heavily, weren't you?
A. I guess I didn't play in 1931 at all. There was
Q. You had lost your money then. You had only 50 shares of Warner?
Q. You had lost already a lot of money?
A. I lost a lot of money, yes, that is right.
Q. Now when Fisch gave you this box, this shoe box, he told you to keep it in a dry place, a safe place?
Q. You counted it many times. How much was in the box?
A. I find out later it was close to fifteen thousand.
Q. When you took that money into the garage and you took those gold certificates and put them in a basket, you didn't count it?
Q. The reason you didn't count it was because you knew, didn't you?
A. I didn't know anything. Always when I took the dry ones out, I counted the dry ones.
Q. It took two weeks for the money to dry out?
Q. And Mr. Fisch told you to keep this box in a safe place?
Q. He was very sick, you knew that? You knew he was suffering from tuberculosis or something like that, didn't you?
A. Now, listen. I was asking a couple of times about his sickness; he always said "Never mind, I am alright." So I think he is OK.
Q. And here was your sick friend going home, and he asked you to keep this box in a dry place?
Q. You knew from the day he moved into that house that that closet was a wet place, didn't you? You had complained about it all the time.
A. Well, from the six months or so, yes. I put it in the closet that night and I forgot all about it.
[The Court takes a recess for a few minutes.]
The Court: Before you proceed, I wish to notify the officers that from this time forward people will not be permitted to stand in the rear of the courtroom. So tomorrow morning until the trial is finished, after the seating capacity is well filled, the doors will have to be locked and spectators denied admission because it is undesirable that this intense crowding should be further permitted.
Q. Now Mr. Defendant, in your Direct Examination you stated that
you changed the brokerage or bank accounts on March 25th, 1933, because
you had an automobile accident and you were fearful that there might be
some claim against you; right?
A. That is right.
Q. Now the accident you had on October 17th, 1932?
Q. And you settled it before December 1932, didn't you?
A. I don't know when I settled it.
Q. Let me show you your book of records. December, 1932, your first payment of $75 So that you actually settled the case for $300 in December, 1932, and in March, 1933, you didn't have to worry about that automobile accident, nor any claim, did you?
A. I guess there was something coming up.
Q. Now, before March 1, 1932, Isidor Fisch didn't know you and you didn't know him, did you?
A. I didn't know him, but I don't know if he didn't know me.
Q. You didn't send him any letters before March 1st, 1932?
A. No, I did not.
Q. So Isidor Fisch didn't write the ransom notes, did he?
A. I never said that.
Q. This board that came from your closet, S-204, has these numbers here. It is a little blurred now, isn't it?
A. Looks like it.
Q. It looks like 2974, and the numbers down here, 3-7154, isn't that right?
Q. And between those numbers are some words, it looks like "Decatur" first and "Sedgwick" second, you see that?
A. I can't make it out.
Q. You know what that means don't you, that number and that address on there?
A. Not exactly.
Q. Well, you know it is Dr. Condon's address and telephone number, don't you?
A. I know it now.
Q. Now, let's get back to the time you were arrested and they found this twenty dollar bill on you, the ransom money bill, and the police asked you where you got it. Right?
Q. And you said to the police, "This twenty dollar bill, yes, I had three hundred dollars worth. I saved it, got it from friends and got it from the banks and this is the last of the gold bills.
A. Yes, I told them that.
Q. You knew at the very time that you told them that you were not telling the truth, isn't that right?
A. That is right.
Q. Well, they finally found a lot of gold in the house, didn't they?
A. I told them about it later. Before they found it.
January 29, 1935
Q. Now, Mr. Defendant, you said the other day that on April 2nd,
1932, being the night that it was testified to that $50,000 was paid, that
that was the day you left your job because you found out they were only
going to pay you $80 a month instead of $100.
[Mr. Wilentz introduces the paycheck from Reliance Property Management, Mr. Hauptmann's employer for the latter half of March 1932; the amount of the check, $36.67, supported a pay rate of $100 per month, or $3.33/day, not $80 per month.]
Q. Now this check for $36.67 you cashed at the National Lumber & Milling Co., the lumber yard where you used to work, isn't that a fact.
Q. That is a company owned by Mr. Hirsch and Mr. Miller, who were here in court the other day and testified that you purchased some lumber from them?
Q. In May, 1932 you bought a radio for $400, didn't you?
Q. In cash?
Q. And you bought some field glasses too, didn't you; how much did you pay for the fieldglasses?
Q. Did you buy a canoe and take a hunting trip?
Q. Did you take a trip to Florida and your wife went to Germany?
Q. And during all this time neither you nor your wife worked?
A. I did work, in the market and as carpenter.
Q. Well, how much would you say you earned as a carpenter from April 1932 to September 1934?
A. Couple hundred dollars.
Q. So from April 2nd, 1932 to September 1934, when you were arrested, you made $200 as a carpenter and your wife did no work at all either, she quit work?
A. Yes, she quit work in June, 1932.
[Mr. Wilentz introduces letters written by the defendant to Mr. Fisch's brother after Mr. Fisch's death in Germany. The Cross-Examination is suspended for testimony by GEORGE MADISON, Professor of German Literature at Princeton University, who translated the letters from German to English for the State.
Mr. Wilentz proceeds to spend considerable time 1) on the letters, 2) on Mr. Hauptmann's honesty with Mr. Fisch's relatives, and 3) on the honesty with which he answered Mr. Foley's questions in The Bronx after his arrest, during which questioning Mr. Hauptmann was not sworn under oath.]
Mr. Wilentz: Take the witness.
Re-Direct Examination by Mr. Reilly:
Q. You have heard the timekeeper for the Majestic Apartments testify
that you did not work on April 2nd.
A. I heared it.
Q. And you only got paid for the days you worked, is that correct?
Mr. Reilly: I offer in evidence the payroll record, pay department of the Majestic Apartments for the payroll ending April 15th, showing that this defendant, Richard Hauptmann, worked April 1st and April 2nd, and received $6.67 pay for both days.
Q. Now do you remember testifying in The Bronx speaking to a man named O'Ryan, and Commissioner O'Ryan asked you about any money you had in your possession, you said to Commissioner O'Ryan, "There was another $14,000 in my garage"?
Q. And you told the Commissioner where the money was, in the south side of the garage?
A. That's what I said.
Q. Now when Fisch and you first decided to go into business, did Fisch tell you that he was interested in the Knickerbocker Pie Baking Co.?
A. He said he is one of the founders.
Q. Did he say the business was still being carried on?
A. He said the business is very fair and he said his investment is $10,000.
Q. Did you find out after his death that the pie baking company folded up, went out of business two years before he told you that?
A. I find it out.
Q. Yes, that two years before he told you the pie baking company was making money, it had folded up into bankruptcy?
A. That is right.
Q. So he lied to you there, didn't he?
Q. Now, did he tell you also when he went into business with you that he had borrowed thousands of dollars from Mrs. Hille?
A. He did not.
Q. Did you have some letters in your home from Fisch to you at the time of your arrest?
A. Yes, and I wish you would produce it in the court here.
Q. Do you know who took them?
A. I don't know, but I suppose the police took them.
January 30, 1935
Re-Direct Examination by Mr. Reilly (continued):
Mr. Reilly: Mr. Attorney General, have you the Fisch letters?
Mr. Wilentz: We only have one postcard.
Q. How many letters did you receive from Isidor Fisch after he sailed back to Germany?
A. About four letters.
Q. Did you know that Uhlig and Fisch had an apartment somewhere in another part of New York?
A. I did not.
Q. And did one dollar of the Lindbergh what we now call the Lindbergh ransom money, did one dollar of that pass into your brokerage accounts?
A. Not one dollar.
Q. Now they have brought into court here and exhibited a large plane. Is this your plane?
A. That's my plane.
Q. How long before your arrest had you used this plane?
A. This plane was never used since '28.
Q. And are there any chisels missing from this box?
A. There are three Stanley chisels missing, them chisels they are no good at all, they were laying in the garage. But the Stanley set, good chisels, but I see it disappeared.
Q. When did you last see them in that box?
A. I would say a couple days before I get arrested.
Re-Cross Examination by Mr. Wilentz:
Q. While we are waiting for the employment record that was introduced,
do you remember the ten dollar ransom bill that you passed down at Boccanfusco's
down at 89th Street, the vegetable store? What did you buy there?
Q. You lived at 222nd Street and you went down to 89th Street to buy vegetables?
A. That's near my office, Steiner, Rouse & Co. Since we have a child I mostly do all the shopping.
Q. You didn't buy the vegetables up around your home?
A. Because it is cheaper. I usually got my car parked right in front of this vegetable store.
Q. I want to show you Exhibit 41, the payroll record the defense entered on Re-Direct. Is there anything on here that shows you worked on the 2nd of April?
A. Well, it shows 2 days that I figure the 1st and 2nd.
Q. Yes. But it doesn't say which days, does it? It just shows 2 days in April.
A. Well, I am not familiar with this record, how they keep it.
Q. What I want to know now is not what you say, but what the record shows as you see it. It says two days, but doesn't say which days, isn't that right?
A. That's right.
[Mr. Wilentz returns to the subject of the piece of trim lumber removed from the defendant's closet, the one with Dr. Condon's information written on it. Much time had been spent on it in testimony over the preceding days.]
Mr. Reilly: Now is this proper re-cross? It's been gone over seven or eight times. I didn't speak about any board in my re-direct. Now we are having what we had yesterday, for thirty hours in cross examination about this board.
The Court: Well, I am inclined myself to think that the subject matter has been very thoroughly covered either upon the direct or the cross examination, but if the Attorney General thinks the matter is in a state of confusion he may ask the questions necessary to clear up that confusion.
Mr. Reilly: I didn't assume he was confused after all this examination.
The Court: Well, I don't know what is in the Attorney General's mind.
Q. When you were shown this piece of wood, - I will only be another
minute or two, your Honor, I don't want to waste any time when you were
shown this piece of wood, you were also given a magnifying glass to look
at the writing, weren't you?
Q. And when you saw this piece of wood with the writing on it you said, "That's my lumber." Isn't that so in the Bronx.
A. I did.
Q. You did.
A. I said, "Yes," without thinking.
Q. You don't usually do things without thinking.
A. No, my physical condition was so bad this time I could hardly think.
Q. Well, I say, you weren't thinking. You have a very good mind, haven't you?
A. I don't think so, not so good.
Q. Oh, you really do think so, don't you?
A. (No answer.)
Mr. Wilentz: That is all.
Hauptmann Trial Page