AMANDUS HOCHMUTH sworn as a witness on behalf of the State.
Direct examination by Mr. Wilentz:
Q. Mr. Hochmuth, how old are you, sir?
A. I am in my eighty-seventh year.
Q. And how long have you been a resident of Hunterdon County?
A. About ten – well, about ten years.
Q. Did you serve in the Prussian Army during –
A. Yes, sir.
Q. On the 1st day of March, 1932, where were you residing?
A. The corner of what they call the Mercer County Highway and the road that goes up to the Mr. Lindbergh's place.
Q. And were you outside that day?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Tell us about your experience that morning.
A. Well, I saw a car coming around the corner, pretty good speed, and I expected it to turn over on the ditch. And as the car was about 25 – I should judge 25 feet away from me, the man in there looked out of the window like this.
Q. Out of the window of the car, you mean?
A. Yes, and he glared at me as if he saw a ghost.
Q. What time of day was that?
A. It was in the forenoon.
Q. And the man that you saw looking out of that automobile glaring at you in the manner that you say, is he in this room?
Q. Where is he?
A. Alongside of the trooper there (pointing his finger).
(At this point the lights in the courtroom went out.)
Mr. Wilentz: Is there any reason for extinguishing the lights?
Q. Well, at any rate, would you mind stepping down, please, and showing us?
(The witness came down from the stand and advanced in the direction where the defendant Hauptmann was sitting.)
Mr. Wilentz: Will you please put your hand on his shoulder?
The Witness: Right there (touching the defendant with his hand).
Mr. Wilentz: May we have on the record, "Indicating Bruno Richard Hauptmann"?
Q. You were telling us a minute ago about the car coming around the corner. Did it come around your corner?
A. It couldn't have come any other way but Hopewell.
Mr. Reilly: I move to strike that out.
Mr. Wilentz: That is all right; we consent.
Q. Along what road did it come, sir?
A. It can't come any other way.
Q. I know, but you will have to tell us what road it did come, not how it cannot come.
A. Mercer County Highway.
Q. Mercer County Highway, and coming from the direction of – what town was the nearest town?
Q. And when it made the turn into the lane, did it proceed or did it stop?
A. It stopped as it got in the ditch.
Q. Did it get into the ditch?
A. Not yet; but it stopped there, and he pulled the ladder over to him.
Q. You say he stopped as he got into the ditch in making the turn?
A. Into the ditch.
Q. How long did it – did the car stop at all for any period of time?
A. Well, I should say about a quarter of a minute, or something like that.
Q. Yes, sir. Now, you said just now something about a ladder: Was there a ladder in the car?
A. I saw something, some of the ladder in it.
The Court: I wonder, if counsel think it is important to have these
lights on again, if they can be put on again.
Court Crier Hann: I have sent for the electric light man.
Q. Now who lives here at this corner that you talk of here, in Hopewell?
A. My daughter and my son-in-law.
Q. Thank you. Oh. You remember the color of the car?
A. Yes. A dirty green.
Cross-Examination by Mr. Reilly.
Q. When did you first tell this story to anybody?
A. Never spoke to anybody about it.
Q. Before you took the witness stand you never told a soul about what you were going to testify to today, is that correct?
A. That is correct.
Q. You give me your word on your oath that that is correct?
A. I certainly do.
Q. Did you stand at that door, the left hand door of this court room yesterday?
Q. At noon recess, at a quarter of two, with a State Trooper?
Q. And didn't the State Trooper bring you to the left door and point Bruno Richard Hauptmann out to you as he sat in his seat?
A. No, sir.
Q. What did they bring you to that door for yesterday at a quarter of two?
A. I don't think –
Q. Look at me please. What did they bring you to that door for?
A. Oh, I went to the toilet.
Q. No, they brought you down –
Mr. Wilentz: Just a minute now. I object to the "No," and the badgering of the witness. No necessity to shout at him.
Mr. Reilly: I am not badgering the witness.
The Court: Yes, the witness ought to be allowed to answer,
Q. The toilet in that room is to the rear of the room: you know that, don't you?
Q. The toilet is nowhere near this door, here, is it?
A. I don't see what you are aiming at.
Q. I'm aiming at this: Do you remember yesterday being brought down the staircase by a State Trooper? Do you remember being brought to this doorway and facing into the courtroom?
Q. Do you remember Bruno Richard Hauptmann sitting over here with the State Troopers?
Q. Do you remember the Trooper pointing Hauptmann out to you yesterday?
A. No, sir.
Q. What did they bring you to the door for?
A. I don't know.
Q. You don't know?
A. I don't remember – I went out – the officer took me to the toilet once.
Q. Well, of course, the toilet is not in that doorway.
A. I know that.
Mr. Wilentz: I don't see the point of badgering the witness about that, when counsel knows it is right there.
Mr. Reilly: I am not badgering the witness and I am not going to be accused of badgering the witness.
The Court: No, I do not understand there is any badgering here. There is a point of inquiry as to where the toilet is. I think that is proper.
Q. You were here all day yesterday. Is that correct?
Q. Is that correct, sir?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. And you were kept up in the Grand Jury room?
A. I was here.
Q. In the courtroom?
A. Yes. Right over there back of that lady with the blue dress on.
Q. All morning?
Q. Was yesterday the first day you were in court?
Q. What was your business? I suppose you are retired now?
A. Yes. The last five years I was a special at Loew's Theatre in 116th Street.
Q. Special officer?
Q. Before that, what did you do?
A. I was employed in a bank in New York.
Q. Well now, this special officer business – were you employed by any detective agency?
Q. Did you have a badge as a special officer?
A. I didn't take it.
Q. Did you have a badge?
A. I didn't want it.
Q. I didn't ask whether you wanted it or whether you took it. Did you have it?
Q. Where were you, up in the gallery to keep order?
Q. Balcony. And, what was your business before you went into the bank?
A. I came in that bank in 1876.
Q. What did you do in that bank?
A. I was called a porter.
Q. Your health is rather poor, isn't it?
A. It don't seem like it. I have a good deal of rheumatism.
Q. Did you ever have a stroke?
Q. Are you near-sighted or far-sighted?
A. My eyes are all right.
Q. I didn't ask you that, mister. You are wearing glasses.
Mr. Wilentz: He has answered it. He asked if he was near of far-sighted.
The Court: He says his eyes are all right.
Q. Why do you wear the glasses, to see better?
A. At a distance, yes. For reading, I read without glasses.
[Mr. Reilly proceeds to the layout of the yard, the hedge, the porch and the house at the time of the encounter with the dirty green car. He then confronts Mr. Hochmuth, who adheres to his story that he has "told nobody" about this chance encounter prior to this. Mr. Reilly then reminds the witness, and gets his agreement, that a month or so prior to trial Mr. Hochmuth was taken in to the jail by two troopers and saw the defendant in a cell.]
Re-Direct Examination by Mr. Wilentz:
[A confusing interchange ensues between the witness, The Court, and attorneys as to whether Mr. Hochmuth actually discussed the case with any troopers or merely responded to general conversations. Mr. Reilly objects to every possible variation of Mr. Wilentz' questions. Mr. Wilentz rests the Re-Direct.]
Re-Cross Examination by Mr. Reilly:
Q. Who gave you the name Hauptmann?
A. I saw the name in the paper.
Q. Am I correct is saying that you saw Hauptmann's picture in the newspaper? Is that correct?
A. When the first paper came out. After his arrest.
Q. How long ago was that?
A. Oh, I don't remember.
Q. You don't remember that date, do you?
Q. Now, can you remember the second time you saw his picture, what date?
A. Oh, in every newspaper.
Q. Can you remember the date that you were in the jail?
A. That must have been – no, not exactly.
Q. You were in the jail in the last couple of months?
A. Yes, I think it was.
Q. You think it was?
A. About a month ago or something like that.
Q. What day of the week were you in jail?
A. I think it was on a Sunday.
Q. You are not sure?
Q. You are not sure about the date?
Q. And that only happened a month ago, is that right?
A. It is not quite a month ago, I don't think.
Q. Is that right?
Mr. Reilly: That is all. Your Honor, could we have five minutes to air out here?...
Hauptmann Trial Page