Testimony of Joseph Wolfe

JOSEPH WOLFE was called as a witness on behalf of the State, being duly sworn, testified as follows:

Direct examination by Mr. Wilentz:

 Q. In what capacity are you employed with the State Police of the State of New Jersey?
 A. As a trooper.
 Q. And were you so employed on the 1st day of March, 1932?
 A. I was.
 Q. And prior thereto, for how long?
 A. Four years.
 Q. Where did you reside then?
 A. I was stationed at Lambertville, New Jersey.
 Q. Where are you stationed now?
 A. I am stationed at West Trenton.
 Q. Lambertville, where you were stationed, is in the County of Hunterdon, is it not?
 A. It is.
 Q. Now, in connection with your duties as a State trooper, stationed at Lambertville, in Hunterdon County, the 1st day of March, 1932, were you

  Mr. Reilly: May I interrupt you, please, General?
  Mr. Wilentz: Yes, sir.
  Mr. Reilly: Step up here, please.
  Mr. Wilentz: Pardon me.
  Mr. Reilly: May we consult with you, Judge?

  (Counsel step forward to side bar.)

 Q. In connection with your duties as a State Police officer, stationed at Lambertville on March 1st, 1932, did you have occasion to go to the Lindbergh home?
 A. I did.
 Q. And that, I take it, was as a result of a call?
 A. It was.
 Q. And who was the call from, if you remember?
 A. The call was received from my station.
 Q. Were you at the station at the time or were you patrolling?
 A. I was patrolling at the time.
 Q. And as a result of that, you went to the home at Hopewell?
 A. I did.
 Q. I think the correct name is East Amwell Township, isn't it?
 A. Yes, sir, East Amwell Township.
 Q. I see. How did you find it there when you got to the house?
 A. When I arrived there I found Colonel Lindbergh and Officer Wolfe and Williamson of Hopewell.
 Q. The last two officers are the two local men from Hopewell, New Jersey: is that it?
 A. They are.
 Q. What did you do when you arrived there?
 A. I spoke with Colonel Lindbergh and then went to the nursery on the second floor of the home.
 Q. So that as a result of the conversation you had with the Colonel, you and the Colonel went upstairs to the nursery: is that right?
 A. Yes.
 Q. What did you see when you got up there?
 A. When I arrived in the room I saw an envelope lying on the south window of the east wall, on the sill of the window.
Mr. Wilentz: May I have the pointer, Mr. Constable?
 Q. Just to make certain about it so that it will be your testimony and not mine will you point it out?
 A. This is the window here.
 Q. All right. You say you saw an envelope on the window sill there?
 A. I did.
 Q. And did you see a sort of suitcase near that window?
 A. Directly under the window I saw a suit case.
 Q. Did you see anything on that suitcase that seems a little unusual to you?
 A. There was a trace of mud on the suitcase.
 Q. Did you see the note that night, the ransom note?
 A. I did.
 Q. Will you take a look at this, Exhibit S-18, and see if there is any sign on there that identifies it as being the note you saw that night?
 A. That is.
 Q. How can you tell that?
 A. The initials of Frank A. Kelly on the back of the paper.
 Q. You saw then marked that night?
 A. I did.
 Q. Now, of course, when you got there, Trooper, that note was still in its envelope?
 A. It was.
 Q. And tell us about the process leading to the opening of the note and the marking of the initials on there?
 A. When Trooper Kelly arrived and went into the nursery, he put on a pair of gloves and he picked up this note and brought it to a table in the center of the room and there he used material, fingerprinting material, to check this envelope for fingerprints.
 Q. Did he find any fingerprints?
 A. No, sir; he did not.
 Q. Were you there when he checked it?
 A. Yes, sir.
 Q. And then did he put his initials on it?
 A. He did.
 Q. All right, officer, what did you do then?
 A. I then went downstairs and I made
 Q. Pardon me. Did you notice whether or not the blankets were still pinned to the mattress?
 A. In looking at the crib I noticed that the upper end of the blankets at the head of the bed were still pinned.
 Q. All right; now then, you came downstairs, did you?
 A. I did.
 Q. And waited for the detectives?
 A. No, sir; I made one phone call to my headquarters.
 Q. I see.
 A. To see that every one had been notified and on information received from Colonel Lindbergh I went around to the east side of the house.
 Q. What did you see there?
 A. Under the southeast window I noticed two indentations in the mud.
 Q. What sort of indentations were they?
 A. They appeared to have been made by boards; the end of the boards stuck in the mud.
 Q. Like indentations that would be made if a ladder were stuck in there?
 A. Yes, sir; the same.
 Q. What else did you see?
 A. Out from the indentations I saw a foot print, man's foot print.
 Q. What size shoe do you wear, officer?
 A. Nine.
 Q. With reference to the size of your shoe what have you to say as to this foot print?
 A. This foot print was a large foot print.
 Q. Was it as large as your shoe?
 A. It was, if not larger.
 Q. All right. Now then, did you return to you looked around, I suppose.
 A. I looked around further.
 Q. With the aid of a flashlight?
 A. Yes, sir.
 Q. At any time in connection with that I withdraw that. What happened then?
 A. After looking around the ground at that time other cars started to arrive and I left the east side of the house to go and see who was coming in.
 Q. Yes. Who did come in?
 A. The first arrivals were Detectives Bornmann and  De Gaetano. I gave them a general outline of what I found and another car arrived at that time. Detective Bornmann and De Gaetano then went up to the nursery. They had been
 Q. Now, Officer, in the course of your visit around the east side of the house, did you have occasion to use the flashlight and play it around on the grounds?
 A. I did.
 Q. And in the course of that examination, did anything appear in it, within the rays of that flashlight, like a ladder?
 A. There was.
 Q. Where did you see it?
 A. That was about, I should judge 60 or 70 feet in a southeasterly direction from the corner of the house.

Mr. Wilentz: Now if your Honor please, with reference to these Troopers, my examination with them would be limited so far as it is possible so that the testimony may come in in what I consider to be the logical order. They also participated in some matters related to this case at later stages; and so I suggest and request of counsel that I may be permitted in connection with all these officers, particularly those who participated in the later stages that I may be able to recall them on other matters. As to the events of that night, I rest with this witness.
Mr. Reilly: Certainly, no objection.
Mr. Wilentz: And you may take the witness, sir.

Cross-Examination by Mr. Reilly:

 Q. Trooper Wolfe, is it?
 A. Yes, sir.
 Q. What did you do to preserve the footprint?
 A. I assigned a man to see that no one went around that side of the house.
 Q. What was the condition of the soil?
 A. At the point where I was standing on this boardwalk extending along the east side of the house it was soft. I didn't step on it. It appeared to be soft.
 Q. Did you see anyone preserve the measurements of the footprint?
 A. I did not, no.
 Q. Did you see anyone pour plaster of paris or anything else into that footprint so it would be preserved?
 A. Not to my knowledge.
 Q. Did you see anyone photograph it?
 A. I didn't see him photograph it, I understand it was done.
 Q. You knew, did you not, as a trained trooper that that was a very material piece of evidence?
 A. I did.
 Q. That sometime would have to be spoken of in court before a jury?
 A. That is right.
 Q. And yet, you saw no one preserve the measurement or the identical outline of the footprint in any plaster of paris or flour or anything that could be preserved as a cast, did you?
 A. I did not.
 Q. Do you know if there is one in existence today?
 A. I do not.
 Q. And how many foot prints did you see?
 A. I saw one.
 Q. Of a right or a left foot?
 A. I couldn't say.
 Q. Can't you tell by looking at a foot print which foot it was?
 A. Hardly in soft mud.
 Q. Well, it was there the next morning, wasn't it?
 A. I wasn't there the next morning.
 Q. Well, did your superiors call you back at any time to point out the foot print?
 A. Not to me, no, sir.
 Q. The next time you did arrive was when?
 A. Arrived where?
 Q. At the Lindbergh home.
 A. I worked from that point on different details.
 Q. Did you ever come back to the point of the foot print?
 A. Not that night.
 Q. Or the next day?
 A. I don't believe so.
 Q. Did you ever see it again?
 A. No, sir.
 Q. Did you point it out to the detectives?
 A. I informed him where it was. I didn't walk all the way with him. There was only one man able to walk on this walk at a time.
 Q. Now, as a matter of fact, you know there was no footprint there.
 A. There was a footprint there.
 Q. Was it a man or a woman?
 A. It was a man's print.
 Q. Did you show it to Colonel Schwarzkopf?
 A. I did not.
 Q. Did you show it to Colonel Lindbergh?
 A. He showed it to me.
 Q. He showed it to you?
 A. He did.
 Q. You know, don't you, that there are many sizes of men's shoes: correct?
 A. I do.
 Q. Length and width?
 A. Yes.
 Q. And many kinds of heels? Two kinds at least: leather and rubber heels?
 A. That's right.
 Q. And that a rubber heel will make a different indentation than leather heels: correct?
 A. That is right.
 Q. Now, did you look in the footprint, did you pay any attention to it at all?
 A. In the time that I was out there I did everything possible to note the conditions. I was unable to go any further, due to the arrival of numerous cars coming, other officers arriving.
 Q. Well, certainly some detective who arrived or some chief or somebody asked you something about the footprint, didn't they?
 A. I informed the first arrivals.
 Q. Now, there wasn't any ladder leading up to the house, was there?
 A. No, sir; there was not.
 Q. And the only thing you had were two holes in the ground that made you think something had been stuck in there, two pieces of boards as the General says, which might have indicated the ends of a ladder: correct?
 A. That's right.
 Q. Now, how far down in the ground did he two indentations of what you call board holes extend?
 A. They were deep, but I didn't measure them.
 Q. Did anybody measure them?
 A. I don't know.
 Q. Did anybody take the ladder found 70 feet away in the woods and take it back in your presence and fit it into the holes in the mud?
 A. Not in my presence, no.
 Q. No. And you were there all night?
 A. Not at that side of the house. I was in the vicinity.
 Q. And that is all you found on the outside of the house, two holes that looked like ladder holes and one footprint, correct?
 A. And also a woman's print.
 Q. Where?
 A. That was further to the south between the boardwalk and the house itself.
 Q. Now, did that foot print which way did the foot print point?
 A. Still the man's foot print?
 Q. Yes, always the man's foot print.
 A. The foot print faced the house, the toe pointing in toward the house.
 Q. Now was there any mud, water or slime of any kind on the board walk, the cat walk?
 A. I believe the boards were damp.

[Mr. Reilly proceeds to establish, in great detail, the placement of the footprints relative to the ladder indentations, the boardwalk, the house and each other, with no contradictions to earlier testimony established.]

 Q. Well now, I want, and it is quite important to know, just what time you arrived.
 A. I can tell you, approximately five minutes of eleven.
 Q. How long after you received your call?
 A. I received the call about 10:30 and I was
 Q. You were the third officer to arrive?
 A. I was.
 Q. You saw no members of the household roaming around the ground? You saw Colonel Lindbergh come out the front door, didn't you?
 A. I did.
 Q. You did not see Mrs. Lindbergh, Miss Gow or Mrs. Whately, did you?
 A. I did not.
 Q. And you did not see the male butler, did you?
 A. I did not.

  Mr. Reilly: That is all.

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