Hauptmann Widow Resumes Crusade in Court
The widow of Bruno Richard Hauptmann again filed suit Wednesday against the state of New Jersey, saying her husband was wrongly executed 50 years ago for the kidnap-murder of the infant son of aviator Charles A. Lindbergh.
The lawyer for Anna Hauptmann said, however, that his client would withdraw the $10-million suit and give up any claim to the money if the state recognizes that Hauptmann did not receive a fair trial and that he was innocent.
Attorney Robert Bryan said there was new evidence that showed the crime was an inside job, originating in the Lindbergh household.
Suit Charges Fraud
The suit accused Hauptmann’s prosecutor, former New Jersey Atty. Gen. David T. Wilentz, and other authorities, of engaging in fraud and suppressing evidence.
Wilentz, through his secretary, called the allegations ridiculous.
Bryan said Hauptmann was played for a patsy by his friend Isidor Fisch. Hauptmann had testified that ransom money police found in his garage was given to him by Fisch for safekeeping just before Fisch left to visit Germany, where he died a few months later.
Bryan said the new evidence included statements of a handwriting expert that Fisch wrote the ransom notes and a witness who said he saw Fisch near the Lindbergh home in Hopewell, N.J., a short time before the kidnap in March, 1932.
The suit, filed in Newark, N.J., said evidence indicated that at least one servant in the household of Lindbergh or his father-in-law, Dwight Morrow, was involved in the kidnaping. Bryan declined to elaborate.
The suit was the second in five years seeking to clear Hauptmann’s name on the basis of new evidence.
A 1981 federal civil rights suit brought by Mrs. Hauptmann was thrown out by a judge who ruled that the suit had been brought too late and that there were insufficient facts to support the claim.
Bryan said the new suit is based on 22,000 pages of documents gathered by the late Harold Hoffman, governor of New Jersey when Hauptmann was executed.