A Talent to Deceive: The Search for the Real Killer of Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr.

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Synergebooks, Nov 4, 2008 - True Crime - 327 pages
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The kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh's infant son, and the subsequent trial and execution of Bruno Richard Hauptmann, have been a source of fascination for more than 70 years. Now, for the first time, William Norris delves into sources of information ignored by previous investigators and comes up with the identity of the true culprit. Lindbergh is exposed as having obstructed the investigation and lied on oath in order to secure the conviction of Hauptmann. His motive: to avoid the public scandal which would break if Dwight Jr, his brother in law and scion of one of America's most wealthy and prestigious families, were to come under investigation. Dwight Jr. hated Lindbergh for marrying his sister Anne and usurping his position in the Morrow family. The birth of the Lindbergh's son was a further blow. He was schizophrenic, heard "voices", and had been confined to mental institutions for long periods immediately prior to the kidnap. Indeed, he was under treatment for the rest of his life. Following the death of his father in October 1931, Dwight Jr. was said to have been angry at the lack of any specific bequest in his father's will. His inheritance (like those of the other children) was to be left to the discretion of his mother - who did not like him much. Rumour, contained in letters to Hoffman, suggests that he approached his mother and demanded $50,000, which was refused. He made the same demand of Lindbergh, and was again turned down. There was a row, and he left swearing vengeance. $50,000, of course, was the amount of the ransom demand - a ridiculously low sum, given the wealth of the Morrows, if this had been a professional job. It was also the amount bequeathed to Dwight Jr in his mother's will on her death in 1955, as a specific addition to the equal share in her estate given to the other surviving children. No other researcher has ever discovered this. Was Elizabeth Morrow leaving a message from beyond the grave, finally pointing the finger at her errant son? Was she saying: "Take your damned $50,000!" Coupled with all the other evidence, circumstantial though it may be, Norris thinks so. Charles Lindbergh, now known to have been the father of seven illegitimate children, is exposed as a great deceiver who was guilty of being the instigator of judicial murder. It is time the story was told.

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About the author (2008)

William (Bill) Norris is a British author who has been there; done that. In the course of a 50-year professional writing career, which began when he joined his local newspaper as a cub reporter, he has managed to squeeze in a huge variety of experience. From Parliamentary Correspondent of The Times of London at the age of 26 (the youngest since Charles Dickens), to covering the war fronts of Africa, to interviewing leading world statesmen as Political Correspondent of ITN, his journalistic range has been considerable. But between assignments he has managed to be a professional rally driver, sail the Atlantic in a small boat, build his own experimental aircraft and fly it across the United States at the age of 60, and establish the first broadcast TV station in Swaziland. It may be his restless nature which has constrained him from writing the same book twice - putting him at a commercial disadvantage with publishers who insist that authors should be type-cast. Thus his first book, One from 700 (Pergammon Press 1966), was a humorous account of Britain's Labour government under Harold Wilson; his second, The Unsafe Sky (W.W.Norton, 1981), was a review of aviation disasters; his third, Willful Misconduct (W.W.Norton, 1984), was a swinging attack on the American legal system, while The Man Who Fell from the Sky (Viking, 1987) investigated and solved an ancient murder mystery. Publishers clearly disapproved of such a grasshopper mind, and thus his latest three books: SnowBird, A Grave Too Many, and The Badger Game have had to wait for the e-publishing revolution to get a public airing. He hopes that you enjoy reading them as much as he enjoyed the writing. Now living in the South of France after 13 years in the U.S., during which he combined freelance journalism with membership of Florida's prestigious Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College, Bill Norris is currently working on....something.

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