Today’s Illustration: It Captured The Attention Of A Nation

When:  May 12, 1932

Where: Hopewell, New Jersey

Who: Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr.

  • a 20 month old baby
  • The first son of Charles Lindbergh & Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  • A homemade ladder was used to reach the home’s second floor and the baby’s room.
  • $50,000 and then $70,000 ransom demanded & paid.
  • The money was delivered in a wooden box at a Bronx cemetery.
  • “Even Al Capone offered his help from prison, though it of course was conditioned on his release.” [1]
  • “When the money was finally delivered, the kidnappers indicated that little baby Charles was on a boat called Nelly off the coast of Massachusetts. However, after an exhaustive search of every port, there was no sign of either the boat or the child.” [1]
  • On May 12, the baby’s body was found near, within 5 miles of the Lindbergh home.
  • It was believed that the kidnapper had dropped the baby when descending the ladder.
  • The ransom had been paid with money of which the serial numbers were recorded.
  • The kidnapper was found through his passing of a “gold certificate” $10 bill at a gas station.  Gold certificate bills had been removed from circulation the previous year by FDR. [2]
  • Kidnapper: Bruno Hauptman, convicted in 1935 and executed on April 3, 1936
  • When Hauptmann was pulled over by the police, another gold certificate bill ($20.00) was found in his wallet.
  • H. Norman Schwarzkopf Sr., father of General Schwarzkopf, Operation Desert Storm, was the head of the NJ State Police and headed up the investigation.
  • “The heartbroken Lindberghs ended up donating the home to charity and moved away.” [3]
  • “The crime spurred Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act, commonly called the “Little Lindbergh Law” which made transporting a kidnapping victim across state lines a federal crime.” [4]


Lindbergh Quotes:

  • “Whether outwardly or inwardly, whether in space or time, the farther we penetrate the unknown, the vaster and more marvelous it becomes.”
  • “I decided that if I could fly for ten years before I was killed in a crash, it would be a worthwhile trade for an ordinary life time.”
  • “Any coward can sit in his home and criticize a pilot for flying into a mountain in a fog. But I would rather, by far, die on a mountainside than in bed. What kind of man would live where there is no daring? And is life so dear that we should blame men for dying in adventure? Is there a better way to die?”
  • “My father had been opposed to my flying from the first and had never flown himself. However, he had agreed to go up with me at the first opportunity, and one afternoon he climbed into the cockpit and we flew over the Redwood Falls together. From that day on I never heard a word against my flying and he never missed a chance to ride in the plane.”


Key Biblical Thoughts:

  • trials
  • adventure
  • daring
  • courage
  • atheism
  • loss
  • tragedy
  • pain
  • fame & fortune
  • wickedness
  • money / greed / gods
  • caught
  • murder
  • Cain
  • Satan
  • evil


Sermonic Example: There are several distinct ways to use illustrative material.  This sermonic example fits the fourth method.

(use whatever you find useful in the above details)

 . . . . Bruno Hauptmann was a man driven by greed and envy.  He made a decision to engage in one of the worst crimes of modern history.  Today, we are going to look at the father of such wickedness in Genesis 4 — His name was Cain.  It was one the height of wickedness — killing one’s brother out of envy. . . .


Other Information & Links:



2. “Shortly before 10 a.m. on September 15, 1934, a dark blue Dodge sedan pulled up to the gasoline pumps at a Warner-Quinlan service station on Lexington Avenue in upper Manhattan. Manager Walter Lyle walked over to the car and filled it with five gallons of ethyl as the man behind the wheel requested. “That’s 98 cents,” the attendant told the driver, who reached into his inside coat pocket and pulled a $10 bill from a white envelope.

Lyle grasped the bill with his greasy hands as his eyes noticed something unusual. “You don’t see many of these any more,” he told the driver. The motorist had given Lyle a gold certificate, which had been removed from circulation more than a year before when President Franklin D. Roosevelt took the country off the gold standard in response to the hoarding of precious metal during the depths of the Great Depression. “No, I have only about one hundred left,” the driver told Lyle. The suspicious attendant recalled his company’s warning that counterfeiters might attempt to reproduce gold certificates, so as the 1930 Dodge pulled away from the station, Lyle scribbled the vehicle’s New York license plate number—4U13-41—on the bill’s margin.” [1]



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