Hauptmann's Closet
by Michael Melsky

The Nursery Closet in Hauptmann's Apartment

Anna Hauptmann in Nursery Closet
Did Hauptmann write Condon's phone number there? Many of the VDer's [verdict defender's] claim in his interview with Foley that he admits it. Let me remind all that there were serial #'s to money found written on the door, and on the closet trim - Condon's address and phone number.

Strangely, Bornmann put in his Official Report that the serial #'s were of the ransom money. They weren't - but he reports this anyway....then AFTER this discovery, the other is found.

Samuel Foley, David T. Wilentz, and Dr. John F. Condon
Attorneys in Lindbergh Trial Arriving Original caption: 1/9/1935-Flemington, New Jersey- L to R: Samuel Foley, District Attorney of the Bronx and New Jersey Attorney General David T. Wilentz were photographed as they arrived at the Flemington courthouse, for today's sessions (Jan. 9), of the Hauptmann trial, with Dr. John F. Condon, "Jafsie" of the Lindbergh ransom negotiations. IMAGE:© Bettmann/CORBIS
Foley interview with Hauptmann:

11:55 A. M.

Q: [Foley] Hauptman, I want to ask you some questions about this board you know it is from your closet in your own house, don't you?
A: [Hauptmann] It must be.

Q: It is the same kind of wood - your handwriting is on it?
A: Yes, all over it.

Q: What did you write on that board, read it to the stenographer.
A: I can't read it any more.

Q: Who rubbed it out? Can you read the address on it?
A: 2974. I can't make out the first. I read the number down below, 37154.

Q: What else can you read on that board that you wrote yourself?
A: I can't read - that is "a", "t", "u" and a "r". Another one I can't make out.

Q: That's Dr. Condon's address isn't it?
A: I don't know.

Q: Why did you write it on the board?
A: I must have read it in the paper about the story. I was a little bit interested and keep a little bit record of it, and maybe I was just on the closet, and was reading the paper and put it down the address.

Q: How did you come to put the telephone number there?
A: I can't give you any explanation about the telephone number.

Q: Your only explanation for writing Dr. Condon's address on this board, and telephone number, is that you were probably reading the paper in the closet and you marked it down, is that correct?
A: It is possible that a shelf or two shelfs in the closet and after a while I put new papers always on the closet, and we just got the paper where this case was in, and I followed the story of course, and I put the address on there.

Q: That's why you marked it on the door?
A: That's the only explanation I can give.

Q: When you say those two numbers, you don't refer to anything on this board - when you talk of the two numbers you don't mean anything on this board but other number written on the door?
A: On the door.

Q: But not on this piece?
A: I can't remember where I put it.

Q: And you say that they refer to bills of high denomination?
A: Yes.

Q: Is there anything else you wanted to add?
A: No.

Q: Do you remember the day that you wrote this memorandum on the board?
A: No.

Q: You remember that you did write it?
A: I must write it, the figures that's my writing.

Q: The writing is yours too, isn't it?
A: I hardly can read it.

Q: From what you see of it, it is your writing, isn't it -- it is your figures and your writing?
A: I really can't remember when I put it on.

Q: Regardless of when you put it on, it is your figures and your writing, isn't it?
A: The writing I can't make out so very clearly, I don't know.

Q: Do you know who rubbed it or tried to rub it out?
A: No.

(End of interview)

Now a little while later, Foley interviews Hauptmann again.

Q: Do you remember the date that you marked Dr. Condon's telelphone number on the board in your house?
A: Absolutely not.

Q: You can't fix the time?
A: No, sir, impossible.

Q: Do you remember the time that you marked the numbers of the bills?
A: No.

Q: Which did you mark first, the telephone or the bills?
A: I can't remember that.

The next day, Foley starts off the interview with this question:

A: Hauptmann, yesterday I showed you a piece of wood from your house with Condon's address and phone number on it, is that correct?
A: Yes.

Q: You admitted that you wrote that on the board?
A: Yes.

Hauptmann  10-15-34

Q [Wilentz]: So that when you looked at Exhibit A, which was presented by you by the District Attorney of Bronx County, and you looked at the handwriting thereon, you said that was your handwriting, isn't that so?
A [Hauptmann]: I said that is my lumber I could not make out the handwriting.

Q: You said the number on there is your handwriting?
A: Yes

Q: What about the "Decatur"?
A: I could not make out whether that is my handwriting and numbers.

Q: The numbers are in your handwriting, are they not?
A: They are.

Q: But the other writing, you are not sure of?
A: I could not make out.

Q: You would not say it was not your handwriting, would you?
A: I would not say exactly, no.

Michael Melsky and author John Reisinger
Michael Melsky has a website and discussion board devoted to the Lindbergh case, as well as an extensive file of Lindbergh documents. Michael helped John Reisinger out with some of the research in the book and according to Reisinger is one of the most knowledegable Lindbergh case people around.
Michael Melsky

Now let's take a look at the actual writing as explained by me in part through the one expert who did take a look at it.


were written by a different author then the


The intent was to make the "7" look like the one on top but the "forger" bungled the job.

The 29(7)4 was made with a steady hand to the right, while the 3-(7)154 was made with an unsteady hand downward.

Just take a second look. The bottom "7" is unsteady while the top "7" is smooth. The pen pressure changed and position moved by 25%, while the top did not.

Take a look at the "4"...

297(4) the pen never left the Wall board.

The 3-715(4) the pen left the Wall board, and pen started down Wall board unsteady.

Hauptmann always began the number "4" by moving from the left, while clearly the 3-715(4) was made by starting from the right.

In other words, whoever wrote this "4" wrote it backwards in respect to how Hauptmann wrote every "4" in his standards.

None of the "2974" numbers were written with an unsteady hand.

It doesn't take an Expert to see that the numbers "3-7154" were all written with an unsteady hand.

I also uncovered during my research that one of the State's Experts who saw a picture of this writing was requesting a photo of these writings in the closet to be taken with an "infra-red ray".

His request was promptly denied by Schwarzkopf.