Random Note
Nelly Boat Note: Written by Kidnapper

Two handwriting experts testified
that Bruno Richard Hauptmann wrote the ransom notes
to Colonel Lindbergh.

The experts said
that almost all the loops and lines
"match those of the accused,"
and furthermore,
the same words were misspelled
again and again
and the grammatical mistakes
were all the same.

Mr. Reilly quickly pointed out
that virtualy all German immigrants
whose second language is English
would make the same grammatical mistakes,
and furthermore, the police
had ordered Bruno Richard Hauptmann
to take dictation (not once but seven time!),
and include all the misspellings and grammar errors
from the kidnapper's letter,
and wouldn't let him
correct them.

The Trial
by Jen Bryant
Albert Osborn was one of several handwriting experts who testified that Hauptmann's handwriting showed similarities to the handwriting in the ransom letters. Although none of these "experts" ever linked Hauptmann's handwriting to the original nursery note no one seemed to notice - (please refer to the LKH Forum arguments below.) Defense attorney, Ed Reilly, never knew that Osborn had originally told the Police that Hauptmann did not write the ransom note left in the nursery.     Pressured by Police into testifying that the handwriting was the same Osborn eventually changed in his "expert" opinion AFTER  ransom money was discovered in Hauptmann's garage. Osborn's reputation flourished due to this trial and his descendants still carry on the family business of selling their expertise in the realm of questioned document analysis.

by Ronelle Delmont

Albert D. and Albert S. Osborn
According to Sisk, who was there, Schwartzkopf listened to what Mr. Osborn had to say for several minutes and then inquired as to whether further specimens would help out any, after which he remarked, "We'll send them over". He then hung up the receiver and advised those present "It doesn't look so good. He says .....and he is convinced he did not write the ransom notes.  Authorities were frustrated by Osborn's reluctance to identify Hauptmann as the ransom note writer, so they continued to request more writings from Hauptmann. Hauptmann not having slept in 24 hours declined which caused him to be hit in the ribs. This was backed up by Kloppenburg who was also writing and overheard what was happening..."I was told to write exactly as it was dictated to me, and this included writing words spelled as I was told to spell them." Kloppenburg said the same, "I had to copy it the way it was spelt" (Kennedy 179).

Hauptmann was also told to copy both the two composite statements and the photostats of the actual ransom notes.
Handwriting Trial Exhibit
(New York Times Sept 22).

Special Agent Turrou recalled Hauptmann "having to work constantly at adding curlicues to "y's"...He was told to write a passage without dotting his "i's" because "i's" were not dotted in the ransom notes/ to write many capital "N's" backwards as on the ransom notes...

(Kennedy 180).

Most experts agreed (prior to Hauptmann's arrest) that the wording of the note was typical of an English speaking person trying to sound Germanic, rather than of a real German.
Close Up of Lindbergh Ransom Note
Hunterdon County Democrat 1-17-35:

"...when Reilly launched a popular tack of the defense, inquiring into the expenses of hiring the expert witness. Restrained by the court, the witness did not tell how much he (Osborn) was being paid."

Judge Trenchard disallows question by defense concerning the amount of money he (Osborn) would be paid for his testimony. However we know that Albert S. and Albert D. put in expense bills for $12,000 and $9,655 respectively putting the total bill for handwriting testimony up to $46,661.15, a third of the hearing's total expenditures
Albert S. Osborn: Handwriting Expert
Albert D. Osborn: Handwriting Expert (son of Albert S. Osborn)

1. (On the night of Hauptmann's arrest) Noted similarities but many distinct differences. Refuses to make a positive connection. (Later changing his position).

2. Claimed the notes written in a disguised hand.

3. Was not told and refused to believe the request writings were dictated and written down as they appeared in the note (including style and misspellings). Actually claimed Hauptmann "reverted" back to his disguised hand when making the request writings.

4. Claimed Geissler's handwriting was similar to the JJ Faulkner deposit slip (in support of Souder's claim).

5. Claimed never to have before seen a hyphen between New and York. (Prompting Fisher to produce letters from Isidor Fisch with this same hyphen).

6. Fisher produces cases where Osborn's testimony was incorrect.

7. Claims Hauptmann had only one disguised hand.

8. Claims Hauptmann had a unique way of making an "x".

9. Stein contradicts this by saying Hauptmann's "x" was "a garden variety".

10. Tyrell contradicts this by admitting to Pope that the letter "x" "appeared in three different forms in the ransom letters and acknowledged writings" of Hauptmann.

11. Trenchard disallows question by defense concerning the amount of money he would be paid for his testimony.   

 (Behn 252).
Handwriting of Isiidor Fisch

Kennedy 418:

(Published conclusions of) American handwriting expert, Mr. Gus R. Lesnevich, formerly a documents examiner in the US army and US Secret Service....

"An examination, comparison and analysis of the questioned ransom notes and known writings not used by the police, along with the additional known 
writings, has resulted in the conclusion that Mr. Richard Hauptmann did not 
write the questioned ransom notes."