Scrapbookpages Blog

November 13, 2011

The movie J. Edgar and the Lindbergh kidnapping

Filed under: Germany, movies, True Crime — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 9:07 am

I’ve been reading the reviews of the new movie J. Edgar and I am surprised to learn that some of the critics are panning it.  For example: this review.  To me, J. Edgar is one of the best movies ever made, if not THE best.  The problem is that the story of J. Edgar is told through the eyes of the director, 81-year-old Clint Eastwood.  Younger people may not agree with Eastwood’s interpretation of events.

Here is a quote from another review:

It’s the graying Hoover we meet first, dictating his somewhat suspect memoir to a series of young agent-stenographers because he feels that “it’s time this generation learned my side of the story.”

That story begins with a rarely examined event in American history, the 1919 Palmer raids against anarchists and other supposed radicals. In response to a series of bombings, U.S. Atty. Gen. A. Mitchell Palmer in effect took the law into his own hands, collaborating with the 24-year-old Hoover and the newly formed FBI to attack people for their ideas without evidence of crimes. It’s the first of several examples we see in the film of what can happen when unchecked governmental power falls into the hands of the ruthless and the self-righteous, when influential people believe, as Hoover did, that “sometimes you need to bend the rules a little to keep our country safe.”

There is an early scene in the movie when Emma Goldman, a famous anarchist and radical, is shown in court where she refuses to answer questions. In 1919, she was just out of prison after serving a two year sentence for “conspiring to induce men not to register for the draft.”  Not a single review, that I have read, mentioned the Emma Goldman character.  Why is Emma Goldman important?  Emma Goldman was deported to Russia because America didn’t want Bolsheviks, anarchists and radicals back in those days.  If she were alive today, Emma would be leading the Occupy Wall Street movement and she would be a hero to the progressives.

Before I went to see the movie on Friday, I imagined that the plot would dwell on the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr.  They were included, but the most important plot thread was the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in March 1932.  In one scene of the movie, the discovery of the body of the 18-month-old baby is shown.  The body was decomposed and nothing was left but a skeleton; it was found near a road and within sight of the house.  There is a brief moment when the skeleton is shown with the white Lindbergh house visible in the background.  The movie does not show, nor mention, that any effort had been made to bury the body.  Who kills a baby and then leaves the evidence behind, where it can easily be found?  

Let’s go back to 1919 and 1920 when the majority of people in America were against the Bolsheviks and radicals.  In 1919, Anton Drexler and Dietrich Eckart had just formed the German Worker’s Party, which later became the NSDAP (Nazi) party.  In America, Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh were the leading supporters of Nazi ideology.  In other words, Lindbergh was one of the earliest Nazi sympathizers.

The investigation of the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby lasted more than two years.  Then a German-American named Bruno Richard Hauptmann was arrested and charged with the crime. The trial, which lasted from January 2, 1935 to February 13, 1935, was followed closely by millions of Americans.  Hauptmann was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death, but strangely Hauptmann never confessed to the crime. He maintained his innocence until the end. Could he have been framed for the crime?  Why would someone want to frame a German-American for the crime of the century?

The point of all this is that some people believe that the kidnapping and killing of the Lindbergh baby was a crime of revenge against Charles Lindbergh because he was a big supporter of Germany; he was what would be called a “white supremacist” today.  He made many trips to Germany and even had a German mistress who bore three of his children.  Like Heinrich Himmler, he believed that white men should have as many children as possible, taking a mistress if necessary.

In the Wikipedia article about the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, it is mentioned that the body of the baby was found 4.5 miles from the house.  The movie J. Edgar shows that the body was found within sight of the house.

Wikipedia says this about the alleged attempt to bury the body of the Lindbergh baby:

The left leg and both hands were missing, and there were signs that the body had been chewed on by various animals as well as indications that someone had made an attempt to hastily bury the body.

The movie J. Edgar does not show that a hasty attempt was made to conceal the crime by burying the body.  No, the movie shows what really happened: the body was left out and many people still believe today that this was a crime of revenge against Charles Lindbergh for his beliefs.


  1. I believe it”s highly prpbable that hoover (being known as a crossdresser and who knows what else?) Could have been one of lindbergs mistresses?

    Comment by jim white — July 6, 2013 @ 1:54 am

  2. An interesting post, but it seems unlikely that retribution against Lindbergh’s beliefs were the cause of the kidnapping. The child disappeared in March 1933; Nazi’s don’t win a majority (and Hitler does not assume the Chancellorship) until the Geman elections of July 1933 – long after the death of the baby. Recent scholarship has also shed light on Lindberg’s supposed anti-semitism. He was far from a Nazi sympathizer and was personally frustrated by accusations of being an anti-semite. Check out Scott A. Berg’s 1999 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography “Lindbergh” for an indepth look at the kidnapping, trial, and Lindbergh’s (admittedly complicated) personal beliefs. Berg was the first biographer to whom the Lindbergh family ever granted unrestricted access to all of Lindbergh’s personal diaries, letters, and records. Out of the hundreds of books about Lindbergh, Berg’s book is widely considered the most authoratative.

    Comment by skydriver008 — November 22, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

    • Hitler won power on 30 January 1933 not July 1933.

      Comment by Pete — August 29, 2012 @ 9:39 am

  3. Well, I saw the movie last night. I went with a friend who has read more than average about the Holocaust, the McCarthy era and the Kennedy assassination. His idea of a fun vacation pastime is visiting presidential and the NSA archives so he’s got a pretty good sense of
    who J. Edgar Hoover was. About the Lindberg kidnapping. He doesn’t think it was a revenge killing because Lindberg’s beliefs weren’t considered anti-Semitic or seditious when it happened. He was, as the movie made clear, the most famous man in America. He was being revered, not smeared when the baby disappeared. We both considered walking out. Why? Because it’s obvious Hollywood is still kicking Hoover’s corpse over his surveillance of subversives in the film colony. Every tired old negative cliche´ about the man was trotted out
    by director Clint Eastwood who has obviously drunk the PC kool-aid when it comes to this biopic. It’s a maudlin stinker made for people who believe the rumor, planted in the press by the wife of a Jewish gangster with a history of perjuring herself, that Hoover was a gay transvestite. A better ending would have been a Nixon era dream sequence in which Hoover beats Pete Seeger to death with his own banjo. Two thumbs down.

    Comment by who+dares+wings — November 14, 2011 @ 11:55 am

    • I went to see the J.Edgar movie a second time yesterday. I had even more appreciation for the film the second time around. Lindbergh’s beliefs were mainstream in 1932, but to people like Emma Goldman, he was the enemy. Remember that the anarchists and radicals were planting bombs and committing other crimes. The kidnapping took place in March 1932 and the body was left on top of the ground, with no effort made to conceal it. Then a German-American immigrant was framed for the crime.

      Comment by furtherglory — November 15, 2011 @ 6:14 am

  4. Thanks for the thumbs up. Now I’ll go see the movie. How come J. Edgar Hoover didn’t help Senator Joseph McCarthy more in routing out all the Communists in the State Department (Dept. of Agriculture especially) that President Truman inherited from FDR – Harry Dexter White, Alger Hiss, Owen Lattimore and the Silvermaster spy group who helped Mao take over China? I think I’ll answer my own question here and shine a little pen light into a dark fissure in the America golem. Mikhail Bakhunin, the famous anarchist, asked, “What could there be in common with communism and High Finance? Ho, ho! The communism of Marx seeks a strong state centralization, and where this exists there must inevitably exist a state central bank, and where that exists there is the parasitic Jewish nation, which speculates on the labor of the people.” J. Edgar Hoover and Charles Lindberg were heroes, but ultimately they, James Forrestal, General Douglas MacArthur and a long list of others who tried to save America from the cultural Marxism and Wall Street rot that has brought the nation to it’s knees were no match for the likes of Jane Fonda and Pete Seeger.

    Comment by who+dares+wings — November 13, 2011 @ 11:16 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

%d bloggers like this: