Losing sight of the Grail

If they were interested in “real” investigative journalism in this country, then they would have dug deeper than they did at the Hirsch Hive when news broke about Charles Lindbergh’s missing baby. Every paper with enough money to send a journalist from PACFLEET-to-LANTFLEET should have dove into that case head-first. They should have gum-shoed every lead, every name, every trace of evidence like bloodhounds with no scent on their minds but the truth. The whole truth — which to a journalist should be The Grail.

But that didn’t happen. Here’s what the good old Wikipedia posted on it after they established the accused as a shady foreign criminal who tried to enter the U.S. illegally, but then married a lady and got a respectable job all of a sudden. Not your standard shady criminal m.o., but nevertheless, here’s what they “had” to write because it’s been written in many other places:

“For more than 50 years, Hauptmann’s widow, Anna, fought with the New Jersey courts to have the case re-opened without success. In 1982, the 82-year-old Anna Hauptmann sued the State of New Jersey, various former police officers, the Hearst newspapers who published pre-trial articles insisting on Hauptmann’s guilt, and the former prosecutor David T. Wilentz (then 86-years-old), for over $100 million in wrongful-death damages. She claimed that the newly found documents proved misconduct by the prosecution and manufacture of evidence by government agents, all of whom were bias against Hauptmann because he happened to be of German ethnicity. In 1983, the U.S. Supreme Court refused her request that the federal judge considering the case be disqualified because of judicial bias, and in 1984 the judge dismissed her claims.
In 1985, over 23,000 pages of Hauptmann-case police documents were found in the garage of the late Governor Hoffman, along with 30,000 pages of FBI files not used in the trial which may have placed reasonable doubt to Hauptmann’s guilt. Anna Hauptmann again appealed to the Supreme Court to clear her late husband’s name and that he was “framed from beginning to end” by the police looking for a suspect. Among her allegations was that the rail of ladder taken from the attic where they used to live in 1935 was planted by the police, and that the ransom money was left behind by Isidor Fisch who was possibly the real kidnapper. In 1990, New Jersey’s governor, Jim Florio, declined Mrs. Hauptmann’s appeal for a meeting to clear Hauptmann’s name.” And why is that?

Not just on this occasion should investigative journalism come to the aid of those who have been used as scapegoats, framed and executed in the name of propaganda, abused, murdered and unjustly accused, but on many other occasions since Ben Franklin worked a press. It is no longer just any one’s guess.

Why did Mrs. John F. Kennedy fall silent after her husband’s harvesting? They shot him through the neck like a prize buck. Then right afterwards, everyone who had been accused of any association with his death, conveniently got dead also. Had I been the wife of this slain president they would have had to shoot me too — because I would have turned the world upside-down looking for his killers. Kennedy’s widow should have been more like Hauptmann’s widow and devoted the rest of her life in search of truth instead of swallowing falsehood and retiring to the lap of luxury. I leave you unfettered thinkers with this question: what or who is it that puts a gag on the righteous blind justice of the press?


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