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Reviewed by Natasha Jackson for Readers' Favorite
Hauptmann’s Ladder seeks to answer the question of who really killed the Lindbergh baby. With so much information available on this topic, one must wonder what Richard T. Cahill Jr. can possibly bring to the table. Well, as it turns out, two solid decades of research into the topic. The result of the research is a clinical and thorough approach to the evidence and testimony given at the time of the infamous kidnapping and supposed murder. It is his diligence to the facts of the time that make this such a different true crime tale. The contradictory witness statements do cast doubt on Hauptmann’s guilt, despite the fact we know Hauptmann was found with bills from the ransom as well as his second apartment. Cahill goes to great lengths to let the reader reach their own conclusions, which makes this book all the more appealing.
Richard T. Cahill Jr. has written a comprehensive analysis of the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, filled with facts. If there is any bone to pick with Hauptmann’s Ladder it is that Cahill presupposes that the state ‘got it right’ with his conviction. While that may be true technically, very little credence is given to the plausibility that the convicted man was framed. Given the importance of Charles Lindbergh at the time, it is easy to see an immigrant with poor English skills becoming the fall guy. This book was well-researched and written solidly and, even if I still have my doubts, the collection of facts here will allow you the one thing many authors before Cahill have not: to draw your own conclusion.