Some of the latest thinking about the Lindbergh kidnapping that happened in 1932, causing the death of the son of Charles Lindbergh, famed aviator who completed the first non-stop trans-Atlantic flight from Long Island’s Roosevelt Field to Paris, comes to light in a new book by Robert Zorn, “Cemetery John”.

Originally Bruno Hauptman, a carpenter from Bronx, N.Y. was arrested, tried and convicted of the crime. It was the first “trial of the century. But time and more careful investigative thought has caused some investigators to take a second look.  Another Bronx resident, John Knowles, comes to light through the investigation of Robert Zorn.


  • Prosecutors
  • FBI profilers
  • Geographic profilers
  • Forensic psychiatrists
  • Forensic anthropologists
  • Personality disorder researchers
  • Experts in optical handwriting analysis
  • Forensic linguistics
  • Child abduction analysts
  • Pediatric head trauma experts



  • Photos and sketches
  • Handwriting samples
  • The ladder
  • Foot prints and other impressions
  • Investigative techniques on existing evidence not available in 1932.

The confession of Gene Zorn, the author’s father, concerning a conversation he overheard in Palisades  Park in which a neighbor,  John Knoll, said the words Bruno and Englewood (the locale of the kidnapping)  led the author to investigate John Knoll. His findings are as follows:

  • John Condon (Linbergh’s go-between in ransom dealings) failed to recognize the available sketch (shown above) of Cemetery  John as Bruno Hauptmann.
  • The sketch bears an uncanny resemblance to John Knoll.
  • Knoll lied that he was in the country at the time of the kidnapping  and left the country in 1932, before the trial.
  • Knoll’s activities indicate that he fits the FBI profile of a sociopath  and psychopath.

Knoll’s Possible Motive:

Based on the profile established above, Knoll”s motive may have been seeking the anonymous fame associated with such a notorious crime.

Adding to the above: Shooting Down the Single Kindnapper Theory

  • Problems with the ladder (too large for one person to handle)
  • Bruno Hauptman’s car.
  • The Ransom $
  • John Condon’s recognition of the go-between’s voice
  • Two sets of foot prints at the crime scene
  • B.H.’s IQ

Cemetery John is an interesting read. I hope I’ve whetted your appetite for a look into

this old, but historic crime.        


Spread the word. Share this post!