Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., the "Lindbergh Baby" (June 22, 1930 - March 2, 1932), the eldest son of aviators Charles and Anne Lindbergh, was the victim of one of the most sensational crimes of the 20th century. The 20-month-old was abducted from his family home, Highfields, in East Amwell, New Jersey, on the evening of March 1, 1932. On May 12, his body was discovered in nearby Hopewell Township. A medical examination determined that the cause of death was a massive skull fracture.
After an investigation that lasted more than two years, Bruno Hauptmann was arrested and charged with the crime. In a trial held from January 2 to February 13, 1935, Hauptmann was found guilty of murder in the first degree and sentenced to death. He was executed by electric chair at the New Jersey State Prison on April 3, 1936. Hauptmann proclaimed his innocence to the end, and many historians question his guilt.
Columnist H.L. Mencken called the crime and subsequent trial "the biggest story since the Resurrection" of Jesus. Legal scholars have referred to the trial as one of the "trials of the century". The crime spurred the United States Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act, commonly called the "Lindbergh Law," which made transporting a kidnapping victim across state lines a federal crime.