Reporting John Ostapkovich
By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A book on the Lindbergh baby kidnapping in North Jersey, often called the crime of the 20th Century, begins in a barber shop far from the scene of the crime.
The book “Cemetery John,” by Robert Zorn, re-examines a 1930′s crime with 2010′s science that springs from a family tale.
In 1963 in Dallas, Zorn’s father Gene needed a hair cut and, while waiting, read a magazine article on the kidnapping and realized:
“As a 15 year old boy, he had unwittingly witnessed two German immigrant neighbors of his, John and Walter Knoll meeting with a guy named Bruno, who was undoubtedly Bruno Hauptmann, and talking in German about Englewood, the name of the town where the Lindbergh’s were living at the time.”
Gene did his own research but on his deathbed in 2006 passed the task to his son.
“And I actually held his hand and he actually had tears streaming down his face and I said, Dad, I will tell this story to the world,” explained Robert.
Hauptmann always maintained his innocence but Zorn says he was in on the three-way plot.