In 1932, the 20-month-old son of aviator Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped from his nursery at the Lindbergh residence in New Jersey. The baby's body was found two months later. A German carpenter was tried, found guilty of murder by the jury, and sent to the electric chair.
Now, one Escanaba woman claims the Lindbergh baby was not murdered. He was alive all along, and he was a Yooper.
The story is a real-life mystery with the makings of a Hollywood script. Who kidnapped the Lindbergh baby?
â??The Irish and the German mafia kidnapped him," says Anita Carlson of Escanaba. Carlson says her Uncle Harold Olson was the Lindbergh baby.
According to her, he was kidnapped, and through mob connections, brought to the U.P.
â??Al Capone played a big part. Al Capone has always played a big part in Escanaba. A lot of people are not aware of that," Carlson says.
She says Olson was raised by an Escanaba couple who never revealed the secret to him. Carlson doesnâ??t know why Olsonâ??s adoptive parents never told him.
She first found out about it 1969 when Harold and his wife visited her family in Bayview. The only real proof of identity are fingerprints of the Lindbergh baby.
According to Carlson, when her uncle went to the state of New Jersey to compare his fingerprints to that of the babyâ??s, he was told that the state lost the baby's fingerprints. Judy Hall Papineau of Escanaba met Carlson last year.
The Escanaba resident also believes Carlsonâ??s uncle was the Lindbergh baby. She's written a screenplay on the topic and has entered it into the Nantucket Film Festival. She hopes itâ??ll eventually be turned into a movie.
As for Carlson, she's writing a book on her uncle's life.
â??I'm hoping that when the readers read this book that they will come away maybe looking within themselves and trying to find their true selves," Carlson says.
Both Papineau and Carlson know not everyone will believe Haroldâ??s story. Harold faced much of the same skepticism until his death in 2006.
In the end, his niece says he found peace knowing where he came from, believing that he was, in fact, the Lindbergh baby.