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Roosevelt Orders State Police Hunt
March 3, 1932
Albany, March 2.--All the resources of the State police system, in pursuance to instructions from Governor Roosevelt, are enlisted tonight in a State-wide effort to find the son of Colonel Lindbergh and his kidnappers.
Governor Roosevelt, immediately after reading the report of the kidnapping in his morning paper and before leaving the Executive Mansion, issued instructions to Major John A. Warner, Superintendent of State Police, to place every means at his command at the disposal of the New Jersey authorities.
A force of State Troopers was dispatched by Major Warner to the counties on the west shore of the Hudson bordering on New Jersey.
All main highways that the kidnappers might be expected to traverse are being patrolled by troopers acting under orders to stop and search suspicious characters.
The Governor, when he reached the Capitol, said: "I am personally deeply interested, because I know both Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh. My daughter, Mrs. Curtis Dall, was at school with Mrs. Lindbergh."
Death for Kidnappers Urged
Preparations are being made for the introduction of a bill to make kidnapping of a child punishable by death in the electric chair: Senator John J. McNaboe, a Tammany member, will introduce the bill tomorrow. It would make kidnapping of a child below 16 years of age punishable by death and impose life imprisonment for abduction of older persons.
"At no time in the history of the world," said Senator McNaboe, "has a crime shocked mankind as has the kidnapping of the baby of Colonel Lindbergh. Every family feels as though its own child had been suddenly snatched away. Anger has been confused with despair over this outrage. There is only one way to deal with the perpetrators of such a crime; extinguish the veritable vultures with quick dispatch.
"The crime of kidnapping has always been punishable by long prison sentences, but in the light of recent increase in the practice it seems that severity has not proved a deterring factor. In this instance the punishment should fit the crime. My bill seeks this objective.
"The kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby drove home to me the need for a law to curb such happenings. Who can say whose home will next be invaded by these marauders? I will have the measure ready for introduction tomorrow morning."
Another Bill Introduced
An anti-kidnapping measure somewhat less drastic actually came before the Legislature today, sponsored by Assemblyman Daniel J. O'Meara, a Monroe County Republican. The O'Meara bill would substitute life imprisonment for the present penalty of from ten to fifty years.
"The time has come to put such vile characters as kidnappers where they will never again have the opportunity to menace society," Assemblyman O'Meara said. "The mental anguish of a mother over the loss of an infant of such tender years as the Lindbergh baby must be horrible beyond anything that can be imagined. Drastic action is necessary in view of the fact that kidnapping is becoming so very prevalent."
Dr. William Lathrop Love, who represents a Brooklyn district in the upper house, made public a telegram that he had dispatched to United States Senators Wagner and Copeland urging them to introduce a bill providing for fingerprinting and footprinting of babies to make identification easy. Senator Love said in his telegram:
"The sympathy of every parent goes out today to Colonel and Mrs. Lindberg. I hope a nation-wide movement will be started immediately to have the fingerprints and footprints of every baby taken as a matter of positive identification and permanent record. Just imagine the mental agony Colonel and Mrs. Lindbergh would be saved were such a bill in force."
Ten to Fifty Years Present Sentence
It was explained at District Attorney Crain's office yesterday that the kidnapping of any person in this State, except in the case of a child in differences between parents, is punishable by a sentence of from ten to fifty years. Any person proved to be a fourth offender under a Baumes law, it was added, could receive a life term on conviction.