The Lindbergh Child : America's Hero and the Crime of the Century
written and illustrated by Rick Geary
New York: Comicslit
Geary presents the infamous 1930s kidnapping in graphic novel form, including details only known later by the police and by historians.
The black-and-white illustrations of this graphic novel take it beyond mere comic-book layout and into a film noir setting. Technical details of the investigation are blended with names and dates of key players -- including those who sought to hoax or swindle the grieving Lindbergh family. Maps are a repeated motif, whether pinboards showing locations explored in New York's boroughs or the architectural layout of the crime scene. And we can't ignore the edge-case theories: what if the Lindbergh baby survived after all? Was Bruno Hauptmann framed?
Although this was a "crime of the century" that ruled the popular news media in the 1930s, many schoolchildren today will be unfamiliar with the case. This picturebook would be a fitting introduction for high school students. Consider presenting it as if the kidnapping had occurred in one of today's celebrity families -- what if it were a child of Britney Spears? Sarah Palin? Tom Cruise? How would the media have treated the case in the 21st century? What technological or scientific advancements do we have today that could have helped solve the Lindbergh case or conclusively rule suspects in or out if they'd been available? Where do students stand on the death penalty? Various topics can be raised as part of the discussion or in a student's report.
Media: pen and ink