Norman Schwarzkopf Sr.

Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf (/ˈʃwɔːrtskɒf/; August 28, 1895 – November 25, 1958) was the first superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. He is best known for his involvement in the Lindbergh kidnapping case. He was the father of General Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., the commander of all Coalition forces for Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

Norman Schwarzkopf Sr.
Schwarzkopf as an Army officer
Birth nameHerbert Norman Schwarzkopf
Born(1895-08-28)August 28, 1895
Newark, New Jersey, US
DiedNovember 25, 1958(1958-11-25) (aged 63)
Mineola, New York, US
Place of burial
Allegiance United States
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service1917–1920, 1926–1953
Rank Major General
Commands heldCommandant of School of Military Government
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsArmy Distinguished Service Medal
Purple Heart
Spouse(s)Ruth Alice (m. 1900)
Other workSuperintendent of the New Jersey State Police (1921–1936)
Official portrait of Col. Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf (Badge#1), 1st Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police.

Early life edit

Schwarzkopf was born in Newark, New Jersey, to Julius George Schwarzkopf and Agnes Sarah Schmidt, of Germany. He graduated from Barringer High School.[1] He received an appointment from Walter I. McCoy to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduated in 1917[2] and served in World War I.[3][4]

Career edit

Military service and New Jersey State Police edit

After receiving a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Cavalry, Schwarzkopf was sent to Europe as part of the American Expeditionary Forces. He was gassed with mustard gas, making him susceptible to respiratory illnesses for the rest of his life. During the occupation, he served as a provost marshal, partially because of his organizational skills and partially because of his fluency in German,[4] due to his German heritage.

After returning to the United States with the rank of colonel, Schwarzkopf was appointed in 1921 by New Jersey Governor Edward I. Edwards to head the newly formed New Jersey State Police.[5] He personally trained the first 25 state police troopers and organized the state police into two troops: a northern troop, utilizing motorcycles, to patrol the Mafia-controlled narcotics, whiskey, rum-running, and gambling rings in the New York City area; and a southern troop, with troopers on horseback, to crack down on moonshiners.[citation needed] On April 6, 1926, he was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the New Jersey National Guard, being assigned to the staff of the 44th Division. He also held a commission as a major in the Organized Reserve from January 10, 1924, to May 17, 1926.[citation needed]

Lindbergh kidnapping edit

On the evening of March 1, 1932, Colonel Schwarzkopf, then 37, and the first chief of the New Jersey State Police, was among the officials called to the East Amwell[3][6] residence of Charles Lindbergh, following the kidnapping of his 20-month-old son, Charlie. He arrived on the scene with his second-in-command, Major Charles Schoeffel, and established a police command post in the three-car garage on the side of Lindbergh's house opposite the nursery, but he found it impossible to protect the area from contamination.

Further complicating the investigation was the fact that the controlling Lindbergh used his fame and influence to exert authority over matters, which meant that Schwarzkopf had to essentially work around him, despite ostensibly being in charge of the investigation, a fact for which Schwarzkopf has been criticized by experts such as FBI profiler and author John E. Douglas. Schwarzkopf requested a list of all the employees who worked on Lindbergh's house, which was constructed following Charlie's birth, as well as those who worked in the house and at Next Day Hill, the palatial Englewood estate of Lindbergh's inlaws, Dwight and Elizabeth Morrow, where the Lindberghs stayed during the week prior to the completion of their own home.[citation needed]

Although they stayed in the incomplete home only on weekends, they did not return to Next Day Hill by Tuesday, March 1, because Charlie was ill. Schwarzkopf believed the kidnappers were local and nonprofessional, based on their apparent familiarity with the Lindbergh house, the location of the nursery from which the infant Charlie was abducted, and the relatively modest ransom request of $50,000.[7]

Colonel Schwarzkopf (right) with Charles Lindbergh, following grand jury testimony.

Schwarzkopf suspected gang involvement, as kidnapping was a common criminal enterprise during the Great Depression, and wanted to contact members of the underworld, but during the course of the investigation, John F. Condon, a 72-year-old retired Bronx schoolteacher, became an intermediary between Lindbergh and the kidnappers after he placed an ad in Home News, to which the kidnappers responded. Schwarzkopf wanted to place a trace on Condon's telephone, but Lindbergh overruled him, and setting up a trap would have been made difficult or impossible by Lindbergh's management of the case.

Schwarzkopf reluctantly agreed to keep law enforcement away from the arranged ransom drop. Although the man to whom Condon gave the ransom money in Saint Raymond's Cemetery in the Bronx on April 2 gave Condon a note describing a boat where Charlie could be found, no such boat was found. When Charlie's skeletonized corpse was found by a truck driver on May 12, Schwarzkopf inspected the shallow grave, four miles from the Lindbergh home, whose lights were visible from the site. Following the identification of the corpse as Charlie, and the determination from the level of decomposition that he was killed immediately after abduction, Schwarzkopf informed Charlie's nursemaid, Betty Gow, and Elizabeth Morrow, who then informed Charlie's mother, Anne Lindbergh. Charles Lindbergh's need for control over the case was now over, and by the time the case had been months old, and trails had gone cold, Schwarzkopf was the target of widespread and recurring criticism. Following the suicide of Violet Sharpe, a maid for the Morrows who had been acting suspiciously before the incident and during its investigation, some, such as Violet's sister, Emily Sharpe, accused Schwarzkopf and Jersey City Police Department investigator Harry Walsh of harassing her to death with their rough interrogations, but experts such as Douglas have disputed that notion.[7]

To test the theory of how the baby was abducted and then killed early on, Schwarzkopf had duplicates constructed of the makeshift ladder used to climb into Charlie's second-story nursery window and the ransom letter, and reenacted the crime himself. The 165-pound Schwarzkopf carried a sandbag weighing the same as Charlie down the ladder, and when he stepped onto the highest rung of the lower portion of the wooden ladder (which, like the real one, consisted of two hinged sections and a third one attached at the crime scene), the side rail split, just like on the real ladder. Schwarzkopf dropped the bag, and it struck the cement windowsill of the library, echoing the massive skull fracture that served as Charlie's cause of death. Schwarzkopf had the written communications in evidence sent to graphologists, who concluded that they were all written by one person, most likely German in origin.[citation needed]

In late 1932, Schwarzkopf was contacted by New York psychiatrist Dudley D. Schoenfeld, who concluded from the kidnapper's written notes that the perpetrator was a mechanically inclined, 40-year-old German suffering from dementia paralytica, caused by a sense of powerlessness; this is now considered an impressive early example of criminal profiling. Schwarzkopf also had pieces of the ladder analyzed by wood specialist Arthur Koehler, who determined from four extra nail holes that rail sixteen of the ladder, unlike the wood used to make the rest of the ladder, had been previously used for some other purpose. Koehler presumed that the kidnapper ran out of lumber and cannibalized whatever wood was on hand for that rail, explaining the disparity. Koehler concluded on November 19, 1933, that side rails twelve to fifteen came from the National Lumber and Millwork Company in the Bronx. [citation needed]

Investigation of bills from the ransom money that turned up in circulation led to the September 19, 1934, arrest of Bruno Hauptmann, a 35-year-old German skilled carpenter who once worked at National Lumber and Millwork, which was ten blocks from Hauptmann's residence. By matching grain patterns and nail holes, Koehler determined that rail sixteen had been removed from Hauptmann's attic, which was missing a floorboard, and featured nail holes in four successive joints, where it would have been hammered down. Hauptmann was tried and convicted for murder and was executed on April 3, 1936.[7]

Later military service edit

In 1936, Schwarzkopf was dismissed from the New Jersey State Police after a personality clash with Governor Harold G. Hoffman.[8][2] For a short time, he narrated the radio program Gang Busters (he can be heard in the March 28, 1941, episode The Case of the Nickel and Dime Bandits) before he returned to active duty in the US Army with the onset of World War II.[4][9]

Schwarzkopf was inducted into federal service with the 44th Division in September 1940, briefly commanding the 57th Infantry Brigade in 1941 before being posted to Iran in 1942 through the efforts of Mohammad Vali Mirza Farman Farmaian and assigned to organize the Iranian national police after the British-Soviet intervention that made Iran an Allied protectorate.[2] His recruits, the Gendarmerie, were active in suppressing the Soviet-inspired attempt to destabilize Iran by backing separatists in Azerbaijan and Mahabad. For his work in Iran, Schwarzkopf was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal.[citation needed]

After World War II, he was promoted to brigadier general and in the late 1940s was sent to occupied Germany to serve as provost marshal for the entire US sector.[citation needed]

Before retiring from the Army in 1953 with the rank of major general, Schwarzkopf was sent by the Central Intelligence Agency as part of Operation Ajax (correct name TPAjax, TP meaning Soviet-backed Tudeh Party of Iran), to convince the self-exiled Iranian monarch, Mohammad Reza Shah, to return and seize power. Schwarzkopf went so far as to organize the security forces he had trained to support the Shah, and in so doing, he helped to train what later became known as the SAVAK.[10][11]

Schwarzkopf was appointed by New Jersey Governor Robert B. Meyner to "examine and investigate the management by Harold G. Hoffman," a former governor of the state and director of the division of employment security. [citation needed] Both Schwarzkopf and Hoffman were active members of the Adventurers' Club of New York.[citation needed]

Death edit

Major General Schwarzkopf died in 1958 from complications of lung cancer[4] and is buried at West Point Cemetery, on the grounds of the United States Military Academy.[12]

Personal life edit

Schwarzkopf was married to Ruth Alice (née Bowman) (1900–1976), a registered nurse from West Virginia.[13][14][15][16] Ruth was a housewife who was distantly related to Thomas Jefferson.[17] Together, they had one son, Norman Schwarzkopf Jr., and two daughters, Sally and RuthAnn.[13][14][15][16]

Schwarzkopf was a Freemason. He was a member of St. John's Lodge #1 of Free and Accepted Masons, Newark, New Jersey, where he was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason.[citation needed]

Military awards edit

Army Distinguished Service Medal
Purple Heart World War I Victory Medal with four service stars Army of Occupation of Germany Medal
American Defense Service Medal American Campaign Medal European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with four service stars
World War II Victory Medal Army of Occupation Medal with "Germany" clasp National Defense Service Medal

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ Wren Jr., George J. "Of Competence and Character: A New Jersey Story Passed on from Father to Son", Association of Former New Jersey State Troopers. Accessed March 14, 2019. "After graduating from Barringer High School in Newark, Herbert was granted a Congressional appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point from the Honorable Walter I. McCoy, Judge of the Supreme Court in Washington D.C."
  2. ^ a b c Eisenhower, John (August 25, 1991). "Schwarzkopf: Desert Storm And Before". Chicago Tribune.
  3. ^ a b Pyle 1991, p. 10–11.
  4. ^ a b c d Melson, Richard (September 6, 2006). "Norman Schwarzkopf Sr". Retrieved December 28, 2015.
  5. ^ "History: 1920's - The History Begins". New Jersey State Police. Retrieved January 21, 2024.
  6. ^ Gill, Barbara (1981). "Lindbergh kidnapping rocked the world 50 years ago". The Hunterdon County Democrat. Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2008-12-30.
  7. ^ a b c John E. Douglas and Mark Olshaker. The Cases That Haunt Us, 2000, Simon & Schuster, "Chapter 3: The Lindbergh Kidnapping", pp. 119–185.
  8. ^ "HOFFMAN TO OUST COL. SCHWARZKOPF; Kimberling Named by Governor to Head New Jersey Police -- Approval up to Senate. PLEAS OF PUBLIC IGNORED Executive Also Flouts Wish of Party Leaders After Feud in Lindbergh Case. HOFFMAN TO OUST COL. SCHWARZKOPF IN JERSEY JOB ROW". The New York Times. 2 June 1936.
  9. ^ "Col. H. Norman Schwarzkopf". Richard Hauptmann (Lindbergh Kidnapping) Trial'. UMKC School of Law. Archived from the original on 2010-06-21. Retrieved March 25, 2012.
  10. ^ History Commons. "Profile:Norman Schwarzkopf Sr". Archived from the original on 2011-04-22. Retrieved 2009-01-13.
  11. ^ N. R. Keddie and M. J. Gasiorowski, eds., Neither East Nor West. Iran, the United States, and the Soviet Union, New Haven, 1990, pp. 154–55; personal interviews.
  12. ^ Resting Places
  13. ^ a b Grossman 2007, p. 312.
  14. ^ a b McNeese 2003, p. 13.
  15. ^ a b Archer 2000, p. 7.
  16. ^ a b Pyle 1991, p. 20.
  17. ^ Schwartz 2006, p. 424.

Further reading edit

External links edit