FPL in the Pages of History – Feb. 14, 1935

A nice little shout-out about FPL’s role in The Crime of the Century was posted today by Capital Newspapers in Madison, Wis. —


Photo of the Forest Products Laboratory during the Koehler era.

Pages from history Feb. 14, 1935

In 1935, Bruno Hauptmann, accused of the abduction and murder of Col. Charles A. Lindbergh’s infant son, was found guilty and sentenced to death after a six week trial.

Hauptmann was convicted for the “Crime of the Century” based partly on the testimony of Arthur Koehler, chief wood technologist at the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison.

Koehler testified that a piece of the ladder used in the abduction matched wood that was found in Hauptmann’s attic.

Hauptmann was executed on April 3, 1936.

A recent book by Adam J. Schrager, The Sixteenth Rail, explores Koehler’s role in the Lindbergh kidnapping in great detail. From Schrager’s description:

Before there was CSI and NCIS, there was a mild-mannered forensic scientist whose diligence would help solve the twentieth century’s greatest crime. Arthur Koehler was called the Sherlock Holmes of his era for his work tracing the ladder used to kidnap Charles Lindbergh’s son to the culprit.