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It seemed like a good idea at the time
Perhaps misled by the fact the 1932 kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby remained unsolved through 1933, several people — professional criminals and fairly ordinary folks who were desperate for money — turned to kidnapping for ransom.
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The tragedy of Mary McElroy
Among our kidnappings, one stands out as unbelievably bizarre. The ultrasensitive victim was returned, ostensibly unharmed, but ultimately she was destroyed by her empathy for her abductors.
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Peggy McMath was merely dazed and confused
Fortunately, another kidnap victim, ten-year-old Peggy McMath, was relatively unaffected by her experience at the hands of an inept abductor who briefly had police running in circles.
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"Come here, Charles, and stick up your hands!"
Those were the words that let wealthy Denver banker Charles Boettcher II know that he was in trouble as he went to his car late at night to put it in the garage.
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This case went from bad to worse to horrendous
The kidnapping of 22-year-old Brooke Hart, son of a wealthy San Jose, CA, department store owner led to one of one of the most tragic and infamous incidents in the state's history.
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Amazingly, he survived his ordeal
On July 10, 1933, August Luer, 77, wealthy retired meat packer and banker on Alton, Illinois, was abducted from his home by two men who didn't know Luer had a heart condition.
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There was something fishy about these two
Police weren't sure what to make of it when John "Jake the Barber" Factor, a Chicago con man, was kidnapped not long after reporting his son, Jerome, also had been abducted.

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Big man off campus
Theodore "Handsome Jack" Klutas put in one year at the University of Illinois before he gathered a few associates for a gang known as "The College Kidnappers."
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He was taken by celebrity kidnappers
This 1933 kidnapping of oilman Charles F. Urschel is remembered for the men who staged it — "Machine Gun" Kelly and Harvey Bailey.
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Brewers, beware!
More than one kidnap victim in the 1930s had a beer connection. Most famous among this group was William Hamm Jr., the 39-year-old millionaire who was head of the Hamm Brewing Company.
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They could have pleaded temporary stupidity
The kidnapping of John J. O'Connell Jr. may be a perfect example of how not to commit the kind of crime that was all too common in the early 1930s.
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Lindbergh baby tragedy rocked nation
The kidnapping of Charles A. Lindbergh Jr. was 1932's biggest story in the United States, but it was far from the only abduction that made the news that year..
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