The subsequent trial took place in the Hunterdon County Courthouse on Main Street in Flemington, New Jersey, and it was the first modern "media circus" trial. Movie newsreels and photographs show hundreds of reporters gathered at the Union Hotel across the street awaiting the latest trial news, which was then relayed to radio stations and newspapers around the world.
The trial ended with a conviction for Hauptmann, who was then executed in Trenton in April, 1936. Hauptmann proclaimed his innocence until the end. Controversy and conspiracy theories concerning the incident continue today. Hauptmann's wife tried unsuccessfully to have the verdict overturned until her death in 2001 at the age of 94.
Beginning in 1990, a theater group has been re-enacting the Lindbergh trial for several weeks each year, and their staging has a unique twist: It takes place in the now fully-restored courtroom in which the actual trial was conducted. Theater-goers do not sit in an auditorium, but in the gallery seats of the courtroom. For a premium price, audience members are seated in the actual jury seats during the production.
After the play, which ends with the historically accurate guilty verdict, the modern "jurors" are questioned as to what verdict they would have delivered based on the evidence shown.
Before the show, kids dressed in period costumes are out in front of the courthouse selling newspapers – "Extra, Extra, read all about it!" – to create an atmosphere like 1935. This year the production begins this weekend, October 3-4, and continues through October 25. Details are available at http://www.famoustrials.com/ .
The production, which requires a cast of 15 actors and a technical crew of about eight, was named one of New Jersey's Top 100 Things To Do by the state's Division of Travel and Tourism. In particular we can recommend it as a great cross-generational family outing, particularly if your family has elders who were alive at the time of the original trial.