On 21 May 1927 Charles Lindbergh became the most famous young man in the world. For 33 hours, the whole of Europe and America had held its breath as his tiny plane, Spirit of St Louis, made the first solo flight across the Atlantic. Less than five years later, however, Lindbergh had become one of the most deeply pitied men in the world. On the evening of 1 March 1932, his 19-month-old son, Charles junior, was kidnapped from his cot. It was the beginning of a ten-week ordeal that left Lindbergh an embittered man whose only desire was to escape from America.