Leopold and Loeb

(redirected from Nathan Leopold)

Leopold and Loeb

(lōb), notorious American murderers defended by Clarence DarrowDarrow, Clarence Seward,
1857–1938, American lawyer, b. Kinsman, Ohio. He first practiced law in Ashtabula, Ohio. In 1887 he moved to Chicago, where he was corporation counsel for several years and conducted the cases that the city brought to reduce transit rates.
..... Click the link for more information.
 in 1924. The gregarious, dominating Richard A. Loeb (1905–1936) and the shy, submissive Nathan F. Leopold, Jr. (1904–1971) were wealthy young Chicagoans and boyhood friends who had formed a sexual relationship and begun to commit petty crimes together. Loeb, convinced of their brilliance and obsessed with committing the perfect crime, was the main architect of the kidnapping and murder. On May 21, 1924, they abducted a 14-year-old neighbor, Bobby Franks, while on his way home from school, murdered him, and hid his body in a railroad drainage culvert in rural Indiana. Returning to Chicago, the two sent Franks' mother a note demanding a $10,000 ransom, but Franks' body was soon discovered, and prescription eyeglasses found nearby were traced to Leopold. Arrested, both confessed.

Leopold and Loeb pled guilty on Darrow's advice, and the trial, held before Judge John R. Caverly, focused solely on their punishment. Much of the defense hinged on the testimony of psychiatrists, who spoke of the defendants' immaturity, obsessions, and other problems. In a lengthy, emotional, and eloquent summation, Darrow argued for their lives, citing their upbringing, youth, and other factors but most of all condemning the death penalty itself. Caverly sentenced Leopold and Loeb to imprisonment—life for murder, 99 years for kidnapping. Loeb was murdered by a fellow prison inmate, but Leopold was paroled in 1958, moved to Puerto Rico, married, taught, and wrote a book on ornithology.

The sensational murder and subsequent trial transfixed the public's imagination and were widely called "the crime and the trial of the century." The events came to wide attention again in the second half of the 20th cent. with the publication of a fictionalized version, Meyer Levin's best-selling novel Compulsion (1956), and the popular film that followed in 1959.


See Leopold's Life plus 99 Years (1958); M. McKernan, The Amazing Crime and Trial of Leopold and Loeb (1924); H. Higdon, The Crime of the Century (1975); S. Baatz, For the Thrill of It (2008).

References in periodicals archive ?
His close friend and lover Nathan Leopold was also very bright, with a reported IQ of 210, and the product of a wealthy family.
But the killing of 14-year-old Bobby Franks by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb was no ordinary murder.
On May 21, 1924, in a case that drew much notoriety, 14-year-old Bobby Franks was murdered in a ''thrill killing'' carried out by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold Jr.
The characters Richard Haywood and Justin Pendleton are loosely based on real-life murderers, Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, two wealthy University of Chicago law students who murdered 14-year-old Robert Franks in 1924.
A third Jazz Age trial, and the one which most creatively has resonated with filmmakers throughout the years, is Nathan Leopold (1904-1971) and Richard Loeb's (1905-1936) self-described "thrill" kilting of 14-year-old Robert "Bobby" Franks on May 21, 1924.
The article's title is "Correspondence Study and the 'Crime of the Century': Helen Williams, Nathan Leopold, and the Stateville Correspondence School.
Now, after thirty--three years, Nathan Leopold would soon be up for parole.
On one hand, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb are seen as the ruthless Nietzsche supermen of their own imagining.
of New York) places his primary sources in moody context in this narrative account of the 1924 murder of a child in Chicago by college students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.
Her fascinating essay shows how the popularization of psychology and new notions of childhood innocence shaped public reading of the case of the "spoiled and "overly-precocious" young murderers, Nathan Leopold Jr.
Nathan Leopold, convicted with Richard Loeb for the killing of a 14-year-old boy in the infamous 1924 case known as the "Crime of the Century," met DSM-IV-TR criteria for Asperger's disorder psychopathology, a retrospective analysis by Dr.