Leopold and Loeb - New World Encyclopedia
Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were exceptionally wealthy, in relationships with others, they had few resources or moral guidance and. pled guilty to the crime under the advice of exceptionally good counsel. See Simon Baatz,. For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder that Shocked Chicago ties, or repressed lovers bound in a self-destructive master-slave relation. The two began seeing each other and the relationship lasted until June of Richard Rubel was one of Leopold and Loeb's closest friends, they were in the . to start their correspondence school, they asked her for advice and over the.
Now, what findings did you arrive at. Nathan and Richard complemented each other. Richard needed Nathan's applause and admiration in order to confirm his sense of his own self. But Nathan also needed Richard to play a role; Richard took the role of a king who was simultaneously superior and inferior.
Richard had suggested the murder and had taken the initiative in its planning-in that sense, he had been the king. But at crucial moments, when Richard had appeared to falter, Nathan had assumed command. For example, on the day following the murder, Thursday, 22 May, Richard had wanted to abandon the ransom attempt as soon as they had learned of the discovery of the body-Dickie would have let it gone by but Babe.
The original 'affluenza' case: Leopold and Loeb - Chicago Tribune
It was a peculiarly bizarre confluence of two personalities, each of which satisfied the needs of the other. Nathan would never on his own initiative have murdered Bobby Franks I cannot see how Babe would have entered into it at all alone because he had no criminalistic tendencies in any sense as Dickie did, and I don't believe Dickie would have ever functioned to this extent all by himself, so these two boys with their peculiarly interdigitated personalities come into this emotional compact with the Franks homicide as a result.
As a result of your examination and observation of the defendant Richard Loeb have you formed an opinion as to his mental condition on the 21st of May, ?
What is that opinion? He was the host of anti-social tendencies along the lines that I have described; he was the host of an infantile make-up which was a long way from the possibility of functioning harmoniously with his developed intelligence. I mean by that these infantile emotional characteristics.
That is the outstanding feature of his mental condition. He is still a little child emotionally, still talking to his teddy bear. Now, have you an opinion as to the mental condition of Nathan Leopold, Jr.
What is your opinion? Well, he also is the host of a relative1y infantile emotional aspect of his personality but. Now, how many persons--From how many persons did you get any information in reference to Nathan Leopold, Jr.
I did not get any information from anybody except Nathan Leopold, Jr. I want to supplement that. I had read--There is one other thing I did have. I had read the so-called Bowman and Hulbert report. Do you think that Nathan Leopold would attempt to mislead you? I don't think he did. He has not lied to you at all? I don't remember any particular instance at this moment where I believe Nathan lied to me. I think he was frank, as frank as he could be. You are satisfied that he has been absolutely truthful, that is, Nathan has, with you all the way through?
Don't you think it is strange that he lies to Loeb and he lies to everybody else except you? The fact that Nathan Leopold has lied to every other person that he has talked to except you, doesn't make any impression on your mind at all? They set fire to several buildings. Three instances I think they gave me of having set fires.
Now tell us what Loeb told you about these fires? Well, this shack was set on fire, this particular one. When and where was it? Didn't you ask them? It was out in the middle of a lot somewhere.
Can you give us any information that will enable me to check up and show whether this actually happened or whether they had just imposed on you? No, I can't give anything to satisfy you.
If you were able to tell me the date on which it happened and the location don't you think I would be able to obtain proof as to whether or not they were lying to you or telling you the truth? You probably would be able to tell whether such a thing happened in the city. If they have fooled you and consistently lied to you then your conclusion isn't worth anything, is it?
William Healy, psychiatrist and defense expert Clarence Darrow: As far as I can find out from the account given by the boys themselves and from their relatives, their association began at fifteen years of age.
They just barely knew each other earlier, but that is the time they first came together. It is very clear from the study of the boys separately that each came with peculiarities in their mental life.
Each arrived at these peculiarities by different routes; each supplemented the other's already constituted abnormal needs in a most unique way. There seems to have been so little normal motivation, the matter was so long planned, so unfeelingly carried out, that it represents nothing that I have ever seen or heard of before.
For Loeb, he says, the association gave him the opportunity of getting someone to carry out his criminalistic imaginings and conscious ideas. In the case of Leopold, the direct cause of his entering into criminalistic acts was this particularly childish compact. You are talking about a compact that you characterize as childish. Kindly tell us what that compact was. I am perfectly willing to tell it in chambers but it is not a matter that I think should be told here. I insist that we know what that compact is," Crowe replied, "so that we can form some opinion about it.
Tell it in court. The trial must be public, your Honor. I am not insisting that he talk loud enough for everybody to hear, but it ought to be told in the same way that we put the other evidence in.
This compact, as was told to me separately by each of the boys, consisted in an agreement between them that Leopold, who has very definite homosexual tendencies was to have the privilege of--Do you want me to be very specific? Absolutely, because this is important. I do not suppose this should be taken in the presence of newspapermen, your Honor.
Gentlemen, will you go and sit down, you newspapermen! This should not be published. What other act's, if any, did they tell you about? You say that there are other acts that they did rarely or seldom?
Oh, they were just experimenting once or twice with each other. Tell what it was.
Leopold and Loeb
They experimented with mouth perversions. Leopold has had for many years a great deal of phantasy life surrounding sex activity.
He has phantasies of being with a man, and usually with Loeb himself. He says he gets a thrill out of anticipating it. Loeb would pretend to be drunk, then this fellow would undress him and he would almost rape him and would be furiously passionate.
With women he does not get that same thrill and passion. That is what he tells you? That is what he tells me. Loeb tells me himself. That is what Leopold gets out of it, and that is what Loeb gets out of it. When Leopold had this first experience with his penis between Loeb's legs. Even in jail here, a look at Loeb's body or his touch upon his shoulder thrills him so, he says, immeasurably When Leopold began to plan with Loeb this murder, what was acting then, his intellect or his emotions?
His intellect, but always accompanied by some emotional life, as it always is. Which was in control, the intellect or the emotions, at the time they planned to steal the typewriter, so that they could write letters that could not be traced back to them? I think the intellect was the predominating thing there probably. And when they rented the room in the Morrison Hotel, intellect was still walking in front?
And so on through all the details of this murder? Bernard Glueck, psychiatrist and defense expert Bernard Gluek: I then took up with Loeb the Franks crime,and asked him to tell me about it. He recited to me in a most matter of fact way all the gruesome details of the planning and execution of this crime, of the disfiguring and the disposal of the body, how he and Leopold stopped with the body in the car to get something to eat on the way.
Sue remembers getting lunch regularly with Leopold, conversing in French, dancing, and discussing philosophy. Like Lorraine, she also helped the defense, but was not asked to testify. Leopold held her in his mind as an ideal girlfriend despite their short acquaintance, and would remember her with exaggerated fondness in his autobiography. He even attained a picture of her after his release from prison and hung it in his home alongside photos of his family members and close friends.
She was prepared to be a defense witness, but was not called, likely to prevent another perjury accusation. It is unknown if she continued to communicate with him after he was sentenced. Rubel was considered by his friends as a victim for their perfect crime, but they were unsure if his father would pay the ransom so they soon moved on to less stingy options.
Called for questioning because of his close association with the boys, he was released after they confessed. He left the city after their arrest and refused to testify or give them aid. After much debate they came up with a plan they thought foolproof: They would be waiting below in a car; as soon as the ransom hit the ground, they would scoop it up and make good their escape.
On the afternoon of May 21,Leopold and Loeb drove their rental car slowly around the streets of the South Side of Chicago, looking for a possible victim.
At 5 o'clock, after driving around Kenwood for two hours, they were ready to abandon the kidnapping for another day. But as Leopold drove north along Ellis Avenue, Loeb, sitting in the rear passenger seat, suddenly saw his cousin, Bobby Franks, walking south on the opposite side of the road.
Bobby's father, Loeb knew, was a wealthy businessman who would be able to pay the ransom. He tapped Leopold on the shoulder to indicate they had found their victim.
Leopold turned the car in a circle, driving slowly down Ellis Avenue, gradually pulling alongside Bobby. The boy turned slightly to see the Willys-Knight stop by the curb. Loeb leaned forward, into the front passenger seat, to open the front door. I'll give you a ride. I want to get one for my brother. He was standing by the side of the car. Loeb looked at him through the open window.
The original 'affluenza' case: Leopold and Loeb
Bobby was so close Loeb could have grabbed him and pulled him inside, but he continued talking, hoping to persuade the boy to climb into the front seat. Bobby stepped onto the running board. The front passenger door was open, inviting the boy inside Loeb gestured toward his companion, "You know Leopold, don't you? The car slowly accelerated down Ellis Avenue. As it passed 49th Street, Loeb felt on the car seat beside him for the chisel. Where had it gone? They had taped up the blade so that the blunt end—the handle—could be used as a club.
Loeb felt it in his hand. He grasped it more firmly. At 50th Street, Leopold turned the car left. As it made the turn, Bobby looked away from Loeb and glanced toward the front of the car.
Loeb reached over the seat. He grabbed the boy from behind with his left hand, covering Bobby's mouth to stop him from crying out. He brought the chisel down hard—it smashed into the back of the boy's skull.
Once again he pounded the chisel into the skull with as much force as possible—but the boy was still conscious. Bobby had now twisted halfway around in the seat, facing back to Loeb, desperately raising his arms as though to protect himself from the blows. Loeb smashed the chisel down two more times into Bobby's forehead, but still he struggled for his life.
The fourth blow had gashed a large hole in the boy's forehead. Blood from the wound was everywhere, spreading across the seat, splashed onto Leopold's trousers, spilling onto the floor.
It was inexplicable, Loeb thought, that Bobby was still conscious. Surely those four blows would have knocked him out? Loeb reached down and pulled Bobby suddenly upwards, over the front seat into the back of the car.
He jammed a rag down the boy's throat, stuffing it down as hard as possible. He tore off a large strip of adhesive tape and taped the mouth shut. The boy's moaning and crying had stopped. Loeb relaxed his grip. Bobby slid off his lap and lay crumpled at his feet. Leopold and Loeb had expected to carry out the perfect crime. But as they disposed of the body—in a culvert at a remote spot several miles south of Chicago—a pair of eyeglasses fell from Leopold's jacket onto the muddy ground. Upon returning to the city, Leopold dropped the ransom letter into a post box; it would arrive at the Franks house at 8 o'clock the next morning.
The following day, a passerby spotted the body and notified the police. The Franks family confirmed the identity of the victim as that of year-old Bobby. The perfect crime had unraveled and now there was no longer any thought, on the part of Leopold and Loeb, of attempting to collect the ransom.
By tracing Leopold's ownership of the eyeglasses, the state's attorney, Robert Crowe, was able to determine that Leopold and Loeb were the leading suspects. Ten days after the murder, on May 31, both boys confessed and demonstrated to the state's attorney how they had killed Bobby Franks. Crowe boasted to the press that it would be "the most complete case ever presented to a grand or petit jury" and that the defendants would certainly hang.
Teenage Years | The Lives and Legends of Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold
Leopold and Loeb had confessed and shown the police crucial evidence—the typewriter used for the ransom letter—that linked them to the crime. The trial, Crowe quickly realized, would be a sensation. Nathan Leopold admitted they had murdered Bobby solely for the thrill of the experience. Crowe also realized that he could turn the case to his own advantage.
He was 45 years old, yet already he had had an illustrious career as chief justice of the criminal court and, sinceas state's attorney of Cook County. Crowe was a leading figure in the Republican Party with a realistic chance of winning election as Chicago's next mayor.
To send Leopold and Loeb to the gallows for their murder of a child would, no doubt, find favor with the public. Indeed, the public's interest in the trial was driven by more than lurid fascination with the grisly details of the case. Sometime within the past few years the country had experienced a shift in public morality. Women now bobbed their hair, smoked cigarettes, drank gin and wore short skirts; sexuality was everywhere and young people were eagerly taking advantage of their new freedoms.
The traditional ideals—centered on work, discipline and self-denial—had been replaced by a culture of self-indulgence. And what single event could better illustrate the dangers of such a transformation than the heinous murder of Bobby Franks? Precocious brains, salacious books, infidel minds—all these helped to produce this murder. The families of the confessed murderers had hired Clarence Darrow as defense attorney.
ByDarrow had achieved notoriety within Cook County as a clever speaker, an astute lawyer and a champion of the weak and defenseless. One year later, he would become the most famous lawyer in the country, when he successfully defended Socialist labor leader Eugene Debs against conspiracy charges that grew out of a strike against the Pullman Palace Car Company.
Crowe could attest firsthand to Darrow's skills. InDarrow had humiliated him in the corruption trial of Fred Lundin, a prominent Republican politician. Like Crowe, Darrow knew that he might be able to play the trial of Leopold and Loeb to his advantage. Darrow was passionately opposed to the death penalty; he saw it as a barbaric and vengeful punishment that served no purpose except to satisfy the mob.
The trial would provide him with the means to persuade the American public that the death penalty had no place in the modern judicial system. Darrow's opposition to capital punishment found its greatest source of inspiration in the new scientific disciplines of the early 20th century.