Saturday, April 27, 2019

Leopold and Loeb: The Murder of the Century and America's #1 Lawyer Clarence Darrow

America's Greatest Lawyer Clarence Darrow, Attorney for the Damned, Leopold and Loeb

Clarence Darrow and his son, Paul

Clarence Darrow began his career as a school teacher in Ohio. He was also apprenticing in a Lawyer's Office after school and on weekends. Eventually he took and passed the bar exam,  becoming a lawyer. He quickly established a reputation as an excellent litigator. As his reputation spread he went from a small town Ohio Lawyer to become America's highest paid lawyer working as a corporate counsel for the railroads. He quickly became chief counsel, something he would excel at for 20 years. Then he had an attack of conscience and became a Labor Lawyer, defending employees, liberals and unions. He would spend the last 25 years of his life fighting the death penalty, many times for free. He opposed the death penalty on principle. By 1900, he was considered the best lawyer in the country. In his last years, he served in President Franklin "FDR" Roosevelt's administration. 

Darrow's agreement

Clarence files with Cook County Court his notice that he has been hired by the Leopold and Loeb families to represent their boys Nathan "Babe" Leopold and Richard "Dick" Loeb for the crime of murdering 14-year-old Bobby Franks. The Leopold and Loeb families originally offered any amount, a million dollars, if Clarence Darrow would take their sons' case. Then they would put off specific discussions as to the amount Darrow's representation would cost.  In the end Darrow would be paid $70,000 for the case, which included fees for expert witnesses hired for the defense. Darrow would then have to split the fee with his law firm 50/50, after taxes. The families were worth about $5 to $10,000,000 at the time of Bobby's murder, even so, they were slow in paying Clarence, so he would have to pay expenses out of his own pocket. Darrow later said a lot of destitute clients' defenses were paid for by the Leopold and Loeb families. 

Nathan said his first impression of Darrow was one of "horror," unimpressed as he was by Darrow's unruly hair, rumpled jacket, egg-splattered shirt, suspenders, and askew tie. His opinion of Darrow would soon change. He later described his attorney as a great, simple, unaffected man, with a "deep-seated, all-embracing kindliness." In his book Life Plus Ninety-Nine Years, Leopold wrote that if asked to name the two men who "came closest to preaching the pure essence of love" he would say Jesus and Clarence Darrow.

Two bored, wealthy, brilliant boys, 19-year-old Nathan Leopold and 18-year-old Richard Loeb, had been committing a series of petty crimes, shoplifting, arson, cheating at cards, theft, like stealing Loeb's fraternity brother's typewriter at the University of Michigan, all without getting caught. Their first crime together was cheating friends and family in card games. They found it hilarious to outsmart their friends. They went on to set fires, arson, then watch firemen put out the fires, even offering constructive advice to the professionals who investigated on how to catch the perpetrator. Richard Loeb was fascinated by crime. As a boy he would lie to his governess, Emily Struthers, who was very strict. Richard got to be very good at lying and deceit, taking extraordinary joy in outsmarting the woman who took such pride in her charge and trusted him.

Richard Loeb read detective magazine and crime stories incessantly since he was about 12-years-old and became fascinated with criminals and crime. While Nathan Leopold was a cold-blooded intellect, he even made the newsreels of the time for having found a nest of the previously listed extinct Kirtland Warblers, for which Leopold earned an invitation to the American Ornithological Association in Boston.  
Loeb had a detached, passionate, amoral criminal mind. He enjoyed lying and deceit. He saw it as proof of his superior mind. As much as Leopold enjoyed ornithology, study of birds. Leopold was considered a brilliant ornithology student and teacher since he was in his early teens, Loeb enjoyed outsmarting other people, through lies, charm and deceit. 

Both boys were attending the University of Chicago that spring of 1924, Richard Loeb, having just become the youngest graduate of the University of Michigan at 17, was taking graduate courses in history before going to law school, while Nathan Leopold was taking pre-law courses at his alma mater before attending Harvard University Law School in the fall. 
They decided to commit one last crime to prove how brilliant they were. The perfect crime, a murder without getting caught. They thought of themselves as  Frederick Nietzsche's Superman, so far above average people that they didn't have to obey the laws which were designed for the masses. They decided to murder a kid and get away with it and live happily ever after.  As has been noted before, Nietzsche's followers included Nazis Adolf Hitler, SS Chief Heinrich Himmler and two Jewish boys from Chicago. Oxymoron doesn't even begin to describe it.

14-year-old Bobby Franks was an intelligent student at the Harvard Preparatory School in the Kenwood Neighborhood of Chicago Illinois. He had stayed late the afternoon of May 21, 1924 umpiring a pick-up game of baseball on the athletic field behind the school. About 5:30 PM, he started home. As he walked home, a neighbor, young Richard Loeb, offered him a lift home. Within minutes he would be dead.

Bobby and his Dad in downtown Chicago and at age 13-years-old. Bobby's debate team argued over the death penalty a few weeks before his murder on  May 21, 1924, Bobby argued against the death penalty. 

The Harvard School at 4810 South Ellis Avenue in Chicago closed in 2003 and has been converted to condominiums. It was founded in 1865 for the wealthy elite of Chicago Society. 

Bobby Franks home at 5052 South Ellis Avenue in Chicago, in recent years it became a low cost boarding house and then was abandoned. Recently it was rehabilitated. 

Smithsonian Magazine
""Hey, Bob," Loeb shouted from the rear window. 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. "Hello, Bob. I'll give you a ride."
The boy shook his head—he was almost home.
"No, I can walk."
"Come on in the car; I want to talk to you about the tennis racket you had yesterday. I want to get one for my brother."

"You don't mind us taking you around the block?"
"Certainly not." Bobby turned around in the seat to face Loeb; he smiled at his cousin with an open, innocent grin, ready to banter about his success in yesterday's tennis game.
Smithsonian Magazine article about the kidnapping 

Approximate spot where Bobby Franks was walking when his cousin Richard Loeb called him over and offered him a lift. From a contemporary newsreel of the crime scene, 1924.

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The Approximate location where Bobby Franks was killed just off South Ellis Avenue, on 50th Street The approximate location today in Kenwood.

The plan had been to knock him unconscious. The boy would be hit with the blunt end of the chisel, knocked out, and taken to the predetermined dumping site, at which point they would complete the plan by strangling him. Each was to hold an end of the rope and both pull, to share equally in the guilt. However, Bobby did not succumb instantly. He screamed. He was hit again. And again. He bled. It was another mistake. He was dragged over the seat of the car smearing blood on the seat. Gags were stuffed into his mouth. He was wrapped in a blanket and shoved onto the floor of the car.
Nathan began to lose his composure, mumbling, "This is terrible. This is terrible!" Richard calmed him down by talking to him, joking and laughing.  Loeb later would describe how he felt as "cool and self possessed". But things were already going  horribly wrong. There was a great deal of blood. They hadn't intended on that. 

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were rich, brilliant young college students. They had murdered Bobby Franks in the car they rented, then kept the boy's body on the floorboard of the backseat. They stripped him of his clothes and dressed him in an old robe they had around the house. They dumped some of his clothes, his belt, and shoes along the way to Wolf Lake. Later they would burn his shirt, pants and underwear and one sock in the Loeb family coal furnace.  They then went to a hotdog stand for dinner with the dead boy only a couple of feet away on the floorboard of the back seat, waiting for darkness to fall. They killed Bobby for the thrill of killing someone and getting away with it. They orchestrated a fake kidnapping as a cover. Here they proved how cruel and heartless they were. There can be no more cold-blooded, cruel crime than that. As blood seeped out Bobby's wounds staining the upholstery and carpeting, they calmly ate their red hots, which is what hotdogs were called at the time, and drank root beer. The blood even stained the floorboards underneath.  "Well, probably the blood was rather effusive," Leopold would later comment.

Leopold and Loeb ate a dinner of Hot Dogs and Soda at the Dew Drop Inn Restaurant. Then headed for Wolf Lake about 25 miles South East of Chicago, which they decided was the perfect place to dump the boy's body.

New York Daily News/GettyImages 

Officers Byrne and Anderson found Bobby Franks' sock at the crime scene and glasses which turned out to be Nathan Leopold's, dropped when Leopold and Loeb carried 14-year-old boy, Bobby Franks, to the Wolf Lake culvert pipe below the Pennsylvania Rail Road Line. 

Leopold and Loeb stripped the robe off Bobby, poured hydrochloric acid on his face and genitals hoping to disfigure and ravage Bobby's body, delaying, if not preventing, identification. But the acid only turned his face, stomach, Bobby had a surgical scar on his stomach, penis and scrotum copper colored. They had hoped hydrochloric acid would even prevent identifying that Bobby had been circumcised * or, at best,  the body's sex. Then they made another mistake, they originally intended to hide Bobby's body so it wouldn't be discovered for a few days. But the next morning a worker walking along the Pennsylvania Railroad line looked down at the culvert saw this pipe and saw Bobby's feet sticking out. Scrambling down the embankment, he called some passing railroad workers for help and they sent for police.

* Leopold & Loeb / Crime Library by Marilyn Bardsley

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Wolf Lake just outside of Chicago where Leopold and Loeb dumped Bobby Franks body.

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The Railroad tracks are gone and the culvert has been filled in to make a bike trail by Wolf Lake. This website has tracked down the site where Bobby's body was found

Tony Minke lived nearby, on the edge of the Forest Preserve, but he did not usually take this route home. That morning, Thursday, 22 May, he was coming from the factory where he had worked the night shift. Now he was on his way to Hegewisch to pick up his watch from a repair shop before returning home to sleep. The sun was at his back, and as he passed a large ditch on his left, he looked down momentarily. The sun’s rays shone into the ditch, and Minke looked more closely: was that a foot poking out of the drainage pipe? Minke stopped and looked closer—he peered into the pipe. Inside, he could see a child’s body, naked and lying face downward in a foot of muddy water.15 In the distance, Minke could see four men, railroad workers, on a handcar traveling slowly along the tracks in his direction. He climbed the embankment and, as the handcar approached, he signaled to it to halt. The handcar came to a gradual stop. As the workmen climbed down, Minke walked a few steps toward them, pointing back at the ditch. “Look,” he exclaimed, “there is something in the pipe, there is a pair of feet sticking out.”16 As the men pulled the body out of the pipe and turned it on its back, Minke could see immediately that the boy had been killed: there were two large wounds on the forehead—deep gashes, each about an inch long—and toward the back of the head he could see large bruises and swelling. And those marks on the boy’s back? What had caused those scratches running down the back all the way from the shoulders to the buttocks? But the most peculiar aspect was the appearance of the face—there were distinctive copper-colored stains around the mouth and chin; and the genitals also—they were stained with the same color.17 As his fellow workers were carrying the body to a second handcar on the tracks, Paul Korff, a signal repairman for the railroad, glanced over the scene. He wondered if any of the boy’s clothes were lying around; if so, they should gather them up and take them along. Korff could see nothing—no shirt or trousers, or even shoes and socks—but he did find a pair of eyeglasses with tortoiseshell frames, lying on the embankment, just a few feet from the culvert. Perhaps they belonged to the boy; Korff put them in his pocket and joined his comrades waiting by the handcars.18 At around ten o’clock that morning, Anton Shapino, the sergeant on duty at the Hegewisch police station, took charge of the body. Paul Korff had handed him the tortoiseshell eyeglasses, and Shapino, assuming that they belonged to the boy, placed them on the child’s forehead. Later that morning, at the morgue at 13300 South Houston Avenue, the undertaker, Stanley Olejniczak, laid the body out; as he did so, he noticed the unusual discoloration of the boy’s face and genitals and the bruises and cuts on the head—someone had obviously beaten the child violently. 

A morgue photo shows that Bobby is trying to protect his head from Nathan's blows with the chisel. Bobby's body captured in full rigor mortis. Rigor Mortis starts about 2 hours after death, in which muscles become rigid, locked into their position in death,normally lasting 18 hours to as long as 36 hours. Only photo of Bobby after the murder, from the morgue.

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, the 14-year-old boy's gentle crying and whimpering could still be heard. 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 rammed a rag down the boy's throat, sticking his fingers deep into Bobby's mouth, suppressing his tongue, ramming and stuffing the rag down as hard and far as possible, choking the boy and depriving him of oxygen. He tore off a large strip of adhesive tape and taped the mouth shut. Finally! The boy's moaning and crying had stopped. Loeb relaxed his grip. Bobby slid off his lap and lay crumpled at his feet.

Smithsonian Magazine

Bobby's Dad, Jacob Franks, talking to Chicago Coroner Dr. Wolff 

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The piece of evidence which broke the case, Nathan Leopold's glasses, which had a unique hinge which just came out, only three people's glasses in Chicago had it. Of the three only Nathan was the only one not in possession of his glasses. They had been a recent prescription, a few months prior, Nathan had started getting headaches, finally his mother suggested that he go to the ophthalmologist to see if his eyes might be causing them. He did and received glasses with horn rimmed framed reading glasses made of Xylonite. Friends remember Nathan chewing on the earpieces. The recovered glasses had chewed ends.

"Now the time you first started to wear glasses was when, Nathan?"
"In October or November, 1923."
"And who was your doctor that prescribed the glasses?"
"Emil Deutsch."
"And he is located where?"
"30 North Michigan."
"And the one who filled the prescription?"
"Almer Coe."
"How long did you wear the glasses, Nathan, afterward?"
"Until February or March...."
In March, Nathan Leopold found that his headaches disappeared, so he discontinued wearing them except for the smallest print. He forgot the last time he wore them, but he put them in his coat jacket pocket. The jacket he wore on the night in question. He had taken off his jacket to put Bobby's body in the pipe, at which point his prescription glasses fell out. 

The night of the murder Loeb and Leopold played cards with friends as if nothing had happened. Nathan Leopold made the mistake that led to his being called in for questioning, which led to his arrest and the unraveling of the perfect crime. He lost his glasses at the murder scene. Police originally thought the glasses belonged with the boy's body, which explains why the Franks family discounted police reports that the boy's body might be Bobby, Bobby didn't wear glasses. Jacob Franks asked his brother-in-law Edward Gresham to go to the morgue, just in case. He immediately recognized his nephew Bobby Franks. 

As Columbo once said, I make mistakes, with experience I make very few now, but criminals have to be careful, since most murderers have no experience, one mistake, the wrong mistake, can lead to their immediate arrest.  The glasses were practically brand new. They included a brand new type hinge which had only been used on 3 pairs of glasses in the Chicago area. The manufacturer maintained excellent sales records. A perfect storm for Leopold and Loeb. 

Police went to the manufacturer and ophthalmologists to track down the owner. All kept excellent records. Nathan Leopold was the only one who didn't have his glasses in his possession. State's Attorney Crowe ordered Leopold be brought in for questioning. Later police would take him to his house to find the misplaced glasses. Failing to do so, Leopold opined he must have lost them while taking kids to the park and lake bird watching. Leopold was a well respected naturalist and bird expert and he had been to Wolf Lake many, many times with groups bird watching.

Press Reports of a pair of glasses found at the crime scene prompt a call from Nathan Leopold to Richard Loeb

"Well, you know I wore glasses for a couple of weeks last year. And the picture in the paper looks just like my pair. Then I looked all over for them and I can't find the damn things."
"Well, you know how you are about neatness. You have a place for everything--one place for everything! Let's look again."

"O.K. But you're not going to find them."

"How in hell could you be such a stupe. Look, can they trace them, do you think?"

"That's just what I wanted to talk to you about. They're a very common prescription. Half a degree of astigmatism or something, the doc said. There must be a jillion pairs like them in the city . So I don't think there's much chance of their being traced. On the other hand, I've got all the alibi in the world for their being found there. You know I go birding out there all the time. Hell, I've been there--right at that same spot--half a dozen times in the last couple of weeks. I had my birding class there Saturday. And I was out there with Bill Campbell and Harry Stokes on Sunday, I think. I've got oodles of respectable witnesses. Whaddaya say I go in and claim them. Kinda spike their guns in advance."

"Naw, I think that'd be a fool caper. Don't get mixed up in the case at all. They might try some rough stuff on you. And besides, it might take you a hell of a while to talk your way out of it. You've got your exams coming up and everything. Of course the crucial thing is what chance there is the damn things can be traced to you."

"Well, as I said, I know the prescription is a very common one. The doc told me so. And how are they going to know what oculist they come from? They'd have to go through the records of every oculist in town and then check on a couple of thousand people."

"Hell, let it go. You don't know your glasses are gone. Make 'em come to you. Then, if wurst comes to sausage, you can be so surprised that the glasses are yours. Then's the time to tell your story about losing 'em birding."

From Leopold's statement to prosecutors. 

Richard Loeb burned the robe in the family furnace that they had covered Bobby's body in while in the back seat and in which they carried him to the culvert and pipe into which they dumped the boy's body. 

Bobby Franks dad Jacob Franks with his brother-in-law Edward Gresham

When Jacob Frank's brother-in-law Edward Gresham went to the morgue and identified Bobby as the boy found in the culvert, the police knew they were dealing with murder and a fake kidnapping. Mr. Gresham also indicated that the glasses did not belong to Bobby. The nearly clean glasses were going to be the most important clue in the case. It has rained a few days earlier and the glasses showed no trace of it. 


The funeral service was held at the Franks home at 5052 Ellis Ave. and then Bobby's casket, guarded by six motorcycle police, was taken to Rosehill Cemetery in Chicago. Bobby's Harvard Prep School classmates were his pallbearers,  Maurice Gresham, John Coleman, Justin Cohen, Robert Ascher, Louis New, William Schuyler, Sidney Eppenstein, and Max Welheimer carry his casket to the hearse. 

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By September 1924, the Franks family made the decision to move, they could never remain in the house after Bobby died.

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Police were perplexed by the crime, that Bobby had been murdered immediately, indicated that the kidnappers had not been organized/professional criminals. The sheer brutality indicated a deranged mind. I think that this is the first case where a drug crazed killer was suspected. 

The real horror of murder, as much as the death itself,  is the "collateral damage," 

Bobby Franks' family was devastated by his murder, the Loeb and Leopold families were held in contempt and lived in shame. Richard Loeb's brother Tommy was devastated by the murder, he lost a friend and his adored big brother. He would become an alcoholic and had three unhappy marriages. Friends said Tommy would say May 20, 1924 was the last happy day of his life.

Bobby Franks slightly older brother Jack Franks was 16 and a student at Harvard Preparatory School when his brother was killed. When Bobby disappeared, he spent the whole evening looking for him. Bobby and Jack had been best friends. Only his mother suffered more at the loss. 

When Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb killed Bobby Franks, they didn't kill just one person...

Five years after his brother's death, Jack wrote a book of his musings, thoughts and feelings. It started and was dedicated to his Dad. They had taken a vacation to Banff in Canada shortly after Bobby's death. It helped them both. One poem was about the loss of his best friend. It was privately printed and titled "Echoes" published by The Lakeside Press, Chicago, 1929.     

Jack would die in 1938 from myocarditis, heart disease,  complicated by epilepsy. 

Flora and Jack memorial club for Bobby around 1930

Bobby's Mom and brother Jack dedicating a Boy's Club in Bobby's memory. 

This Special Delivery Letter reached the Frank's family immediately after the phone call.

"Dear Sir:

As you no doubt know by this time, your son has been kidnapped. Allow us to assure you that he is at present well and safe. You need fear no physical harm for him, provided you live up carefully to the following instructions and to such others as you will receive by future communications. Should you, however, disobey any of our instructions, even slightly, his death will be the penalty.

1. For obvious reasons make absolutely no attempt to communicate with either police authorities or any private agency. Should you already have communicated with the police, allow them to continue their investigations, but do not mention this letter.

2. Secure before noon today $10,000. This money must be composed entirely of old bills of the following denominations: $2000 in $20 bills, $8000 in $50 bills. The money must be old. Any attempt to include new or marked bills will render the entire venture futile.

3. The money should be placed in a large cigar box, or if this is impossible, in a heavy cardboard box, securely closed and wrapped in white paper. The wrapping paper should be sealed at all openings with sealing wax.

4. Have the money with you, prepared as directed above, and remain at home after one o'clock. See that the telephone is not in use."

George Johnson 

The phone call guaranteed that if the money were delivered according to his instructions in this letter and the next letter, that Bobby would be returned unharmed.

Richard Loeb had typed the Ransom Notes on a typewriter he and Leopold had stolen from his frat brothers at the University of Michigan. Loeb graduated from University High School at 14,  then University of Michigan at age 17, while Leopold graduated at 13 from Harvard Prep School at 13, then from the University of Chicago at 18 and planned to go to Harvard Law School. After both boys buckled under questioning from State's Attorney Robert C. Crowe, the typewriter was recovered from Jackson Lake near Kenwood and the University of Chicago. Here is the drug store from which they made the ransom call before Bobby's body was identified.

Leopold family reunion, Nathan Leopold is the littlest boy in the center in the white shirt. Hist brother Mike is in the front on the right, his brother Sam sits with the girls on the left. Behind Mike Leopold is their Mom Florence, Nathan Sr. is the man in the back row, 4th from the left. 


Richard Loeb as a kid playing cowboy at 4 and as a high school student at 13-years-old.

1921 Junior Class Poem from the Harvard School for Boys Annual, mentioning Nathan Leopold. 

14-year-old Richard Loeb was Class Treasurer at University Prep School. 14-year-old Nathan Leopold at the Harvard School, a few grades ahead of Bobby Franks. Bobby and Nathan were acquaintances, but Richard's brother Tommy was a friend of Bobby and they knew each other well. Bobby and Tommy would play tennis at the Loeb Courts quite often. 

Both boys were sexually precocious, while Nathan appears exclusively homosexual, Richard appears primarily heterosexual, but also bisexual to a limited extent.

Nathan Leopold learned about sex from a 13-year-old friend named Henry who taught him self-abuse, they practiced mutual masturbation together for a couple of years. 

Richard Loeb did have one friend with whom he took part in several petty delinquencies, including thefts; a boy named a much poorer kid named Jack Mengel they met at the age of eight.  Together they stole a flower vase from a neighborhood house and got caught. Loeb was 9-years-old. They also played strip poker and once wrestled naked on a bed. Loeb never spoke of sex with his parents or governess, but the family chauffeur told him the basic facts of life when Richard was 11-years-old. Mengel and Richard drifted apart at about the age of fourteen. Mengel wound up in Pontiac Reform School and was later sentenced to Federal Prison for forgery as an adult.. 
Richard got his first girlfriend when he was 12 and then promptly caught a venereal disease at age 15/16, from a female prostitute, which the family doctor helped keep secret from his parents. His parents were giving him a huge, for the time, allowance and the free use of the family chauffeur, since he was 10.  

The University Lab School was started by American Educator John Dewey in 1896 in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. It was designed to prepare students for college from Nursery School age 3 to High School and was closely tied to and integrated with the University of Chicago. 

It is still open and located at 1362 East 59th Street in the city of Chicago, taking up to full city blocks and is still considered one of the finest preparatory schools in the country. 

Richard Loeb comes to the "aid" of the Police and Press

Richard Loeb the ultimate cynic decided to "help" the police find the murderer. He told them a couple of teachers had an unnatural friendliness towards some of the boys in the school. Police came down hard on these teachers, grilling them for hours, it is rumored, they even beat them. Turns out Richard and Nathan didn't like them and used the investigation for revenge. 

On Friday, May 23, Richard Loeb, a handsome nineteen-year-old University of Chicago student and neighbor of the Franks family, was at his Zeta Beta Tau fraternity house with Howard Mayer who was the campus liaison to the Evening American. Loeb suggested that they try to locate the drugstore that the kidnapper had instructed Jacob Franks to go to with the ransom money. Just as the two of them were about to check the various drugstores, two Daily News reporters, one of whom was a ZBT member, came into the fraternity house and decided to go with them.
Eventually, they found the Van de Bogert and Ross drugstore and confirmed that there had been two calls the previous day for Mr. Franks. "This is the place!" Loeb shrieked enthusiastically to the others. "This is what comes from reading detective stories."
Mulroy, one of the reporters, asked Loeb if he knew the murdered boy. 

Loeb told him he had, then he smiled and said, "If I were going to murder anybody, I would murder just such a cocky little son of a bitch as Bobby Franks."

Nathan Leopold told police after he was caught, killing Bobby meant nothing to him, the same as pinning a beetle to a biology presentation.

Chicago Coroner Springer's initial assessment of Bobby Franks' body and cause of death.


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Huge crowds fought to get into the courtroom.

Jack Franks, Bobby's 16-year-old brother, went to the courthouse every day with his Dad, Mom couldn't handle it. Here Jack is outside the courtroom.

ECC | [Jack Franks smiling and sitting in a chair]

Jack older sister 18-year-old Josephine stayed home with their inconsolable Mom, Flora, both of whom only coming to court to testify.

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A Horrific Moment almost no one knows...

Detectives escorted Nathan home after brief questioning about the glasses found at Wolf Lake. He had been at the LaSalle Hotel for only about an hour, being questioned by Robert Crowe's experienced staff. They offered him a chance to see if he could find his glasses. 
Once they got there, a quick search failed to turn them up.  His older brother Mike decided that, even though he believed Nathan's story about losing them birding, it was time for Nathan to get some legal advice. Mike suggested that they contact Samuel Ettleson who was a neighbor, lawyer and a friend of both the Franks family, Leopold family and the Loeb family. It was at this point that something truly horrifying occurred

Nathan Leopold's brother Mike suggested they go directly to ask Attorney Sam Ettleson for advice. Calling his house, Mike found that Ettleson had gone to the Frank's house to comfort and support his distraught next door neighbor and his family. So Mike took Nathan, everybody, including Ettleson, called Nathan "Babe," to the Franks' house. They were greeted at the door by a numb Jacob Franks and Sam Ettleson. Sam shepherded Mike and "Babe" away from the distraught Franks family so Mike and Nathan could speak to him. Mike explained that "Babe" had lost his glasses while bird watching at Wolf Lake the week before and was now the subject of police questioning. Nathan had to agree to this interview, anything else would look suspicious.

Evil Summer: Babe Leopold, Dickie Loeb, and the Kidnap-Murder of Bobby Franks By John Theodore SIU Press(2007)

Nathan Leopold had never met Bobby's Dad and family before and admitted later, after his confession, that he was incredibly uncomfortable in the house of and with the family, father, mother, brother and sister of the boy he had just tortured and murdered.


Mike Leopold, Nathan's older brother.

Attorney Ettleson with Flora nee Griesheimer Franks, Bobby's Mom at the courthouse and her brother Edward Gresham who had identified Bobby's body in the morgue.

A moment which must have made Clarence Darrow CRINGE IN HORROR during the trial 
On Friday the 23rd, the coroner's inquest was held. Dr. Joseph Springer had conducted the autopsy. 
He would repeat the same testimony at the criminal trial of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb. 
Bobby Franks had died of suffocation, perhaps when his kidnapper held his hand over the boy's mouth and shoved something down the boy's throat. There were a number of wounds on the boy's body which suggested that he had fought with his captor.
There were small wounds on the right and left sides of his head, plus bleeding and bruises from a blunt instrument on Bobby's forehead. Some chemical had been poured on his face and his penis. While there was some dilation of Bobby's rectum, Springer said that Bobby had most probably not been sexually abused. That was a natural phenomenon after death.
After the Coroner reported that Bobby's rectum were dilated, Leopold and Loeb, laughed. 

It should be stated at this point, State's Attorney Robert Crowe believed Bobby's murder was a sexual assault. He included the following words in his closing arguments, mentioning the coroner's words. And Crowe indicated that they only reason that this suspected crime was not part of the indictment was that whatever evidence which might have been on Bobby's body was washed away by the water flowing through the pipe. 

But it went far beyond that, the two boys would constantly show that they were bored with the proceedings, betraying that they felt this whole trial was a waste of their far too valuable time. The boys were constantly rolling their eyes, yawning and appearing to close their eyes and sleep during the proceedings. Forever emphasizing to all those in the courtroom that Bobby Franks' life and death were trivia, to them.  But what disturbed onlookers the most, even Darrow, was their laughter and smirking smiles. One associate of Darrow's would later confide, there was little chance a jury would not execute them, but the boy's demeanor would have guaranteed it. 
Darrow argued and believed that there was something seriously wrong with these two murderers. Alienists, as psychiatrists were called then, would be the rock upon which Leopold and Loeb's whole defense was based. It was the only case he could make and he made it with the razor sharp intellect of a skilled surgeon.
But as Judge Caverly would later state, it was Clarence Darrow's impassioned, eloquent plea for mercy, based on the youth of the offenders, which would be decisive in his decision.

I am a liberal and against the death penalty, but I would have been glad to vote life plus 99 years or INFINITY for these two and be quite content with my vote.  

Both Leopold and Loeb came from immensely rich families. Their homes reflect this.

The Leopold Family home at 4754 Greenwood Avenue.  

The Loeb Home at 5017 South Ellis less than a block from Bobby Franks home. When tearing this home down, the construction crew found gay pornographic playing cards in the garage rafters.

And the Loeb vacation home on Lake Michigan called Charlevoix. Being the Vice President of Sears obviously paid very well.  Mom and Dad with Richard in Michigan.


Richard's brother Tommy was broken by the crime, later becoming an alcoholic.  He loved his big brother, he was about 10 when the murder was occurred. Pictured here at about 20-years-old.


Charlevoix the Loeb estate was one of the most expensive homes in Michigan, a retreat from the trials and tribulations of living in Chicago. As it appeared when Nathan Leopold came for a long vacation in 1921 and as it appeared today. 

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Leopold and Loeb with their Dads at the beginning of the trial.

Other possible victims found out how lucky they were. 

10-year-old Armand Deutsch was the grandson of Sears President Julius Rosenwald. Loeb and Leopold were thinking of killing him, but at the last minute his chauffeur picked Armand up at school for a dentist appointment. Richard Loeb even mentioned his little brother Tommy at one point, he had apparently annoyed him immediately proceeding the comment, but Leopold was sure Richard was kidding. Another boy who was a possible Leopold and Loeb target, Irving Hartman, was walking away from the Harvard School at the same time Bobby was, possibly 50 yards behind. He would tell police that he noticed Bobby Franks walking ahead of him on S. Ellis Avenue. After stopping to look at flowers in a garden along the way, for only a second, he would look up, Bobby was gone. 

Irving Hartman with his Dad waiting to testify at the trial. 

Tommy Loeb's Class Photo, though not clear which boy is Richard Loeb's younger brother.

Bobby originally turned down Richard Loeb's offer of a ride. Partly because he was within a few 100 yards of his home. Maybe there was more to Bobby's reticence than that. Someone later remembered Bobby commenting that Richard Loeb, his second cousin, had spanked him, as a joke, at Tommy Loeb's birthday party. Bobby told the friend, that it was strange, Richard Loeb was hitting him really hard and seemed to enjoy it. It made Bobby feel creepy.

One friend said Bobby was a wise, old soul. Bobby reminds me of the "Fool on the Hill," paying attention and seeing things other people miss. Perhaps he sensed a bad vibe from Richard that other people didn't see, which put him on guard.  A few people came forward and indicated that they suspected Leopold and Loeb were involved in an intimate relationship, but mostly this was adult friends, fraternity brothers,  at the University of Michigan who had seen them together. Unfortunately, nothing prepared Bobby for the depths of Leopold and Loeb's depravity. He might be on guard against inappropriate sexual language or overtures, but he in no way could he have suspected the two capable of murder. 

Several neighborhood boys would later report that their parents would hold Richard "Dick" Loeb as an example for them: brilliant, academically successful, gregarious and popular, charming and respectful, especially with adults. The fact that he was handsome too, didn't hurt. To many Kenwood parents, Loeb was the perfect young man. These many years later, it sends chills up and down your spine to think, that a boy, after some minor indiscretion or mistake, was told by his loving, stern parents, why can't you be more like Richard "Dick" Loeb. 

Richard asked Bobby to give his opinion about a new tennis racket he had bought, both Richard, Bobby and Tommy loved tennis. Relenting, Bobby got in the car with them.

Johnny Levinson was the first boy seen by Leopold and Loeb walking away from the Harvard School, but there were too many people around for them to kidnap him.

Van de Bogert & Ross Drug Store where Loeb called the Franks' family with the kidnapping instructions 1465 East 63rd Street 

Richard Loeb with his University of Michigan fraternity brothers and their fraternity house. Petty thefts were common in the house, but no one thought Richard, center, was behind them, he was. 

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On the phone, Loeb and Leopold asked Jacob Franks for $10,000 for the return of his son Bobby.

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Under arrest, Leopold and Loeb, accompanied by State's Attorney Crowe, on the right. He wanted the death penalty, Clarence Darrow was the only thing standing in his way from getting it.

Chicago Criminal Court Building on Hubbard, still standing.

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Clarence and his clients in court, Darrow would not argue their innocence. His only plea was that they should not suffer the death penalty. Many people consider his speech one of the most eloquent ever given, reprinted word for word in the newspaper.  Judge Calverly sentenced Leopold and Loeb to life in prison, plus 99 years for kidnapping. Darrow triumphed, but, as one paper put it, never has such eloquence been used to save the lives of such worthless human beings. 

Clarence Darrow had 61 Death Penalty cases, he lost the first 
case and won the last 60 in a row. He truly was the Lion in Winter. 

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Judge Caverly

Guilty! Life, Plus 99 Years

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Attorney for the Damned Clarence Darrow won and the Death Penalty lost. 

Richard Loeb would be murdered in prison in January 26, 1936, while Leopold was released on parole in 1958, he moved to Puerto Rico and died in 1971 

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Here is Leopold with his wife in 1961

Barish's Delicatessen Store, 1352 Wabash avenue, where Loeb awaited call from Rent-a-Car on May 9th, regarding reference, he claimed to be Louis Mason. Recognized by David Barish, owner, and Max Tucherman, Barish's brother-in-law, as having been in store on May 9th and answering the phone when it rang. 

William Herndon, Rent-a-Car Company, 1426 Michigan avenue,recognizes Leopold as one who rented car on May 9th and also on May 21st, under name of Morton D. Ballard. Turned application over to Walter L. Jacobs, of same company,president, who approved same, and called "Mr. Mason" at Wabash Avenue address. Margaret Fitzpatrick, typist and telephone operator, recognizes Leopold as a man who rented car under name of Morton D. Ballard,and who requested her to send duplicate identification card to Trenier Hotel, same request being made over the phone, and remembers Leopold coming into the office to sign second identification card. First time car was taken out for only two or three hours. 

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After his arrest Richard Loeb in the Maroon Willys-Knight car in which Bobby Franks was killed. They had chosen the same model car as Nathan Leopold, his was dark green, to confuse any identification later.

Loeb visited Morrison Hotel and found that suitcase had been removed from the room. They immediately changed address from Morrison to Trenier Hotel.Trial package thrown from train five or six times in the vicinity of 74th and Illinois Central tracks, around Champion Screw Works

Purchasing of stationery to write ransom letters from Hokan Strandberg, 1054 E. 47th street. Purchased four or five days prior to the kidnapping.Writing of ransom letter prior to kidnapping, leaving same un-addressed.

The procuring of a can of ether some days prior to kidnapping.

The procuring of the car on May 21st from the Rent-a-Car people.Stopping in the vicinity of 35th and Cottage Grove avenue for lunch. Putting on the side curtains.Proceeding to the vicinity of 45th and Cottage Grove. Loeb driving Leopold's car and Leopold driving car secured from Rent-a-Car people.At 43rd and Cottage Grove 

Richard Loeb left car and purchased chisel and rope from Albert Hubinger, clerk, in a hardware store. Leopold purchased a bottle of hydrochloric acid from Aaron Adler, 4458 Cottage Grove Avenue.

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Aaron Adler sold Nathan Leopold the Hydrochloric Acid which they poured over Bobby's body trying to disfigure him. 

Next stop was at Leopold's home. At this time Leopold was driving his own car. Loeb followed him in the pathway with the car that had been rented.Leopold instructed chauffeur to fix brakes on his car, stating that they squeaked.At this time he went into the house and secured tape from the bathroom for the purpose of wrapping the chisel.

Fair inference that boots and robe and two automatic pistols were placed in car at this time.Left Leopold's home in rented car and went to vicinity of Harvard school, 47th and Ellis avenue, to look over "prospects."

Loeb got out of car and went into Harvard school yard, where some boys were playing ball, and there talked to Johnny Levinson and James T. Seass, who was the Levinson boy's tutor. Loeb told Johnny Levinson to hit out the ball, shook hands with Seass, and then left.Thought that their actions around the school might later excite suspicion; they decided to get a pair of field-glasses from Leopold's home, so that they could watch the children who were playing and at the same time not be observed themselves. 

Secured field-glasses from Leopold's home and returned to vicinity of Harvard school, where they watched boys playing unnoticed. Game broke up and Johnny Levinson and the other boys ran down the alley.They waited awhile for them to return, but on the failure of Levinson to return they started toward his home, thinking they could pick him up before he reached home.Made several circles around the blocks in the vicinity of Levinson's home, but were unable to see him.

Carl Ulving, driver for Mrs. Spiegel, saw Loeb driving car at this time.

While driving west on 49th they saw Bobby Franks just cross 49th street, going south toward 50th. Slowed up car to give Franks chance to get to about the middle of the block between 49th and 50th, some people being on the street at that time. 

Turned off of 49th south on Ellis, and pulled to the west side of street to where Franks boy was walking. Loeb called out to the  Franks boy; asked him if he wanted to ride home.  Bobby Franks thanked him; stated he preferred to walk. Loeb then beckoned to him to come over near the car, telling him he wanted him to meet Nathan Leopold, and started in conversation with him about tennis racket.

Harvard School Today, Closed in 2003, it was converted to condominiums.

Bobby Franks walked along the right hand side of South Ellis Avenue, the same side of the street as his home a couple of blocks away, when he was stopped near this spot by his 2nd cousin Richard Loeb and offered a ride on South Ellis Avenue between 49th and 50th Street.

Nathan Leopold turned left on East 50th Street, at which point Richard battered Bobby Franks with a Chisel, after a ferocious struggle, Loeb pulled Bobby into the back seat, forced a rag down the boy's throat, suffocating and killing him. Location is somewhere near here midpoint of the block. 

Franks boy sat in front seat. Started car south on Ellis avenue. Turned east on 50th street, as they turned onto 50th street the one who was in the rear of the car struck Bobby Franks over head four times with the chisel, and pulled him into the rear of the car. Stuffed gag into his mouth and held hand over mouth and nose until boy had died. 

Removed shoes, stockings and trousers.This was about 5:45 p. m. then covered Bobby's body with a  robe.

Drove to vicinity of 118th and Panhandle tracks. Purchased "red hot sandwiches" which is what hot dogs were called at lunch counter, the Dew Drop Inn and continued to drive around until it was dark. Loeb ad two loaded automatic revolvers on his person at this time for the purpose of killing anyone who might interfere or attempt to stop car. Went to 118th and Panhandle tracks after dark. Carried Bobby's body covered in a robe from car to culvert. Removed remainder of Bobby's clothes. Loeb poured hydrochloric acid on Bobby's face and genitals, penis and scrotum. They hoped the acid would eat away his flesh, making determining identity and sex impossible. Instead, it simply gave Bobby's face and genitals a copperish color. 

Leopold removed his coat and shoes and put on his boots. They then placed body in large drain pipe under railroad tracks. 

When Leopold picked up his coat after placing Bobby's body in the culvert, he didn't notice that his glasses fell out of pocket.

Picked up clothes and wrapped them in blanket, losing one of Bobby Franks' stockings out of same on way back to the Willys-Knight.

On way back from culvert passed Mrs. Lucille Smith and daughter, who were returning from picture show, flashing bright lights. The Smiths recognized car similar to the one they used as having passed them May 21st in that vicinity, about 9:30 p. m.Leopold stopped car at a drug store on the way in and called girl friend. Also called his home to inform them that he would be little late getting home, but to have his aunt, Mrs. Schwab, wait for him and he would drive her home. 

Stopped at Loeb's home first, where clothing, etc., was removed from car. They then attempted to wash blood from the car interior at this time, next Bobby's clothes were burned in furnace. All metals were removed from same, buckles, etc. and put in the family garbage. Loeb and Leopold were afraid to burn robe at this time for fear it would cause too much smoke and a stench through the house. Robe was hidden in yard in back of some bushes.

Leopold pointing out to police where the ashes from the robe they had wrapped Bobby's body in were dumped and Bobby Frank's belt, belt buckle and class pin.

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Police recovered the ashes from the burned robe along South Shore Drive, Leopold's boots and cap worn during the murder.

Drove to Leopold's home, where he left the rented car parked few doors from his home, and went into the garage and got his own car out. He then drove his aunt, Mrs. Schwab, home, Loeb remaining in his home at that time. Mrs. Sven Englund heard someone come in and taken a car out.

The Franks home was called by Leopold about 10:30, Mrs.Franks answering the phone. He informed her that her son had been kidnapped, but he was all right; not to tell the police, etc. Instructions would follow later. The name and address of Franks was printed on the envelope in the car, this letter having been prepared beforehand. The letter was sent to Franks special delivery, stating that instructions would be given over phone at 1 p. m., May 22nd, as to where to proceed with the money. Signed "George Johnson." 

Mailed around 1 a. m. Explain letter.After taking the Schwabs home Leopold returned to his own home, where they played a couple of games of cards and further planned. Then Leopold drove Loeb home.On the way home with Loeb, about 1:30 a. m., Loeb tossed the chisel from the car which had murdered Bobby Franks.

This chisel was picked up by Bernard Hunt, 6233 South Aberdeen street, who saw it thrown from an automobile at 49th and Greenwood, later recognizes Leopold's car as a car similar to the one the chisel had been thrown from. Bernard Hunt turned the chisel over to Officers Enos and Milligan of the flivver squad, a flying police squad using Ford cars equipped with powerful engines, about 2:30 a. m. Blood was on the chisel at this time.

Body found by Tony Menke. Glasses found, Paul Korff. Korff and crew help remove body from culvert. Officers. Byrne and Anderson found stocking belonging to Bobby Franks on Thursday, May 22nd. Goldstein and Milroy. Leopold met Loeb at the University on May 22nd, about 11o'clock. They drove from the University to Leopold's home in Leopold's car.

The rented car was then parked about two or three houses from Leopold's home, where it had been all during the night.The rented car was then taken from its parking place, brought into the Leopold driveway, where Loeb and Leopold proceeded to wash out the blood.While scrubbing the carpet of the rear of the car, Sven Englund,chauffeur for Leopold, came out of the garage and offered to assist them in cleaning the car. Leopold stated to Sven Englund they had spilled some red wine in the car and they wanted to wash it out so that Leob's father would not see it, and told the chauffeur they didn't need any help. 

Letter was placed in Keep City Clean Box on 63rd street, giving Jacob Franks instructions what to do at the moment. After thinking it over, they were afraid that the letter would not stick to the cover of the box, and abandoned that step in their plans.

They then drove to Illinois Central depot, where a ticket was purchased by Richard Loeb for Michigan City, and a seat in the Pull-man car No. 507, car Quarren, for seat No. 4. This was the last car on the train. Loeb then entered car No. 507 and placed another letter in the telegraph blank rack. This letter, having been prepared some days prior to that time, and addressed that day to Jacob Franks. This was about 2:10 p. in., R. R. time. Loeb then left the train.Ticket was purchased from George C. Fry. Duplicate ticket was turned over to state's attorney by John F. Ball.

While Loeb was placing letter in car, Leopold called the Franks' home from the drug store around 12th. street and Park Row, and gave Mr. Franks instructions to go to the drug store at 1465 East 63rd Street and await there for a call. That a Yellow cab would call for him at his home, and for him to proceed to the drug store at once, repeating the address twice. Mr. Franks asked for a little delay, stating something had come up which made it necessary for him to have a little more time; but he insisted that Mr. Franks go there at once, and hung up the receiver. About five minutes prior to the call from Leopold, Mr. Franks had been informed that his boy had been murdered and the body had been positively identified by his brother-in-law, Mr. Gresham.A Yellow cab, driven by Robinson, Yellow cab chauffeur, arrived at the Franks home about 2:35, standard time. Robinson stated that a call came to the stand to proceed to the home of Jacob Franks,5052 Ellis avenue, for a load.Explain letter placed in car.Percy van de Bogert, clerk in drug store at 1465 E. 63rd street,and James C. Kemp, porter, 1465 East 63rd street, stated that two calls came to their drug store, asking for Jacob Franks, one about ten minutes after the other.Tell what their plans were regarding watching train, field glasses,etc.After coming out of drug store from which they had telephoned last time to the drug store at 1465 East 63rd street, inquiring for Jacob Franks, they noticed headlines in the newspapers that a boy's body had been found in the vicinity of 118th street and Panhandle R. R.tracks. 

Leopold wanted to continue on to get the money, but Loeb insisted on dropping the plan, for fear that they might be detected. Leopold called up George Lewis and requested him to take his ornithology class.

They then returned to the Leopold home, where Leopold secured his own car, and they proceeded to the Rent-a-Car Company, where Leopold returned the car he had rented the day previous.There was some conversation at this time about getting a refund for gasoline that he had purchased. On the company insisting upon having a receipt for same, the matter was dropped and the balance of his deposit was returned.o Ballard's check cashed by Richard Loeb at Hyde Park State Bankon Thursday, May 22nd. Loeb with Goldstein, Milroy and Mayer, drug store. Leopold talked with Prof. Puttkammer, criminal law teacher, regarding Franks case, as to what the punishment would be.Examination for Harvard held on Friday, May 23rd. 

Saturation of automobile robe with gasoline, taking to 73rd and lake and burning same.Taking Franks boy's shoes, class pin, belt buckle, etc., into Indiana and dumping them

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Richard Loeb showing police where Bobby's shoes, belt buckle and class pin were dumped.

Leopold called in by Capt. Wolfe, Saturday, May 24th. Gave statement. Told of those in his class who visited that neighborhood. Gave name of George Lewis.After returning from talking with Capt. Wolfe, carried type-writer from home and placed it in the trunk in rear of car.That night Leopold drove around through Jackson Park after Loeb twisted off the keys of the typewriter, throwing typewriter in one part of the lagoon from the bridge, and keys in another part of the lagoon.

Alibi prepared in the event they were called in. Goldstein, Milroy of Daily News, Howard Mayer, American, left fraternity house to look for drug store that the calls were made from. Loeb suggested this and located drug store where calls for Franks came in, 1465 East 63rd street. Loeb was asked if. he knew Bobby Franks. Said "Yes." Stated the kind of a boy he was. Leopold talked to Prof. Puttkammer about case. Argued with him as to what the punishment might be, and if it was not man-slaughter instead of murder. Tried to shift blame to and, who were at that time in custody of police. Max Wester, Leopold's tutor, discussed Franks case with him. 

State's attorney entered case on Saturday, May 24th.Instructed assistants to find out about glasses. Boubrou people of New York gave three names of concerns that handled their frames. Almer Coe & Co. recognized frame as their special frame, and lenses as their lenses.Supplied three names of people who had had the same prescription filled in their stores, one of the three being Nathan Leopold. Almer Coe searched about four days. Dr. Emil Deutch, Jacob Weinstein. Crowe had room arranged in La Salle Hotel for questioning..Leopold brought in to La Salle Hotel, May 29th, afternoon. Told his alibi and stated Richard Loeb was with him on the day in question.Said he had glasses at home.Leopold returned from home with his brother "Mike," with glass case, after visiting the Franks home and talking to Senator Ettelson. Loeb brought in while Leopold was out at his home. Could not remember days in question.Stated later that they were to forget the alibi after one week. Leopold admitted owning the glasses.Stated he could write a letter.Printed name and address of "Jacob Franks" at hotel.Taken to state's attorney about 1:30 a. m., May 30th.Officers Crot and Johnson went to Leopold home, found Hammond typewriter, ether, arsenic, etc. Both taken from state's attorney's office to stations.Elizabeth Sattler, maid in Leopold's home, told Capt. Schoemacher, on Friday, May 30th, about noon, that she had seen an Underwood portable typewriter in the house for the past three or four months and that it had disappeared within the last two or three days.

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Elizabeth Sattler, the Leopold's Maid, testified Nathan had a Underwood typewriter which disappeared after Bobby's body was found. 

Relatives came into state's attorney's office, Friday, May 30th,around 3 o'clock..On questioning Leopold about this Underwood typewriter that Miss Sattler spoke about, he stated it must belong to one of the four men who had been doing "dope-sheeting" with him, naming Maremont, Oberndorf, Shamberg and Abelson. Milroy and Goldstein of Daily News furnished samples of type-writing from an Underwood portable machine that Leopold had made. Oberndorf, Maremont, Shamberg and Abelson brought into the office, and denied that they ever owned the machine, but stated they had worked on equity with Leopold and that he had used a portable machine about a month prior to this time.Leopold then told the state's attorney that this portable might belong to Leon Mandel, who was in Europe. Crowe convinced him it did not, and if it did it must still be at his house. He agreed to go out and see.Leopold returned to office after going to his home and looking for typewriter..Bernard Hunt, watchman, who picked up chisel, was in office and gave a description of a car similar to the one that Leopold owned as having been the car the chisel was thrown from.Sven Englund, Leopold's chauffeur, was in the office and stated that the car belonging to Nathan Leopold was in the garage on May 21st up until 10:30 p. m. that night.Also stated he saw the boys washing red wine from car on Thursday, May 22nd.When Richard Loeb was told of these facts, gasped and asked for water, and stated he would tell the truth. After Leopold found out that Loeb was talking, he stated he would tell the whole truth.

Leopold Family Chauffeur Sven Englund saw the rental car, a maroon Willys-Knight, with the boys immediately after the murder and saw the boys washing "red wine stains" out of the upholstery. When Richard Loeb learned of Englund's statement to police, he is reported to have nearly fainted and gone into shock. Washing red wine stains out of a Willys-Knight vehicle was the last nail in their coffin.

Started out Saturday, May 31st, to visit various places mentioned in the confession.First stopped, Rent-a-Car.Leopold talked with Mr. Jacobs, and told Miss Fitzpatrick that he called over the phone first about the change of address and did not come in until later. (Corrected Miss Fitzpatrick.)Second stop, 1352 Wabash Avenue. Barish recognized Richard Loeb as man who was in his store on May 9th and answered telephone.  

Loeb also told Barish and Mrs. Barish what conversation they had with a brother-in-law of theirs during the time he was in the store. Loeb fainted and was taken to Windermere Hotel by Sergeant. Tom O'Malley and squad. Next, they went to Leopold's home. Retrieved boots and cap.

Went to hardware store in vicinity of 43rd and Cottage Grove Avenue, where Leopold indicated that Loeb purchased chisel and rope. Talked with Albert Hubinger, who remembered selling chisel and rope to one answering the description of Richard Loeb, on May 21st.  Went to drug store operated by Aaron Adler, 4450 Cottage Grove avenue. Leopold stated that hydrochloric acid was purchased there. Aaron Adler remembered selling pound bottle of hydrochloric acid on that date, and recognized Leopold as purchaser. Went to. Jackson Park, where Leopold showed state's attorney and police officers where typewriter had been thrown from bridge in the lagoon.Then went to the other bridge in park where Leopold indicated where keys had been thrown.Went to 73rd and lake, where Leopold pointed out the robe that had been partially destroyed.Then went to Indiana, where Leopold assisted in searching along a road that was about two blocks from a cemetery for the shoes, belt buckle, belt, etc., of Bobby Franks.
Returned to Windermere Hotel. Leopold had bath and food. Loeb in bed at Windermere Hotel at time.L. and L. removed to stations about 1 o'clock in morning.Leopold and Loeb taken to place where shoes, belt, etc., were buried. Loeb found belt. Turned same over to Chief Hughes, Detective Bureau.
Messages sent out that afternoon to trace car Quarren, No. 507,and look in telegraph blank box for letter that had been deposited there by Richard Loeb on May 22nd.Letter found by Andy Russo in Car Quarren in N. Y. City, in the New Haven yards. Drs. Church, Patrick, Krohn called in Sunday afternoon. Drs. Wesener, Webster and Hecktoen, chemists.

Loeb repeated confession in the presence of the doctors and others Sunday afternoon, June 1st. Corrections and arguments between Leopold and Loeb. Went to jail yard, where rented car used in the murder of Robert Franks was parked. Loeb was unable to recognize car. Leopold recognized car by scratches on right side of car, which were made in trying to wash off the blood.Both wanted to sit in front seat for picture. 

Returned to state's attorney's office from yard. Leopold and Loeb stripped and examined by Drs. Krohn and Patrick. Tyrrell from Milwaukee, handwriting expert, called in.Leopold printed name of Jacob Franks on envelopes and paper and stated he would give a correct sample of his printing at this time.Told how he tried to destroy couple of copies that he had made previous to that at the La Salle Hotel, fearing they might detect the printing.June 2. Dr. Singer's examination. Refused answer on advice of counsel. 

Typewriter found by Frank Blair, diver.Traced by Schulke, system manager of Underwood Typewriter Company, and found to be a typewriter that was reported stolen from Ann Arbor, Michigan, and belonging to a man named Bitker. 

Officers St. Germain and Baronsky found shoes and class pin of Bobby Franks, which were identified by the Franks family. Dr. Springer and Dr. Benson testified to cause of death. Edward Gresham, brother-in-law of Jacob Franks, identified Bobby Franks' body to coroner's physician.

Richard Loeb, Loeb-Leopold Murder of Franks in Chicago May 21 1924, 15 J. Am. Inst. Criminal Law & Criminology 347 (May 1924 to February 1925)

The moment Darrow changes the boys plea from not guilty to guilty in the trial transcript. Darrow decided only an eloquent plea of mercy to the judge would save his clients from hanging. 

Clarence Darrow's speech pleading for Life...

This terrible crime was inherent in his organism, and it came from some ancestor ... Is any blame attached because somebody took Nietzsche's philosophy seriously and fashioned his life upon it? ... It is hardly fair to hang a 19-year-old boy for the philosophy that was taught him at the university.
Now, your Honor, I have spoken about the war. I believed in it. I don't know whether I was crazy or not. Sometimes I think perhaps I was. I approved of it; I joined in the general cry of madness and despair. I urged men to fight. I was safe because I was too old to go. I was like the rest. What did they do? Right or wrong, justifiable or unjustifiable—which I need not discuss today—it changed the world. For four long years the civilized world was engaged in killing men. Christian against Christian, barbarian uniting with Christians to kill Christians; anything to kill. It was taught in every school, aye in the Sunday schools. The little children played at war. The toddling children on the street. Do you suppose this world has ever been the same since? How long, your Honor, will it take for the world to get back the humane emotions that were slowly growing before the war? How long will it take the calloused hearts of men before the scars of hatred and cruelty shall be removed?
We read of killing one hundred thousand men in a day. We read about it and we rejoiced in it—if it was the other fellows who were killed. We were fed on flesh and drank blood. Even down to the prattling babe. I need not tell you how many upright, honorable young boys have come into this court charged with murder, some saved and some sent to their death, boys who fought in this war and learned to place a cheap value on human life. You know it and I know it. These boys were brought up in it. The tales of death were in their homes, their playgrounds, their schools; they were in the newspapers that they read; it was a part of the common frenzy—what was a life? It was nothing. It was the least sacred thing in existence and these boys were trained to this cruelty.
It will take fifty years to wipe it out of the human heart, if ever. I know this, that after the Civil War in 1865, crimes of this sort increased, marvelously. No one needs to tell me that crime has no cause. It has as definite a cause as any other disease, and I know that out of the hatred and bitterness of the Civil War crime increased as America had never seen before. I know that Europe is going through the same experience today; I know it has followed every war; and I know it has influenced these boys so that life was not the same to them as it would have been if the world had not made red with blood. I protest against the crimes and mistakes of society being visited upon them. All of us have a share in it. I have mine. I cannot tell and I shall never know how many words of mine might have given birth to cruelty in place of love and kindness and charity.
Your Honor knows that in this very court crimes of violence have increased growing out of the war. Not necessarily by those who fought but by those that learned that blood was cheap, and human life was cheap, and if the State could take it lightly why not the boy? There are causes for this terrible crime. There are causes as I have said for everything that happens in the world. War is a part of it; education is a part of it; birth is a part of it; money is a part of it—all these conspired to compass the destruction of these two poor boys.
Has the court any right to consider anything but these two boys? The State says that your Honor has a right to consider the welfare of the community, as you have. If the welfare of the community would be benefited by taking these lives, well and good. I think it would work evil that no one could measure. Has your Honor a right to consider the families of these defendants? I have been sorry, and I am sorry for the bereavement of Mr. and Mrs. Franks, for those broken ties that cannot be healed. All I can hope and wish is that some good may come from it all. But as compared with the families of Leopold and Loeb, the Franks are to be envied—and everyone knows it.
I do not know how much salvage there is in these two boys. I hate to say it in their presence, but what is there to look forward to? I do not know but what your Honor would be merciful to them, but not merciful to civilization, and not merciful if you tied a rope around their necks and let them die; merciful to them, but not merciful to civilization, and not merciful to those who would be left behind. To spend the balance of their days in prison is mighty little to look forward to, if anything. Is it anything? They may have the hope that as the years roll around they might be released. I do not know. I do not know. I will be honest with this court as I have tried to be from the beginning. I know that these boys are not fit to be at large. I believe they will not be until they pass through the next stage of life, at forty-five or fifty. Whether they will then, I cannot tell. I am sure of this; that I will not be here to help them. So far as I am concerned, it is over.
I would not tell this court that I do not hope that some time, when life and age have changed their bodies, as they do, and have changed their emotions, as they do—that they may once more return to life. I would be the last person on earth to close the door of hope to any human being that lives, and least of all to my clients. But what have they to look forward to? Nothing. And I think here of the stanza of Housman:
Now hollow fires burn out to black, / And lights are fluttering low:
Square your shoulders, lift your pack / And leave your friends and go.
O never fear, lads, naught's to dread, / Look not left nor right:
In all the endless road you tread / There's nothing but the night.
I care not, your Honor, whether the march begins at the gallows or when the gates of Joliet close upon them, there is nothing but the night, and that is little for any human being to expect.
But there are others to consider. Here are these two families, who have led honest lives, who will bear the name that they bear, and future generations must carry it on.
Here is Leopold's father—and this boy was the pride of his life. He watched him, he cared for him, he worked for him; the boy was brilliant and accomplished, he educated him, and he thought that fame and position awaited him, as it should have awaited. It is a hard thing for a father to see his life's hopes crumble into dust.
Should he be considered? Should his brothers be considered? Will it do society any good or make your life safer, or any human being's life safer, if it should be handled down from generation to generation, that this boy, their kin, died upon the scaffold?
And Loeb's the same. Here are the faithful uncle and brother, who have watched here day by day, while Dickie's father and his mother are too ill to stand this terrific strain, and shall be waiting for a message which means more to them than it can mean to you or me. Shall these be taken into account in this general bereavement?
Have they any rights? Is there any reason, your Honor, why their proud names and all the future generations that bear them shall have this bar sinister written across them? How many boys and girls, how many unborn children will feel it? It is bad enough as it is, God knows. It is bad enough, however it is. But it's not yet death on the scaffold. It's not that. And I ask your Honor, in addition to all that I have said to save two honorable families from a disgrace that never ends, and which could be of no avail to help any human being that lives.
Now, I must say a word more and then I will leave this with you where I should have left it long ago. None of us are unmindful of the public; courts are not, and juries are not. We placed our fate in the hands of a trained court, thinking that he would be more mindful and considerate than a jury. I cannot say how people feel. I have stood here for three months as one might stand at the ocean trying to sweep back the tide. I hope the seas are subsiding and the wind is falling, and I believe they are, but I wish to make no false pretense to this court. The easy thing and the popular thing to do is to hang my clients. I know it. Men and women who do not think will applaud. The cruel and thoughtless will approve. It will be easy today; but in Chicago, and reaching out over the length and breadth of the land, more and more fathers and mothers, the humane, the kind and the hopeful, who are gaining an understanding and asking questions not only about these poor boys, but about their own—these will join in no acclaim at the death of my clients.
These would ask that the shedding of blood be stopped, and that the normal feelings of man resume their sway. And as the days and the months and the years go on, they will ask it more and more. But, your Honor, what they shall ask may not count. I know the easy way. I know the future is with me, and what I stand for here; not merely for the lives of these two unfortunate lads, but for all boys and all girls; for all of the young, and as far as possible, for all of the old. I am pleading for life, understanding, charity, kindness, and the infinite mercy that considers all. I am pleading that we overcome cruelty with kindness and hatred with love. I know the future is on my side. Your Honor stands between the past and the future. You may hang these boys; you may hang them by the neck until they are dead. But in doing it you will turn your face toward the past. In doing it you are making it harder for every other boy who in ignorance and darkness must grope his way through the mazes which only childhood knows. In doing it you will make it harder for unborn children. You may save them and make it easier for every child that sometime may stand where these boys stand. You will make it easier for every human being with an aspiration and a vision and a hope and a fate. I am pleading for the future; I am pleading for a time when hatred and cruelty will not control the hearts of men. When we can learn by reason and judgment and understanding and faith that all life is worth saving, and that mercy is the highest attribute of man.
I feel that I should apologize for the length of time I have taken. This case may not be as important as I think it is, and I am sure I do not need to tell this court, or to tell my friends that I would fight just as hard for the poor as for the rich. If I should succeed, my greatest reward and my greatest hope will be that for the countless unfortunates who must tread the same road in blind childhood that these poor boys have trod—that I have done something to help human understanding, to temper justice with mercy, to overcome hate with love.
I was reading last night of the aspiration of the old Persian poet, Omar Khayyam. It appealed to me as the highest that I can vision. I wish it was in my heart, and I wish it was in the hearts of all:
So I be written in the Book of Love,
I do not care about that Book above.
Erase my name or write it as you will,
So I be written in the Book of Love.

An excellent portrayal by Henry Fonda of America's Attorney for the Damned, Clarence Darrow. 

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