Serial Killer Central: Leopold and Loeb - Folie a Deux
As Leopold and Loeb entered their teenage years, they were already far beyond he contracted gonorrhea, forcing him to ask his brothers and uncle for advice. They began their sexual relationship that night, Loeb joining Leopold in his. In defense of murderers Leopold and Loeb, attorney Clarence Darrow thwarted that their relationship was too one-sided: he always joined Loeb in his . But while Crowe could count on the support of an outraged public, he. Leopold and Loeb began a sexual relationship sometime in , Leopold, drawn all the more closer to Loeb, would help design a new.
The two never discussed ending their friendship or stopping their sexual pact over this recent homosexual discovery by others. Perhaps it was the risk that kept them together.
Perhaps neither could imagine losing the other over something they were unwilling to deny. To keep their sexual arrangement intact, the two agreed to prevent the humiliating gossip by inviting a watchful chaperone to all subsequent public functions.
Enraged and shamed, Loeb then proposed a new crime to which Leopold, the usual accomplice and follower, would readily agree to. The murder of gossiper Hamlin Buchman was to take place on a boat in Lake Michigan. Leopold and Loeb planned to capsize the boat, leaving Buchman to drown in the water.
To their disappointment, Buchman was able to swim to shore unharmed. This uncommitted crime would fuel a rage between Leopold and Loeb. Leopold shared this disappointment with his side of the bargain still unfulfilled.
A real thrill was needed to sate Loeb, who was now dealing in petty theft and vandalism. Leopold, drawn all the more closer to Loeb, would help design a new crime that would finally unite the two in blood. A real murder to commit in which they would never be apprehended would be arranged. Ransom money would be involved, but the real reason was set forth by Loeb. He wanted to commit the perfect crime, something fulfilling and exhilarating.
Something that would keep Leopold bound to him forever. The true motive is speculative. He also wanted a credible way to blackmail Leopold of their crimes if needed. Both Leopold and Loeb seemed to believe that this act would bind them together for the rest of their lives.
Killing had become a romanticized topic and it had completely consumed them. Six months of meticulous planning for the murder was in order. This was to be the perfect crime, one in which it would be impossible for anyone to catch them; a crime for the Nietszchian Superman.
The initial plan had been that Leopold and Loeb would each hold the end of a rope around the neck of the victim and pull, so that each would have to share in the guilt and the blame. Loeb knew he could commit the murder. Leopold knew he could commit the murder for Loeb. By Maythe plan was set in motion. Leopold and Loeb had no particular victim in mind for the murder. The green Willys-Knight automobile was rented under the false name Morton D.
Ballard by Leopold while Loeb set up fake hotel addresses under the same name. The hotel was set up for Leopold and Loeb to receive mail should a nosy investigator come looking for the fictionalized Morton D. All that was needed in the very end was a victim. This would turn out to be 14 year old Bobby Franks, who knew Richard Loeb through mutual acquaintances.
That voice would belong to Richard Loeb. Once in the car, the trio drove south on Ellis Avenue while a hand was cupped over Bobby Franks mouth to stifle any outcry.
Bobby was then beaten over the head with the blunt end of a chisel. Bobby Franks died of suffocation soon after. It has been disputed who was actually driving the car and who committed the murder in the backseat. Both Leopold and Loeb accused each other of the heinous crime. Most evidence points to Loeb as the killer of Bobby Franks. His confession was thought to be motivated by his wish to avoid hurting his mother and embarrassing his family.
They stripped the boy nude and poured hydrochloric acid over the face and body to hinder identification. After stuffing Bobby Franks lifeless body into a drainage culvert face first, Leopold gathered the discarded clothing from the ground, unknowingly dropping his glasses into the marsh near the body. Arriving back in Chicago, Leopold phoned Mrs. Franks to let her know that Bobby had been kidnapped, but was unharmed. He informed her further instructions would follow and hung up.
Leopold and Loeb disposed of the bloody chisel and cleaned the rented car. They sent the ransom note special delivery and then retired for the night. The note was simply addressed to Dear sir, and signed by another alias, George Johnson.
The ransom letter had been carefully written, but Mr. Franks failed to follow the instructions and the plan was deserted as soon as the newspaper reported a body found the very next day. Unremarkable in most ways, the glasses were a common prescription and frame except for a rare tiny hinge mechanism of which only three people had purchased in Illinois in the past year.
Leopold was one of the three. After being contacted by investigators, Leopold and Loeb both claimed to be entertaining two unidentified women the night of Bobby Franks disappearance. Leopold and Loeb had carefully put together what they thought was an airtight alibi. Each question was answered the same during both separate interrogations.
Leopold claimed to be bird watching in the area several days before the murder, which happened to be true.
"Thrill Me" explores the relationship of Leopold and Loeb
But when the investigators tried to get Leopold to physically show them how he could have dropped them, Leopold was left speechless. When the unearthed typewriter was found to belong to Leopold who wrote his school papers with it, Loeb then confessed followed by Leopold. Each implicated the other. Leopold pleaded with Loeb to admit to the killing, but Loeb would only concede to having been driving the car at the time of the murder.
His partner in crime and in life was deserting him. Regardless of whom the actual perpetrator was, Leopold and Loeb were callously cold when it came to admitting to involvement in the murder.
Nathan F. Leopold, Jr. ( - )
Both calmly confessed to planning the crime, yet neither would take the blame for young Bobby Franks death. Each admitted that the murder was done purely for the thrill.
I'll spend a few years in jail and I'll be released. The court hearing lasted just over one month with the famous Clarence Darrow defending Leopold and Loeb. The pair felt that a lengthy court trial would only further embarrass their families so they chose to plead not guilty, hoping to be hanged.
Both boys made another pact with each other that they would die together after the trial for their crime. Clarence Darrow was not only openly against the death penalty but also knew that a guilty plea would help Leopold and Loeb avoid a jury trial. Media sensationalism had enraged the public and a jury trial would surely have been devastating to their case.
Leopold and Loeb relented and decided to plead guilty under the advice of their attorney. With over a hundred witnesses testifying, including psychiatrists, friends, and family, Leopold and Loeb were branded as egotistical and nihilistic adolescents.
The two sat side by side, inappropriately laughing and exchanging hushed comments throughout the hearing. Leopold was reported to have been completely fascinated with the trial, leaning forward, nodding, and having much to say to his attorney during rests.
Loeb, on the other hand, was uninterested and appeared bored for most of the trial, even yawning and smiling at the prosecution. 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.
He concluded that it was rational for Leopold and Loeb to follow a Nietzschian philosophy taught by their university. Darrow further went on to say about the death penalty that an eye for an eye execution was inhuman and barbaric. With psychiatric testimony introduced in the hearing, the defense argued that mental disease should be considered in the sentencing even without an insanity plea.
It was suggested that Leopold and Loeb suffered from impaired judgment, claiming both young men could not distinguish right from wrong.
In SeptemberLeopold and Loeb were sentenced to life in prison with ninety-nine years for kidnapping. The age of the boys was taken into account Leopold, 19, and Loeb, 18 citing that they were too immature to understand the true magnitude of their actions. The judge, John R. Caverly, believed that life in prison was a worse punishment than the death penalty. Both Leopold and Loeb agreed with him.
Cold blooded killers was the name given to them in society, but in prison, Leopold and Loeb were model prisoners who taught classes to their fellow inmates and participated in many other prison activities. A library was expanded and school curriculum changed in the time Leopold and Loeb spent at Joliet Prison. Some years after his imprisonment, Leopold was to be transferred to another prison in Illinois.
So determined were they to remain in prison together, that Leopold planned an elaborate ruse for Loeb to mercilessly break his leg with a wooden stool in the cafeteria.
Leopold spent part of the summer of at the Loeb mansion in Charlevoix, bird-watching in the mornings and staying out with Loeb in the afternoons and evenings. Whether or not this specific incident happened, Leopold later admitted that he enjoyed thinking about torturing and killing Hamlin and that he and Loeb had gone so far as to create a plan and gather the supplies what would become their customary arsenal of a rope, chisel and guns to do so, in the winter ofthough they never went through with it.
Hamlin was later one of the first choices for a victim when they began to think about a perfect crime. He told Allan of his discovering the boys together and their adventure on the lake.
After Allan confronted Leopold and Loeb about it, both of them denying any knowledge of what Hamlin accused them of, Hamlin was fired and told to stay away from the family. Indignant, Hamlin returned to the University of Michigan where he began telling his friends about the two dangerous and overly friendly teenagers he had spent his last few months with. In the fall ofafter Loeb had completed two years at the University of Chicago, he was ready for a change.
Leopold and Loeb's Criminal Minds | History | Smithsonian
He decided to transfer and Leopold, assuming they would continue to be in close contact, quickly followed behind him.
Richard Loeb center with some of his fraternity brothers in the UoM yearbook Leopold, who was delayed for several weeks with scarlet fever, finally joined Loeb at the University of Michigan in September, moving into their shared apartment. When confronted, Loeb admitted being cold to him, explaining that it was his attempt to stop the rumors Hamlin had started from gaining any ground.
- Leopold and Loeb
- Leopold and Loeb’s Criminal Minds
They agreed to be cordial but distant in public and would take a chaperone if they wanted to see a play or movie together to try to avoid suspicion. It must also be taken into consideration that the doctors often reported on their interpretations of what was said, rather than direct quotes.
To others he said that he was initially curious and went along eagerly, but sex with Leopold soon became abhorrent to him, and he always put up with it grudgingly. While it appears that many of these explanations may be true, it seems most likely that before they were caught in bed together both were more or less positively engaged in their relationship.
After they had been caught and reality sunk in, Loeb began to distance himself and felt that a sexual relationship was not worth the risk involved. He went home to Chicago to stay by her sick-bed, then returned to Michigan after the funeral. Sick and often bedridden since Leopold was conceived, he blamed himself for her death. He spent the next few months in mourning watching Loeb rush the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, which he was admitted to in February of Leopold was isolated with only a few other friends as Loeb was enjoying the life of a frat boy, getting drunk, showing school spirit and boasting about his usually exaggerated heterosexual conquests.
After a year in Michigan, Leopold returned to the University of Chicago and lived once again with his father and brothers. During their year apart the two saw each other infrequently, driving to see each other on occasional weekends and getting drunk together when Loeb was in Chicago for the holidays. Leopold threw himself into his studies as usual, and began teaching birding classes the summer he returned from Michigan.
He would take small classes of women or children around the Chicago area, sometimes lecturing for elementary schools and birding events.
Leopold expanded his extracurricular activities, writing published papers and learning multiple languages. He doodled in his classes and passed without much effort, killing time before he believed his serious work would begin when he would enter Harvard and start a track towards the legal career that his father wanted for him. He was also receiving a mixed reception within his fraternity. He was known to steal little items from around the house and was frequently drunk. Despite his average grades and lessened focus in schoolwork, Loeb graduated from the University of Michigan in the Spring of with a Bachelor of Arts degree.
After graduation he returned to Chicago, once again living with his parents and younger brother.
Living in the same city again, they began seeing more of each other and dropped their chaperone rule. They went on double dates, to movies and dined together frequently. Their relationship, though more comfortable to both now that there were less pressures on them, was far from easy. According to one of the psychiatrists: It may not have occurred to you why a mere mistake in judgement on your part should be treated as a crime, when on the part of another it should not be so considered.
Here are the reasons.