Leopold and Loeb - THE PERFECT CRIME

Why was the public so fascinated with the Bobby Franks murder case?

  • Maybe their interest stemmed from the great wealth all three families possessed.
  • Maybe it was the violent way in which young Bobby had been killed.
  • Maybe Darrow's passionate hatred for the death penalty caused people to think about the ultimate penalty.
  • Or - maybe the story just made great reading in The Chicago Daily News, whose reporters had helped to crack the case.

This was the so-called "perfect crime." At least, that's what Richard Loeb thought when he concocted it.

Loeb, who had been raised by a strict Canadian governess since he was four, had fantasized about leading a criminal gang.  What does history tell us about him?

  • Loeb was smart.
  • He had finished grade school by the time he was 12 and high school by age 14.
  • Because his governess was quick to punish him, he had learned to evade her discipline by lying.
  • By seventeen, as one of the youngest graduates from the University of Michigan, he was an expert liar.

Leopold was even more intelligent than Loeb.

  • His IQ was 210 - a certifiable genius.
  • He was a national expert on birds.
  • He spoke nine or ten languages by the time he was 18.
  • But ... he was obsessed with his friend Richard Loeb.

He would do what Loeb told him to do.

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