On May 21, 1924, Bobby Franks was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was walking home from the Harvard School, located on Ellis Street, in the wealthy neighborhood of Kenwood (along Chicago's South Shore).
Driving a rented car - so they could avoid being linked to one of their own vehicles if they were ever investigated - Leopold and Loeb picked Bobby up and drove toward Bobby's home. As a neighbor and distant cousin of Loeb, Bobby would have had no fear about getting in the car.
About fifteen minutes later, Bobby was dead. He was killed in the car by either Dickie Loeb or Nathan Leopold (accounts of the murder vary). This map shows the general direction Leopold and Loeb took while the crime was underway.
What made this case so terrible was not just that Bobby was killed. It was how he was killed (and what Leopold and Loeb did to him after he was dead). Those facts contributed to the public's demand for no mercy.
Luring him to the car by saying he wanted to discuss a new tennis racket, Loeb wasted no time. He allegedly pushed Bobby onto the floor of the back seat and smashed the lad's head with a chisel. Using terrific force, he drove the chisel home three more times.
After Bobby was dead, his remains were wrapped in Leopold's car blanket.
After dark, Leopold and Loeb left Chicago and drove toward Hammond, Indiana. They parked their rented car near the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks.
Before dumping Bobby's body into a culvert, near Wolf Lake, Leopold and Loeb poured hydrochloric acid on their victim's face and body so he would not be recognized. They thought Bobby would never be discovered.
And ... so they thought ... they would never be found out.