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Murdering Duos 1 , An Introduction to Leopold and Loeb

Typically referred to as ‘Leopold and Loeb,’ two well-to-do students at the University of Chicago ended up killing 14-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924. Their crime was not by accident, but instead, a planned event. They were not driven by gaining money for their wrongdoing, which made the crime even more senseless. In this article, you will learn how the two men plotted to commit their crime and the main reason why.

Although Nathan Freudenthal Leopold, Jr. and Richard Albert Loeb had enough money to support themselves while attending college, the duo believed they were unstoppable as a team and conspired to commit what they believed was the ‘perfect crime’. They weren’t in need of money or looking for revenge , they simply wanted to outsmart the authorities and watch while the people around them scrambled to solve a case only they had the answers to.  

Why Did They Do Their Crimes?

When the murder took place, Leopold was 19 and Loeb was 18. The two felt they could pull off a kidnapping and murder and get away with it. The two often referred to themselves as ‘supermen,’ believing that they would not be tried by the same laws as ordinary men. The duo showed high intelligence. Leopold was a prodigy that actually uttered his first words when he was four months old. Reports stated he had an IQ of 200. He had already completed undergraduate school and went on to attend law school at the University of Chicago.

Loeb was also exceptional in his studies. For starters, he was the youngest graduate in the history of the University of Michigan, and after taking a few post-graduate courses , he planned to enter the University of Chicago Law School. Leopold had plans to travel to Europe and then transfer to Harvard Law School in September.

Leopold, Loeb and their future victim, Bobby Franks, lived in Kenwood , a wealthy Jewish neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago. Loeb’s father was a lawyer before he took the position of vice president of Sears and Roebuck. The family also owned a mansion, which wasn’t too far from where Franks and his family lived. The Loeb’s also owned a summer estate in Michigan.

Leopold and Loeb were teens when they met at the University of Chicago and somewhere in their conversations, they spoke of committing crimes. It was then that Leopold agreed to become Loeb’s accomplice, and the two gradually eased into their new life of crime. At first, they committed petty theft, but eventually, the duo would turn their attentions to larger crimes.

In part 2 of “Murdering Duos , Leopold and Loeb,” you will learn how long it took for the boys to plan their crime and how they went about killing their victim.