From Hitchcock to Welles: Leopold And Loeb On Film
Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were two college boys, brilliant and
mad, who decided to kill a younger boy in 1924 to see if they could
commit the “perfect crime.” After they were caught, their trial turned
into a media circus—the “trial of the century” starring their world
famous lawyer Clarence Darrow. He was a hell of a lawyer, and he saved
them from the hangman’s noose. They got life, plus ninety-nine years.
When one of them was murdered in prison just a few years after their
incarceration, the papers mocked his passing. The other boy served
thirty-plus years, got out, married, and died of natural causes as an
Why are we still so fascinated with Leopold and Loeb? It’s been nearly a
hundred years since they murdered a fourteen-year-old named Bobby
Franks, but we’re still talking about the case. Numerous books have been
written about them and nearly as many movies have been inspired by
their crime. As recently as 2005 there was an Off-Broadway musical about
them. What’s the appeal?