In what is now dubbed the “original affluenza case,” the murder of Robert Franks by Nathaniel Freudenthal Leopold Jr. and Richard Alan Loeb was without a doubt the most notorious homicide of its time. Carried out on May 21, 1924, the deed was described by many as being our nation’s first “crime of the century,” as it cajoled crowds into riots outside the Chicago courtroom where onlookers grappled for a chance to gaze at the handsome young men.
One writer at the Chicago Tribune reportedly heard a visitor say: “Down in New Orleans they write as much in the paper about these boys as they do in Chicago.” It was truly a nation-wide phenomenon. These men must have done something particularly heinous to ignite the curiosity of readers. So, what was the allure? Why did this crime spark the first true media firestorm in United States history?
This is the story of Leopold and Loeb, two murderers who were as psychotic as they were debonair, as puzzling as they were brilliant and afraid.
Leopold And Loeb Murdered Bobby Franks With A Chisel
Leopold Accidentally Left His Glasses At The Scene, Ruining Their Perfect Crime
They Planned To Attack Loeb's Cousin And Requested A Ransom Of $10,000Photo: Nathan Freudenthal Leopold, Jr.and Richard A. Loeb / Wikipedia Commons
It Was Loeb Who Came Up With The Idea Of Committing The “Perfect Crime"Photo: Bild Bundesarchiv / Wikipedia Commons
On The Day Of The Murder, They Rented A Car Under The Name “Morton D. Ballard”
Thanks To Their Rich Parents, The Boys Were Able To Hire "The Defender Of Lost Causes"Photo: Wikipedia Commons