EVIL SUMMER Babe Leopold, Dickie Loeb, And The Kidnap-Murder of Bobby Franks

Author: Theodore (John)
Year: 2007
Publisher: Southern Illinois Univ. Press
Edition Details: 1st US Edn.
Book Condition: F/F
ISBN: 9780809327775
Price: 20.00
Hardback. In 1924, 14yr old Bobby Franks was abducted while walking home from school, killed by a chisel blow to his head, and later found stuffed in a culvert in a marshy wasteland at the Illinois-Indiana state line. Acid had been poured over his naked body. The author examines the shocking kidnapping and murder of Franks by two University of Chicago students, Nathan "Babe" Leopold and Richard "Dickie" Loeb, both from families of privilege. In this examination of the crime, the author takes readers into the minds of the two criminals as he focuses on 3 months in 1924. He covers the killing, the confessions, the defence, and the sentencing surrounding the horrific murder, placing the killers' actions and Clarence Darrow's historic defence into the context of 1920s Chicago. The author investigates the psychological dimensions of the crime, revealing the murderers' fantasies, relationships, sexuality, and motives. He examines the killers' past, outlining Loeb's obsession with detective fiction and crime and his editorial on random killing - written at age 9 - and Leopold's nightly master-slave fantasies and fascination with Nietsche. The book, which includes 23 illustrations, meticulously traces the murder from inception to confession, including such details as the special-delivery ransom letter sent to Jacob Franks and the discovery of Leopold's horn-rimmed eyeglasses lying on a railroad embankment near Bobby's dead body. The story became a media circus: Chicago's six daily newspapers battled vigorously for readers, two 'Daily News' cub reporters became part of the story, and the 'Chicago Tribune' carried a voting ballot asking readers whether radio station WGN should broadcast the courtroom spectacle. The author illuminates the dark side of American life in the 1920s, including the excesses of privileged youth, the troubled childhoods, the random victimisation, the anti-Semitism, and the sexuality. Illus., Notes, Bibliog. and Index. 203pp. 8vo. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. F. in F. dw.


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