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I ran my own blog from November 2006 till October 2014. All posts are still online, but I don't have time to update it anymore. Please note that all images and media files have been removed when the backup was moved to a new host in early 2016. Enjoy!

They Killed A 14 Year Old Boy, Just To See If It Was Possible To Commit The Perfect Crime

6. december 2007

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were two wealthy University students who murdered a 14 year old boy in 1924. They were only 19 and 18 years old, and they killed the boy just to prove themselves that it was possible to commit a perfect crime

Afterwards they told the police that they believed themselves to be Nietzschean supermen. In fact, Nietzsche pretended there were two types of men, ordinary men and supermen, while the supermen were generally responsible for the evolution of mankind, and that it was therefore also the supermen who should lead society. Supermen represent the best of human genes and do all they can to progress and survive as the fittest - a philosophy later adapted by the Nazi regime. A "superman" would be athletic, very intelligent and interested in the arts.

 

They were both very intelligent indeed. Leopold was already attending law school at the University of Chicago and spoke fifteen languages, while Loeb was the youngest graduate in the history of the University of Michigan. Loeb was the leader among them, while Leopold agreed to act as Loeb's accomplice as long as Loeb had sex with him.

They spent months planning the kidnapping, to make sure they could get the random without being caught. Both families were very wealthy, and they later admitted that money had never been a reason for their acting. They were just driven by the thrill.

But everything went wrong then. They lured they 14 year old boy into a rented car, they struck him with a chisel and stuffed a sock into his mouth - the boy died soon thereafter, which was not really planned that way. They burned the boy's clothes, poured hydrochloric acid on his body and put it in a culvert under a railroad track.

Then they called the boy's mother to tell her about the kidnapping and mailed the ransom note which had been typed on a typewriter. But soon thereafter the body was discovered. They destroyed the typewriter and eleminated further pieces of evidence. But Leopold had lost his exquisite eyeglasses just near the body, and police quickly found out that just three people in Chicago had ever bought such glasses.

Leopold told police that he had lost the glasses while bird watching, and that they had been on the road with his car the night of the murder, in company with two women whose names they didn't know. But they had made another mistake as Leopold's car had been repaired that night by his chauffeur. During police questioning they finally confessed, but each one blamed the other for the actual killing.

How did the story end? The trial was a media spectacle. Leopold and Loeb were sentenced each to life plus 99 years in prison. In prison, they finally their educations to good purpose, teaching classes in the prison school. Loeb was killed by a prisoner in 1936. Leopold was released on parole in 1958, after 33 years in prison. He died of a heart attack in 1971.