The murder trial of Leopold and Loeb has been the subject of fascination since the day they were discovered as the murderers of Bobby Franks. Actors, like Orson Welles in 1959’s Compulsion, have been made famous after portraying Clarence Darrow and putting their own spin on his closing remarks at the trial. Despite the horrible thing Leopold and Loeb did, the two boys were spared from the hangman’s noose by pleading guilty to manslaughter. Even in their guilty plea, they still attributed their actions to insanity.
Based on other successful insanity pleas white men in the 1920s, Leopold and Loeb were attempting to follow in their footsteps. The plan the two boys concocted was intricate and they spent months planning it: from the weapons, to their car, all the way to how they were going to dispose of the body. They didn’t care about what they atrocity they committed, they only wanted to the notoriety and money that would have come from it.1)“LEOPOLD AND LOEB IN THE ARCHIVES.” Leopold and Loeb Artifacts, University Archives, Northwestern University Library. Accessed November 08, 2017. http://exhibits.library.northwestern.edu/archives/exhibits/leoloeb/index.html.
These boys weren’t insane to the point they had originally said they were in their original plea. They were intelligent young men who thought they could get away with their crime.
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|1.||↑||“LEOPOLD AND LOEB IN THE ARCHIVES.” Leopold and Loeb Artifacts, University Archives, Northwestern University Library. Accessed November 08, 2017. http://exhibits.library.northwestern.edu/archives/exhibits/leoloeb/index.html.|