Crime History: Teens kill 14-year-old in attempt to commit 'perfect crime'

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe,Crime History

On this day, May 21, in 1924, rich University of Chicago graduates Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb kidnapped and killed 14-year-old Bobby Franks in one of the most notorious "thrill killings" in American history.

Leopold, 19, who graduated from college the year before, spoke several languages and had an IQ of 200 or more. Loeb, 18, also graduated college the previous year. Both spent seven months planning the "perfect crime."

The duo created fake identities and rehearsed the murder of Franks, a cousin of Loeb. The teens stabbed Franks, hid his body in a swamp and sent a ransom note to Franks' millionaire father.

But Franks' body was discovered the next day. At the site, detectives found eyeglasses with a special hinge and traced them to Loeb's optometrist.

The boys pleaded guilty to avoid the death penalty.

Loeb was killed by an inmate in 1936. Leopold was released in 1958. He died in 1971 in Puerto Rico.

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Author:

Scott McCabe

Staff Writer - Crime
The Washington Examiner