Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Leopold & Loeb

Loeb' Story

Loeb told a different story than Leopold about their activities on the day of Bobby Franks' murder. He said that he was with Leopold during the afternoon, but stated that they parted at dinnertime. Loeb didn't remember what he did the night of the murder.

Unsuspectingly, a mutual friend of the two boys delivered a critical message from Leopold to Loeb: "Babe [Leopold] said to tell the truth about the two girls. Tell the police what you did with them. You can't get in any worse trouble than you are now. He said you'd understand."

Suddenly, Loeb's story and Leopold's became the same. Some of the details were vague because Loeb said he had been drinking heavily and had forgotten.

Crowe and his assistants began to believe the boys' story. The state's attorney took them out for a lavish dinner. Afterward, the boys chatted amiably with the newspapermen. "I don't blame the police for holding me," Leopold told the Tribune. "I was at the culvert the Saturday and Sunday before the glasses were found and it is quite possible I lost my glasses there."

Two other reporters knew that Leopold belonged to a law student study group. From the study group members, they learned that Leopold usually typed up the study sheets on his Hammond, but that at least once, he had used a portable typewriter. They got their hands on a couple of the study sheets that Leopold had prepared and compared them with the typing on the ransom note.

Attorneys examine the typewriter evidence
Attorneys examine the typewriter evidence

The typing from some of the study sheets was identical to the typing on the ransom note.

Leopold admitted that he may have typed on the portable, but denied owning the machine. His house was searched, but the portable was not found. The maid, however, remembered seeing a portable typewriter in the house several weeks earlier.

Crowe and his assistants kept digging. On May 31 they interviewed the Leopold's chauffeur. On the day of the murder, the chauffeur had worked on Leopold's car all day long. Furthermore, the chauffeur maintained that the car had been in the garage until late that evening when he went home. The boys had told the police that they had used Leopold's car as they drove around the afternoon and evening of Bobby Franks' death.

The police interrogated them intensely in separate rooms. When Loeb was confronted with the lie about the car, he asked who told them that. After hearing it was Leopold's chauffeur, Loeb paled and asked to see Crowe.

Over the next two hours, a new story emerged.