Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Leopold & Loeb

Alienists' Testimony Continued

Richard Loeb
Richard Loeb

Loeb's extensive education did not include sex, which Miss Struthers did not broach to him as a subject. Consequently, Richard learned the basics from conversations with the family chauffeur. Sex did not become important to him and he believed that he was less sexually potent than his friends. His good looks, sophistication, wealth and social graces allowed him many opportunities with the opposite sex. While he took advantage of these opportunities, neither sex nor an enduring relationship with a woman was a high priority for him.

Lying was an integral part of Richard's personality and he was very accomplished at it. While he admitted that lying was wrong, he felt no guilt about doing it. His overactive fantasy life focused on him as the master criminal. He wanted to commit one perfect crime and then quit.

Dr. White summarized the nineteen-year-old Loeb in court: "All of Dickie's life, from the beginning of his antisocial activities, has been in the direction of his own self-destruction. He himself has definitely and seriously considered suicide. He told me that he was satisfied with his life and that so far as he could see, life had nothing more to offer, because he had run the gamut. He was at the end of the situation He had lived his life out." White saw infantilism as Loeb's outstanding characteristic. He believed that Richard was the one who actually murdered Bobby.

Phrenologist's interpretation of Loeb
Phrenologist's interpretation of Loeb

Dr. Healy did not think much of Loeb at all: lazy, unmotivated, shallow, but with an affable and outgoing personality. "To my mind the crime itself is the direct result of diseased motivation of Loeb's mental life. The planning and commission was only possible because he was abnormal mentally, with a pathological split personality.

Dr. Glueck was fascinated by Loeb. "I was amazed at the absolute absence of any signs of normal feelings, such as one would expect under the circumstances. He showed no remorse, no regret, no compassion for the people involved in this situation....He told me the details of the crime, including the fact that he struck the blow." This testimony was the most revealing clue at that time as to which one of the boys actually committed the murder."

 

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