Reopening the Case Files of Leopold and Loeb
As told by Dr. White, one of the trial alienists: "I asked [Loeb] to name wrote that Loeb never felt remorse, but Leopold's account cannot be completely trusted as They had a sexual relationship for three years before they were arrested and. Nathan Freudenthal Leopold Jr. (November 19, – August 29, ) and Richard Albert .. and not Leopold was primarily responsible for the crime, dominating and leading an infatuated Leopold in a kind of master/slave relationship. The Leopold and Loeb case, thoroughly analyzed by the erotic king-slave relationship (the sallow Leopold was the self-described powerful.
The glasses—one of only three such pairs in the Chicagoland area—and the typewritten ransom note, which analysts traced to a late-model Underwood with a defective lowercase t and f, eventually led investigators to Leopold and Loeb.
Leopold and Loeb Still Fascinate 90 Years Later
The Leopold and Loeb Story The killers have even been appropriated as exemplars of revisionist queer history. Their voices on the page thrum with the smugness of youth: When was the first you felt [remorse]?
I felt sorry about the thing, about the killing of the boy—oh, well, that very night. But then the excitement, the accounts in the paper, the fact that we had gotten away with it and that they did not suspect us, that it was given so much publicity and all that sort of thing, naturally went to the question of not feeling as much remorse as otherwise I think I would have.
It depends on whether I thought I could get away with it.
Are there any revelations in these documents? Why did two young, well-educated boys from wealthy families kill for no apparent reason? They scorn the judgment of other students, glorying in their superior wealth, their sharper wits, their greater capacity for forbidden pleasures.
Perhaps the boys suffered from an erosion of Jewish values.
Guide to the Leopold and Loeb Collection 1894/1990
Then there were the phrenologists and psychologists who volunteered physiological readings of the boys: Maybe she was to blame. Given every advantage and opportunity, the boys suffered a kind of agoraphobic reaction to their own privilege. Ditto the case of O. Simpson although celebrity and race played outsize roles there. The history of American crime is the history of class and race, which are inseparable.
In the American imagination, either murder itself is abetted by economic conditions or the reporting and prosecution of the murder expose the blind spots in our supposedly meritocratic capitalism. On a superficial level, the mystery of Leopold and Loeb is what drove them to kill Bobby Franks at all, but the more fraught, subcutaneous question is why they rejected the luxuries of their pampered lives in exchange for a sordid thrill.
Theirs is a riches-to-rags story. Most of us would kill to know the kind of wealth they took for granted; Leopold and Loeb killed to divest themselves of it, to feel something visceral and real, however briefly.
My crime was in getting caught. It is, as we know by now, a predominantly white male sentiment. Traitors to their class, and to the very contract of the American Dream, these men and boys pursue an ego trip that exploits their own cultural dominance. Violence is the natural American idiom, as D. Lawrence discovered years ago: Drunk on a mix of narcissism and philosophical delusion, they became one giant id.
As the young killers, Stockwell and Dillman are excellent, and their scenes together are intense, intimate, and chilling.
Had the film stayed with these two guys it might very well have been a masterpiece. Orson Welles as Clarence Darrow in Compulsion Unfortunately, the story swerves in its last thirty minutes or so to make room for their lawyer, the Clarence Darrow figure played by Orson Welles.
The Original Natural Born Killers - Issue Stress - Nautilus
Perhaps the filmmakers felt the material needed the presence of a big star to compensate the audience for the hour or so we spend with two gay, coldblooded child-killers. Or perhaps the film really does want to work itself up into a condemnation of the death penalty. Welles has a long, justly famous, speech in which he attacks the very foundation of retributive justice.
At this stage in his career, Welles was still starring in and directing masterpieces he had just finished Touch of Evil and was off to Europe to make The Trial but his days of showboat starring roles were quickly coming to an end.
No doubt he relished the opportunity to unleash a fifteen-minute soliloquy condemning capital punishment. As we start to focus on Welles and his legal tactics, however, Compulsion loses its power. The first hour of the film is an uncommonly intelligent and disturbing film noir, followed by thirty minutes or so of a routine courtroom drama. The movie more or less abandons the two killers at the start of the trial, in much the same way Leopold and Loeb were overshadowed for a while, obscured by the light shining on their celebrity lawyer.
But just as in real life, we return to them when the movie is over and ask ourselves the same urgent, unanswerable question: