Nothing but the Night by Greg King and Penny Wilson
9/20/22; 352 pages
St. Martin's Press
Nothing but the Night: Leopold & Loeb and the Truth Behind the Murder That Rocked 1920s America by Greg King and Penny Wilson is a very highly recommended examination of the infamous 1924 murder.
The names Leopold and Loeb will immediately be familiar to true crime
aficionados and bring to mind two teens who killed for the thrill of
Leopold and Richard Loeb were two intelligent and wealthy teenagers who
were charged and convicted for the 1924 murder of fourteen-year-old
Bobby Franks in Chicago. Franks was actually Loeb’s second cousin and
the families had homes close to each other. The murder was shocking for
its senselessness, the revelation of a love affair between the
defendants, and defense attorney Clarence Darrow's defense summation
which saved the boys from
the death penalty. King and Wilson reexamine the case and who was the
true mastermind behind the crime.
This is an exceptionally well researched inspection of the case and
included are a bibliography and chapter notes. It remains a troubling
and disturbing case that deserves a new look at the known facts and King
and Wilson take on this task admirably. Those who appreciate the quest
for the truth in psychological historical true crime cases will welcome this even approach to looking at the facts with new eyes. It also serves to look closer at Clarence Darrow's argument against the death penalty. His suggestion that experts declared Leopold and Loeb were "mentally diseased" rather than evil unleashed a media frenzy.