Nothing but the Night
Leopold & Loeb and the Truth Behind the Murder That Rocked 1920s America
by Greg King; Penny Wilson
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Pub Date 20 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 04 Oct 2022
Greg King and Penny Wilson turn the original crime of the century on its head in Nothing But the Night, a riveting new exploration of the murder trial of Leopold & Loeb.
Nearly a hundred years ago, two wealthy and privileged teenagers—Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb—were charged and convicted in a gruesome crime that would lead to the original “Trial of the Century”. Even in Jazz Age Chicago, the murder was uniquely shocking for the motive of the killers: well-to-do Jewish scions, full of promise, had killed fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks for the thrill of it. The trial was made even more sensational by the revelation of a love affair between the defendants and by defense attorney Clarence Darrow, who delivered one of the most famous defense summations of all time to save the boys from the death penalty. The story of their mad folie à deux, with Loeb portrayed as the psychopathic mastermind and Leopold as his infatuated disciple, has been endlessly repeated and accepted by history as fact. And none of it is true.
Using twenty-first century investigative tools, forensics, and a modern understanding of the psychology of these infamous killers, Nothing but the Night turns history on its head. While Loeb has long been viewed as the architect behind the murders, King and Wilson’s new research points to Leopold as the dominant partner in the deadly relationship, uncovering a dark obsession with violence and sex. Nothing but the Night pulls readers into the troubled world of Leopold and Loeb, revealing a more horrifying tale of passion, obsession, and betrayal than history ever imagined.