This is an incredible book! Talk about an in depth look at the case file. Ms. Barrett has expertly accumulated a multitude of information about this case. We get the detailed notes and reports of the investigating detectives, along with constant tidbits of news reports from the newspapers of the times. Each offers a unique insight into the minds, behaviors and personalities of the two young killers.
What is truly fascinating is the callousness with which these boys approach this whole ordeal, from the conception of the murder plot to getting arrested to their behavior in court. They are so matter-of-fact about the whole thing. A little boy was murdered. And he was murdered by family. The entire depth of the case is so emotionally empty on the parts of the murderers. It seems as though they were not only unshaken by the killing a young boy but, they were also not stressed by getting caught. Even as they are being questioned we read their utter nonchalance and superiority complexes oozing through their words.
As if that wasn’t horrible enough, even with the boy dead, they sent a ransom letter to Bobby’s parents and made ominous phone calls to the family’s home.
Eight days after the murder, these two young men (Leopold, 19 and Loeb, 18) were officially taken for questioning in the matter. This questioning would launch a wave of horror and bewilderment among the community.
It is found out that these young men were incredibly narcissistic and believed that because they had superior intellect there was nothing wrong with them murdering someone of lesser intelligence. They also thought they committed the perfect murder.
Yet, they made numerous mistakes. The victim was someone they knew. The body dump site was a place where Leopold often took part in bird watching. One of the killers dropped his eyeglasses at the dump site (even though there was no DNA in the 20s, these glasses proved to be a very important piece of evidence in proving the guilt of the suspects). They, like a lot of murderers, planned the crime itself very meticulously however, failed to plan the aftermath in such exquisite detail. And, as so many killers of the “serial” nature tend to display, these two men thought they were not only smarter than the police but, that they were smarter than everyone on the planet.
This book is an amazing collection of the case involving investigative reports, interrogations, court transcripts, photos and other evidence. This is a great way to get a full and complete understanding of the case and also, the way things were at the time of the murder, how society behaved.
The only thing that made it not even difficult to read but, challenging, was that the manner of speaking in the 20s was considerably different than it is now. Some of the transcripts and interrogation notes and such are a little harder to follow because the language is what we would now consider somewhat antiquated. THIS IS, IN NO WAY, THE AUTHOR’S FAULT.
Nina Barrett does a superb job of compiling information and parsing it all out in an organized and logical manner for the reader to absorb and enjoy. Her words are direct and concise and the evidence presented, along with photographs, can be chilling at times.
This is truly a gem of a true crime book. Any true crime fan would LOVE this book. Not only was it interesting to read but, also extremely educational.