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Thursday, March 31, 2022

Review: Murder Among Friends: How Leopold and Loeb Tried to Commit the Perfect Crime

Murder Among Friends: How Leopold and Loeb Tried to Commit the Perfect Crime
by Candace Fleming
Narrated by Angela Dawe

Thanks to PRH Audio for this gifted copy.

Publisher: Listening Library
Publish Date: March 29, 2022
7 hrs 22 min
Genres: Young Adult, True Crime

How did two teenagers brutally murder an innocent child...and why? And how did their brilliant lawyer save them from the death penalty in 1920s Chicago? Written by a prolific master of narrative nonfiction, this is a compulsively readable true-crime story based on an event dubbed the crime of the century.

In 1924, eighteen-year-old college students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb made a decision: they would commit the perfect crime by kidnapping and murdering a child they both knew. But they made one crucial error: as they were disposing of the body of young Bobby Franks, whom they had bludgeoned to death, Nathan's eyeglasses fell from his jacket pocket.

Multi-award-winning author Candace Fleming depicts every twist and turn of this harrowing case--how two wealthy, brilliant young men planned and committed what became known as the crime of the century, how they were caught, why they confessed, and how the renowned criminal defense attorney Clarence Darrow enabled them to avoid the death penalty.

Following on the success of such books as The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh and The Family Romanov, this acclaimed nonfiction writer brings to heart-stopping life one of the most notorious crimes in our country's history. 

My Review:

Like anyone who is interested in and fascinated by true crime, I've read about Leopold and Loeb many times. Psychopathic teens who killed a kid just because they felt like it.  Calculating, pompous, entitled and lacking in emotional maturity... or emotions in general, these two will always have a strong spot in the history of true crime.  And for good reason.

Perhaps you have heard of them too? Or have at least watched Murder by Numbers... a film loosely based on the two (which was just ok).  The audio is great - Angela Dawe is a fantastic narrator.  Even though I knew this story, it was fun to listen and get a little bit of a different view.  It was obvious that there was a lack of emotion - that they almost knew *how* they were supposed to act as opposed to naturally being this way.  Such began the journey to make sure they don't get the death penalty.  A turning point and start for the insanity defense.

Nature vs. nuture.  While both barely adults (at the age of eighteen) certainly had their differences, they were extremely loyal to each other.  Together as a team, they felt invincible.  Honestly, if you enjoy true crime, definitely pick this one up.  The story still fascinates me to this day.


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