(CBS) — There are very few “firsts” and “mosts” in history. 91 years later, we mark the anniversary of one of the so-called crime of the century.
It happened right here in Chicago, in a home near the one owned by the Obama’s and like any compelling crime story, there’s a twist.
CBS 2’s Brad Edwards reports 91 years ago, a little boy named Bobby Franks went to sleep for the last time in a mansion that is now destined for an update.
“91 years later we’re still talking about this case,” said John Russick of the Chicago History Museum. “The term came out of that crime, a thrill killing.”
Nathan Leopold, Phi Beta Kappa at U of C on his way to Harvard and Richard Loeb, the son of a Sears vice president who graduated from the University of Michigan at 17.
“Decide that they are so intellectually superior that they can commit the perfect murder,” Russick said. “Just coming to the terms of the idea that you kill somebody to see if you could.”
They chose the neighboring Franks boy.
Leopold’s glasses are on display for the first time in a decade.
“The undoing of Leopold and Loeb’s idea of what the perfect crime would be,” Russick said.
Leopold’s glasses were left near where they dumped Bobby Franks after taking a chisel to his head.
The case hinged on the hinges of the glasses, which were specific to only three pairs in Chicago, and Leopold didn’t have an alibi.
They were spared death by the brilliant Clarence Darrow.
91 years later, not much remains of the case of the century, and even the plastic framed glasses are at risk.
“Sorta fighting with itself pieces of glasses are actually falling apart,” Russick said.
At year’s end, they’ll return to storage at just above freezing.
“So much of Chicago’s criminal past is gone, homes were torn down, buildings were down,” Russick said.
And the 10,000 foot home where Bobby Franks lived has been empty for a year, but it’s not relegated to the ashbin of history. It will return to its original state.
We did not get a comment with the company behind the re-do, but they’re working with the city’s department of landmarks and preservation. We reached out to them and didn’t hear back.