(CBS) — The crime of the century gets a fresh look in a new book from a former Northwestern University staffer.
While most of us have heard of the murder trial of Nathan Leopold and Robert Loeb, Nina Barrett says few know the real story.
She says that’s what makes the well-known story worth another look, especially since the school holds many documents from the case.
In 1924, Leopold and Loeb, two rich University of Chicago students, kidnapped and killed 14-year-old Bobby Franks in Kenwood just for the thrill of it. The pair though they could commit the “perfect crime.”
The case was significant for a number of reasons. It was one of the first in which psychiatric testing was used. It scared parents away from leaving their kids alone, and the famous attorney Clarence Darrow was hired to defend the young men.
Barrett says looking at the original ransom note was “arresting,” and 5,000 pages of court transcripts that include speeches by Darrow read like a Shakespearean drama.
Barrett and Northwestern co-own the book’s copyright as part of a settlement of a lawsuit.
The book, tentatively titled “The Leopold and Loeb Files,” is slated to be published by Evanston-based Agate Publishing in March 2018.