Event—Public Programming

Leopold, Loeb, and Darrow: A Story of Murder and Mercy

Nina Barrett

Nina Barrett

Nina Barrett

The Plea of Clarence Darrow, 1923

Listen to an audio recording of this program.

The 1924 murder of fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, and their defense by Clarence Darrow, raised profound and disturbing questions about social class, criminal psychology, morality, justice, and mercy.

Join Nina Barrett, author of The Leopold and Loeb Files: An Intimate Look at One of America's Most Infamous Crimes, for a talk about why, ninety-five years later, these issues continue to haunt us—and remain relevant—today.

Nina Barrett is owner of Bookends & Beginnings.

This program is cosponsored with the Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee and the Newberry Program in Chicago Studies.

The Clarence Darrow Commemorative Committee honors and commemorates the life, work, achievements, tradition, values, and philosophy of famed Chicago lawyer Clarence Seward Darrow (1857 ‑ 1938), especially his devotion to the American ideal of the universal application of the rule of law for the protection of all persons and causes, no matter how unpopular. The Committee conducts a wreath‑laying ceremony annually on March 13, the anniversary of Mr. Darrow’s death, at the Clarence Darrow Bridge in Chicago’s Jackson Park, the site where his ashes were strewn. The ceremony is followed by a lecture on some aspect of Darrow studies.

Explore the Newberry's manuscript collections related to Clarence Darrow.

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