Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb

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Nathan Freudenthal Leopold, Jr. (November 19th, 1904 – August 29tthh, 1971) and Richard Albert Loeb (/ˈloʊb/; June 11th, 1905 – January 28th, 1936), usually referred to collectively as Leopold and Loeb, were two wealthy students at the University of Chicago who in May 1924 kidnapped and murdered 14-year-old Robert Franks in Chicago. They committed the murder—widely characterized at the time as "the crime of the century" —as a demonstration of their perceived intellectual superiority, which, they thought, rendered them capable of carrying out a "perfect crime", and absolved them of responsibility for their actions.

After the two men were arrested, Loeb's parents retained Clarence Darrow as counsel for their defense. Darrow's 12-hour-long summation at their sentencing hearing is noted for its influential criticism of capital punishment as retributive rather than transformative justice. Both men were sentenced to life imprisonment plus 99 years. Loeb was killed by a fellow prisoner in 1936; Leopold was released on parole in 1958.

The Franks murder has been the inspiration for several works of film, theatre, and literature, including Patrick Hamilton's 1929 play Rope and Alfred Hitchcock's 1948 film of the same name. Later movies, such as Compulsion—adapted from Meyer Levin's 1957 novel—and Swoon, were also based on the crime.