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Apprehension and Interrogation
Saturday May 24th-
In Life Plus Ninety Nine years Nathan Leopold describes his activities on Saturday, May 24. He describes his girlfriend, referred in his autobiography as "Connie", in reality, Susan Lurie, and talks of Saturday.
"That Saturday we had a wonderful date. I didn't get home until very late and so was still asleep at eleven o clock Sunday morning when Dad came into my room and woke me with the news that two police officers wanted to see me."
Nathan Leopold was not sleeping late because he'd been out on a late date. While he had been on a date with Susan Lurie, it ended early, at 10PM or so. In fact, it was a double date with Richard Loeb and Loraine Nathan. Abel Brown also went along. They all went to a Black and Tan at the corner of 63rd and Cottage Grove.
After the girls were dropped at home, Leopold and Loeb each went home and then did what they'd done so often before. They snuck out of their homes at 2 AM and met up at a restaurant at 51st St. Nathan brought along the Underwood Portable typewriter. Richard brought the bloody lap robe.
While Leopold drove through the park, Richard Loeb pried the keys off the typewriter. The keys of the typewriter were disposed in one lake, the typewriter was sunk in Jackson Park lagoon. The robe was burnt on the beach.
On Sunday the 25th, Nathan was brought to the State's Attorney's office. He made a statement about his movements and his familiarity with Hegewisch swamp. Later Leopold would tell Detective Gortland that he thought he'd be able to talk his way out of the situation, as he had on the 25th, and had he known "Loeb would peach", he would have killed himself and "taken a couple coppers out in the process."
Nathan Leopold was picked up again for questioning on Thursday, May 29, 1924. The statute of limitations had run out on Leopold and Loeb's alibi and Nathan did stall as long as he thought he could. He eventually gave the alibi however, and Richard Loeb was picked up to confirm it.
They were kept apart, questioned separately.
Loeb, knowing the time limit had expired, did not immediately confirm the alibi. He claimed he did not remember where he'd been. Leopold realized this, as he was still being held. Surely the police had tried to confirm his alibi. He realized Loeb was not confirming it, and used an unawares newspaper reporter as a messenger. He told the reporter to urge Loeb to "remember what happened Wednesday." The reporter delivered the cryptic message and suddenly Loeb "remembered" the alibi.
The alibi was, of course, intentionally impossible to verify. They had picked up two girls who said their names were Mae and Edna. They dropped them out on the street when the girls wouldn't "come across". They had dinner at the Coconut Grove.
Unfortunately, while the State's Attorney held the boys, incriminating evidence was beginning to stack up. It was all circumstantial, but it just kept coming. First of course, was Leopold's glasses. He now admitted they were his but stated they must have fallen from his pocket while birding. The ransom letter was discovered to have been written on an Underwood portable. Leopold's house was searched for an Underwood Portable, which he denied owning. Unfortunately, Elizabeth. the Leopold's maid, told the detectives she'd seen a portable typewriter in the Leopold library a few weeks ago.
And then there were those pesky newspapermen, Fraternity members some of them, who'd gone out with Richard Loeb days before searching for the drugstore to where Mr Franks was supposed to go.
Leopold had kept a study group, and the group had typed up study notes. Some of the notes were typed on the same machine as the ransom note.
And still Leopold did not budge. He became belligerent. They wouldn't get him to confess.
The final straw came on Friday evening.
The Leopold's chauffeur sat in the State's Attorneys office. He had some information that might help the boys. It seems he was working on Leopold's car on May 21st. It was impossible they were out that day killing Bobby Franks when Leopold's own car sat in the garage. And he was sure of the date. His daughter had become sick that same day and they acquired for her a prescription. It was dated May 21st.
Of course, if Leopold's car was in the garage all day, then the alibi was a lie. It was this fact that made the walls crumble. Sven knew they had been out, but in a car that Richard Loeb pulled up in, a greenish or grey car. (the rented Willys)
"Now Loeb," said Mr Crowe. "You told me that Wednesday, you drove down town Wednesday,
the 25th, (trial transcript indicates the 25th, actual date was 21st) you drove
down town with this young fellow Leopold, in his car. That is a sport model, it is
a red car with a tan top, Willys-
"You left the school around eleven o'clock or some time after eleven, between eleven and noon, that you had lunch at the grill room in Marshall Field's."
"Yes or no?"
"Then you went out to Lincoln Park?"
"And all the driving that you did that day was in this car?"
"You did not have a car yourself, did you?"
"You did not drive any that day?"
"Have you got a car in your family that is a weather beaten green?"
"Well, my mother has a Cadillac, yes, sir."
"A Cadillac. And that is a sort of green?"
"Isn't it a fact that shortly after one o' clock PM you drove up in that Cadillac, you drove it and Leopold driving the red car drove the car to his garage and you saw the man that just went out, yes or no?"
"Who was he?"
"Pardon me, yes was to your question about had the man gone out." Loeb stammered.
"Who is he?" Crowe repeated.
"He is Leopold's chauffeur."
"Now isn't it a fact, Wednesday, May 21st, some time between one and a quarter after one you drove up to the garage, to Leopold's garage, you driving your mother's car, that green Cadillac, he driving the red car, and that he said to the chauffeur 'the brakes squeak so much here I want you to fix them'. He says 'I can put some oil on them and you can use the emergency and if you are careful you will not run into anybody.' He said 'I would rather run into somebody than have that squeak,' and he turned the car over to the chauffeur and got into your car and drove away?"
"That is not a fact?"
"If the chauffeur says so he is a liar?"
"Although he has a particular reason for remembering?"
"It is not a fact."
"If the chauffeur took the car and oiled it up, oiled the brakes and fixed it up
that would make the impression-
"If he says that is a fact he is a liar or mistaken?"
"Then if he has an additional reason for remembering the particular day what would you say to that?"
"I would say he was still a liar or mistaken."
"Didn't you boys come back then somewhere around ten o' clock in the evening and take that red car out?"
"When is all this?"
"Wednesday, May 21st, the day this boy disappeared, that is not true?"
"The chauffeur is mistaken?"
"Do you and Leopold belong to the same fraternity?"
"You are not fraternity brothers?"
"Did I ask you last night about the letter he wrote you in which he said it would not do for cocksuckers to fall out?"
"What significance do you attach to that?"
"The fact that he wanted to say, that a rumor had gotten around that he was a cock sucker."
"What difference would that make?"
"We did everything in our power to avoid any possible scandal in regard to that thing for two years, since it happened; that was three years ago, when this rumor started, and for two years we were very careful never to be alone together in public, seen together any place, or to be alone together any place where we could be seen. We were careful so when we wanted to go to a theatre on a particular evening we would be careful to have somebody else come along, purely and simply on the advice of my brother who had told me to be careful and to— not see too much of Leopold, and if I did to be sure there was somebody else around."
"Wasn't that an intolerable condition to exist, two fellows that were very friendly and wanted to be together and could not be together without the world suspecting they were cocksuckers and you had to have a chaperon all the time?"
"No, it was not necessary."
"Wouldn't it be much better if you broke off, saying ‘now listen, there is a lot of suspicion as to our relations here, you better go your way and I will go mine' and stop? All this talk and let us forget it."
"We never did that, but for quite a while there we saw very little of each other. It is just due to the fact that this here— that we were going to the University of Chicago and that we were together a great deal and that there was much more conversation."
The statement was made Friday May 30th, 1:35 AM. The following people were present; Robert Crowe, Joseph Savage, Milton Smith, Michael Hughes, E.M Allen, Samuel Ettelson and Nathan Leopold.
"What is your name?"
"Nathan F Leopold Jr."
"Where do you live?"
"4754 Greenwood Avenue."
"How old a man are you?"
"And you were nineteen when?"
"19th of February." (transcript says February. Leopold's b day is November 19)
"You were born where?"
"Who is your father?"
"Nathan F Leopold."
"What is his business?"
"He is president of the Morris Paper House."
"How many brothers in your family?"
"I have two brothers and a cousin who makes his home with us."
"Your two brothers live with you?"
"Have you any other brothers or sisters?"
"Your mother is dead?"
"What are your brother's names?"
"Foreman M and Samuel M."
"And they are both older than you?"
"And both in business?"
"What schools have you gone to?"
"The Spade School."
"What age did you start to school?"
"At the age of six, went to the Spade school. At the age of eight I transferred to the Douglas school."
"That is a public school?"
"Public school. I will have to figure this out. At eleven I attended the Harvard School."
|July 23 (cont)|
|July 25 (cont)|
|Aug 1 (cont)|
|Aug 4 (cont)|
|Aug 4 (3)|
|Defense Closing Arguments|