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In the lockup before court the morning of July 23, Nathan and Richard talked with
reporters. "I hear you fellows had a hard time discussing our clothes the other day,"
Leopold said. "I don't want you to make any mistakes this time. Remember this is
an important day. Now look at me. What am I wearing? If I walked away this minute
not one of you could tell-
"Uh shut up, Babe," said Loeb.
Later, reporters would comment on the boys' attitudes with them. When they were in a good mood, they would joke, or mock the reporters. Today Loeb seemed nervous, proccupied. Leopold seemed to be having a good time.
At ten AM they were led into court. The Court Clerk announced them. "Nathan F Leopold Jr., Richard Loeb!"
They appeared from the lockup. Leopold grinned slightly but Loeb appeared worried. He was described as having a troubled look in his eyes. They took their seats behind the defense.
Darrow rose. There were some formalities to get out of the way. Walter Bachrach's name needed to be added for the defense.
Judge Caverly began, ordering the throng in the courtroom to order. The courtroom held 300, and every seat was taken. "Now find seats everybody and be as quiet as possible. The other day, gentlemen, and at the day of the arraignment, the plea had taken us somewhat by surprise, and probably the proper formality was not complied with, so in order to have the record clear I will ask Nathan F Leopold Jr to stand up. Nathan F. Leopold Jr., stand up."
"You, Nathan F. Leopold, Jr. and Richard Loeb were on the 6th day of June, 1924, indicted by the grand jury in the criminal court of cook county, state of Illinois,General number 33623, People of the State of Illinois vs. Nathan F Leopold Jr and Richard Loeb, upon a charge that you, Nathan F Leopold Jr and Richard Loeb did on the 21st of May, 1924, murder one Robert Franks.
Upon arraignment on the 11th day of June, 1924, in the Criminal Court of Cook County, State of Illinois, you were present in person and with counsel, and you personally entered a plea of not guilty to the indictment aforesaid. On the 21st day of July, 1924, you were again personally present in the Criminal Court of Cook County, State of Illinois, and Clarence Darrow, Esquire, Attorney for you, asked leave to withdraw your plea of not guilty and to enter on your behalf your plea of guilty. And thereupon the fully explained to you, Nathan F Leopold Jr., the consequences of entering such plea, and you were at that time fully advised by theCourt of your right to a trialby a jury upon a plea of not guilty, and that as a consequence of your plea of guilty and under your plea of guilty the Court had the power to sentence you to the punishment of death, or to sentence you toimprisonment in the Penitentiary for your natural life, or to sentence you to imprisonment in the penitentiary for a term of not less than fourteen years. And after being advised of the consequences of entering your plea of guilty upon the indictment for murder of said Robert Franks you then personally and by counsel persisted in pleading guilty to the said indictment for Murder.
The Court, having heretofore fully explained to you, Nathan F Leopold Jr. the consequences of entering your plea of guilty of the murder of the said Robert Franks, again desires to fully explain to you, Nathan F Leopold Jr. the consequences of entering such plea, and now here advises you again that you have a right to a trial by a jury under a plea of not guilty herein, and that as a consequence of the plea of guilty of the murder of Robert Franks the Court has the power to fix your punishment at death, or imprisonment in the penitentiary for your natural life, or imprisonment in the penitentiary for a term of not less than fourteen years, and that such plea of huilty will make no alteration in the punishment. And the court desires to know whether, with the consequencees of entering such plea of guilty before you, you now here persist in pleading guilty to the murder of the said Robert Franks in manner and form as charged in the indictment herein."
"I do, your Honor," responded Nathan. He was described by the reporters as growing nervous. Perhaps for a moment the truth had sunk in.
The judge then repeated the statement-
And then it was Richard's turn. He replied, "Yes your Honor, I do."
"Those who are not seated will have to leave the courtroom," admonished Judge Caverly to the crowd again. "It is at the direction and advice of the Fire Department that the court is acting, that no person be permitted to stand, when all the seats are taken, thereforethose who are not seated will leave the courtroom, and the bailiffs will not permit anybody else to enter the courtroom, other than officers and those connected with the court.
"You may proceed, gentlemen."
Crowe stood. "I would suggest that the hearing on the indictment in the case of the People vs. Loeb and Leopold charging kidnapping for ransom be continued, and the state is now ready to proceed with the presentation of evidence in the case of People vs Loeb and Leopold charging them with murder." Crowe was attempting to try the cases seperately. Two hearings meant two chances to hang, just as Darrow had predicted, when he switched the please from Not guilty to Guilty on both indictments. The defense was on it's feet.
"We object, if the court please. We object to any continuance of the case. There is a plea of guilty in both cases," said Mr Bachrach.
"I don't think you understand," replied the Judge. "You mean to proceed with this one case now?"
"Yes, and when I finish that I will proceed with the other," said Crowe.
"You see, you cannot mingle the two together," said Caverly.
"The evidence is just the same in both of them," said Darrow.
"I know, but what he wants to do," explained the Judge, "is to proceed. Now, for
instance, there is no necessity of the corpus delicti-
"Two different cases," stated Crowe.
"The proof is actually different, but it will remain on its call from day to day, and then when the first indictment is disposed of there won't be but very little testimony needed in the ransom case, very little probably, and before I determine the punishment in the murder case, we will have heard the testimony in the ransom case. It remains on the call from day to day, but he is now trying the case for murder."
"Inasmuch as there is no real trial and the only purpose of it-
"What is this if it isn't a trial?" snapped Crowe. "Is it an experiment or a try-
"Wait," ordered the Judge. "You see, there may be evidence introduced in the murder case, and there will be,that would not be necessary at all in the kidnaping for ransom case."
"If we do not object, what is the difference?"
"I assume that this is a trial that is going to be conducted according to the rules."
"And it is not an experiment or a try out."
"I think this is what we will do," said the Judge. "We will go ahead with the murder
case now, with the understanding that the two or three witnesses that are necessary
in the ransom case, will be put on in thekidnaping for ransom case, and the court
will hear all the testimony, and the record will have to showthat this is the evidence
taken in indictment number 33624 and then afterwards-
"33623," corrected Crowe.
"Half an hour."
"You will proceed with it afterwards?" Bachrach asked.
"Yes," said Crowe.
"It just remains on call from day to day, and the record now shoes that we are only trying 33623."
"All right," said Darrow.
"And immediately that is concluded then we will go on with the short testimony that is necessary in the other case," explained the Judge.
"All right," repeated Darrow.
"With that understanding we will proceed now, gentlemen, in the case of the Peopole vs. Nathan F. Leopold, Jr. and Richard Loeb, indictment for murder general number 33623."
"Now, may it please your Honor, it is the duty of the State, as I take it, at this time, to outline to your Honor the evidence that the State intends to introduce in support of the charge of murder contained in this indictment.
It is not the purpose at this time, nor would it be proper, for the State to base an argument upon the facts as it expects to develop them, but merely to outline briefly what those facts are, and at the conclusion of all of the hearing, then to argue to the Court that on those facts, in the judgement of the State, the extreme penalty ought to be imposed on both of these defendants.
The evidence in this case-
"Pardon me, Mr Crowe. Would it be well, or do you want your witnesses, if there are any in the room, excluded before the opening statement?"
"We don't care, your Honor," said Darrow.
"Do you, Mr Crowe, desire it?" asked the Judge.
"I think most of them are out, your Honor."
"The evidence in this case will show that Nathan Leopold, Jr. is a young man 19 years past, that other defendant, Richard Loeb, is a young man of 19 years; that they are both the sons of highly respected and prominent citizens of this community; that their parents gave them every advantage that wealth and indulgency could give to boys. They have attended the best schools in this community and have, from time to time, had private tutors. These young men behaved as a majority of young men in their social set behaved, with the exception that they developed a desire to gamble, and gambled for large stakes, the size of the stakes being such that even their wealthy companions could not sit in games with them.
"The evidence will further show that along in October or November of last year these
two defendants entered into a conspiracy, the purpose of which was to gain money,
and in order to gain it they were ready and willing to commit a cold-
"These young men are men of intelligence and education. In the criminal project that they were about to embark in, it was necessary that certain letters be written.
"The evidence will show that they knew that it was possible to tell what kind of a typewriter was used in any given instance. They secured a typewriter, which was stolen from a student in Ann Arbor early in November, 1923. It was a portable underwood typewriter, and the letters which were written in this case, which will be introduced in evidence, were written upon this machine."
While Crowe spoke, Leopold and Loeb watched him intently.
"During the month of November, December, January, February and March, these two defendants planned and schemed this crime and devoted their energies in working out details so it would be impossible for them to be detected and brought to the bar of justice.
"The first overt act beyond the acquiring of the stolen typewriter will be a newspaper folded in a compact manner and tied to a string, which these defendants experimented with by throwing it from the rear of a moving Illinois Central train to see where it would land so that they might give directions later on to their victim as to how to throw the money that they hoped and intended to get.
"On the 9th day of May, 1924, in pursuance to the unlawful conspiracy that these two defendants had entered into, Richard Loeb went to the Morrison Hotel, in the City of Chicago, and registered under the name of Morton D. Ballard of Peoria, Illinois. He took with him a suitcase containing some books belonging to the Chicago University, and in one of those books is a library card on which he had written his name "Richard A. Loeb".
"There is a condition on the card that the book must be returned within a certain time and the person who draws the book is obliged to sign it, and in this case Richard A. Loeb signed his name.
They had previously decided that it would not be feasible to use either one of their automobiles. The one that Leopold used was a bright red with a maroon top, disc wheels, sport model, and one that would readily attract attention.
They had learned that you could rent an automobile from the Rent a Car people who had a place of business on Michigan Avenue near 13th street.
"They had also learned that it was necessary to make an application in writing prior to obtaining the car, that it was necessary to give three refererences and one of them had to be a Chicago reference.
"It was arranged that while Leopold would go to the Rent a Car company to make this application on Wabash Avenue, I believe the number is 1352. Leopold was to give the name of Louis Mason, address 1352 Wabash Avenue and the telephone number as his Chicago reference, and when the Rent a Car people telephoned to this address Loeb, who was waiting there, was to answer the phone.
"After Leopold went to the Rent a Car people and made out his application, which will be introduced in evidence here, he gave the name of Morton D.Ballard of Peoria, Illinois, the same name that Richard Loeb had used when he rented a room in the Morrison Hotel; he gave as his Chicago Address the Morrison Hotel;he gave two fictitious perons in Peoria as references, and he gave Louis Mason of Wabash Avenue as the third reference.
"The Rent a Car people thereupon called up the number, the phone was answered by Richard Loeb, the inquiry was made as to whether he was Louis Mason, and he said "yes".
"Do you know Morton D. Ballard of Peoria?
"Very well.What about him?"
"Well, what kind of a man is he?"
"He is a man of integrity and entirely trustworthy and you can safely give him credit," or words to that effect.
"They gave as a bank reference the Hyde Park State Bank. The evidence will show that for some time prior there to Richard Loeb had an account, a legitimate account, in the Hyde Park State Bank, under his name.
"Prior to his going to the Rent-
"Having made arrangements and established credit with the Rent-
"On the day of May 21st their plans for this kidnaping and murder were complete. They had in mind no particular person as the subject, but had discussed four or five boys whose fathers were wealthy men in this city. One of them, Billy Deutsch, the grandson of Julius Rosenwald, another one a young boy named Hartman whose father is the proprietor of the Hartman Furniture Company."
As Crowe spoke, Leopold stroked his chin thoughtfully.
"Another one was John Levinson a young boy whose father is a prominent and distinguished
attorney at the Chicago Bar. Several-
|July 23 (cont)|
|July 25 (cont)|
|Aug 1 (cont)|
|Aug 4 (cont)|
|Aug 4 (3)|
|Defense Closing Arguments|