Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Leopold & Loeb

Alienists' Conclude

Dr. White viewed the Franks murder as the result of the boys' abnormal personalities and fantasies: "Dickie needed an audience. In his fantasies the criminalistic gang was his audience. In reality, Babe was his audience....Babe's tendencies could be expressed as they were in the king-slave fantasy as a constant swing between a feeling of [physical] inferiority and one of [intellectual] superiority....[Leopold] is the slave who makes Dickie the king, maintains him in his kingdom...I cannot see how Babe would have entered into it at all alone because he had no criminalistic tendencies in any sense as Dickie did, and I don't think Dickie would have ever functioned to this extent all by himself. So these two boys, with their peculiarly inter-digited personalities, came into this emotional compact with the Franks homicide as a result.

Dr. Healy elaborated on this compact between the boys: "Leopold was to have the privilege of inserting his penis between Loebs' legs at special dates. At one time it was to be three times in two months if they continued their criminalistic activities together."

Dr. Healy considered Leopold as having a paranoid personality. Listening to Nathan's statement that "making up my mind whether or not to commit murder was practically the same as making up my mind whether or not I should eat pie for supper, whether it would give me pleasure or not," apparently shocked the veteran forensic psychiatrist.

Dr. Glueck emphasized Leopold's embrace of the Nietzschean concept of the Superman. Like the other alienists, Glueck saw the murder as the result of the two abnormal personalities working together: "I think the Franks crime was perhaps the inevitable outcome of this curious coming together of two pathologically disordered personalities, each one of whom brought into the relationship a phase of their personality which made their contemplation and the execution of this crime possible."

When Crowe asked for his opinion on the motivation for the crime, he responded, "I don't know that there was a direct motive for this crime. I do feel that Loeb had in his mind probably the motive of complete power, potency, the realization of the fantasy of a perfect crime."

"How about Leopold," Crowe asked.

"I don't know that he had any."


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