Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Leopold & Loeb


Nathan Leopold, Jr., after his release in 1958
Nathan Leopold, Jr., after his release in 1958

Leopold, not surprisingly, devoted a great deal of his time in prison to learning. In addition to the fifteen languages he had learned before he went to prison, he mastered twelve more. He studied mathematics and other more arcane subjects. He continued his work in the prison school and library, raised canaries and volunteered in the malaria project.

After many years of shunning the press, he decided eventually to rehabilitate his public image by careful cultivation of the press. It paid off after a while and in 1953 he had a parole hearing. The State's Attorney, John Gutknecht, was so opposed to Leopold's parole that he vigorously lobbied against it.

The result was that not only was Leopold turned down, but the parole board decided not to hear his case again for twelve years, the longest continuance in history of Illinois.

Finally in March of 1958, after thirty-three years in prison, Leopold was released on parole. He went to live in Puerto Rico to avoid harassment by the press. There he published The Birds of Puerto Rico, obtained a masters degree at the University of Puerto Rico and worked at various positions.

In 1961, Leopold married Trudi Feldman Garcia de Queveda, a former social worker from Baltimore and widow of a Puerto Rican physician. Ten years later, in 1971, he died of a heart attack at the age of sixty-six with his wife by his side.


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