Leopold and Loeb

The Crime of the Century
Author: Hal Higdon
Centenary Edition
The razor-sharp account of a notorious murder
Paper – $21.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 01/02/2024
Cloth: 01/02/2024
Buy the Book Request Desk/Examination Copy Request Review Copy Request Rights or Permissions Request Alternate Format Preview

About the Book

The 1924 murder of fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb shocked the nation. One hundred years later, the killing and its aftermath still reverberate through popular culture and the history of American crime.

Hal Higdon’s true crime classic offers an unprecedented examination of the case. Beginning with a new author Preface, Higdon details Leopold and Loeb’s journey from privilege and promise to the planning and execution of their monstrous vision of the perfect crime. Drawing on secret testimony, Higdon follows the police investigation through the pair’s confessions of guilt and re-creates the sensational hearing where Clarence Darrow, the nation’s most famous attorney, saved the pair from the death penalty.

Published in observance of the case's centennial, Leopold and Loeb tells the dramatic story of a notorious crime and its long afterlife in the American imagination.

About the Author

Hal Higdon is a longtime contributing editor to Runner’s World. He is the author of thirty-six books, including The Union vs. Dr. Mudd and Boston, a Century of Running.

Also by this author

Leopold and Loeb cover


"The reissuing of Higdon’s book poses an interesting question about sensational crimes and courtroom dramas that dominate mass media and public conversation for months on end: Were they worth all that attention? Was anything there beyond lurid sensation and titillation? In this case I would say yes. Higdon’s deeply researched book conveys a sense of ideas in the wind in 1920s America, ideas that were called to the fore by the terrifying case of a random thrill killing." --Moment

"In Leopold and Loeb, Hal Higdon presents a thorough, thoughtful and appropriately eerie account of the evil deeds perpetuated by two highly gifted young men seeking to achieve the ‘perfect crime.’”" --Bookreporter


“Higdon’s book outdoes anything Alfred Hitchcock ever filmed. It is a masterpiece of suspense.”--Oakland Tribune

“There have been many spectacular murders in America since 1924, including a presidential assassination, but for the first half of the century, it was the murder of Bobby Franks that most shocked the public. Hal Higdon has superbly re-created the crime, combining painstaking documentation with an absorbing, often suspenseful narrative.”--Newsday