Chicago Journalists and Crime Solvers Mulroy and Goldstein Part 2

About a pair of rookie journalists Mulroy and Goldstein who scooped all the Chicago papers and solved a kidnapping murder crime in the process.



The horn-rimmed glasses Goldstein had found were made with a special hinge and so could be traced to Nathan Leopold, Jr., 19, another neighbor of the Franks family.

Mulroy and Goldstein knew Leopold from the University of Chicago, where he had graduated Phi Beta Kappa and now attended law school. A boy genius, he knew 14 languages and was an established ornithologist.

Leopold claimed he had lost his glasses while bird-watching. It had rained for several days before the kidnapping and the glasses showed no sign of weathering, but Leopold held to his alibi. Loeb said he and Leopold had been out driving with two girls the day of the kidnapping and murder.

Mulroy and Goldstein then came through with another angle, which broke open the case. Once Leopold was a suspect, they went to the University of Chicago campus and searched for papers typed by him. They compared reports Leopold had typed for classmates with the ransom note sent to Jacob Franks the morning after the abduction. The reports and ransom note were typed on the same machine, which had a defective t.

The typewriter connection was the final piece of circumstantial evidence needed to break the murderers' composure. First Loeb, then Leopold confessed.

The young killers had become infatuated with the elitist philosophy of Nietzsche, which proclaimed that men of genius, "supermen," were above the law. They had killed Bobbie Franks just for the thrill of committing the perfect crime, absolved from guilt in their own minds because they thought they were "supermen."

For solving the "crime of the century," Mulroy and Goldstein won the 1925 Pulitzer Prize for reporting.

Leopold and Loeb, defended by Clarence Darrow, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

In Print: As the remorseless pair read Mulroy and Goldstein's page-one story in the May 22, 1924, Chicago Daily News, their days of freedom were already numbered.

"Robert Franks, the fourteen-year-old son of a wealthy South Side watch manufacturer, was found today, murdered by kidnappers who demanded $10,000 ransom.

"The boy's naked body was found early in the morning, stuffed into a culvert under the Pennsylvania Railroad tracks at 118th Street, but it was late afternoon before the Franks family suspected the truth."

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