For the Thrill of It by Simon Baatz
Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder That Shocked Chicago

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Synopsis

It was a crime that shocked the nation: the brutal murder in Chicago in 1924 of a child by two wealthy college students who killed solely for the thrill of the experience. Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were intellectuals—too smart, they believed, for the police to catch them. When they were apprehended, state's attorney Robert Crowe was certain that no defense could save the ruthless killers from the gallows. But the families of the confessed murderers hired Clarence Darrow, entrusting the lives of their sons to the most famous lawyer in America in what would be one of the most sensational criminal trials in the history of American justice.

Set against the backdrop of the 1920s—a time of prosperity, self-indulgence, and hedonistic excess in a lawless city on the brink of anarchy—For the Thrill of It draws the reader into a world of speakeasies and flappers, of gangsters and gin parties, with a spellbinding narrative of Jazz Age murder and mystery.

 

About Simon Baatz

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Simon Baatzholds a joint appointment as associate professor of history at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and at the Graduate Center, City University of New York.
 
Published October 13, 2009 by HarperCollins e-books. 562 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Crime, Law & Philosophy, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for For the Thrill of It

Kirkus Reviews

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The boy’s body was discovered before the ransom could be paid, however, and within ten days his killers were in custody, and Cook County state’s attorney Robert Crowe had elicited their confessions.

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The New York Times

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— his book on the Leopold and Loeb case is the best we’ll have for a long, long time.

Aug 17 2008 | Read Full Review of For the Thrill of It: Leopold...

USA Today

It's a riveting non-fiction thriller that will turn you into an activity-hostile recluse who shouts, "Go away and let me read!"Baatz explores one of the most infamous and disturbing crimes in history, the 1924 murder by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb of Loeb's second cousin, 14-year-old Bobby Fr...

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Open Letters Monthly

Baatz makes very clear the legal machinery putting this contest in motion: Some critics wondered why – because Leopold and Loeb had readily confessed – it had been necessary for the Criminal Court to hear any evidence on the murder.

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Bookmarks Magazine

However, Darrow faced a worthy adversary in his prosecuting attorney: Robert Crowe was clever, cunning, and charismatic, with ambitions of becoming Chicago's next mayor—and he was determined to send Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb to their deaths.

Aug 10 2008 | Read Full Review of For the Thrill of It: Leopold...

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