Genres: True Crime
Setting: Chicago, IL
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Narrator: Armando Riesco
Greg King and Penny Wilson turn the original crime of the century on its head in Nothing But the Night, a riveting new exploration of the murder trial of Leopold & Loeb.Nearly a hundred years ago, two wealthy and privileged teenagers—Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb—were charged and convicted in a gruesome crime that would lead to the original “Trial of the Century”. Even in Jazz Age Chicago, the murder was uniquely shocking for the motive of the killers: well-to-do Jewish scions, full of promise, had killed fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks for the thrill of it. The trial was made even more sensational by the revelation of a love affair between the defendants and by defense attorney Clarence Darrow, who delivered one of the most famous defense summations of all time to save the boys from the death penalty. The story of their mad folie à deux, with Loeb portrayed as the psychopathic mastermind and Leopold as his infatuated disciple, has been endlessly repeated and accepted by history as fact. And none of it is true.
Using twenty-first century investigative tools, forensics, and a modern understanding of the psychology of these infamous killers, Nothing but the Night turns history on its head. While Loeb has long been viewed as the architect behind the murders, King and Wilson’s new research points to Leopold as the dominant partner in the deadly relationship, uncovering a dark obsession with violence and sex. Nothing but the Night pulls readers into the troubled world of Leopold and Loeb, revealing a more horrifying tale of passion, obsession, and betrayal than history ever imagined.
Nothing but the Night delves deep into the “crime of the century”-the murder of Bobby Franks in Chicago, IL. It was fascinating! The story is told in a linear style, which works very well for a historical true crime, and especially when you are listening!
First, the author explores the families of all the players-the victim and the two perpetrators. Then they get into all the events that led Leopold and Loeb to the murder, because exploring the psychology of these two was important. There is a lot of psychology to cover, but also a lot of sociology of the time. Understanding the world at the time of the crime really adds to the reader/listener’s understanding. Part two really focuses on the trial and their defense lawyer (the famous Clarence Darrow), and then their time in prison. Overall, the story is surprising in depth for a crime that occurred in the 1920’s!
The authors did a wonderful job of condensing their research into the salient information without being salacious or torrid. The narrator was great and didn’t detract from the story. I highly recommend this to those who are interesting in psychology and sociology of crimes as this book addresses both.