Join us as author Erik Rebain discusses the new aspects of Nathan Leopold explored in his book, Arrested Adolescence: The Secret Life of Nathan Leopold (Rowman & Littlefield, 2023).

Hailing from a prominent, wealthy Chicago family, Nathan Leopold seemingly led a charmed life as a published polyglot who graduated college at 19. So, it was a shock when he and his lover, Richard Loeb, confessed to killing their 14-year-old neighbor Bobby Franks “for a thrill.”

During the summer of 1924, the world watched in fascinated horror as the pair were defended by the famous Clarence Darrow, and there was a massive public outcry when the murderers were spared the death penalty.

Thirty-three years after the murder, it seemed Leopold was a changed man. In prison, he ran a high school and library, worked as a nurse, and helped find a cure for malaria. He was deemed rehabilitated and paroled to a tiny town in Puerto Rico. There, he got a degree in social work and advocated for the abolishment of prisons and capital punishment. When he died in 1971, there was an outpouring of support for the “gentle,” “reformed” killer. Yet his life was not what it seemed.

Nearly 100 years after the murder, this groundbreaking new biography uses previously unseen archival collections to look at the full life of Nathan Leopold and reveal the secrets kept hidden from history.

$10; $7.50 members

Can’t join us in person? You can attend this livestreamed event via Zoom.

erik-rebain-headshot Author Erik Rebain
Nathan Leopold’s glasses used as evidence in Leopold and Loeb trial Nathan Leopold's glasses used as evidence in Leopold and Loeb trial. DN-0077043, Chicago Daily News collection, CHM
event-DN-0078242-Leopold-mugshot Nathan Leopold Jr.'s police mugshots and physical records. DN-0078242, Chicago Daily News collection, CHM
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