Faculty Book: Simon Baatz

Simon Baatz

For the Thrill of It: Leopold, Loeb, and the Murder That Shocked Chicago
(HarperCollins, 2008)

Drawing on previously unknown court transcripts, this work recreates the story of the infamous murder of a child in 1924 by two college students, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, who were lovers. Set in lawless Jazz-age Chicago, the trial commanded national attention, thanks partly to the presence of defense attorney Clarence Darrow, then the best-known American lawyer, who represented the alleged murderers. In this “page-turner of a book” (The New York Times) Baatz claims that both defendants, as the objects of sexual and psychological abuse in childhood, were destined to kill. Simon Baatz is an associate professor of history at John Jay College and the Graduate Center.

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Submitted on: AUG 1, 2008

Category: History, Faculty Books