Native Son

Who are Loeb and Leopold?

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Bigger’s plan to collect a ransom from the Daltons is inspired by the real-life Leopold and Loeb case. In the 1920s, two bored, wealthy students from prominent Chicago families decided to commit what they considered the perfect crime. For months, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb planned to kidnap the child of a wealthy family. They killed the child to cover up their crime, and then planned to collect $10,000 in ransom money from the family. Leopold, however, accidentally dropped his glasses when disposing of the child’s body, and this evidence led to his and Loeb’s arrests, trials, convictions, and sentences to life imprisonment.