Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Among the first Bakelite buttons I ever purchased, these very black buttons have a very serious look about them. Strangely elegant and curiously slanted, I always associate these gentleman's buttons with tuxedoed hijinks and dark deeds. They have a studious yet sinister appearance and for that reason I've nicknamed these my "Leopold and Loeb" buttons. And on that note, here's a scandalous history lesson:
Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were a couple of wealthy students enrolled at the University of Chicago in the early 1920's. Snappy dressers with high IQs and snobbish leanings, the duo dominated newspaper headlines in 1924 when they confessed to the brutal murder of a fourteen-year-old boy named Bobby Franks. The handsome killers shocked the nation with their icy manners during what was then described as "the trial of the century." Both were sentenced to life imprisonment. Years later in 1936, Richard Loeb was stabbed to death in a prison shower. In 1958, Nathan Leopold was released from prison and moved to Puerto Rico where he took up birdwatching until his death in the 1970's. When asked why they committed the murder, the young scholars explained that they just wanted to carry out a "perfect crime."