1924 — Leopold and Loeb kill Bobby Franks

Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb were students at the University of Chicago who were enamoured of the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, in particular his concept of the Superman. They interpreted the Superman as being above the law, and accordingly committed an escalating series of crimes, starting with petty vandalism and finally ending in murder. The murder was carefully planned to be ‘the perfect crime,’ but it fell far short of that intention.

They decided to kidnap and kill a randomly chosen young boy. Although they planned to ransom the boy, they always intended to kill him rather than returning him. Bobby Franks was only 14 years old when the duo abducted and killed him. Their ransom note was delivered to the Franks house the next day, when Bobby was already dead. The pair were arrested on May 29, and Loeb confessed first, blaming the whole thing on Leopold; informed of Loeb’s confession, Leopold likewise confessed and blamed his partner.

Referenced in:
Superior — Thrill Me original Cast

1924 – Franz Kafka dies

Franz Kafka was one of the greatest writers of the early twentieth century; he died of tuberculosis at the age of 41. His published works were few during his lifetime, but many of them saw print after his death. Kafka is best known for works such Metamorphosis, The Trial, The Castle and In the Penal Colony.

His work reflects a distrust of authority – particularly bureaucratic authority – and a sense of alienation from the world; in this respect, he prefigures many of the writers who would follow him in the later years of the century. Among those writers he is known to have influenced are such names as William Gibson, George Orwell, Robert Anton Wilson and Phillip K. Dick.

Referenced in:

Kafka — The Valentinos