Crime and Punishment

Theoretician Murders

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What is a theoretician murderer?

A theoretician murderer is someone who murders for no real reason but to see if they can, and for the thrill of the kill.

Nathan F. Leopold, Jr.

Nathan Leopold Jr. and his accomplice, Robert Loeb, murdered a 13-year old boy by the name of Bobby Franks (who was also Loeb’s cousin), simply to see if they felt remorse for doing so. Their main goal was also to see if they were capable of committing the “perfect crime” which they would have, had certain evidence not been left behind.

  • Leopold accidently left behind a pair of eyeglasses that were very unique. Only 3 people had bought a pair in the city-->police were able to deduct who the murderer was pretty fast
  • Both Loeb and Leopold told police that they had dropped off two girls in Leopold’s car at the time of the murder. However, the chauffeur and the Leopold’s mother confirmed that the car had been in the garage during the time of murder
  • They planned the murder for 7 months.
  • The victim, Franks, was bludgeoned to death by several chisel blows to the head after having had a sock stuffed in the mouth. They then dropped the body off and poured hydrochloric acid over it to make it harder for the police/victimology to identify.


- Their Lawyer used psychiatric evidence to prove that his clients had been temporarily insane, which avoided them the death sentence to life imprisonment. This case was the first time in the U.S that the insanity plea had been successfully employed as defense in a murder case
  • Ten days after the murder, on May 31, both boys confessed and demonstrated to the state's attorney how they had killed Bobby Franks. Nathan Leopold admitted they had murdered Bobby solely for the thrill of the experience
  • Leopold was released from prison on parole after 33 years. He also later married a widow and died in 1971.
  • Loeb was killed in a prison fight; there was also a lot of speculation about whether or not Loeb was also a sexual predator. However, it came to be known that he could have been the victim of sexual abuse.


Ultimately, Leopold and Loeb committed murder for the simple reason that they wanted to prove that they could commit the perfect crime. The crime was dubbed as a “thrill-killing”.
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Timothy McVeigh

On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonated homemade explosives in a parked truck that completely destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. More than 200 buildings were damaged and the final death toll was 168 people which included 19 children. This act of terrorism against home soil was due to a militia movement against the Federal Government and especially against the Federal Bureau of Investigations and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Timothy McVeigh was a protege of the infamous man known for his acts of militia-inspired domestic terrorism, Mark Koernke. In 1993, the government seized the Branch Davidian compound, a religious cult that formed from the Seventh Day Adventist Church, near Waco, Texas. 82 Branch Davidians were killed during the siege and this was the reason for the bombing in Oklahoma City. Out of revenge for the deaths and fear that the government would act in similar ways to other anti-government dissidents, militia members conducted a bombing plan that would take place on the second anniversary of the Branch Davidian compound siege.

  • McVeigh got his inspiration from a book written by a Nazi leader called “The Turner Diaries”.
  • McVeigh was found guilty and executed for his crime in 2001 in Indiana and was caught because investigators were able to trace back parts of the truck to the the company it originally belonged to. They then figured out who purchased the truck. He was then sentenced to a life in prison.
  • McVeigh appeared to be remorseless after the bombing and he referred to the children who had died during the bombing as “collateral damage”.



Timothy McVeigh's motive: after years of serving in the US military and being honorably discharged, his anger against the government began to grow and was fostered by his paranoia that the government was slowly “stripping its citizens of their constitutional rights”.


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