“CRIME OF THE CENTURY” BOOK CONTRACT: SIGNED BY NATHAN F. LEOPOLD, JR. AND HIS TRIAL ATTORNEY ELMER GERTZ
LEOPOLD, Nathan F. Typed document signed. Garden City: Doubleday, 1957. One oblong sheet, measuring 8-1/2 by 34 inches, folded in half. $2500.
Memorandum of agreement between Doubleday & Company and Nathan F. Leopold, Jr., the infamous murderer of Bobby Franks, for his book, Life Plus 99 Years, referred to here as “Autobiography, (tentative),” signed by Leopold and his trial attorney, Elmer Gertz.
In 1924, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, young law students at the University of Chicago both from highly privileged backgrounds, became obsessed with committing a “perfect crime.” For weeks they planned, arranging false identities and ways to conceal the crime. Finally, on May 21, 1924, the pair kidnapped and murdered teenager Bobby Franks. Sensational by its very nature, the event came to be known as “the crime of the century.” The subject of this contract, Leopold’s Life plus 99 years, was “an autobiography that recounted the Franks murder and subsequent trial but focused primarily on his prison experiences” (ANB). This is an uncommon signature, as Leopold spent much of his life in prison and ran a Puerto Rican leprosy hospital after his release. The document is also signed by Elmer Gertz, the prominent civil rights lawyer and Leopold’s trial attorney, Kenneth McCormick, Chief Editor at Doubleday for 30 years, and Kate Tucker.
Near-fine, with a scarce signature.