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clewaChicago Tribune, April 23, 1925. I find a lot of people tend to assume that horrors like this are signally modern, but take my word for it: the further back you look, the more such mayhem you’ll find. Don’t even get me started on the 19th century. Anyway, persons of delicate sensibilities should stop reading here, because the details get a whole lot hairier after the jump.
49aForty-nine missing girls and women in just 6 months–that’s pretty mind-boggling right there. Granted, most of these were probably runaways, but then what were they running from and what did they run into?
moronaMoron,” as we have previously established, was the scientific/forensic term for what we now call the mentally retarded. How did the guy know the perpetrator was a moron? Well, the crime was just the sort of thing morons were wont to do. QED.
hatchetaLeopold and Loeb, for those who don’t know, were two upper-class thrill-killers and self-styled Neitzschean supermen who set out and failed to commit “the perfect crime.” Their murder trial was one of several contemporary claimants to “Trial of the Century” status. Their actual crime, the murder of a 14-year-old boy, was actually kinda dinky compared to the horror at hand here. And they definitely weren’t morons: Leopold was Phi Beta Kappa at the University of Chicago; Loeb was the youngest history graduate yet at the University of Michigan.
boya“Spooners” are young lovers making out. So there’s sort of a slasher-flick moral flourish at the end here, drawing out the implicit connection between sexual license and violent death.

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