COMPULSION a novel by Meyer Levin

Books — Doctor Ninja on December 26, 2006 at 11:11 pm

How cool would it be to randomly kidnap someone and kill them?!? That’s what two incredibly wealthy child prodigies thought. And they did it in 1924. Nathan Freudenthal Leopold, Jr and Richard A. Loeb thought of themselves as Nietzschean supermen. Leopold spoke 15 languages and graduated from the University of Chicago at eighteen and Loeb was the youngest graduate in the history of the University of Michigan. The author of Compulsion, Meyer Levin, also graduated from the University of Chicago at eighteen. He became a reporter for the Chicago Daily News. Little did he know when he was assigned to the kidnapping/murder case that the perpetrators were acquaintances of his.
This book is a novelization of what was called “The Crime of the Century” and it’s a fantastic read. It’s not one of those “Hey! I was there. Here’s my new book, give me a million dollars!” true-crime tell-alls. Meyer Levin spent over thirty years thinking about the murders before he wrote Compulsion. He really delves into the psychology of the two criminals as he retells this amazing story. How could two geniuses from such good backgrounds commit such a heinous crime? Levin poetically attempts to explain this in the hopes that “…it may be of some help in widening the use of available knowledge in the aid of human failing.” So if you think you’ve got “the perfect crime” you should read this book first, smarty-pants.

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