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On June 19th, 1923, Nathan Leopold collected this rare Kirtland’s Warbler near Flint,
Michigan.
A year later Leopold donated the specimen to the Field Museum, along with a number of
others and included a copy of the 'Spring Migration Notes of The Chicago Area,' of which he was
a co-author.
While the objects in the donation weren’t all that unusual, the reason for the donation, was:
Leopold was on his way to serve time in prison for the murder of 14-year old Bobby Franks.
Together with his partner Richard Loeb, the two men thought they could commit the perfect crime.
Thanks to a life of privilege, wealth and access to the best educations they believed
their intellectual superiority could pull it off.
So on May 21st, 1924, they lured Loeb’s second-cousin Bobby into a rental car, where
he was beaten and gagged.
They drove to Indiana to dump his body, attempted to cover their tracks, and sent a ransom note
to Bobby’s father demanding $10,000.
They were caught a few weeks later, and their trial was highly publicized.
They were each sentenced to life plus 99 years.
Loeb was killed in prison- Leopold was paroled in 1958 and later went on to teach at the University
of Puerto Rico, where he wrote and published the Checklist of Birds of Puerto Rico and
the Virgin Islands.