Photo Leopold Loeb Trial

Loeb Leopold Trial
Loeb Leopold Trial

This is a photograph of my maternal great grandfather, Ben Bachrach.  Ben was the father of my mother’s mother, Mari Bachrach.  Ben Bachrach’s parents were German Jews who immigrated to the United States in the 19th Century, eventually settling in Chicago.

Ben was a well-respected criminal defense lawyer, and the first public defender of Cook County in Chicago.  In this photograph, Ben is seated in the front on the right.  To his left (in the middle of the photo with his head against his hand) is Clarence Darrow.  The photograph was taken at the 1924 trial of Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two University of Chicago students who murdered a younger neighbor in their affluent Chicago neighborhood of Kenwood to see if they could get away with “the perfect crime.”  Ben Bachrach was retained as an attorney for the defendants before Loeb’s family hired Darrow, who was the most famous defense attorney of his day.  Darrow gave a celebrated closing statement in which he successfully argued that, though guilty, the young men should be spared the death penalty because they were influenced by biological, psychological, and social factors.  In the photo, Leopold can be seen sitting behind (and between) Darrow and Ben Bachrach, resting his chin in his hand.

Year: 1870

– Ben Wides

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more