Comments

Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions, stories, questions, critiques, etc.

If you’d rather contact me privately, I can be reached by email at LoebandLeopoldwp@gmail.com

248 thoughts on “Comments

  1. I was just reading through the pages and was just a little confused because in one page it says that Loeb’s governess’ name is Anna, but in another says her name is Emily. Is there any clarification on which is correct?

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    • Hi Emily, sorry it’s taken so long for me to get back to you! Her name was Anna, I’m not sure why some publications have called her Emily, but that’s where I’ve gotten confused. I’m glad you brought that to my attention so I can change it!

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  2. Hi, I just finished “For the thrill of it”, and came upon your site.

    i’m curious about your opinion… Do you think that Leopold and, especially Loeb, were psychopaths (or sociopaths)?

    I was kind of staggered by the lack of empathy they had after the crime, and thrilled self importance while talking to reporters.

    I know it’s impossible to get into someone’s head, but I’m curious, do you think that Leopold truly regretted what he had done?
    it seems that if someone has that level of psychopathy, they can’t really change.

    Did Loeb ever express regret?

    And what happened to the Frank family, to Bobby’s brother and sister? I’ve only ever seen two photographs of Bobby, but they were a well-off family, there must’ve been many photographs, school photographs etc. Just curious about that.

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    • Hi, thanks for your questions!

      I personally don’t think they were psychopaths/sociopaths, but that’s not much of an opinion since I’m not a psychiatrist. It seems like they had a lack of empathy towards most people and a very different morality from the norm, but it doesn’t seem like they had many of the traits usually associated with psychopathy/sociopathy/anti-social personality disorder, at least as I understand it.

      As for regret, it’s really hard to say if you’re not in someone’s head. He said he did, but it’s really difficult to know if that was genuine or not.

      Loeb never spoke publicly about the crime after he went to prison, and he didn’t even discuss it with other prisoners or prison officials, so I don’t know if he expressed regret.

      Bobby’s sister had a family, married twice and lived to be over 100! Bobby’s brother was into a lot of different things, he wrote poetry, restored old movie theatres and was in the real estate business, but he died when he was 35 from complications related to his epilepsy.

      I assume there were more photos of the family, but there’s no reason for them to be available publicly, and I think the family is pretty private about that kind of thing.

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  3. Hi there. Thank you so so much for assembling this website! I just want to point out one tiny error: In the Theatre section of adaptations, the actor playing Richard Loeb is not Doug Kreeger but Shonn Wiley.

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    • Through Flora Griesheimer (Gresham) not the Franks also the relationship between the Loeb’s and the Franks was not close from the beginning and after the murder was less close.

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  4. Noticed today in the generations, Samuel Leopold Sr. did marry Babette however she was not an Austrian, her maiden name was Gutman or Gutmann.

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  5. back in the 1960’s I remember visiting Charlevoix with family friends and going to the berms with them. Our family friend Bill Clark had lived/grown up in Charlevoix and lived on the Loeb farm as a child when his father was employed there. At the time we visited the barns were without a roof and pretty well a ruin.
    I remember Bill talking about some of the people who worked on the farm, their were several dairymen who had been brought from Denmark by the Loeb’s to care for some special breed of dairy cows. He talked about going to birthday parties for the Loeb children at the big house, how wonderful the house was and about going to school in the school that the Loeb’s had built. from what I remember Bill told us that while the father was ill one of the sons was continually telling the farmers that when he took over the farm he was going to eliminate a lot of things, I think many of the farmers lived in homes provided to the farm help by the Loeb’s and they were going to have to pay rent, he was going to close the school, etc. From what I remember Bill telling us, the day after the father died many of the farm workers didn’t show up to work, when someone went to find them found that they had packed up and moved out overnight vs stay on the farm working for the son.

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    • Thank you for your memories Debra, that’s very interesting. I’d never heard before about one of the Loeb sons changing things up so drastically after his father died or the farmers reacting to the death of Albert Loeb like that! I’ll have to try and find out more information about that side of things.

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    • Thanks for your question.
      In my opinion they were very good friends, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Leopold considered himself in love, but I doubt Loeb did. The psychiatrists in 1924 said a couple times that Leopold loved Loeb, and other people who knew Leopold also shared that opinion, but I’ve never seen either of them use the word ‘love’ to describe their feelings for each other, at least in the sources I have access to.

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        • If you’re looking for fiction I would suggest Never the Sinner by John Logan, which has scenes which suggest a mutual romantic interest in each other, or Nothing But the Night by K C Krantz which is far more overt with the romance and has the characters state their love directly.
          There are also many adaptations of the story which don’t use the names or correct historical details, but focus on the twisted love story element, like These Violent Delights by Micah Nemerever.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m sure you and others are aware, but I haven’t found it on your site: the witness Lorraine Nathan, Loeb’s one-time girlfriend, married and bore two children, one of whom was Meg Greenfield, the editorial page editor of the Washington Post in the 1980s and 1990s. Mary Beth “Meg” Greenfield was born in 1930 and died in 1999. In an article about her mother, Lorraine Nathan Greenfield, she says that Lorraine died when Meg was twelve, or around 1942: https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1982/07/11/the-ordeal-of-testifying-in-a-murderers-defense/491ceb48-d949-49eb-bfe4-29b7c3468d6b/ . Lorraine was born in born in 1907 so she would have been only about 35 when she died: http://www.archives.com/1940-census/lorraine-greenfield-wa-40844995

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  7. Just finished reading Life Plus 99 years, I totally get that Leopold was very careful what he said, wanting to present the best possible image of himself, but have to admit I’m curious about something, he said he and Dick Loeb were as close as it’s possible for two men to be, made me wonder if their relationship in prison, when they were able to be together again, was strictly platonic.Did any of the guys who knew them in prison or other sources ever drop any hints about this?

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    • Good question! In all the interviews and letters I’ve seen with prisoners who knew them at that time no one ever said that they were still sexually involved with each other. It sounds like they maintained a close friendship, but not a sexual relationship.

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  8. Is there any indication of what happened to Richard’s personal papers? I think he was supposed to be working on an American Civil War history when he died. I’ve been fascinated with this case since I was a small child in the late 1970s, and I’ve always held out hope that members of the Loeb family will come forward at some point and reveal pictures, letters, manuscripts from a family archive that would, even in a small way, shed light on Richard. Forlorn hope?

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    • Members of the Loeb family don’t want to be reminded of this crime. So there is no hope. Otherwise, I think everything is already destroyed after Dick’s death. Castle Farm doesn’t have any pictures of Dick, just other family members.

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  9. I very much enjoy reading the numerous comments. I know that Leopold’s body was donated for medical study, but was his body ever returned to his wife or his family after the medical school was done with the body?

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      • Thanks. I have read several books on Leopold and Loeb and find it odd that there was never a mention of what happened to Leopold’s remains nor, for that matter, any conclusive comments on where Loeb’s ashes were buried, only conjectures.

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          • I still think Richard’s remains are buried unmarked at the Loeb Farm mansion property in Charlevoix, Michigan. His brothers (and “Mompsie”) did a great job keeping that information private.

            I may have new information about a letter Trudi wrote after Nathan’s death. Once I learn more, I’ll let you know. Just found a contact today. —Laura

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            • It would be interesting to find out what happened to Nathan’s remains, but for Richard, I’m sure he’s buried in cemetery in south Chicago separated from his family. Unmarked grave. I believe that his relative who told me wouldn’t lie.

              Excited to hear more about Trudi’s letter, too!

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            • If you look up the name of the orphanage (Protestant Children’s Home – Chicago), you will find transcripts of a hearing citing several code/law violations. Sadly, I was unable to find photos of the Loeb mansion during its time for this purpose. I understand why orphans wouldn’t have had access to cameras in this period, but I thought there would have been some sort of advertising (local church papers if not actual local newspapers). Alas, no luck. I did find some Reddit(?) threads from former orphans seeking others who remembered living there in the 1950’s (not knowing its history at the time they lived on the property). Isn’t it fascinating that both the Loeb and Franks mansions were later utilized and modified to be schools (or places where children were enrolled)? The only remaining original material from Loeb property is the partial brick and iron fencing. The Leopold property is barely distinguishable except for a garage and apartment buildings that still remain next-door.

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            • Please don’t get me wrong about the speculation about Loeb’s final resting place. I don’t question your or your relative’s knowledge of him being buried in the cemetery you mentioned. Mine is just mere speculation and gut-feeling. There is really nothing that would have prevented family members from saving some of his cremains to be scattered in any place they felt appropriate. I base this on my own personal experience from burying my own sister’s ashes (she died as an addict leaving me to pay for her final expenses…long story). The majority I buried at the separate headstones/graves of our mother and father in a cemetery. The remaining ashes I dumped down a sewer in anger. For all we know, Richard’s family COULD have saved some of his ashes to be scattered (or buried) anywhere in the world.

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      • I’m still digging, but my source emailed me with this response:

        I have learned that Trudi died in 1987. But otherwise I couldn’t find out much information.

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        • Here is my response:

          Dear Bill:

          Well, that’s more than I was able to find! I know she had a sister, but of course, there’s no archives of Trudi’s correspondences. I’m fairly certain Nathan kept her private letters out of his own archives (letters he sent to Elmer Gertz).

          Besides reading the letter you mentioned that Trudi wrote shortly after Nathan’s death are:

          1) Did she really throw away the framed photo of Richard Loeb that Nate kept in their house (understandable if she did) and which photo? I’d love to know what photograph he kept displayed.

          2) I understand they kept many dogs. Which breed?

          3) This one will remain a mystery forever, no doubt: What became of the two people who received Nathan’s donated corneas and what became of his body when the scientific research was complete? I can assume he was cremated, but were his ashes scattered, buried, kept by Trudi or even sent to relatives in Chicago to bury him within the family plot at Rosehill?

          4) Did Trudi die in Puerto Rico? Did she remarry?

          5) What became of Nathan’s notes for the book he was hoping to write (“Grab for a Halo?”).

          I’m so sorry to pester you. I did manage to find out what became of Nathan’s beloved Kirtland Warbler display that he donated to Cranbrook Museum near me in Detroit. It saddened me to learn the display was dismantled and since lost to record-keepers. Sighhh.

          Warmest Regards,

          Laura

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          • I can answer some of these
            1) Yes age threw it away. It was a picture of Loeb in Charlevoix.

            2) Mostly mutts and one Boston terrier

            3) No idea, but again, I assume the medical school just disposed of his ashes as is customary

            4) She died in PR and did not remarry

            5) There are copies of the first few chapters of Halo in northwestern, the Chicago history museum and the brethren archives.

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            • I’ll have to specifically ask for those files (Halo). I’ve spent a total of 4-5 days (5 hours at a time) at Northwestern….poring over those priceless (to us) files. The library is so beautiful…..almost spooky.

              So much to take in. I haven’t even gone through the other files they told me were stored in another location on campus. Same building, but I’m a separate collection.

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            • Yes, though the Halo material is mostly just going over his last few months in prison and his first few days of freedom, he didn’t get far in the writing. The Halo material is upstairs in the other collection you mentioned.

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          • Lol! And here I was being “cagey” by leaving his name out of my research! That’s funny! I am probably going to make the drive to Elgin in the next couple weeks to see his archives and then visit relatives in Rantoul and make my way back up to Chicago before I come home. Of course, I’ll spend an afternoon digging through files at Northwestern again. The last time I went, they had just procured from a “collector” the alienist reports. I was the first “civilian” to look through them before they were officially authenticated. I asked why they paid the “collector” (he only told me “a very large sum”) when they weren’t sure of their origin. To which he replied, “oh…we are certain, but it just isn’t official yet!”

            I promise I will email you the photos I have once I get my laptop fixed and/or get a new one. Even if it were allowed, I couldn’t share the photos on this site because they are on a Zip drive.

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  10. -So as I promised. Here is some information. I checked and contacted a woman about picture of Dick and Nate in Jackson Park, IL. Source is for the thrill of it and the crime of the century.
    – Loeb’s house in Chicago was sold in the late of 1930s, let’s say after Dick’s death. The Loeb house was called the Illinois Protestant Children’s Home at that time. The owners did not maintain the house and it was in very poor condition until 1964 when it was finally abandoned until it was demolished in 1971.
    Dick’s bedroom was remodeled for boys and bedroom of Mrs. Loeb was remodeled for girls.
    -One question, a while ago, I found a picture of Dick and Nate outside with police officers when they investigated the crime scene together. Babe was closing the buttons on his coat and Dick was looking at him. I’m terribly sorry I didn’t save because now I can’t find this photo. Maybe one of you will find it. I will be very happy.

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        • If you look up the name of the orphanage (Protestant Children’s Home – Chicago), you will find transcripts of a hearing citing several code/law violations. Sadly, I was unable to find photos of the Loeb mansion during its time for this purpose. I understand why orphans wouldn’t have had access to cameras in this period, but I thought there would have been some sort of advertising (local church papers if not actual local newspapers). Alas, no luck. I did find some Reddit(?) threads from former orphans seeking others who remembered living there in the 1950’s (not knowing its history at the time they lived on the property). Isn’t it fascinating that both the Loeb and Franks mansions were later utilized and modified to be schools (or places where children were enrolled)? The only remaining original material from Loeb property is the partial brick and iron fencing. The Leopold property is barely distinguishable except for a garage and apartment buildings that still remain next-door.

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  11. Agree. I thank you for the critique—it mirrors my opinion, as well. Those of us who have actually spent countless hours studying the case can easily point out his in accuracies. I’ve spent many hours and days at Northwestern University in Chicago going through Files and treating them like gold. I have retrace their footsteps many times and tried to find all of the locations that Nathan provided in his confession. Some still exist… Some don’t. I even went to the place where they placed Bobby’s body, but I’m not sure if I was in the old exact location as the park has changed so much. I was going by old Street maps and GPS coordinates. Baatz Combining fanciful fiction with fact is irresponsible… Unless, like you said, he informed the reader. Anyway, again—I’m grateful for this forum and will certainly purchase your book!

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      • Yes, there is some correspondence between them at the Chicago History Museum. According to my files I have 19 letters/postcards to/from Nathan and Birdie (and 1 from her husband). They are very kind and mostly talk about the family and Birdie’s travels.

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        • I have many photos of the alienist reports if you’re interested. I took some photos of the correspondence between Nathan and Elmer (his lawyer) Gertz. Also many of the letters Nathan sent requesting help with his parole. One was particularly interesting. It was a rejection. He also sent many letters he received in Puerto Rico back to Elmer from what Nathan called his “Fan Club.” Most were hand-written letters saying how they felt he should still be in jail. Elmer’s mental health declined in his last years and was a hoarder. The correspondence was very interesting and I found myself many times staring at his signature. Formal letters he signed his full name. Two friends, he signed “Babe.” Postcards of his and Trudi’s travels were fascinating. Also, he became good friends with somebody right here in Michigan who’s house is about a half a mile from mine. They wrote each other and planned and went on trips to the Au Sable area… Or Nathan found the curtains warble also, he became good friends with somebody right here in Michigan who’s house is about a half a mile from mine. They wrote each other and planned and went on trips to the Au Sable area… where Nathan found the Kirtland Warbler. The display that he had made at the field museum was donated to this gentleman who worked at Cranbrook museum near Detroit. Many times I have looked for this, but sadly, the museum curators told me that the display was taken apart soon after its exhibit in 1968 and they have no idea which birds came from the display. I’m sure that would have broken Nathan‘s heart to know… Because he got special permission to look at the display while he was in jail. The chauffeur brought it to him ( The same chauffeur who unwittingly threw him and Richard under the proverbial “bus.”). Some of his other birds are unmarked, but positively identified at a small museum in the Chicago area. I could go on and on. I wish our group all lived in the same area so we could meet and discuss actual facts.

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            • There’s very few letters from before the 1950s, but if you’re interested in the family dynamic there are plenty of letters between Nathan and Sam and Nathan and Bal after his release from prison at the Chicago History Museum. And I agree, the family relationships are super intriguing!

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          • It’s interesting the letters you found as part of his ‘fan mail’ mostly said they wished he was still in jail-the letters I’ve seen from them have mostly said the opposite!
            I’m also interested to hear about Cranbrook. The museum employees have always been evasive when I asked about what happened to the Warblers, do you remember who you talked to about that?

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            • I have a business card somewhere. I talked to two women in person and they tried to help, but to no avail. The conclusive answer was given to me by the head of the science department. Gosh, I need to go back through my archived emails to get the name. The display, when intact, was part of a bigger exhibit in the late 1960’s. The name is escaping me right now, but I will try to look through my old emails. It was something “….in/of our time.”

              Yes there were people who wrote kind letters in the box of correspondence I read, but Nathan even joked with Gertrude about one in particular….poorly written, full of “you both should’ve hanged back in 1924” and misspellings galore. Nathan wrote on a separate note attached to the letter, “another genius wants to make friends” (paraphrasing his words I read as amused sarcasm). I was trying to find “love letters” from Lorraine (and other women offering themselves in marriage), but I either ran out of time or those letters were in a different collection at a different location.

              I think I’ve said this before, but maybe the Chicago History Museum Will once again display Nathan’s glasses. They’re in storage in temperature-controlled environment because the frames are fragile and brittle/cracking. I didn’t see the glasses personally. Tried everything but fake tears to get them to take me to see them. I missed the rare and temporary exhibit of the glasses by ONE DAY! I thought it was a permanent exhibit, but was sorely mistaken!!!

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            • That name would be great if you can find it. An ornithologist friend and I have been trying to find out what happened to those birds for a long time! Yes, I’ve seen some pictures of that exhibit when it was on display.
              Haha, that’s a funny way to respond to that negative letter. I haven’t gone through much of the fanmail yet, I’ll get there eventually. There are some love letters in Northwestern and a lot of them are in the Chicago History Museum. There are a few letters from Susan Lurie-mostly her describing her own life- and from many ‘fans’ who wanted to marry Nathan.
              I’m sure they’ll be put on display again someday, perhaps for the 100th anniversary.

              Liked by 1 person

            • If that happens (the glasses) on the 100th anniversary, I will definitely make the 4.5 hour journey by car to see them. We should all agree to meet there!! Yes, I promise to get the name of the man with whom I exchanged emails regarding the exhibit. Even he was unaware of how the birds wound up at Cranbrook. I copied and pasted a couple links for him to “prove” Nathan at first was going to gift them to Cranbrook upon his death, but changed his mind after befriending the man (Paul?) in Detroit. Nathan wrote that “The Field Museum has enough…and I can’t think of a more fitting home for my Warbler collection than Cranbrook).

              I recently copied all my photos onto a Zip drive (I deleted Facebook, but wanted my photos). I had to use a friend’s computer, as my laptop died. Anyway, I’d love to share my research/photos with you. I even breathlessly (and found out later—illegally) toured the courthouse where trial was held. It was under construction and a lot was gutted, but I stood by support pillars I knew from photos that I was in the area where Nathan and Richard sat during trial. It was fun to compare photos and with the help of a man in a hard hat working on the top floor, found where the “bullpen” once stood. The jail (holding cells with “catwalk” to courthouse) is no longer next to/behind the building. I would have liked to see that. I was, however, happy to see the street was named in honor of Clarence Darrow. I wonder how many people have passed that sign and don’t know or care about why.

              I phoned Stateville Prison on the same trip when I toured the courthouse. They were perplexed by my interest, but couldn’t (or wouldn’t) accommodate my desire for a tour of the “roundhouse.” The structure no longer holds prisoners. They did try to arrange a later date, but I couldn’t commit, as I was leaving for home (Michigan) the next day. This is another thing that perhaps we, as a group, could make happen. With people knowledgeable about the case, we’d be sure to find Nathan’s cell, Richard’s cell, the library and classrooms…and even the shower where Richard was stabbed. I’m serious…we should try!! I don’t care if photos are allowed or not…I’d just like to see it with my own eyes.

              Anyway, it’s late/early (2:12am here) and I’m rambling on and on. I apologize for the “novel.”

              —Laura

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            • Your tour of the old courthouse sounds very cool, though I’m not sure I’d have the same enthusiasm for touring an active prison. I’m just looking forward to going to tour the Joliet prison one of these days now that it’s open to the public.
              But if you would like to talk more and exchange research/photos, you can email me: LoebandLeopoldwp@gmail.com.
              No need to apologize for the ‘novel,’ and I hope you sleep well.

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            • Nathan Leopold contacted Cranbrook Institute of Science (CIS) director Dr. Robert Hatt in 1964 to see if the Institute was interested in receiving his diorama of a family of Kirtland’s warbler. This bequest was included in a revision of Nathan’s will, made in mid-1964, and originally intended to take effect after his death. However, in September 1965 he decided to arrange the transfer right away. The Kirtland’s group was shipped from the Field Museum on 5th October 1965, and received by CIS on 19th November, which was Nathan’s birthday. After having the flora refurbished, the diorama was displayed in the Ecology Hall as part of a CIS exhibit entitled “One Does Not Live Alone”, from 19th June 1967. The Kirtland’s group was contained within a group called “Conflict, from Predation to Parasitism”. It was pointed out that predation, illustrated with a great-horned owl, a tarantula, and a pitcher plant, may benefit the prey species by eliminating the sick and biologically unfit. Parasitism was shown by the examples of sea lamprey and whitefish, cowbird and Kirtland’s warbler, and the malaria-conveying anopheles mosquito. Nathan Leopold’s name did not appear on the exhibit. An image from the CIS 1966/67 annual report actually shows part of this exhibit including Nathan’s Kirtland’s Warbler group. When contacted in 2019, Cameron Wood, the Curator of Collections and Anthropology Educator at CIS, stated that Nathan’s original diorama no longer exists in it’s original form, and strongly suspects that the birds have been “parted out” amongst the rest of their collection.

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            • Hi Iain,

              I know part of this history, but some of the details I’ve never been able to find, and some of the information I’ve been looking for for a long time! If you’d like to email me (TheLoebLeopoldwp@gmail.com) I’d love to hear more about it and your sources!

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            • On 10 June 1958, Douglas Middleton of Detroit, a Kirtland’s Warbler student, wrote to Nathan to ask for a reprint of his Auk Report. The two men corresponded and eventually became friends. Nathan told Douglas how anxious he was to re-visit Kirtland’s Warbler country, and in June 1964, Nathan and Douglas took a trip there. Douglas Middleton won so much of Nathan’s trust and affection that Nathan told him about his habitat group, still then stored at the Chicago Field Museum. Nathan said he still owned the display and wished now to give it to a museum in Michigan, although not to the University of Michigan, because it had the other habitat group of the Warbler collected by Norman Wood in 1903. Douglas suggested the Cranbrook Institute of Science and Nathan agreed.

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      • Can you expand on your comment about the culvert location? Higdon’s book states that is was under the Pennsylvania Railroad where 118th Street, extended east, would intersect. It looks like the railroad is now the Burnham Greenway, so at least to a reasonable approximation the location seems pretty clear. It would have looked much different in 1924 because Wolf Lake would have been bigger then, Hyde Lake to the west is gone, the channel connecting Wolf and Hyde Lakes that flowed through the culvert is gone, and the railroad would have been on a raised ridge to keep it out what was then a marsh. I know there’s an old photo etched 121st St. and Pennsylvania Railroad, so that throws some doubt on the exact location, but it seems safe to assume it was somewhere along the current Burnham Greenway between 118th and 121st. I doubt we’ll figure out more precisely than that.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, thank you for your comment. I hadn’t heard of the Burnham Greenway, that makes things a lot easier to see. I’d previously looked at old maps that showed the railways in the area as well as Hyde Lake, and comparing them to modern maps it looks like a good approximation would be somewhere within the Wolf Lake Overlook or the bottom of Egger’s Grove by the William Powers State Recreation Area. I’ve walked in that area, it’s very swampy now, with plenty of wildlife.

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  12. I was pleased to read your impressive review of Simon Baatz’s book. Very thorough. You’re like the snopes of LnL. As I’ve said elsewhere, I had my reservations about the book’s accuracy by page 35: Loeb’s BIRTHDAY is incorrectly listed as 22 June. (It’s the 11th! That information is very easy to find!) Baatz also seems to present James Day’s claims that Loeb was a sexual predator as fact. I hope that people googling For the Thrill of It come across this site.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I thought about you when I was wondering if I should include Loeb’s birthday goof, but I figured I’d stick mostly with the first (and to me one of the most annoying) mistakes. Originally the review was a few paragraphs longer and I did complain about the way he presents Loeb’s death because even if Baatz believes some of Day’s story there’s so much evidence against it that it’s just irresponsible not to at least talk about both sides! Thanks for your kind words, as always.

      Liked by 1 person

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