Legal Teams

Judge Caverly

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Judge Caverly at his bench

Born in London, John R Caverly came to the United States as a child and studied law at Lake Forest University, working his way through school. He was elected city attorney for Cook County in 1906 and in 1910 won the election for judge of the Municipal Court, where he served for 10 years. From this position he was elected to the Circuit Court where he remained until his death from a stroke in 1939.

Caverly served as Chief Justice of the Cook County Criminal Court in 1923 and 1924, and was 63 while hearing the Leopold-Loeb case. He had a reputation as a fair judge with a special interest and understanding for young offenders; he had helped establish the first juvenile court in Cook County. This was all taken into consideration by the defense team as they decided to plead guilty and placed the question of sentencing into his hands alone. After the trial, he and his wife left the city to vacation, sick and exhausted after months of mental strain and daily death threats.

Defense

Lawyers

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Benjamin Bachrach (His light blue eyes often look white in photographs)

Defense lawyer Benjamin Bachrach was born in Elgin, Illinois on Jan 29th, 1874. He attended Notre Dame, Cornell and Columbia before getting his Bachelor of Law Degree at the Kent College of Law in Chicago in 1896. Shortly after securing his license, he joined the legal office of W. S. Forrest. He quickly became a well-known criminal lawyer, defending accused murderers, embezzlers, arsonists, kidnappers, and many others. One of his most notable cases was his defense of Jack Johnson, the first African-American heavyweight boxing champion, in 1912.

Already retained as the Leopold family lawyer, he was set to act in his defense until the boys confessed and it became clear that the defense team would need more firepower, which they found in Darrow. His work in the Leopold-Loeb case won him ever more respect and acclaim and he continued to practice law until his death in 1953.

Walter Bachrach

Walter Bachrach

Walter Bachrach, younger brother of Benjamin, cousin-in-law of Loeb and typically a civil defense lawyer, he was highly knowledgeable in criminal court procedure and legality. He was admitted to the Chicago Bar in 1910 and served on a number of legal committees for years, including the Committee on Amendment of the Law, so he could keep up to date and help influence changing policy.

He was also well versed in the field of psychiatry. When it became clear that the defense would be leaning in that direction, he was retained by the Leopold-Loeb families as the third member of the legal team. He hired the majority of the alienists who were to examine the boys for the defense and took a healthy part in the day-to-day court activities along with his co-counselors. Though not as experienced in criminal court as his brother or Darrow, he held up well under the pressure and was a valuable member of the team.

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Clarence Darrow

Born in 1857 in Ohio, Clarence Darrow attended several colleges but didn’t graduate from any of them, taking the Ohio Bar Exam independently in 1878. He built up a practice slowly, until he was known as a modest success in his work representing large corporations. In 1911 he took on the defense of the McNamara brothers, accused of killing 20 people in an explosion gone wrong. Midway through he was accused of bribing two members of the jury and he left California in disgrace, banned from practicing law there again. He had to slowly build back up, changing from labor to criminal cases, and taking clients other lawyers turned aside; those accused of rape, murder, or who were poor and had no one.

He was also a writer, a philosopher, and an idealist who used legal cases to promote his beliefs and draw crowds with his voice that his publications never could. It was because of the opportunity to speak out against capital punishment on such a large-scale, as well as his friendship with the Loeb family, that Darrow took the Leopold-Loeb case. After the trial he kept in contact with the defendants, writing and visiting them occasionally. He believed that they should both be freed eventually, and Leopold read some passages from Darrow’s autobiography at his parole hearings, hoping that Darrow’s words would once again be able to save him.

Alienists

Bowman

Karl Bowman

Karl Bowman was born in 1888 in Kansas and in 1913 he graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with his M.D. He then worked in a variety of schools and hospitals throughout the country, specializing in the diagnosis and care of mental disease. He was an assistant medical professor at Harvard when he was brought in to evaluate the mental and physical conditions of Leopold and Loeb. He and his associate, Harold Hulbert, interviewed and tested the boys daily for two weeks, then wrote up a psychiatric report on each that were then used by the other alienists and admitted into evidence. He took part in the early testing only and did not testify. He would later go on to publish many articles and a few books, specializing on the topics of alcoholism and homosexuality.

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Bernard Glueck

Bernard Glueck graduated from the medical department of Georgetown University in 1909 and would go on to specialize in the treatment of mental disorders for the rest of his career. He worked in a variety of locations, starting as a medical officer in St. Elizabeth Hospital, a Washington DC asylum, for seven years. Then in 1916 he was called to New York to take charge of the Psychiatric clinic at Sing Sing Prison, where he remained until he joined the war effort in 1917, examining officers readiness for overseas duty. In 1919 he became the director of The Mental Hygiene Department of New York School of Social Work. He gave lectures occasionally and published a book on Forensic Psychology. He, Healy and White, all retained by the defense to examine Leopold and Loeb, were mockingly called the “Three Wise Men from the East” by Robert Crowe.

Healy

William Healy

William Healy graduated from Harvard University and then continued to Rush Medical College where he earned his doctorate in 1900. An expert in juvenile conduct problems, he worked as the head of the Chicago Juvenile Court, specializing in psychiatry, for 8 years. In 1917 he moved to Boston where he became director of the Judge Baker Foundation, which focused primarily the study of conduct problems, serving the Juvenile Court and other social agencies. He was fond of many Freudian concepts and believed that sex education was important for healthy development. He published many books and articles on juvenile delinquency and conduct disorders, lectured at universities and was connected to several hospitals and service agencies throughout his life.

Harold Hulbert

Harold Hulbert

Harold Hulbert, born in 1887 in Massachusetts, received an M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School in 1914, specializing in nervous and mental disorders. He was on staff at the Michigan’s State Psychiatric Hospital, and a faculty member at his alma mater until he began his service in World War One. He organized the navy’s first psychiatric unit and was responsible for examining men in regards to their mental fitness for naval service. After his time in the service, including a year at sea, he entered into private practice in Chicago. He, along with Karl Bowman, examined Leopold and Loeb for two weeks in June before writing the so-called Hulbert-Bowman Report. He went on to pen several articles and was associate editor for the well-respected Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology for 17 years.

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William White

William Alanson White, born in 1870, studied at Cornell and received his M.D. from Long island Medical College in 1891. From there he served in a New York state mental hospital for 11 years before he was appointed the superintendent of St. Elizabeth, a government psychiatric hospital. He was a professor of nervous and mental diseases in Geogetown University and a member of many committees and organizations related to mental health, possibly the most prestigious being his position as the president of the American Psychiatric Association.

Crowe was repeatedly harsh on Dr. White, calling him “Old Doc Yak” after a popular newspaper comic character. In his closing argument, Crowe said regarding White: “I would hate to think a man of his attainments would prostitute his profession and prostitute his learning to tell the story that he told your honor.” Regarding his attitude towards the Leopold-Loeb case, White wrote in his autobiography, published in 1939: “In a capital case I do not think the physician belongs with the prosecution. I think his business is the salvaging of life and not finding reasons for its destruction.”

Prosecution

Lawyers

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Robert Crowe

Robert Crowe was born in 1879 and graduated from Yale in 1901. A strong Republican, he worked his way up the political ladder in part through his mayoral connections and was elected assistant states attorney in 1909, then become a circuit court Judge in 1916. Because of this he was sometimes called “Judge Crowe” in 1924 though his time at the bench had ended. His most noted case before Loeb-Leopold was his sentencing to death of Thomas Fitzgerald, who pleaded guilty to the murder of a six-year-old girl. He referenced this case several times during the course of the Leopold-Loeb trial.

After his time as a judge he became the state’s attorney for Cook County with the help of Chicago mayor Bill Thompson. He hoped that his work in the Loeb-Leopold case would win him public approval and support, but the acclaim had less longevity than he anticipated. He lost the Republication nomination for state’s attorney in 1928 and stepped down after only two terms. He then started up his own law firm which dissolved less than ten years later.

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Joseph Savage

Joseph Savage was an assistant state’s attorney who helped Crowe with the investigation and prosecution of Leopold and Loeb, and was 29 years old while working on the case. He studied law and received his degree from Loyola University, though this was interrupted during his two-year service in World War One. Admitted to the Bar in 1921, he had a private practice for 8 months until was appointed an assistant state’s attorney in 1922. A few years after the Loeb-Leopold case, he, Crowe and a man named Gorman started a law practice together. It was disbanded in 1935 after Gorman’s death as Crowe and Savage had a public falling out and went to court against each other over distribution of finances. He published an autobiography in 1975 which delineated a chapter to his work in the Loeb-Leopold case. It is highly fabricated, pays little attention to the facts and inflates his own role while dismissing the work of Crowe and the police force.

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John Sbarbaro

John Sbarbaro was born in Chicago in 1894 and got his LL.B degree from the Hamilton College of Law in 1920. He was admitted to the Bar in 1921 and soon after became a state’s attorney, the position he was occupying during the Leopold-Loeb case. Savage and Sbarbaro worked closely together from the investigation all the way to their closing arguments and did vital work for the prosecution.

For many years he also owned a funeral parlor that was notorious for the many mob and criminal funerals that were held there. Known as the “undertaker for the underworld” he was a bootlegger and mob associate, but this didn’t stop him from becoming a Municipal Judge in 1933 then a Superior Court Judge in 1939, a position he would hold until his death in 1960. As a Judge he was said to be fair and would try for an amicable settlement before sentencing. He was a strong believer in families and had a particular interest in the divorce courts where he served for much of his time.

Alienists

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Archibald Church

Archibald Church was a doctor who specialized in nervous and mental diseases, as did all the prosecution alienists. In 1884 he became a member of the medical staff at the Illinois Hospital for the Insane, where he remained for 4 years. He was a professor of medical diseases as Northwestern University and actively on the medical staffs of several Chicago hospitals. He also severed as a consultant for the Veteran’s Bureau on the subject of nervous and mental diseases and published several times on the subject, one such textbook had gone into its ninth edition by 1924. When this book came up in cross-examination and quotes from it directly contradicted Church’s statements, he sidestepped, saying that he was only a coauthor and did not back everything the text tried to say.

Krohn and Caverly

William Krohn

William Krohn was a psychiatrist who received a Ph.D from Yale and an M.D. from Northwestern University in Illinois. He became a professor at the University of Illinois where he established the university’s first psychological laboratory. During the Leopold-Loeb case he acted as a communicator between the alienists and legal team. He had to be familiar enough with the law  to advise the doctors on the legality of their statements and legal vs medical language while analyzing the defendants and explaining the medical theories to the prosecution so they could effectively understand and examine witnesses. An experienced witness with many cases under his belt, he didn’t back down as easily to the defense team as his associates were apt to. He and Benjamin Bachrach butted heads in particular and their cross-examination was the source of some of the most aggressive verbal fighting to occur during the case. Darrow insulted him in his closing argument, saying: “The state had three alienists-and Dr. Krohn,” later referring to him as a “professional hangman.”

Hugh Patrick

Hugh Patrick

Hugh Patrick graduated from Belleview Hospital medical college with his doctorate in 1884. After an internship he returned to Chicago in 1886 and opened an office in the city, where he was still working in 1924. He went abroad in 1891 for three years to study different medical and psychiatric practices and methods, there he picked up techniques on the treatment of nervous and mental diseases. During the time of the Loeb-Leopold case he was professor of nervous and mental diseases at the Chicago Policlinic, emeritus professor at Northwestern University and a consulting neurologist to several Chicago hospitals.

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Harold Singer

Harold Singer graduated from the University of London in 1898 and taught in a multitude of medical schools across the United States. He was the vice president of the American Neurological Association and the Director of Illinois State Psychiatric Institute for 14 years. In 1924 he was highly qualified to evaluate the defendants, he worked at the National Hospital for the Paralyzed and the Epileptic, the Bethlehem Hospital and had been an associate professor of neurology at John Creighton University since 1904. He was also the Director of the Illinois Society of Mental Hygiene and the State Alienist, a job which involved overseeing all the state mental hospitals in Illinois. Despite his qualifications, he was the alienist who spent the least amount of time with Leopold and Loeb never having so much as a single conversation with them.