Bobby Franks was age 14
when he was picked up and murdered while on his way home from the Harvard
School in Chicago's fashionable Hyde Park district. Franks was a brilliant
student at the school. As a member of the Harvard debate team, he had argued
against capital punishment. Franks' conduct, however, worried his teachers.
On his scholastic record are the notations "too self-satisfied" and "still
hampered by unpleasant characteristics."
Franks was the son of
Jacob Franks. Jacob made his fortune financing Chicago real estate. He
earned the title "Honest Jake" Franks because of his reputation for square
Bobby Franks knew Richard
Loeb, but not Leopold. Franks and Loeb had often played tennis together
on the Loeb family courts. Franks was also a distant cousin of Loeb.