The so called Torso Murder's (chiefly named that because thats usually what they found) were perhaps the most sensationational crimes to happen, not in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles but in Cleveland Ohio, home of less than a million people. During a span of roughly 4 years from 1934 to 1938, at least 13 known citims were and have been attributed to this series of unsolved slayings. The crimes were almost evenly committed against both sexes, 7 males and 6 females, so the murders don't appear to be gender based.
Also known as the Kingsbury Run murders (after the supposed perpetrator, the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run", and with the torso's being found in that general area.) The bodies started appearing shortly after Eliot Ness appeared in Cleveland. With only 2 bodies found identified, the killer was either lucky or chose his or her victims well. Ness was never able to solve these crimes and went to his grave a broken, alcoholic shadow of the legend he once was. As the title of at least one book attests, he may have been the 14th victim, but thats just myth.
it was stated during the investigation that Eliot Ness indicated that he knew who the killer was, but could never prover it.
The Torso Murderer always Beheaded and often dismembered his victims, sometimes also cutting the torso in half, in many cases the cause of death was decapitation itself. Most of the male victims were castrated, and some victims showed evidence of chemical treatment being applied to their bodies. Many of the victims were found after a considerable period of time following their deaths, sometimes a year more. This made identificantion nearly impossible, especially since the heads were often not found.
In December 1939, three decapitated bodies were found in railroad boxcars near Pittsburgh and although Ness sent three investigators to look into it, there was no solid evidence to connect these murders to the Butcher’s earlier handiwork. It should be noted however that no real clues were ever found in these murders and they remain unsolved to this day. Incidentally, the Butcher was also blamed (by some theorists) for the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia, in California. Her body was also cut in two parts, just like the Butcher’s seventh victim.
Who the “Mad Butcher” may have been, as well as who many of his still unidentified victims might have been, remains a mystery to this day. The killer simply slipped away and vanished into the mists of time. However, legends say that many of his victims have not been so lucky. There are those who believe that some of them still walk.
According to locals, the ghosts of the Butcher’s mystery victims still prowl through the region around Murder Swamp, haunting the place where there bodies were found -- and where the riddle of their deaths has never been answered. Some even go on to say that the specter of the Butcher himself may walk here as well. If this place is where he truly began his horrific killing spree, then perhaps he had never left…
Even in death.