Eliot Ness

this picture was obtained from the wikipedia link for Eliot Ness

Crimeposium/Eliot Ness

 At some time in the 1990's, Mary and I ate at a place called Broglios just because it was said that Eliott Ness ate there. The location then was 5568 OLD BRECKSVILLE RD, and has since closed. The food was good and it was actually an old house turned into a restaurant. We ate in a hallway at a table for two, and as it turned out, a phone call had to be made. The phone booth was in a corner with a bi-fold door where when you shut the door a light came on. It had a rotary phone. We definitely felt as if it was a turn back in time for us. The restaurant closed only a few weeks later.   

Eliot Ness's star rose, reaching the top in Chicago with the imprisonment of Al Capone and fell rather steeply during a rather short period of time, 54 years. After his arrival in Cleveland he continued his career with the same style that made him famous in Chicago and only began to falter after a series of grisly murders that he never solved and for a time, didn't seem to be at all interested in. We are interested, not just in those heinous crimes (known as "The Cleveland Torso Murders") but how crime can take a common man to his heights and then bring him crashing down.


Eliot Ness's life can be broken down into thirds:

He was born in 1903 and raised in Chicago, went to school and college and started his career in law enforcement there. He quickly rose through the ranks of Justice and had a sterling reputation. One of his given tasks to complete was to put Al Capone behind bars and he succeeded where no one else could.

Next, he moved east to Cleveland, Ohio, a restless and given the state of the country as a whole, untamed city where the populace, as long as it was moneyed, came and went as it pleased. Prohibition still ruled, there was police corruption and he received and took an invitation to clean things up. During this phase of his life and career, he did rid the Police Department of corruption and created the police motorcycle unit. Unfortunately, a case that had roots before his arrival reared it's head and remained unsolved. It followed him to his grave and beyond, the Cleveland torso murders.

After his successes and failures in Cleveland, he moved east once more, to Canton, Ohio and then finally to Coudersport, Pennsylvania where he eventually died, in 1957 at the age of 54, premature by any calculation.

A fascinating man with an eventful career left his everlasting mark on Cleveland as well as history which anyone can witness by spending time in Lakeview Cemetery where his monument is located. On most any day, during almost any span of time, people come. Sometimes the cars just pause, more often they park and get out and read the words on his monument. His ashes are actually scattered in the pond behind his marker and this was his last move, westward, back to Cleveland and towards Chicago, where his greatest accomplishments were had.


Eliot Ness Debate

When Ness came to Cleveland from Chicago, the city expected a hardened Federal lawman with the ability to solve any crime. Why couldn't he solve the Torso murders?    JIM

When Eliot Ness came to Cleveland from Chicago, he had indeed put Al Capone behind bars. But he wasn't a hardened lawman. His strengths were more his administrative skills and less forensic skills which were needed here.    Mary

 He was the Safety Director of the city. What did he do to ensure the safety of the city?  JIM

He cleaned up police corruption, he was effective against mob extortion and racketeering, and he delegated authority in the investigation of the Torso murder case.     Mary

Still, he battled Prohibition in Chicago and That mob, coming to Cleveland must have seemed like a walk in the park. I don't see the problem. The guy's Hoover's F.B.I. right?    JIM

No actually he was a special agent who worked for the Treasury Department. He wasn't brought in as a cop or to enforce the law. There were more problems than just the Torso murders. Cleveland was a vastly different city then. There was gambling, prostitution, graft and thousands of homeless or near homeless people as this was still the depression era.    Mary



The Return of Eliot Ness ( on YouTube): Link 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15.

Unsolved Mysteries Link1 Link2

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