Cleveland Torso Murders

Crimeposium/Torso Murders

     Cleveland's so called torso murders (chiefly named that because that's usually what they found) were perhaps the most sensational crimes to happen not in New York, Chicago or Los Angeles but in Cleveland, Ohio, home of less than a million people. During a time span of roughly 4 years from 1934 to 1938, at least 13 known victims 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, ala Jack the Ripper. Also known as the Kingsbury Run murders (after the supposed perpetrator, the "Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run", Kingsbury Run being the principle area the torsos were found) the bodies started appearing shortly after Eliot Ness appeared in Cleveland. With only 2 bodies 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.

     As time has gone on and new information becomes available and as a more historical perspective comes into view some people have begun to see possible connections between this series of crimes and other notable, similar methods of dispatch applied to marginal, individual, members of society. Largely, in crimes of this nature, there appears to be a "victim pool". Poor, transient, addicted, nameless, faceless (and headless, in this case) people of dubious employment if that, are the prey of choice, and for a good reason. In most societies there's a plentiful supply of individuals in these dire straits, if the bodies are found, they are hardly traceable, and nobody really cares. The Whitechapel Murders (Jack the Ripper), the Cleveland Torso Murders, and the Black Dahlia Murders in addition to some other regional crimes have all drawn interest and speculations of co-conspirators or same perpetrator because of certain similarities, not the least of which is knife type mutilations occurring on all known victims.

     This is The Cleveland Torso Murders Website and that is the topic that will be covered on these pages. When information seems pertinent or interesting concerning the given subject, it will be included. I grew up on stories about the "Torso Murderer" and tend to think of it as a Cleveland-centric crime. Acknowledging this, there will be no bias in the presentation of the facts concerning this situation that happened over 70 years ago but continues to draw interest locally as well as nationally and sometimes even from abroad.


The Torso Killers Victim List

Scenes of the Crimes

This map displays the approximate locations of the victims of the Torso Murderer. The information used to determine the locations was drawn from many sources and we are humans, prone to error. If you have new information regarding the map or differ with the locations displayed, or just want to share an insight, please contact us at  Comments.

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Prairieghost -torso web site

Cuyahoga Valley Kingsbury run site

Dead Ohio's Kingsbury Run site

Crime Library  Kingsbury Run web site

Wikipedias Kingsbury Run entry

The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History entry

An attempt to link the black dahlia murders to the torso murders

True crime legends page


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