*Warning: The post you are about to read may be too graphic for some people, it may contain descriptions of crime scenes, violent crimes, adult situations, reader discretion is advised.*
Cleveland, OH, is known for many things; The Cleveland Indians play baseball there, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is found in Cleveland, and a mystery from 1930 still remains on the books: The Cleveland Torso Murderer.
In the 1930’s there was an area of Cleveland that was impoverished called Kinsbury Run, another name was “Hobo Jungle”. This area of Cleveland was home to many vagrants and west of the The Roaring Third. An area known for its bars, gambling dens, and brothels. The victims found in Kingsbury Run primary came from this area.
The murderer was eventually known as the Cleveland Torso Murderer, and has had 12 murders attributed to him, but could have had up to 20. The victims were usually drifters whose identity was not determined, with few exceptions. The murderer always beheaded their victims, and often times dismembered them as well. Most of the victims heads were undiscovered.
From 1935 to 1938 twelve people were murdered. Due to the dismemberment of the bodies, it was a theory that the person or persons who murdered the Black Dahlia (Elizabeth Short) were also the unnamed Cleveland Torso Killer. This has been a theory, but hasn’t been pursued.
The one suspect in the case was Frank Dolezal. He was a suspect for one victim, identified as Florence Polillo. He died mysteriously in the Cuyahoga County jail. There wasn’t evidence that linked him to all the victims. Most was circumstantial at best.
Most investigators suspected, Dr Francis E Sweeney. He was a part of the medical unit in World War I that conducted amputations in the field. Dr. Sweeney failed to pass early polygraph tests and it was believed they had their man. Unfortunately Dr. Sweeney committed himself to a mental asylum and was not pursued further.
It is unknown who the real murderer(s) were. It could have been a dumping grounds for those individuals riding the rail lines that were conveniently located in Kingsbury Run and that all these victims were simply murdered by multiple individuals. However the fact remains they were ALL decapitated, and unless the individuals on the rail lines all had the same exact idea for committing the murders and for dumping the bodies, my guess it was all one person who may or may not have been a local to Cleveland.
So tell me; what are your thoughts on this case? Do you think these and the Black Dahlia are connected? Sadly the majority of the victims were never identified and their heads still remain unrecovered, so they may never be known.
Be ever alert, make good choices, be safe