The Ghastly Cleveland Torso Murders

The Ghastly Cleveland Torso Murders

– [Ryan] This week on Buzzfeed Unsolved
we investigate the
Cleveland Torso Murderer,
one of the most gruesome
serial killers of all time.
– That’s a, that’s a hell
of an accomplishment.
– He’s not the most definitively,
but I will say he’s one of the most.
He’s in the upper echelon for sure.
It’s not a shiny badge of
honor on anyone’s part.
– You sound like you’re impressed.
– I’m not impressed, the things he did
were pretty, for lack of a better term,
– Wonderful?
– Gross.
– Okay, whatever you say.
Between 1934 and 1938 in Cleveland Ohio,
near Kingsbury Run, 13 people,
comprised of six women and seven men
were killed by a serial killer.
Of those 13 only three were identified.
And almost all of them were
vagrants or sex workers.
All of the victims were decapitated,
and in some cases the
head was never found.
– He just killed anybody.
You also will see, he
killed all ages as well,
like this guy just didn’t give a shit.
– He’s just death.
– The killer often dismembered
the body through the torso.
And in no instance was a
body found fully intact.
These gruesome tendencies
earned the killer the name the
Cleveland Torso Killer or the
Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run.
Here’s a little background
on Kingsbury Run.
In the 1930’s, Cleveland’s Kingsbury Run
was a bleak, dangerous place,
where many poor lived
in terrible conditions.
Sometimes called, a quote,
hobo jungle, end quote.
Just east of Kingsbury
Run was a sketchy area
called the Roaring Third,
known for it’s bars,
gambling dens, and brothels.
– [Shane] I’m into
that, I like that place.
– [Ryan] The Roaring Third?
– [Shane] Yeah!
– [Ryan] Is that a
place you would frequent
back in the day?
– [Shane] I’d be there!
– [Ryan] You’d be dead.
– [Shane] It’s got…
– [Ryan] He’d see you,
he’d see those long limbs,
and he’d say oh man I got some
big ornaments to make here.
– Bars, gambling dens, and brothels.
– Yeah.
– Now, currently, now a
days, I said this before,
but we have a lot of
entertainment at our disposal.
I got YouTube, I’ve got my Playstation,
and pretty much that’s it.
But back then, not a lot
to amuse yourself with
so I would for sure,
every night of the week,
be down at a bar, a
gambling den, or a brothel.
– So this is part of the recurring theme
that you’ve had throughout the show,
where if there weren’t
modern devices you’d be,
– An insane psychopath.
– I’d be a monster.
– [Ryan] With the stage set, let’s jump
into the timeline of the killings.
On September 5th, 1934, the first victim,
an unidentified woman in her 30’s,
was found on the shores of Lake Eerie.
All that was found was part of her torso,
thighs, and other body parts.
But no head.
Her skin was leathery and red
from a chemical preservative.
On September 23rd,
1935, the second victim,
a 28 year old man named Edward Andrassy,
was found near Kingsbury Run,
at the base of Jackass Hill.
– [Shane] (giggle)
– [Ryan] That’s actually
what that’s named.
I know that was gonna
elicit some kind of giggle.
– [Shane] Sucks.
– [Ryan] So just get it,
– [Shane] It sucks.
– [Ryan] just get it out of the way.
– [Shane] It sucks to die like that.
– [Ryan] At the base of Jackass Hill?
– [Shane] Yeah, where’d they find him?
Oh the base of Jackass
Hill, that’s not fun.
– [Ryan] I’m sure they omitted
that out of the eulogy.
– [Shane] Why even call
it, I guess there were
burros there at some point or a donkey?
– [Ryan] Andrassy was a hospital orderly
and a regular around the Roaring Third.
The body was drained of
blood, naked, and emasculated.
With rope burns on the wrists.
On that same day, the third
victim was found nearby.
An unidentified 40 year old male,
and was also decapitated and emasculated.
The body also had the
same chemical preservative
from the first killing.
On January 26th, 1936, the fourth victim
a woman named Florence Polillo,
was found wrapped up in newspaper
inside half bushel baskets
by the Hart Manufacturing building.
Polillo was a sex worker,
barmaid, and waitress,
who lived in the Roaring Third.
He’s getting bolder with the
places he’s dumping bodies.
The first one was a
lake, the second one was
on the side of the hill, the third one
was nearby to the hill, and now this one,
in front of an actual workplace.
– [Shane] Yeah.
– [Ryan] In, you know,
a metropolitan area.
On June 5th, 1936, the
head of the fifth victim,
an unidentified man, was found
wrapped in trousers in Kingsbury Run,
the rest of the body
was found the next day
in an even more audacious location.
In front of the Nickel Plate
Railroad Police Building.
So once again, he’s escalating.
– Yeah.
One of the saddest parts to me is that,
so many of these bodies were unidentified.
– Yeah.
– Because it’s just, I’m always
of the opinion that once I’m dead,
you can do anything you want with my body.
Throw it out in the street
and let the dogs eat it.
But I at least want people
to look my body and go,
yeah that’s Shane, that was Shane,
who is being eaten right now.
– That’s Shane in that
basset hound’s mouth.
– Give him a send off, whatever,
say your kind words about him.
– That’d be a happy dog,
that’s a big ass bone.
On July 22nd, 1936, the sixth victim,
an unidentified 40 year old man,
was found in the woods near Clinton Road.
The man had been dead for two months.
One noteworthy observation
was the blood on the ground,
suggesting he had been killed on-site,
and not dumped there, as
indicated by the other body sites.
– [Shane] So this is
someone who’s just out
walking around who gets, gets got.
– [Ryan] Well, the thing
that is interesting
to me about this, is because
all of the other ones
have been dismembered in a way
that was medically efficient.
Most likely done after death.
This is one that seems to be
done in the heat of the moment.
Which either means to me,
this is not the same guy,
or since it obviously is the same guy,
he’s getting antsy, he’s losing his grip,
he doesn’t care anymore and
he’s starting to do things
that aren’t as premeditated.
On September 10th 1936,
the seventh victim,
an unidentified man, was
found near the train tracks
in Kingsbury Run, he had
been killed by decapitation.
In a manner that the coroner
noticed was confident,
in one stroke, which
implied that the killer
was both brazen and
educated in human anatomy.
– [Shane] This is gross, but I think
it’s hard to cut off a head.
– [Ryan] It apparently is kinda hard.
– [Shane] Yeah.
– [Ryan] And there was one case,
where someone had, it took them,
I forget which royal it
was, it was a British royal.
– [Shane] Yeah.
– [Ryan] It took five strokes.
Also, another thing,
you are slightly alive.
I was reading this one
recorded case of a guy,
who watched someones head get
cut off by the guillotine.
He said the head rolled around,
and he saw the guys eyes,
– He blinked?
– He blinked, and he saw recognition
in the eyes when he said his name.
– Wasn’t there an old tale of someone who
for science, told the
person getting executed
to blink as long as they could?
– Oh see that’s kinda cool.
– Yeah that’s pretty cool.
– But if you were a piece
of shit your whole life,
and you’re getting executed
because you’re an awful person,
the lease you could do,
– You could do this thing for science.
– One solid on the way out.
– For science man, give
us a little something.
– It’d be better to not
blink, but if they were like,
would you give us a,
– A wink?
– Cause your vocal cords are gone, right,
so but you could wink.
– I mean I guess it depends, if they,
I would ask them to chop it
just below the vocal cords,
so I could roll over and be like,
♪ Hello my baby, hello ♪
– [Ryan] At this point
many local papers reported
the murder spree on a near daily basis,
and yet, there were no suspects or clues.
As expected, this put a
considerable amount of heat
on the investigating authorities.
Detectives Peter Merylo
and Martin Zelewski
interviewed over 1,500
people on their own.
Here’s even a picture of Detective Merylo
undercover as a vagrant.
– [Shane] That is the most
cartoonish hobo I’ve ever seen.
– [Ryan] Is the most (laughs)
– [Shane] He looked like he
watched Bugs Bunny cartoons,
in which Bugs Bunny was on the railroad.
And was like, yup, that’ll do.
– [Ryan] You think he
has like a couple PB J’s
in that little bag there?
– [Shane] Probably.
– Maybe this is like accurate to the time.
– I don’t think it was.
– So you think that he was just like,
I bet you this is what vagrants look like,
and he went out there and he was like
jesus christ I don’t
look anything like them.
– Probably.
Probably actual people who
looked like real human beings
and then this guy walking
up like he walked off
the Warner Brothers set.
– [Ryan] Jumping back into the timeline,
on February 23rd, 1937,
parts of the eighth victim,
an unidentified woman in her 20’s,
were found on the shore
east of Brahtenahl.
On June 5th, 1937, the ninth victim,
determined to be a
woman name Rose Wallace,
was found under the
Lorain-Carnegie Bridge.
Her remains were merely a
skull and a bag of bones.
On July 6th, 1937, the tenth victim,
an unidentified man in
his mid to late 30’s,
was found in the Cuyahoga River.
His heart was ripped out and
the abdominal area was gutted.
The proximity of the killings
are starting to shrink here.
– [Shane] He got to enjoy
fourth of July though,
which is my favorite holiday.
– [Ryan] I guess he did.
– [Shane] I think that’s
fun, it’s a good holiday.
– Yeah I suppose if I
had to choose between
getting murdered July 3rd or July 6th,
I’d choose July 6th.
– Always a silver lining,
that’s what I’m saying.
– With a belly full of hot dogs and brew.
– Yeah.
– [Ryan] In April/May of 1938,
parts of the eleventh
victim, an unidentified woman
was found in the Cuyahoga River.
Interestingly, this was the first time
that a victim had drugs in their system.
This left authorities to
wonder whether the drugs
were recreational or used
to keep her from moving.
Maybe this contributes to why the stokes
were so confident, and so absolute.
– [Shane] Cause they weren’t moving?
– [Ryan] Because they weren’t moving.
– [Shane] Hmmm.
– [Ryan] And the only reason I posit this,
is because drugs may be involved in
one of the case’s main suspects, later.
– Okay.
Pretty horrifying to imagine
that you were drugged
and you can only just move your eyes.
Have you ever had that?
Is that in a movie?
– That’s in Wolf Creek.
– Yeah.
– A serial killer cuts
someone’s spinal cord,
so they can’t move, so
they’re forced to just watch
what’s happening to their friend.
– But their eyes can move.
– But their eyes can move.
– That’s horrifying.
– It is pretty scary.
As all of these gruesome
murders were ongoing,
Mayor Harold Burton,
increasingly pressured
Safety Director Eliot
Ness to make headway.
You may know Eliot Ness
as the famed G Man,
who led his illustrious
group of untouchables
to bust Al Capone’s breweries.
Other credits to Ness’s glowing resume
included defeating the Mayfield Road mob,
crooked police, and labor racketeers.
Contributing to his status
as a law enforcement legend.
As City Safety Director,
Ness was involved with both
the fire and police departments,
and given his decorated track record,
Ness was at serious risk
of tainting his reputation
should he not make
headway on the torso case.
With that in mind, let’s
discuss the last two killings.
On August 16th, 1938, the
twelfth and thirteenth victims
both unidentified were found in perhaps
the most reckless location of all.
The bodies were found
within view of Eliot Ness’s
office window, a taunt that
obviously resonated with Ness.
– [Shane] Oh wow, that’s bold.
– This fucking guy.
You’re gonna coast out, and you’re gonna
coast into retirement, right, you know?
– Yeah.
– Everything’s great, and at the last leg,
this piece of shit comes in,
– Yeah.
– and just starts messing with you.
Commits some of the most
grisly murders of all time.
– Yeah.
– In your playground.
And then, he puts it and
rubs your nose in it.
– [Shane] Yeah.
– [Ryan] Two days later
on August 18th, 1938,
at 12:40 AM, Director Ness,
and a squadron of 35 detectives
and police officers raided
Kingsbury Run’s hobo jungle.
They rounded up 63 men, and scoured
the shacks for an sign of the killer.
Most noteworthy, in a move
that has been criticized,
Ness then ordered the
shacks to be burnt down,
the people displaced were then charged
with being homeless, which
they plead guilty for.
Ness’s involvement in this
episode of the investigation
has been referred to
as cruel and draconian.
– [Shane] Okay.
– [Ryan] This, it, I mean,
he pretty much just said
I can’t find what’s going
on in this part of town.
Let’s burn it all down.
– [Shane] It’s literally
like a scorched earth.
– [Ryan] He literally went scorched earth.
– [Shane] Yeah.
– [Ryan] According to James Badal,
the preeminent expert on this case,
Ness’s raid was intended
to protect the transients
in a bizarre and backwards way.
Ness wanted to eliminate the
pool of potential victims,
thinking that the killer
targeted transients.
Which, to be fair, was true.
He also wanted the
transients’ fingerprints,
in the event that they were later killed.
– It feels like maybe
the fingerprint excuse,
is exactly that, it’s just an excuse.
When people are like
hey, why you terrorizing
an entire population of people,
and setting their homes on fire?
Suddenly he needed to come
up with a reason for that.
– He’s coming to his senses.
– Yeah, and going, uh, fingerprints?
Like it seems like he’s just
kind of back pedaling there.
– He was just like, fingerprints.
– Fingerprints.
– I need fingerprints, that’s…
– Sure.
– [Ryan] Either way, the
killings did stop after the raid.
Whether or not the raid had anything
to do with that is debatable.
Certainly, Ness’s shiny
reputation was damaged
by this action, and it also
brought the investigators
no closer to identifying the killer.
That being said, the case
is considered by some
to be unofficially
solved, and furthermore,
the solution was reached
partly by Ness himself.
With that, let’s get into the suspects.
The first suspect was 52
brick layer Frank Dolezal.
In July of 1939, Dolezal was
arrested by county sheriff,
Martin O’Donnell, for the murder of
Florence Polillo, the fourth victim.
Dolezal had actually lived
with Polillo for a time.
Furthermore, Dolezal also knew victims
Edward Andrassy and Rose Wallace.
Following his arrest,
Frank Dolezal confessed,
to murdering Florence Polillo.
However, he later said he had been beaten
and recanted his confession, in fact,
Dolezal had suffered six broken ribs
while in the custody of the sheriff.
Further casting doubt upon the confession.
The confession appeared to be coached,
as it was a mix of prepackaged details
and incomprehensible ramblings.
According to case expert James Badal,
the lead detective on the case
later said in his memoirs,
“This is the first time
that I’ve ever known
“anyone to confess to a crime
that didn’t know the details
“of the crime to which he was confessing.”
– [Shane] They beat the
shit out of him probably.
– [Ryan] A hundred percent.
– [Shane] Yes.
– [Ryan] And it’s very very sad.
– [Shane] Yes.
Him knowing numerous people
in the camp doesn’t seem,
I mean, he knew, so a lot
were a lot of these people
people who lived in that neighborhood,
– [Ryan] Yes.
– [Shane] Or in the shantytown kinda?
– [Ryan] I think what happened is,
they saw he lived with one of the victims.
– [Shane] Yeah.
– Then they found out he knew
the other two victims who were identified,
and they thought,
everyone’s on us right now,
lotta pressure from the mayor,
the public is starting to get pissed off.
I think it’s time to do the deed.
Nonetheless, Dolezal remained
incarcerated for the crime.
Which makes the event that
followed all the more suspicious.
One month later, in August
1939, Dolezal committed suicide
in his jail cell before going to trial.
Hanging himself on a hook that was
five feet and seven
inches from the ground.
The problem with that is, Frank Dolezal,
was five feet and eight inches tall.
Logically, how could a
person hang themselves
from an object that they were taller than?
It seems like it may be
logistically impossible
for him to hang himself
from it, he’d have to…
– [Shane] You can, I don’t
know, I think that’s possible.
– It’s suspicious to me, given
the things that preceded it.
They coached his confession out of him,
maybe they’re starting…
– oh I see what you’re saying,
you’re saying the police maybe had,
oh that didn’t occur to me
that the police would…
– What I’m saying is,
they seem very very set
on this particular guy.
– Yeah.
– They beaten him, they’ve
gotten a confession out of him,
they start to think this is
going to go to trial soon.
– Oh, okay, I did not put that together.
– [Ryan] In addition
James Badal interviewed
forensic science experts that
looked at Dolezal’s autopsy.
The experts concluded that
he didn’t end his own life
the way people were told he did.
Though, the experts don’t explicitly say
he was murdered while imprisoned.
Either way, virtually no one believes
Frank Dolezal was the killer.
A marker, purchased by
James Badal and his team,
was laid on Dolezal’s
grave in August 2010,
with Dolezal’s family
members in attendance,
that reads “Rest Now”
Thus vindicating Dolezal posthumously.
In these Unsolved episodes it’s not often
that we get nice sentiment.
And this,
– [Shane] Let’s hang on to this
one, let’s really savor it.
– [Ryan] This is, actually very lovely.
– [Shane] Rest now, that’s nice.
– [Ryan] That’s nice.
The second and final suspect
we will discuss today,
is Dr Francis E Sweeney.
In the 1970’s Sweeney was discovered to be
Safety Director Eliot
Ness’s secret suspect.
Sweeney is also thought
to have been the killer,
according to case expert James Badal,
who as of 2014, had spent 18
years researching the killings.
Dr Francis E Sweeney fit the profile.
He was a doctor, and would’ve
had the necessary skill
and anatomical knowledge
to perform the killings.
Sweeney had also been
probate court multiple times.
And his wife noted his
problems with alcoholism.
His abuse of her and their two sons,
his days long disappearances,
and his neglect of his practice.
Shortly after the final murder,
Sweeney checked himself
into a mental institution,
after which the killings stopped.
In 1956, Sweeney was
diagnosed as schizophrenic.
In May 1938, Eliot Ness
secretly apprehended Sweeney,
taking him to the old Cleveland Hotel.
Ness kept Sweeney there
for about 10 to 14 days,
as it took Sweeney three
days to even sober up.
– Just Ness brewing coffee the whole time.
Slapping him in the face,
– Mug of water in his face.
– Tickling his feet with
some feathers, I don’t know.
– [Ryan] Miranda Rights
were not in place yet.
Though, this process was still in conflict
with the rules of civil
liberties of the time.
The inventor of the modern
polygraph, Leonard Keeler,
administered a lie
detector test to Sweeney.
Which he failed, twice.
Keeler told Ness,”That’s your man.
“I might as well throw
my machine out the window
“if I say anything different.”
– This makes me wonder if he in his mind
thought he was sort of a
vigilante justice type.
You know, cause Bruce Wayne
was a very successful,
very powerful man.
– Are you comparing the
torso killer to Batman?
– I’m not.
– It sounds like you’re comparing
the torso killer to Batman
– I’m just saying I think
maybe the torso killer
thought that he,
– Is Batman.
– Was the Batman type.
Except Batman never
cut anybody’s head off,
that would really ruin it.
– Yeah Batman didn’t kill people,
he just, knocked them out a little bit.
He’s not Batman.
Ness had to proceed
carefully, because Sweeney,
was a cousin of congressman
Martin L Sweeney.
I wonder if this affiliation,
along with the detention,
violating civil liberties,
contributed to Ness
keeping the lie detector test a secret.
Regardless, despite this revelation,
Francis Sweeney was released,
and less than three months later,
the final two torso victims were placed
within view of Ness’s window.
Seemingly to mock him.
Ness would continue to get
mocked well after the killings.
In the 50’s Ness received
taunting note cards
from someone claiming
to be Francis Sweeney.
And since Sweeney was a secret suspect,
I would imagine it’s
likely that the sender
was indeed Sweeney.
– [Shane] What do the note cards say?
– [Ryan] They pretty much say nonsense.
– [Shane] Do they implicate
that he is the killer
or is it him essentially just…
– [Ryan] It’s him
thumbing his nose at him,
knowing that even if these note cards
were taken to court,
– [Shane] they wouldn’t mean anything.
– [Ryan] They wouldn’t mean anything,
which is, even more infuriating.
– [Shane] Yeah.
– [Ryan] Unfortunately,
despite feeling he had solved
the case, Ness didn’t have
enough to take Sweeney to trial.
Though, the case against
Sweeney doesn’t end there.
In 1938, a vagrant named
Emile Fronek told authorities
that in 1934, a doctor tried to drug him.
He remembered the office
was somewhere around
East 50th and East 55th
on Broadway Street.
Unfortunately when authorities
drove Fronek up Broadway,
he couldn’t find anything
that appeared to be
a medical office, and from there,
his story was dismissed as irrelevant.
However, more than 70 years later,
case expert James Badal,
discovered that Francis Sweeney
practiced medicine out of
a modest looking building,
at the corner of Broadway
and Purshing Avenue.
This building closely matches where Fronek
remembered getting drugged.
It’s in this building that
Badal believed Sweeney
could’ve drugged Fronek
as well as other victims.
Though, the torso killer
murders would’ve resulted
in a large amount of blood evidence.
So, how could Sweeney have
carried out those murders
in these offices, without
eventually being caught?
– Spread out tarps, and just whoosh.
– Cause I imagine it would be
pretty hard to explain this.
I know this looks bad.
– He’s got a head cold.
– [Ryan] The answer may
lie with David Cowles,
the leader of the Scientific
Identification Bureau,
who was interviewed by the Cleveland
Police Historical Society in 1983.
Cowles suggests that Sweeney may have had
an agreement with an undertaker.
That he could practice surgery
on the unclaimed bodies
in the undertakers funeral home.
If this is true, a funeral
home would function nicely
as a way to dispose of blood evidence.
This arrangement, however,
does seem to be possible,
as directly next door to Sweeney’s office
was a funeral home, in
fact, the funeral home
had a concrete ramp located
behind the building,
that conveniently led to
the undertaking facilities.
Both Sweeney’s medical
office, and the funeral home
are a short car ride away
from where the September 1935
victims were found, which was
not far from the Roaring Third
In Badal’s opinion, Sweeney
could’ve visited bars
near the center of town,
to lure people back
to his office with promises
of alcohol or drugs.
– He just made an agreement with them say,
yeah you can work on our dead bodies,
but then he’d bring in some of his own.
– I think that’s what it was.
– I see okay.
– He snuck in some, you
know, some of his own in.
– Some of his own sinful collections.
– He was getting some of
his own critics picks.
– Yeah.
– [Ryan] Badal, with the help of the
great nephew of one of
Francis Sweeney’s colleagues,
was able to use photos and diagrams
to compare the torso killer
and Sweeney’s movements.
Badal calls the results, “Creepy as hell.”
All this information
allowed Badal to conclude
that Sweeney was indeed the killer,
though Badal cautions,
“I think I put together a
pretty good circumstantial case,
“I realize you couldn’t take it to court,
“and Ness realized back then,
he couldn’t take it to court.”
– [Shane] It’s crazy that all he had to do
was follow the rules and
it’s quite likely he may have
gathered some legitimate
evidence on the guy,
or at least…
– [Ryan] The thing is, all he had was,
Sweeney fit the profile, right.
– [Shane] Yes.
– [Ryan] But that isn’t grounds
to getting a search warrant
for someone or bringing someone in.
– [Shane] No.
– I don’t know what the rules are,
of maybe when you’re allowed
to arrest somebody, or
even submit them to something
like a lie detector test,
– Yeah.
– I imagine it wasn’t enough for
him to do it when he did it.
– Yeah.
– Or ever.
Sweeney would have to slip, publicly.
There are however some criticisms
of the Sweeney explanation
police and crime reporter Doris O’Donnell,
believes that somebody at the funeral home
would have noticed something
weird was going on.
Yet, O’Donnell may be
biased, since her uncle
was the sheriff who arrested
the controversial suspect,
Frank Dolezal in 1939.
I think it’s like one of those things
where you wouldn’t even dare to dream
that someone would use this
as a place to kill people.
– [Shane] Right.
– [Ryan] Cause you’re
around death all the time,
all you see is dead bodies,
what makes you think
they’re gonna be like
oh, I wonder if someone’s
using this to uh kill people.
Also even Badal acknowledges
that the medical office setup
could have only been utilized
for the initial murders,
before colleagues could become suspicious.
He doesn’t know where the
murders that followed occurred.
Others including lead
Detective, Peter Merylo,
believe the torso murders were
committed by the same person
that committed murders in
New Castle, Pennsylvania.
Detective Merylo felt that
Sweeney was too overweight
to make the rail trip back and forth
between New Castle and Cleveland.
Which consequently led
to Merylo’s discounting
of Sweeney as a suspect.
But, to be fair, Merylo had
also been kept in the dark
about Sweeney’s secret
interrogation and lie detector test.
I for one, will go on record
by saying, I do think it’s him.
– I will also go out on that limb.
Great work Ryan!
– That’s the best I could give.
– Yeah, so well, I guess I
shouldn’t say great work Ryan,
cause you didn’t solve…
– I didn’t do anything, James Badal did.
– Yeah.
– [Ryan] Regardless,
Francis Sweeney remains,
for the most part, the
most popular suspect.
In the case of Eliot Ness and James Badal,
they believe that he
is not just a suspect,
but in fact the killer.
However, we may never be able
to definitively prove that.
And for now, the case
remains officially unsolved.

100 thoughts on “The Ghastly Cleveland Torso Murders”

  1. It’s crazy how much good work actually is done by detectives. A lot of these cases the police damn near solved it.

  2. What if supernatural is real and this was a vampire nest and the one dead body was a hunter and the drugs was dead mans blood

  3. You can hang yourself and your feet can never leave the ground
    A Swedish man named Marcus Jannes killed himself live on stream by wrapping a network cable around his neck and basically just sitting down, the video is on the Internet if you doubt me.

  4. Batman actually did kill people in the old comics. He was suppose to be an anti-hero, neutral-as long as it was for justice. Fucking hollywood.

  5. The picture of David Cowles at 22:38 is the same picture of the cremation expert from the spontaneous human combustion video

  6. I love to listen to this while I write. I write horror, and know a few killing methods myself, and sometimes I use this show as an excuse on why I know them. I think it's just me, but ok…

  7. someone else has probably commented this but the movie Law Abiding Citizen also involves the main character drugging a man so they cant move anything but their eyes i believe.

  8. There was a guy who got his head cut off midway through saying The Lords Prayer. After the head was cut off it finished off saying the lords prayer and then died.

  9. Ness: joins the investigation

    The Torso Killer: *rubs hands together*
    welcome to the party fam *leaves 2 bodies outside his window*

  10. You can hang your self from a door knob with a belt, I’m sure he could hang himself from a hook that’s 1inch shorter then himself

  11. Maybe he was getting the heads and other body parts for research ? He used chemicals to preserve them, and later when not required, he threw the rest of the body away.

  12. "would it be scary to not move and just move your eyes" have these dudes not heard of sleep paralysis LMAO??!!

  13. There are some very good books about this: 'Torso' and 'Though Murder Has No Tongue'. Interesting the role the murders played in Elliot Ness's life after Capone.

  14. What is it with American doctors getting away with serial murder in the 20’s & 30’s? Dr. Sweeney here, Dr. George Hodel in the Black Dahlia case (and who knows how many other victims he had).

  15. I do believe that he did it, but lie detector tests would be extremely irrelevant like… they're not useful on sober nuerotypical people. On a mentally ill alcoholic being unlawfully tested? Of course he'd fail.

  16. I'm really digging this Channel and I've been binge-watching videos for a few hours now. However, your enunciation is very sing-songy like a valley girl sometimes.

  17. Who else watches two videos of this and get creeped out like hell then is scared to be in a room Toby them selfs I get rlly scared

  18. Everybody knows if time travel was real these types of things would be what people use it for, and do to the grandfather paradox it wouldn't hurt to affect the timelines

  19. Bother Australian one to do is the abduction and possible murder of the Beaumont children from South Australia. Still unsolved

  20. BuzzFeed Multiplayer I have an unsolved case yall may find interesting… This case involved a girl I went to school with and her murder was broadcasted nationwide when it happened… Her name is Jessica Chambers and shes from Courtland, Ms she was burned alive but the killer has not been caught… it's not a case I would just throw in the air but like I said it's an unsolved case that yall might would find interesting to do research on if theres any at all…

  21. “ He could’ve only done the initial murders in the office.”
    Doesn’t that perfectly explain why one of the bodies was found in the woods murdered less professionally?

  22. The sex workers and vagrant thing makes me think a bit of that theory with Jack the Ripper. The one that essentially postulates he didn't actually target prostitutes, they were just plentiful and vulnerable. Maybe the sex workers and vagrants thing was just coincidence and the torso murderer just went after everyone

  23. This is much scarier when the place of the murders is only 30 minutes away from where I live and the Cuyahoga river is 10 minutes away

  24. Yeah, it's very likely he was killed by someone else in prison, however it's definitely not impossible to hang yourself from something that's shorter than you are. All you have to do is let yourself hang and not stand on your legs. Not in any way impossible.

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