The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run: Part One

Few people realize that Cleveland had its own serial killer at the height of the Great Depression…a serial killer who was never caught…

Dubbed “The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run” or “The Cleveland Torso Killer,” he didn’t just kill; he dismembered his victims. Regardless of race or gender, his victims were often the most vulnerable, and most of his victims not identified. In this first part of our two part episode, we look at the start of the murders and the investigation, headed by none other than Eliot Ness. 


Dr. James J. Badal (2022). “The Kingsbury Run Murders,” Cleveland Police Museum,

Vince Guerrireri (Sept. 29, 2020). “The Cleveland Torso Murderer: The Scariest Serial Killer You’ve Never Heard Of,” Mental Floss,

Bec Heim (Aug. 17, 2021). “All about the ghastly story of the Cleveland Torso Murderer,” Film Daily,

Editors (no date). “PHOTO GALLERY: THE NOTORIOUS TORSO MURDERS IN CLEVELAND,” News 5 Cleveland (TV station),

Erick Trickey (June 19, 2014). “Solving the Cleveland Torso Murders,
Cleveland Magazine,

Alvin J. Krieg (July 19, 1937). “America’s Strangest Murder Mystery,” The Times (Munster, IN), p. 37.

Staff Writer (April 9, 1938). “Torso Killer Claims Another Victim In Cleveland; Head Of Woman Discovered In River,” The Evening Telegram (Rocky Mount, NC), p. 1.

Ken Summers (Nov. 18, 2018). “A Bisected Body in Cleveland: The Queer Specter of the Torso Murders,” Queer Paranormal,

Radu Alexander (March 3, 2023). “The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run – Cleveland’s Torso Murderer,” BIO Graphics,

Marilyn Bardsley (May 31, 2014). “The Kingsbury Run Murders or Cleveland Torso Murders,” Crime Library,

TOUR CLEVELAND AREA IN TORSO MURDER HUNT: Police and Man ‘Poisoned’ by ‘Doctor’ Seek Latter’s House
New York Times (1923-); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]. 29 Aug 1938: 2.

Max A. Collins and A. Brad Schwartz (Aug. 4, 2020). “Eliot Ness and the Mad Butcher: Hunting America’s Deadliest Unidentified Serial Killer at the Dawn of Modern Criminology,” Mariner Books.

James J. Badal (March 26, 2001). “In The Wake Of The Butcher: Cleveland’s Torso Murders,” The Kent State University Press.

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