Decapitated Man Discovered June 5, 1936 Cleveland, Ohio
Here is an old John Doe case which dates back 69 years to 1936. Does anyone know anything about the other homicide cases that this is reportedly connected to?
Unidentified Caucasian Male
Located on June 5, 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio
Death had occurred late Wednesday, June 3, or early Thursday, June 4, 1936.
Cause of death was homicide. The victim had been decapitated.
Estimated age: Mid-twenties
Approximate Height and Weight: 5'11"; 155 lbs.
Distinguishing Characteristics: Reddish brown hair; blue eyes. Slender build, well-nourished with small hands and feet. Narrow handsome face with high cheekbones, a fair complexion, strong jaw and a slightly prominent nose. The coroner commented the victim looked to be of Slavic or possibly Scandinavian descent.
Dentals: Missing five teeth - one upper and three lower molars on the right side and a lowar molar on the left.
Clothing: Dark brown cashmere pants with a zipper. Found in the area were three shirts; one a white knit polo shirt with a Park Royal Broadcloth label. An old brown cap, a white pair of undershorts; with blue stripes and a laundry mark variously reported as "J. D. X.", "JD" or "J. D. A.". And a pair of tan oxford shoes (size 7 1/2), rather worn, with their laces tied together and a pair of thick socks stuffed inside.
Tattoos: He had six tattoos; One on the left calf was the character Jiggs from the comic strip Bringing Up Father. On the right calf was an anchor under a superimposed Cupid. On the right forearm was Helen-Paul over a dove. A butterfly on the right shoulder. On the left forearm was crossed flags. Also on the left forearm were the initials WCG with an arrow through a heart. The tattoos may have suggested a naval background of the victim.
The victim was located on June 5, 1936 in Cleveland, Ohio. The victims head was found near the Shaker Rapid Transit tracks. The torso was found between the New York Central and Nickel Plate tracks by an old freight shed. The body was nude but unmutilated, and was found only about fifteen hundred feet away from the head.
There was no blood on the ground, indicating that the unknown victim had been killed elsewhere and his head and torso then flung into the wastes of Kingsbury Run.
A railroad workerís testimony that the head was not in the vicinity at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, and an eyewitnessís report of a late-model Cadillac seen under the Kinsman Road bridge about 11:00 p.m. that same night suggested the latter time as the dumping hour.
The physical evidence of the decapitation suggested it had been done while the victim was alive. The head had been cut off between the first and second cervical vertebrae. There was no evidence of drugs or alcohol in the victimís body, and nothing to suggest that he had been tortured or bound before being killed.
The case may be related to several other homicides in the area at the time.
The Doe Network: Case File 121UMOH
The Maniac in the Bushes And More Tales of Cleveland Woe
Cleveland Police Museum
Torso by Steven Nickel
Last edited by CarlK90245; 01-07-2013 at 03:12 AM. Reason: fixed link
I thought I recognized this description. He was part of the Elliot Ness investigations there wasn't he? I read that story on the CrimeLibrary. Very interesting.
You would think with all the data on this guy someone would have come forward by now. Sad to think it could have come across as a match on NCIC and no one noticed it, yet.
Does definitely need some help in getting their names back.
Another article with more information, including the victims photograph.
With HOPE, Lanie
I did a little research, and I believe that you are correct. Eliott Ness, who had been head of the prohibition enforcement unit "The Untouchables" was hired by the city of Cleveland in 1935 to be their Director of Public Safety (Chief of Police).Originally Posted by tennessee
Starting in September 1935 and running thru 1938 Cleveland was plauged by a terrorist killer dubbed the "Mad Butcher" who murdered his victims by dismembering them. In 1935, two men and a women were his victims in separate incidents. In 1936 two men (including this victim) were beheaded. In 1937 a black woman, and later a man were killed. In 1938 two more men and one women became vicitms. Most of the victims were from the ramshackle Kingsbury Run neighborhood of shacks and shanties.
Ness burned down the shanty town in August 1938, and that seemed to stop the killings. He continued to look for the killer, whom he "profiled" as follows: Ness felt that because of the number of male victims, that the killer was a homosexual. He had to be big and strong enough to overpower his victims. He had to have a car to transport their bodies, and had to have a house clear of inquisitive neighbors. He would also have to have a sufficient amount of money to maintain a house and car in those Depression Era years.
Ness developed and interviewed a prime suspect, but that individual would not confess to anything. 1n 1939, he turned himself into a mental home where he died. Ness felt that he was the Mad Butcher.
Evidently, some of the other victims were identified, but not this one.
It is possible that a family somewhere is still looking for him, maybe his childrens children. I would figure if it was the depression he was maybe a transient, looking for work where he could find it.
I think that lots of families lost communication during that time and even earlier. There are better methods of keeping in touch now.
One thing that I am interested in is why people aren't reported missing. Could this man have been homosexual? Couldn't this have been a reason that he wasn't reported? Maybe his family disowned him and perhaps his name was banned from future generations?
I know that I am probably wrong but it just seems strange that sometimes no one will report a disappearance. Any thoughts?
Sadly, it is quite common for adults not to be reported missing due to several misconceptions about missing persons reports and even LE telling people they will not take a report for a time period. It is now national law that they be in the NCIC database within 24 hours of being reported missing, so there is really no excuse now. That's why education is so important.Originally Posted by tennessee
We know several family members that are on national committees to raise awareness, not just in LE, but also in the community. There are bills being pushed to help the various agencies with their work.
LE cannot do their jobs alone. They need our help. Without grass roots movements to circulate missing persons cases across the nation, many cases would grow cold.
Several of the strongest advocates for the missing (imho) post here on the missing forum . One even keeps a journal of his activities on various projects for the missing.
I hope I live to see all the legislation they have fought so hard for being passed into law. We saw quite a bit signed as National Law with the April 30th, 2003 signing of the Children's Protection Act of 2003 by President Bush, which also encompassed several adult bills, including "Suzanne's Law".
With HOPE for all still missing, Lanie
I think it's certainly possible that the "Tattooed Man" may have been homosexual, but we'll probably never know for certain. Three other male victims of the Kingsbury Run killer were castrated as well as beheaded (Victims 1 and 6, Edward Andrassy.) It's possible the emasculation may be a symbol of latent homosexuality on the part of the killer. Perhaps he knew what he was and hated the fact that he was attracted to men. An intriguing possibility.Originally Posted by tennessee
When I was writing my book about New York City's Cold Case Squad, the police department let me go out to a warehouse in Brooklyn, where they stored the records for the oldest cold cases they still possessed.
They have 187 boxes holding about 7,000 cases there, going back to the 20ís. That doesnít represent all the cold cases in NYC. Thatís just the ones they still have records for. There are thousands and thousands more.
For a couple of afternoons I just went through the boxes. These cases are done. Chances are no detective is ever going to pick up any of these unsolved murders and solve them. I was drawn to the oldest. The box marked ď1921Ē has several cases from the early twenties including the following four cold cases: Cecil E. Landon, a 19 year old from Portland who was murdered just after returning from military service in France, 12-year-old Virginia Walker who was murdered on her way to buy cream, 17-year-old Ream Constance Hoxsie who was hit in the head with a hammer eight times, then posed on a bed, and the severed head of an unknown Italian man that was found in Bronx Zoological Park by two boys looking for fresh water crabs. Several days later, two women searching the same area for mushrooms found the torso.
I realize I am basically haunted by the human condition, it is what it is, but if you sit in a huge warehouse mostly alone, with all these boxes of death, you try to remember that all these old papers represent what was once a vibrant life. You canít help trying to bring them to life again. This poor kid Cecil. After doing his duty, and surviving, he came home to start his life, he was still so young, and probably so excited and then he was murdered. Constance was probably murdered for being a pretty young thing that someone else couldnít have. Cases like these haunt me.
Chances are, everyone who knew these people are dead. No one alive in this world knows that they ever lived and suffered such a horrible wrong. Death in one form or another comes to us all, and this inevitable disappearance into time, but still!
It's sad. And there's nothing to be done about it.
I think I have similar reactions to cases that are so old and cold that no one even really cares about them anymore, other than that they are an interesting mystery. I guess that's why I come here, and to Doe Network, and to Charley Project.
One case I remember hearing about concerned two children who found, I believe, a stick of TNT. They were killed, and there wasn't even enough left of them to make a good composite of one child. I sit there and look at the composite of the other child and think, "How is it that they are still unidentified? Didn't anybody lose two children from the area and wonder where they went?"
Cases like The Torso Killer in Cleveland -- I assume this man was one of his victims -- and Zodiac and others just blow me away. Did somebody get away with murder? Is there even anybody alive any more who cares? I guess we do, or we wouldn't be here, but is it enough?
And yet, it might still be possible to solve a few of those many cold cases today. True, it gets harder with passing years due to deaths of witnesses, loss of evidence and files, changes in crime scene, etc. But if the questions are asked, the answers will come. Maybe not all of the answers, and maybe not immediately, but they will come.Originally Posted by Stacy Horn
A few years back I cleaned out an old house which had been owned by the same man for about 50 years. It contained some files and correspondance and books which pre-dated the house. One book, which was packed away in the attic, was a large scrap book containing a series of newspaper stories about crime and corruption in Atlantic City, NJ. The dates of the papers were all about 1930. This scrapbook had been prepared by the Newspaper's editor and sent to a man who sat on a board to consider entries for some Journalism awards. I don't know whether or not it received any awards, but the articles were well written and the paper had contributed significantly toward cleaning up some of the crime in Atlantic City. The scrap book provides some very interesting "time travel" back to 1930. But it also points out a lot of unsolved murders and kidnappings which probably remain unsolved today.
You know the possibility of the man being homosexual is intriguing. What was hidden in those days is now right out there in public. There are all kinds of gay rights orgs. which will have members of all ages. Has anyone considered sending the info to any of those websites or organizations in the homosexual community to ask if he was known in that community, or for info about him?
Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........
Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?
"Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight
There are so many very old cold cases, and obviously we can't solve them all. But looking at things from a fresh perspective allows us to consider possibilities that weren't considered at the time. Sure, most of these cold cases will remain just that. But they deserve a second look.Originally Posted by Richard
You're all absolutely right of course, there's always a chance. They all deserve another look. I was just musing aloud, and thinking strictly realistically. There is almost no chance of any of the older cases being solved.
I was channel surfing last night and caught the very end of the movie Gangs of New York. Itís the 19th century, and itís a scene in a graveyard overlooking Manhattan. The character (Leo DeCaprio) says something about the fact that they will not be remembered. No one will remember their struggles. And then the camera shows the graveyard and New York changing as time moves forward. New York gets bigger and higher and grander, and the grave stones slowly sink and sink and disappear. It was heartbreaking.
Thatís what is happening to those cases (and will happen to all of us). The paper the detectives notes were typed on is fragile and disentegrating. Every year, more and more records are lost or destroyed. No one will remember 19-year-old Cecil Landon, 12-year-old Virginia Walker, and 17-year-old Ream Constance Hoxsie. Pretty soon they will disappear for good.
Maybe the only place these people are remembered and honored is in the hearts of people like you all.
One of my friends recently worked on an archealogical dig up in Washington state. In additon to many native burials, they found a young woman who had been strangled and shoved under the floor of a wood mill. They nick-named her Gracie. The team theorized that she was a prostitute (there weren't may other kinds of women in the area at the time) who had been murdered any time from the turn of the century to when the mill burned (or was abondoned, I can't remember) decades later. Sad, young girls disapeared even that long ago.
Anyway, they are not sure there is any way to find out who she is since it is unlikely anyone was looking for her. The last I heard, the tribe had agreed to rebury her, but there is an issue about it, since she is not native. At one gathering we had a toast in her honor and offered best wishes for peaceful rest.
That is exactly that kind of thing that just kills me. It's so sad. (But nice how everyone tried to acknowledge her.)
A lot of info is in In the Wake of the Butcher by James BadalOriginally Posted by Richard
It has been 70 years since this case and others like it were being investigated. While it is likely that this man was one of a series of murders, he has never been identified. And there is debate on who his killer was.
I thought I saw somewhere a drawing of what the tattoos looked like...in a book or something??
I am very naive about things (sorry my spelling is horrible ) but did the millitary have fingerprints on file back then to compare? Its hard to think NO ONE knew this guy with all the tat's...
Find Brian Shaffer!!
Janet Christiansen, Kaiden, and Family, justice WILL prevail!
JUSTICE FOR AMBER!
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One of his tatoos was the names Helen and Paul over a dove. I wonder if he is Paul and Helen was his wife?
I will have to find the books written on the Butcher to see what they say about this. I think they thought either Paul and Helen were he and his wife or his mother and father. I think....I need to look in the books.Originally Posted by beakiebean
The comment about the victim being slavic or scandinavian along with the tattoo of Jiggs made me do a bit of research on this character Jiggs. Apparently Jiggs was brought to Finland to produce sound versions of the character. He was a huge hit in Finland, even spawning slang within the finnish culture. This information coupled with the fact that he has naval tattoos leads me to believe that he was more than likely he was not a permanent resident of the US or had recently arrived. This would explain the inability to identify him if he was from another country. Of course this is merely conjecture but my grandfather was swedish and in the shipping business. His travels took him all over the globe and more importantly he was covered in tattoos. He didnt stick with one company but would hire on in the port at which he delivered his contents. This could be what happened with this man though his presence near train tracks may indicate traveling via that method.Originally Posted by Richard
The tattoo containing Helen-Paul could also be the names of his parents. I know people often get their parents names tattooed on their bodies as a memorial when their parents are deceased. I would also be curious to know what were the flags that were that are mentioned as being an additional tattoo.
I found the books I had, but apparently the information is conflicting between the two books.Originally Posted by KJERVIS
The books are: Torso and In the Wake of the Butcher.
In the Wake of Butcher specifies that the following tattoo's were in the following locations:
"a butterfly on the left shoulder, the comic strip character Jiggs on the outer surface of the left calf, crossed flags and the letters W.C.G. on the left forearm, a heart and anchor also on the left forearm, a cupid and anchor on the outer surface of the right calf, and the names Helen and Paul on the right forearm".
"on the left forearm , the intials WCG with an arrow through a heart; also on the left forearm, cross flags; on the right forearm, "Helen-Paul" with a dove beneath; on the right shoulder, a butterfly; on the left calf, the cartoon character Jiggs; and on the right calf, a cupid superimposed over an anchor".
Will type more later.