22 Notorious Cleveland Crimes We're Still Not Over

Plenty of crime has gone down in and around Cleveland in its centuries of existence. But, there's quite a few cases that have stuck with us – some even decades later. So, we rounded up some of the city's noteworthy crimes to refresh your memory.

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 The Murder of 14-Year-Old Alianna Defreeze
Defreeze went missing in January of 2017 and was discovered a week later in an abandoned house on Fuller Avenue, brutally raped and murdered. Christopher Whitaker was sentenced to death for the crime and is currently on death row. 
Photo via Scene Archives

The Murder of 14-Year-Old Alianna Defreeze


Defreeze went missing in January of 2017 and was discovered a week later in an abandoned house on Fuller Avenue, brutally raped and murdered. Christopher Whitaker was sentenced to death for the crime and is currently on death row.

Photo via Scene Archives
 The Torso Murderer
In the 1930s, a serial killer roamed the Kingsbury Run neighborhood of the east side of Cleveland. While initially thought to be responsible for 12 murders, the number has risen to closer to 20 in more recent findings. The Torso Murderer often beheaded and dismembered the victims and a few victims were found with their bodies chopped in half. The killer was never found. 
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Torso Murderer


In the 1930s, a serial killer roamed the Kingsbury Run neighborhood of the east side of Cleveland. While initially thought to be responsible for 12 murders, the number has risen to closer to 20 in more recent findings. The Torso Murderer often beheaded and dismembered the victims and a few victims were found with their bodies chopped in half. The killer was never found.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
 Corporate Welfare for Stadiums
Yes, we all enjoy our sports teams. But the days of billionaire owners sucking the public dry of their hard-earned money should be a thing of the past. Whether it was the Gateway Project, the new Browns’ Stadium or the recent Quicken Loans (Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, whatever) renovations, billionaire owners’ keep getting what they want out of the public’s pockets. Time to start paying for your own stadiums.
Photo via Scene Archives

Corporate Welfare for Stadiums


Yes, we all enjoy our sports teams. But the days of billionaire owners sucking the public dry of their hard-earned money should be a thing of the past. Whether it was the Gateway Project, the new Browns’ Stadium or the recent Quicken Loans (Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, whatever) renovations, billionaire owners’ keep getting what they want out of the public’s pockets. Time to start paying for your own stadiums.

Photo via Scene Archives
 The Facebook Murder
In April 2017, 37 year-old Glenville native Steve Stephens posted a cellphone video onto facebook of him murdering 74-year old Robert Godwin while he was walking down the street in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland. The murder and subsequent viral posting of the video resulted in a manhunt for Stephens that eventually ended when he shot himself to death two days later.
Photo via Scene Archives

The Facebook Murder


In April 2017, 37 year-old Glenville native Steve Stephens posted a cellphone video onto facebook of him murdering 74-year old Robert Godwin while he was walking down the street in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland. The murder and subsequent viral posting of the video resulted in a manhunt for Stephens that eventually ended when he shot himself to death two days later.

Photo via Scene Archives
 The Murder of Marilyn Sheppard
On July 4, 1954, in Bay Village, Marilyn Sheppard, wife of neurosurgeon Sam Sheppard, was found bludgeoned to death. Dr. Sheppard was arrested for the murder and the trial became national news because of the nature of Sheppard’s profession and standing. Sam Sheppard was convicted of second-degree murder and spent ten years in prison before the case was overturned because of the “circus-like atmosphere” surrounding the first trial, according to the judge. The 1993 film 'The Fugitive' is loosely based off of the killing.
Photo via Scene Archives

The Murder of Marilyn Sheppard


On July 4, 1954, in Bay Village, Marilyn Sheppard, wife of neurosurgeon Sam Sheppard, was found bludgeoned to death. Dr. Sheppard was arrested for the murder and the trial became national news because of the nature of Sheppard’s profession and standing. Sam Sheppard was convicted of second-degree murder and spent ten years in prison before the case was overturned because of the “circus-like atmosphere” surrounding the first trial, according to the judge. The 1993 film 'The Fugitive' is loosely based off of the killing.

Photo via Scene Archives
 The Stealing of the Cleveland Browns
In 1995, Browns’ owner Art Modell announced he was moving the beloved franchise to Baltimore. NFL owner’s voted 25-2 to move the team and that resulted in Cleveland being football-less from 1996 to 1998. The team moved back in 1999 but is still recovering to this day.
Photo via Scene Archives

The Stealing of the Cleveland Browns


In 1995, Browns’ owner Art Modell announced he was moving the beloved franchise to Baltimore. NFL owner’s voted 25-2 to move the team and that resulted in Cleveland being football-less from 1996 to 1998. The team moved back in 1999 but is still recovering to this day.

Photo via Scene Archives
 The Michael Madison Murders
In July 2013, Cleveland Police responded to an odor coming from an abandoned East Cleveland house. A body was found decomposing in the house. The next day, two more bodies were found, one buried in the backyard and another in the basement. Madison was sentenced to death in 2016.
Photo via Scene Archives

The Michael Madison Murders


In July 2013, Cleveland Police responded to an odor coming from an abandoned East Cleveland house. A body was found decomposing in the house. The next day, two more bodies were found, one buried in the backyard and another in the basement. Madison was sentenced to death in 2016.

Photo via Scene Archives
 The May Day Riots
In 1919, trade union workers, socialists, communists and others started a demonstration on the streets of Cleveland to protest the conviction of labor leader Eugene Debs. The demonstrations turned to riots, which started in the famed Euclid Avenue shopping district. The riots quickly turned violent, with a building being demolished, a bonfire being started on public square, two murders, 40 injuries and 116 arrests. 
Photo via Scene Archives

The May Day Riots


In 1919, trade union workers, socialists, communists and others started a demonstration on the streets of Cleveland to protest the conviction of labor leader Eugene Debs. The demonstrations turned to riots, which started in the famed Euclid Avenue shopping district. The riots quickly turned violent, with a building being demolished, a bonfire being started on public square, two murders, 40 injuries and 116 arrests.

Photo via Scene Archives
 J.R. Smith Throwing A Bowl of Soup at an Assistant Coach
In March 2018, the Cavaliers announced that they suspended the mercurial guard for a game due to “conduct detrimental to the team.” It was later discovered that the reason behind the suspension was that Smith threw a bowl of soup at assistant coach and former NBA sharpshooter Damon Jones. It was later confirmed that the soup in question was chicken tortilla.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

J.R. Smith Throwing A Bowl of Soup at an Assistant Coach


In March 2018, the Cavaliers announced that they suspended the mercurial guard for a game due to “conduct detrimental to the team.” It was later discovered that the reason behind the suspension was that Smith threw a bowl of soup at assistant coach and former NBA sharpshooter Damon Jones. It was later confirmed that the soup in question was chicken tortilla.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
 Jeffrey Dahmer’s Murders
Yes, Dahmer, one of the more infamous killers in United States, was known mostly for his crimes in Milwaukee, but his Northeast Ohio ties often cause locals to remember this heinous man. Dahmer, who raped, murdered and dismembered at least 17 boys and men lived in Bath for a time and attended high school outside of Akron at Revere High School. He also committed at least one of his murders in Ohio. 
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Jeffrey Dahmer’s Murders


Yes, Dahmer, one of the more infamous killers in United States, was known mostly for his crimes in Milwaukee, but his Northeast Ohio ties often cause locals to remember this heinous man. Dahmer, who raped, murdered and dismembered at least 17 boys and men lived in Bath for a time and attended high school outside of Akron at Revere High School. He also committed at least one of his murders in Ohio.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons