Cleveland Crime Chronicles - The Torso Murders (1935 - 1938)

September 23, 1935 — Two dismembered bodies were found together in a creek bed that runs from the flats to about E. 90th Street. These would be the first two of 12 serial killings committed between Sept. 1935 and Aug. 1938 in or near the Kingsbury Run area. The murderer was never found.

Figuring prominently in the investigation was Cleveland Safety Director, Eliot Ness, who ordered the shantytowns of Kingsbury Run burned to the ground. This ended the string of gruesome murders.

Photos courtesy of the Cleveland Memory Project

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Area of Kingsbury Run, E. 90th St. and Kinsman Rd. SE to the Cuyahoga River, 1936. Site of investigation.
Area of Kingsbury Run, E. 90th St. and Kinsman Rd. SE to the Cuyahoga River, 1936. Site of investigation.
Bridge shot, looking down Kinsman Rd to E. 65 St.
Bridge shot, looking down Kinsman Rd to E. 65 St.
Buring down the shantyville in Kingsbury Run on August 18, 1938 was mandated by then safety director Elliot Ness in an effort to rid the area of potential torso murder victims.
Buring down the shantyville in Kingsbury Run on August 18, 1938 was mandated by then safety director Elliot Ness in an effort to rid the area of potential torso murder victims.
Detective Lloyd Hurst and Chemist Ray Pinker inspecting bones of murder victim in Los Angeles
Detective Lloyd Hurst and Chemist Ray Pinker inspecting bones of murder victim in Los Angeles
Detectives Herbert Wacksman and George Buckingham at dump
Detectives Herbert Wacksman and George Buckingham at dump
Well under bridge, Kinsman to E. 65 St.
Well under bridge, Kinsman to E. 65 St.
Drawing of torso murders suspect
Drawing of torso murders suspect
Examining evidence with torso murders suspect Frank Dolezal, 1939
Examining evidence with torso murders suspect Frank Dolezal, 1939
Examining remains of torso murderer victim
Examining remains of torso murderer victim
Examining remains of victim of the torso murderer
Examining remains of victim of the torso murderer