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Books > Biographies & Memoirs > True Crime > Serial Killers > B00BLSSETO
  1. Torso: The Story of Eliot Ness and the Search for a Pysopathic Killer
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  2. Torso: The Story of Eliot Ness and the Search for a Pysopathic Killer

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In the 1920s, Eliot Ness gained fame as the leader of the Untouchables, a small band of law-enforcement agents who disrupted the activities of Al Capone and his organization. By 1934, Ness had moved to Cleveland to become director of public safety. But it was there that he met his nemesis in the form of a serial killer.

When Ness arrived in Cleveland, he quickly made his presence felt with a major overhaul of the police force and zealous raids to stop illegal gambling. Despite these early successes and some 2,400 officers at his disposal, Ness failed in his efforts to find the lone psychopathic killer whose trademark decapitations terrorized the entire city. Many of the 12 known victims were residents of hobo jungles and were so anonymous that only three of them were even positively identified.

In 1942, the killings stopped as mysteriously as they had begun in 1935. But the damage to Ness’s reputation as a guardian of the law and order was already done, and the stage was set for the downhill slide in his life. Set against the vividly drawn background of Cleveland during the Depression, the missing chapter in Ness’s career and the story of the grisly serial killer make compelling reading.

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Steven Nickel
Kindle Edition
Kindle eBook
John F. Blair, Publisher
John F. Blair, Publisher
John F. Blair, Publisher
John F. Blair, Publisher
Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This was a very readable account of the infamous Torso murders in Cleveland, Ohio's Kingsbury Run in the mid to late 1930's. I had read a fictional account, NEMESIS, and wanted to know how closely the fiction resembled fact. Both books were interesting, with NEMESIS focusing more personally on Eliot Ness and TORSO a more objective account of the crimes.

In the 1930s over a dozen murders were attributed to the "Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run", a ravine that runs through Cleveland Ohio and contains this stream and railroad yards. Most of these bodies were unidentified: headless, the arms, legs, and torso were cut up by someone who knew anatomy or butchering. It was never solved, altho one suspect was made to confess, repudiated this confession, and then found a suicide in jail. Such serial murders were rare in America; earlier serial murderers did it for money and left this trail. No motive was ever established for these murders. Most sex murderers are the product of large cities, which have anonymous victims or perpetrators. Chapter Eleven summarizes these cases.

This book is about the later career of Eliot Ness. After Chicago, he was put in charge of the Alcoholic Tax Unit of norther Ohio. He cleaned out bootleggers, hitting a still every day. Organized crime made Cleveland a safe haven for criminals... Read more
True crime books offer two things: lurid crime and the solutions to real life mystery. This book offers plenty of the best kind of lurid details. But there is no solution to the Cleveland Torso murders. Instead, we see the unravelling of Elliott Ness's life after the Torso murders, a sad commentary on a unique moment in American history.
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