In 1935, Cleveland’s so called Boy Scout Mayor, Harold Burton, decided to do something about official corruption and organized crime. He brought in a heavy hitter: Eliot Ness.
At that time, Cleveland was the most dangerous city in America. Ness was in the unenviable position of having to go after the police force and the mob at the same time. And as if that wasn’t enough, mutilated bodies started showing up. He had a serial killer on his hands.
The victims were not only killed, they were also decapitated and dismembered. As a result, most of them were unidentified.
It was thought that most of the victims came from the shantytown in the Kingsbury Run area of Cleveland. The residents tended to be impoverished drifters. After body parts were discovered outside of Ness’ office, he led a raid on the shantytown, driving out the occupants. And he burned the area down.
Ness took some heat for this action. Some suspects were identified and questioned, but the killer was never caught. The killings stopped in 1938. It was a rough patch of history, but the city carried on. You know why? Because Cleveland rocks.
I know. Most of those songs had nothing to do with crime. Maybe next time, on crime time radio.