My dad was a cop. A cop with a warped sense of humor. When we were kids, he liked nothing better than to scare us with stories of the Kingsbury Run murders. (Also known as the Torso Murders.)
If you're not from Cleveland, you may not know the story. It goes something like this:
In the 1930s, there were a series of murders in Cleveland that a lot of people compare to the Jack the Ripper murders. Twelves bodies, all decapitated, many dismembered. At the time, Eliot Ness (of Untouchables fame) was the city's Safety Director so of course, his involvement adds an extra layer of interest to the case.
My dad was a kid at the time, and I often wonder if reading about the case sparked his interest in police work. The story certainly lived on in his imagination, probably because the case was never solved.
Flash forward to yesterday and my monthly scheduled day for volunteering at the County Archives. I looked for divorce records from 1894 (and didn't find them). I checked some property records for a woman who is interested in restoring her Victorian home. And hey, Dad . . .
I spent part of the afternoon reading through the original coroner files from the Kingsbury Run murders.
I'm not sure even my fellow volunteers (who love history as much as I do) understood me standing there jumping up and down for joy and cooing my delight.
Dad? I'm pretty sure it would have made perfect sense to him.