By Mitchell K. © 1991, 1997
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Index of Chapter 3

3.1 - Home...for just a brief moment 3.6 - On Our Knees
3.2 - The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run 3.7 - At T. Henry and C. Williams' Home
3.3 - Meeting the Doctor 3.8 - The Meeting at T. Henry's
3.4 - Back to Cleveland 3.9 - The Message is Brought to Cleveland
3.5 - In the Hospital 3.10 - Cleveland Begins to Come of Age

Chapter 3.2

The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run

Yet suicide, quick or slow, a sudden spill or a gradual oozing away through the years, is the price John Barleycorn exacts. No friend of his ever escapes making the just, due payment.

Jack London, John Barleycorn (The Curtis Publishing Company, 1913) p. 15

But to the imaginative man, John Barleycorn sends the pitiless, spectral syllogisms of the white logic. He looks upon life and all its affairs with the jaundiced eye of a pessimistic German philosopher. He sees through all illusions. He trans-values all values. God is bad, truth is a cheat, and life is a joke. From his calm-mad heights, with the certitude of a god, he beholds all life as evil.

Ibidem p. 14

Clarence had been away from his home for almost a year and had quite a lot of catching up to do with current events. The headlines in the newspapers told of a series of indictments concerning "Cleveland's Bad Boys," Donald A. Campbell and John E. McGee. These two men were the most feared and powerful union bosses in the city. The indictments were the culmination of months of investigation by the office of the Safety Director of Cleveland.

The Safety Director's name was Elliot Ness. The same Elliot Ness of "Chicago Untouchable" fame. Elliot Ness, the crime fighter who helped destroy Al Capone's criminal empire, helped in put away the Purple Gang, and cleaned up Chicago. The newspapers also reported another of Elliot Ness' famous cases. A case that fascinated Clarence more than all of the political hoopla.

This was the case of the "Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run." Clarence had taken an interest in this case long before he had been "asked" to leave Cleveland. He remembered that this case, in particular, involved a series of murders which had taken place in the Kingsbury Run area of Cleveland. The area was a vast stretch of land around what was known as the "Roaring Third Precinct", near the Cuyahoga River. The river divided East and West Cleveland.

These gruesome murders, which began to surface around September 1935, involved the murders and dismemberment of several people. Most of whose identities were never determined. The police surmised that the killer would pick up a hobo or prostitute, befriend them, and take them to some unknown place. Police assumed the victims were taken to the killer's home, fed and then murdered.

These murders, it was also reported, began with decapitation. This while the helpless victim was still alive. The killer then would cut the body up into smaller pieces, and these pieces, often minus the head, would turn up in Kingsbury Run, cleaned and drained of all of their blood. The neatness of the amputations and the precision of the cuts led the police to believe that the murderer was probably a doctor, or at the very least, a person with trained, surgical skills. The coroner of Cleveland stated that the logical suspect would be a physician "who performs the crime in the fury of a long drinking bout or derangement following the use of drugs." These "bodies" would turn up approximately every five months.

As Clarence read these accounts on the bus, he saw that the latest body, "Victim #9," had been found sometime in July of that year, 1937. It was now December, and Cleveland was about due for another grisly murder.

Clarence was familiar with the "Roaring Third", due to its notorious drinking establishments. He had often frequented these establishments. He remembered that when he had seen the hobos and down-and-outers who were forced to live in the shanty towns hidden deep within the run, he had often said to himself, "Before I get as bad as them, I'll stop drinking."

Clarence drifted off to sleep briefly, remembering the glaring headlines of almost a year earlier. In February 1937, a body had been found washed up on Euclid Beach. It was found by a man from East Cleveland. He had told police he just happened to be walking by at that time.

Clarence woke up with a start. What had awakened him so abruptly was that the name of the passerby at Euclid Beach had disturbed him greatly. Not just disturbed him, but sent shivers of terror up and down his spine and throughout his whole body. He sat up, jumped with a start, and was in a cold sweat. No matter how hard he tried, he could not recall the name of the man who had just sent such utter terror into him.

Clarence finally arrived in Akron. Slowly he got off of the bus. He had convinced the driver that he was on his way to a doctor and needed some money to get there. The driver loaned Clarence some money, and Clarence quickly proceeded to the nearest bar to quench his thirst from the long bus ride and to calm his now jittery nerves.

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