Polillo, 36, is found mutilated in a basket in Cleveland. She was the third such
victim to be discovered in 18 months. The trademark of the attacks were that the
victims were dissected with considerable precision. The murderer was named the
panic ensued, and vigilante groups tried to help, but the killings continued.
In June 1936, another headless body turned up and police were unable to identify
the victim. When the head was finally discovered a replica mask of the victim's
face was displayed at the Cleveland Exposition, but the victim remained unidentified.
the summer of 1938 the body count had increased into double digits and the Cleveland
police were desperate to find the Mad Butcher. One suspect, an actual butcher
named Frank Dolezal, was interrogated for 40 hours until he confessed to killing
Florence Polillo. But he later changed his story. Police believed he was mentally
unbalanced. Dolezal killed himself in his cell before his guilt could be determined
by a court.
Dolezal's suicide, the Mad Butcher's attacks seemed to stop in Cleveland. However,
in 1940, three headless corpses were found on a train in Pittsburgh and many detectives
believed that the Mad Butcher had killed them. The true identity of the Mad Butcher
remains a mystery to this day.