26th January
It was on this day...
1936 The "Mad Butcher" Terrorizes Cleveland

Florence 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 "Mad Butcher."

Mass 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.

By 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.

After 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.

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1961 Wayne Gretzky
1958 Anita Baker
1958 Ellen DeGeneres
1955 Eddie Van Hallen
1953 Lucinda Williams
1946 Gene Siskel
1942 Scott Glenn
1925 Paul Newman
1880 Douglas MacArthur

Other News
1934 Sam Goldwyn buys rights to 'The Wonderful Wizard of Oz'
1940 Ronald Reagan and Jane Wyman marry
1950 India becomes a republic
1956 Buddy Holly has his first recording session at Decca Studios in Nashville, Tennessee.
1998 Clinton denies affair with intern.

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