One evening in September 1935 two boys playing softball in a run-down area of Cleveland, Ohio, found a young man’s corpse hidden in undergrowth. The body was naked except for a pair of black socks, and bore the marks of torture. Its genitals and head were missing. Decapitation seemed to be the cause of death.
Detectives were perplexed. They were used to seeing mutilated bodies. Yet as one noted, this was usually done “to prevent identification, but almost never to kill. It’s a hell of a job to remove a human head.”