Forgotten Darkness

Strange things are lost and forgotten in obscure corners of the newspaper.

November 29th, 2018    

17 - The Toledo Clubber

I'll look at this almost forgotten serial killer who terrorized Toledo, Ohio in the 1920s.  Then we'll examine other attacks in Toledo in elsewhere attributed to the Clubber, the fires he supposedly set, and suspects in the case (and by necessity, the murders of Beulah Purvis, Grace Loomis, and Dorothy Sielagowski).

“6th woman victim of club killer,” Salem News, November 20, 1925.

“A giant negro,” Seymour (IN) Tribune, February 15, 1927.

“Akron Clubber comes to grief,” Coshocton Tribune, November 24, 1925.

“Alleged assailant of Toledo woman is held,” Marion Star, November 15, 1926.

“Alonzo Robinson,” http://murderpedia.org/male.R/r/robinson-alonzo.htm

“Another girl is victim of club maniac,” Coshocton Tribune, November 12, 1926.

“Another suspect in Toledo,” Wilmington News-Journal, November 28, 1925.

“Another Toledo woman clubbed,” Kentucky New Era, January 20, 1926.

“Another woman slain by clubber,” Washington (DC) Evening Star, January 19, 1926.

Arrest of negro may clear up Toledo Clubber mystery,” Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, November 5, 1926.

“Arrest two in Toledo charged with being clubbers,” New Castle (PA) News, January 20, 1926.

“Arrested for digging up woman's body,” Huntington (IN) Herald, October 5, 1926.

“Attacker of Toledo girl identified,” Benton Harbor (MI) News-Palladium, December 17, 1925.

“Believe two maniacs at large in Toledo,” Hamilton Evening Journal, January 21, 1926.

“Bloodhounds to be put on club killer's trail,” Coshocton Tribune, November 23, 1925.

“Cincinnati prisoner is not Toledo Clubber,” Portsmouth Daily Times, January 8, 1927.

“Cleveland man held as Toledo Clubber,” Delphos Daily Herald, February 5, 1931.

“Club killer may be one of seven suspects in jail,” Salem News, November 23, 1925.

“Clubber active in Norwood,” Portsmouth Daily Times, December 1, 1925.

“Clubber may be pyromaniac,” Indiana (PA) Gazette, November 23, 1926.

“Clubber suspect dies and thwarts police,” Mattoon (IL) Journal-Gazette, March 19, 1927.

“Clubber, victim at death point,” Ironwood (MI) Daily Globe, March 19, 1927.

Cobb, James C. The Most Southern Place on Earth: the Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

“Detectives at Croy funeral,” Hamilton Evening Journal, October 28, 1926.

“Failure to catch Toledo Clubber stirs citizens,” Coshocton Tribune, December 1, 1926.

“Fear Toledo Clubber at falls; LaSalle girl victim,” Buffalo (NY) Courier, December 2, 1925.

“Fiend assaults and murders 7-year-old child; search begun,” Coshocton Tribune, May 29, 1928.

“Fire damages Toledo's largest auditorium,” Kane (PA) Republican, May 28, 1925.

“Grave robbery charge held,” Hamilton Evening Journal, February 14, 1927.

“Hoppe confesses series of crimes; clubbings in Toledo cleared up,” Coshocton Tribune, July 7, 1928.

“Girl's death may never be solved,” Huntington (IN) Press, October 24, 1926.

“Identity of clubber near, police believe,” Marion Star, October 28, 1926.

“Insanity to be defense of murderer of Toledo girl,” Wilmington News-Journal, May 31, 1928.

“Iron bar used in slaying,” Hamilton Evening Journal, October 27, 1926.

“Jack the clubber,” Cincinnati Enquirer, February 26, 1904.

“Loomis jury selection is slow process,” Benton Harbor (MI) News-Palladium, May 24, 1927.

“Maniac who wields club still lurks,” Zanesville Times-Recorder, November 21, 1925.

“Michigan officers link gruesome find of heads with Turner murder,” Greenwood (MS) Commonwealth, January 14, 1935.

“Mutilated body of teacher found,” Washington (DC) Evening Star, October 26, 1926.

“Murderer of Beulah Davis a black fiend,” Circleville Herald, January 4, 1927.

“New attack of mystery killer stuns police,” Marion Star, January 19, 1926.

“One is clubbed to death, other killed by bullet,” Circleville Herald, October 27, 1926.

“Organize reat man hunt for girl's slayer,” Olean (NY) Times-Herald, May 29, 1928.

“Pocketbook of victim clue to Toledo Clubber,” Zanesville Times-Recorder, October 28, 1926.

“Slain woman is identified,” New Philadelphia Daily Times, August 21, 1925.

“Slater may hunt Toledo Clubber; another woman slain last night,” Marysville Journal-Tribune, October 27, 1926.

“Slayer of Beulah Purvis is found criminal insane,” Coshocton Tribune, January 22, 1927.

“Slayer of policeman and murderer of child die in electric chair,” Zanesville Times-Recorder, December 1, 1928.

“Stephenson fails to rush big suit against the Klan,” Marshall (TX) Messenger, May 19, 1925.

“Suspect arrested as Toledo Clubber,” San Bernardino (CA) Sun, December 20, 1926.

“The Toledo Clubber – unsolved mystery of the Kuschwantz,” https://kuschwantz.wordpress.com/category/hoppe/

“Thousands hunt for maniac who attacks women,” Harrisburg (PA) Evening Times, November 21, 1925.

“To ask death for man who lured women,” Belvidere (IL) Daily Republican, September 8, 1926.

“Toledo aroused by club killer,” Salem News, November 19, 1925.

“Toledo clubber of women starts his work again,” Pittston (PA) Gazette, January 19, 1926.

“Toledo Clubber is sought by police,” Piqua Daily Call, February 4, 1931.

“Toledo Clubber may know fate this evening,” Wilmington News-Journal, July 11, 1928.

“Toledo Clubber still murdering; body parts found,” Coshocton Tribune, November 27, 1926.

“Toledo co-ed is seized near school by man,” New Castle (PA) News, December 11, 1925.

Toledo Complex, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toledo_Complex

“Toledo police hunt slayers of two women,” Mansfield News-Journal, October 27, 1926.

“Toledo police scour city for club killer whose fourth victim flees,” East Liverpool Evening Review, November 17, 1925.

“Toledo visited by disastrous fires,” Portsmouth Daily Times, June 4, 1925.

“Two women murdered in Toledo, Ohio; teacher was assaulted, belief,” Decatur (IL) Herald, October 27, 1926.

“Victim of axe attack won't tell police,” Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, May 28, 1925.

“Who killed Mrs. Grace Loomis?” Rushville (IN) Daily Republican, March 17, 1927.

“Woman eludes maniac killer,” East Liverpool Evening Review, November 4, 1926.

“Woman is beaten by men; may die,” Coshocton Tribune, December 8, 1927.

“Woman victim tentatively identifies him,” Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, November 28, 1925.

“Women fail to identify Toledo man as clubber; Norwood girl attacked,” Hamilton Evening Journal, November 30, 1925.

“Young teacher is found with head crushed,” Mansfield News-Journal, October 26, 1926.

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing musc by Soma. 

November 21st, 2018    

16 - The Mysterious Death of Joao Prestes

A man in Brazil dies mysteriously, ostensibly burned by a UFO, in 1946.  Also, a number of Chupacabra encounters; other Brazilian UFOs; people burnt as if by radiation in 1887 Venezuela; a "luminous cloud" over Pascagoula, Mississippi; and purple lightning in Maine.

Broadus, Don. “A weird American phenomenon of 1874,” Flying Saucer Review 35: 3 (September 1990).

Carrión, Felipe Machado. “The terrible death of João Prestes at Araçariguama,” Flying Saucer Review 19:2 (March/April 1973).

Luce, Cynthia N. “Brazilian spooklights,” Fortean Times 49 (1987).

Mauso, Pablo Villarubia. “The incredible saga of Joao Prestes,” https://www.ufocasebook.com/prestes.html

Pratt, Bob. UFO Danger Zone. Madison, WI: Horus House, 1996.

Suenaga, Claudio Tsuyoshi. “Phenomenon that defies time,” https://ufo.com.br/artigos/fenomeno-que-desafia-o-tempo.html [translated from Portuguese via Google Translate]

The burning man of Brazil,” http://www.wormwoodchronicles.net/wormwood-files/burning-man-of-brazil

Turner, N.M.H. “UFO and radiation damage in 1887?: curious phenomenon in Venezuela,” Flying Saucer Review Case Histories 2 (December 1970).

Unusual weather: ball lightning in a February thunderstorm down east in Maine,” Weatherwise 29:2 (April 1976).

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing music by Soma.

November 13th, 2018    

15 - 3X, The Man Behind the Gun

Queens, 1930.  A serial killer shoots two men and sends bizarre coded messages to the press, nearly 40 years before the infamous Zodiac. 

“3d parked car shooting laid to holdup man,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 20, 1930.
“Another victim for New York's mystery slayer Thursday night,” Albuquerque Journal, June 20, 1930.
“Deny harming balky witness in Nassau jail,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 10, 1933.
“End of murders promised in new note by maniac,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 21, 1930.
“Escaped L.I. inmate arrested in Phila. as maniac suspect,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 20, 1930.
“First arrest made in hunt for crazy killer as third man is dying,” Canonsburg (PA) Daily Notes, June 20, 1930.
“Girl is jailed as witness to grocer murder,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 16, 1930.
“Gives final warning to seven more,” Belvidere (IL) Daily Republican, June 19, 1930.
“Hunt killer as he looks for third victim,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 18, 1930.
“Innocent man slain in robbery joke,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 11, 1930.
McQueen, Kevin. New England Nightmares. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2018.
“Mad slayer keeps Gotham police agog; 2 more dead,” Dubois (PA) Courier-Express, June 20, 1930.
“Madman sought as chief pirate in yacht attack,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 14, 1931.
“Make new arrest in 3X case, then let prisoner go,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 10, 1930.
Morrow, Jason. Famous Crimes the World Forgot. Tulsa, OK: Historical Crime Detective, 2015.
“Murderer tells cops he will strike again,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 10, 1937.
“Necker killer eludes metropolitan police,” Kane (PA) Republican, June 21, 1930.
“New York police fear red circle killer will return,” Eau Claire (WI) Leader-Telegram, October 6, 1937.
Newton, Michael. The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes. New York: Facts on File, 2009.
“Police suspect radio maniac as 3X slayer,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 23, 1931.
“Sister of mad killer's victim ignores threat,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 22, 1930.
“Suspect is held in recent murders near New York,” Corsicana (TX) Daiy Sun, July 9, 1930.
“Suspect named by girl as Whitestone killer,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 14, 1930.
“Youth admits he may be red circle killer,” San Mateo (CA) Times, October 11, 1937.

Opening music by Soundeyet and Kevin MacLeod.
Closing music by Soma.

November 5th, 2018    

14 - The Murder of Norman Bechtel

A church worker is slain in 1932 Philadelphia.  A lengthy investigation ensues, and a notorious inmate is questioned and a dramatic jailbreak he took part in is described. 

“$60,000 life insurance carried by Norman Bechtel, murdered man,” Lebanon Daily News, January 22, 1932.
“4-year-old murder case claimed near solution,” Sayre Evening Times, July 27, 1936.
Bechtel, Norman R. (d. 1932), https://mla.bethelks.edu/mediawiki/index.php/Bechtel,_Norman_R._(d._1932)
“Bechtel slain in shake-down, police believe,” Reading Times, April 16, 1937.
“Bechtel slayer given ten years,” Pottstown Mercury, August 27, 1937.
Boyd's Blue Book of Philadelphia.  Philadelphia: C.E. Howe, 1906.
“Convict freed as 'reformed' held as bandit,” Philadelphia Inquirer, February 19, 1933.
“Cult sacrifice clues sought in Bechtel murder,” Reading Times, January 22, 1932.
“Detective victim of suspected slayer,” Tyrone Daily Herald, December 8, 1932.
“Four of convicts believed at sea,” Altoona Tribune, July 17, 1923.
“Gang sails,” Reading Times, July 17, 1923.
“Hold negro as suspect in detective's murder,” Franklin News-Herald, December 10, 1932.
“Judge gives bail for anti-Fascist,” Scranton Republican, December 19, 1931.
“Judge posts youth's bail,” Mount Carmel Item, December 18, 1931.
“Kidnapped autoist tells story of bandits' escape,” Reading Times, July 16, 1923.
“No hexers involved in Bechtel case,” Shamokin Dispatch, January 22, 1932.
“Man found stabbed to death in Philadelphia,” Cumberland (MD) Evening Times, January 20, 1932.
“Murdered man loved to play game of poker,” Bradford Daily Record, January 23, 1932.
“Phila. sleuth's slayer caught,” Reading Times, December 12, 1932.
“Philadelphia mayor fires safety chief,” Scranton Republican, February 25, 1933.
“Police quiz suspect in Bechtel slaying,” Reading Eagle, July 28, 1936.
“Police seek 3X link in murder of churchman,” Marshall (TX) News-Messenger, February 5, 1932.
“Police still far from solving hex murder,” Franklin News-Herald, January 22, 1932.
“Police think old homicide case solved,” Utica (NY) Observer, April 16, 1937.
“Quiz convict in slaying of church worker,” Pottstown Mercury, July 27, 1936.
“Quiz Lew Edwards, ex-Berks convict, in Bechtel murder,” Reading Times, July 30, 1936.
“Rev. D.J. Unruh accepts pastorate at Lansdale, Pa.,” Mennonite Weekly Review (Newton, KS), December 11, 1929.
“Seek foreigner in the baffling Bechtel crime,” Bristol Daily Courier, January 22, 1932.
“Seek suspect in Croskey case,” Altoona Tribune, December 9, 1932.
“Slaying of N. Bechtel believed hex murder,” Lebanon Daily News, January 22, 1932.
“Stabbing of Mennonite believed another of state's hex murders,” Franklin News-Herald, January 21, 1932.
“This way breeds Communism,” Reading Times, November 28, 1931.
“Woman killed Bechtel, Phila. police believe,” Reading Times, January 26, 1932.

Opening music by Fesilyan Studios, https://www.fesliyanstudios.com
Closing music by Soma.
Statement of Eleanor Temple read by Mindi Gable.

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