Who was Mad Butcher aka Cleveland Torso Murderer? Stockton serial killer compared to 1930s mass murderer

Who was Mad Butcher aka Cleveland Torso Murderer? Stockton serial killer compared to 1930s mass murderer
(Stockton Police Department)

Warning: This article contains a recollection of crime and can be triggering to some, readers' discretion advised

STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA: Stockton police are looking for a potential serial killer on the loose who is said to have an eerie motive and a disguise and a time and type of victim he targets. The Stockton serial killer is believed to be the murderer of five victims, between the ages of 21 and 54, killed between July and September this year. Now, private investigator and criminal profiler Jason Jensen believes that this serial killer is targeting the homeless population and could very well resemble the Cleveland Torso Murderer aka the Mad Butcher if he continues to do so.

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Jensen believes that they can draw a similarity to the case of the infamous serial killer of Cleveland, the Mad Butcher if the Stockton serial killer is deliberately running after homeless victims. The Mad Butcher terrorized the streets during the Great Depression somewhere in 1934-38. As immigrants flooded the streets of the area to take up jobs in steelworks and manufacturing sectors, the lower-class backgrounds struggled to find a roof above their heads and lived in an area called the 'Cleveland Flats' by the banks of the Cuyahoga Valley. Jensen, talking about the Mad Butcher, told The US Sun, "They would kill homeless people before dismembering them before their remains were left in plain sight. I believe the killings were done that way in a bid to scare off the homeless to other cities.'

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While it is presumed that the Mad Butcher killed 13 people at least, historians believe that his victim count was at a staggering 20. The outlet reports that the killer was never arrested or identified even though the cops conducted more than 5,000 interviews and talked to at least 1,500 people. Fast forward eight decades, the people of Stockton are on high alert, and Jensen, a criminal profiler believes that the suspect has a disguise. Jensen previously told the outlet, "The victims wouldn’t have been able to see anything when they were ambushed. The shooter is wearing all black because they’re trying to hide in the dark." He continued, "They have no moral compass. The attacker isn't motivated by rage and they're shooting whomever they encounter - it's a crime of opportunity." 

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Who was the Mad Butcher?

The Cleveland Torso Murderer was never identified. They specifically targeted Cleveland and are said to be active from September 5, 1934, to August 16, 1938. In 1934, a woman's remains said to be in her 30s, washed up on the banks of Lake Erie as explained by Cleveland Police Museum. A young boy found a torso with the thighs still attached and the coroners explained that the skin had turned leathery due to the suspected killer pouring acid onto it. The woman became known as the "Lady of the Lake". The next year, a 28-year-old man identified as Edward Andrassy was found decapitated with rope burns on his wrist. 

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The Stockton serial killer is being compared to The Mad Butcher, also known as the Cleveland Torso Murderer. (Wikipedia/Cleveland Torso Murderer)
The Stockton serial killer is being compared to The Mad Butcher, also known as the Cleveland Torso Murderer. (Wikipedia/Cleveland Torso Murderer)
Police searching for human remains possibly left behind by The Mad Butcher.(Wikipedia/Cleveland Torso Murderer)
Police searching for human remains possibly left behind by The Mad Butcher.(Wikipedia/Cleveland Torso Murderer)

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These killings kept on going as people continued to find human remains wrapped in newspapers and heads in trousers. Florence Polillo, a sex worker, was found in a basket in 1936 but without her head. The next year in June, two pairs of skeletal remains were found below a bridge, as per the Grunge. The Mad Butcher continued to strike fear into people's hearts after a man was found floating in the Cuyahoga River, following the discovery of a woman’s head and limbs near Elliot Ness’ office. Butcher's victims largely remained unidentified.

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The Stockton killer drew a comparison to the Mad Butcher as their first victim was Juan Miguel Vasquez Serrano, 40, who used to sleep in cars that he had been fixing as per the San Francisco Chronicle. Their other victim, Paul Yaw, 35, was homeless and was killed on June 8. Salvador Debudey, their other victim had been camping near a Popeye’s restaurant when he was killed on August 11. The police previously revealed that they also believe this killer is targeting Hispanic men.

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