Most everyone who knows something about American crime has heard of the Cleveland Torso Murders, a series of ghastly mutilation-style homicides that plagued the Kingsbury Run shanty town in the 1930s. But what is less well known is that right around the same time period, there were several very similar killings taking place not far away, in western Pennsylvania, where horrifically dismembered and occasionally burned bodies would turn up with alarming frequency, sometimes in abandoned boxcars, and sometimes in a patch of godforsaken land known as Murder Swamp or Hell’s Half Acre. While contemporary and modern investigators believe there may have been some connection between the Cleveland crimes and some of the Pennsylvania ones, others are not so sure, attributing the PA slayings to mafia-style killings by the Black Hand, or the results of warring factions of bootleggers in the days of Prohibition. Keep a barf bag handy for this one, because we’re about to go full-on grim gorefest on a blood-soaked episode 276.

Read the book Hell’s Wasteland, where I got most of the info about this case.

Audio version:

Video version:

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Channel art and audio & video editing by Jenny Ashford. Music & sound effects courtesy of freesound.org users jamespotterboy, corsica-s, enjoypa, capturedlv, luffy, kiddpark, and justkiddink. Video clips courtesy of Videezy & Videvo.

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