Cleveland has some chilling, often creepy historical murders that not everyone knows about, or at least they don't know that they happened in our city.
October 31st being Halloween, right now seems the perfect time to dip a toe back into these unsettling cases...
The Franklin Castle Murders and Haunting
Franklin Castle, which you can see in Cleveland’s Ohio City at 4308 Franklin Boulevard, is often called Ohio’s most haunted house – and that should come as little surprise, considering four children died there in just a few short years in the 1890s.
We should first point out that Hannes and Luise Tiedemann, the parents of those ill-fated children, were never charged with killing their kids.
That did not stop the rumors from running rampant, though, especially when three of them died three years in a row. Afterwards, the Tiedemanns began adding gargoyles and turrets to the home, supposedly constructed secret passages, and generally turned it into Weirdsville. Neither parent lived much longer, though.
The house was sold in 1895, and over the decades many owners have tried to turn it into a home, only to move out shortly thereafter.
The Torso Murders
In the 1930s, a maniac sometimes called the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run tormented Cleveland by chopping up at least a dozen of the city’s residents.
And we do mean chopping up. All the victims were decapitated. Many were cut completely in half. Males were castrated.
Yes, it was a messy business, so messy that the famous Eliot Ness, the man who took down Al Capone, came to Cleveland to help with the investigation.
The killer, alas, was never caught. Maybe that reclusive old guy down the street has a dark past …
The Real Life Fugitive
Remember that awesome movie where Harrison Ford jumps off a dam while Tommy Lee Jones looks on in frustration?
Well, turns out it and the show it was adapted from was loosely based on the story of Dr. Sam Sheppard, a Cleveland surgeon wrongly convicted of killing his wife.
The real killer was (probably) Richard Eberling, Sheppard’s handyman and a killer convicted of another murder (Ethel May Durkin) and suspected in several others.
Most of the evidence against Eberling didn’t begin to surface until late in life, however, and when he died at 68, the cases he was tied to were unofficially closed.
John O’Mic, Cleveland’s First Execution
Native Americans in Ohio sided with the British during the War of 1812 in part because of the hanging of John O’Mic.
O’Mic was part of the Massasauga band of Chippewas, and in April 1812 he was accused of murdering two trappers, Buel and Gibbs. O’Mic became the first Cuyahoga County man found guilty of murder and was hanged in Cleveland’s Public Square before a crowd of excited onlookers – but not before causing a big scene and demanding to be given whiskey before his hanging.
His executioners obliged. He got his whiskey. And then he was hanged.
On that note...Happy Halloween!