Eliot Ness and the Mad Butcher: Hunting America's Deadliest Unidentified Serial Killer at the Dawn of Modern Criminology

Max Allan Collins (Author) A. Brad Schwartz (Author)
& 1 more
Pre-Order   Ships Aug 04, 2020


In the spirit of Devil in the White City, Furious Hours, and I'll Be Gone in the Dark, comes a true detective tale of the highest standard: the haunting story of Eliot Ness's forgotten final case--his years-long hunt for The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run, a serial killer who terrorized Cleveland through the 1936 World's Fair, and obsessed Ness to his dying breath.

In 1935, the nation's most legendary crime-fighter--the man who had just taken down the greatest gangster in American history--arrived in Cleveland on the eve of hosting the World's Fair. It was to be his coronation, as well as the city's. Instead, terror descended, as headless bodies started washing up on shores of Lake Erie.

Eliot Ness's greatest case had begun.

Now, the acclaimed writing team behind Scarface and the Untouchable uncovers this lost crime epic, delivering a gripping and unforgettable nonfiction account based on their groundbreaking research.

During Prohibition, Ness had risen to fame for leading the "Untouchables" unit, which had helped put Al Capone behind bars. Soon after, he was hired as Cleveland's public safety director, in charge of the police and fire departments. Cleveland, then a rising industrial hub nearing the height of its powers, was preparing for a star-turn itself: in 1936, it would host the Great Lakes Exhibition, a world's fair which would be visited by seven million people. Late in the summer of 1935, however, pieces of a woman's body began to show up on the Lake Erie shore--first her ribs, then part of her backbone, and then, on September 5, the lower half of her torso. The body soon count grew to five, then ten, then more, all dismembered in gruesome ways.

As Ness zeroed in on a suspect--a doctor tied to a prominent political family--powerful forces thwarted his quest for justice. In this battle between a flawed hero and a twisted monster--by turns horror story, political drama, and detective thriller--Collins and Schwartz find an American tragedy, classic in structure, epic in scope.

Product Details

$39.99  $35.99
Publish Date
August 04, 2020

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About the Author

Max Allan Collins is the author of the Shamus Award-winning Nathan Heller historical thrillers; his other books include the New York Times bestseller Saving Private Ryan and the bestselling CSI series. His comics writing ranges from the graphic novel Road to Perdition, source of the Tom Hanks film, to long runs as scripter of the "Dick Tracy" comic strip and his own innovative "Ms. Tree." Collins is also a screenwriter and a leading Indie filmmaker. He lives in Iowa with his wife, writer Barbara Collins, and their son, Nathan.

A. Brad Schwartz, author of Broadcast Hysteria, cowrote an episode of the award-winning PBS series American Experience on the War of the Worlds broadcast.

Malcolm Hillgartner is an accomplished actor, writer, and musician. Named an AudioFile Best Voice of 2013 and the recipient of several Earphones Awards, he has narrated over 175 audiobooks.