Cleveland February 23, 2020
9 Cold Cases From The Cleveland Area That Puzzle True Crime Fans To This Day
Crime in Cleveland is not unheard of, as is true with any big city. While things are typically safe here, there have been a few events over the years that remain unsolved to this day. A cold case is one that remains unsolved, often with few leads, necessitating the collection of new evidence or reexamination of existing evidence. The following nine tales are all cold cases, events that we continue to question, despite being decades old. Could you be the one to finally crack these cases?
1. The Torso Murders
Perhaps the most infamous cold case in Cleveland is the tale of the Torso Murderer. In the midst of the Great Depression, he began prowling the streets. He targeted those living in shantytowns, as well as sex workers who could easily go days without being reported as missing.
Why was he known as the Torso Murderer, you ask? Between 1935 and 1938, 12 people from Cleveland's working poor population were dismembered, in many cases, leaving only a torso to identify them by. There could have been even more victims of the serial killer, but he was never identified with any certainty... and his infamous murders remain one of Cleveland's most enduring mysteries to this day.
2. Beverly Potts' Disappearance
In the 1950s, life in Cleveland seemed largely peaceful. Cleveland was nearing its largest population ever, but although the city was congested, it felt safe... until Beverly Potts went missing.
Beverly was born in 1941, and she was only 10 years old when she disappeared after attending a show mere blocks from her home. With bright blue eyes and a super sweet smile, the neighborhood surely knew who the fifth-grader was. As she walked home from Halloran Park, a mere quarter-mile from her home, something happened. Beverly never made it home, and police, neighbors, and concerned community members searched for signs of her... to this day, nobody knows what happened to Beverly Potts.
3. The Summer Of Love At Society National Bank
1969 is famous in American history as the Summer of Love. Here in Cleveland, however, things weren't always so cushy. It was at the Society National Bank in Public Square, now known as KeyBank, that Theodore "Ted" John Conrad stole nearly a quarter of a million dollars from this Cleveland bank... the equivalent of over $1 million today. Ted fled, and police were able to track him all the way to Los Angeles. He was eventually spotted in Hawaii a few months later by an Ohio couple, to whom he admitted he was living in the area. Though it has been decades, Conrad has never been captured, so the case remains open.
4. The Murder Of Marilyn Reese Sheppard
Pictured here is the will of Marilyn Sheppard, leaving everything to her husband and high school sweetheart
Samuel Holmes "Sam" Sheppard
. Ultimately, however, everything went to their son Chip... because Sam was found guilty for his wife's murder.
Sam was asleep on the couch, according to his story, when someone snuck in and bludgeoned his wife. When he ran to her aide, he too was attacked... and knocked unconscious.
A likely story
, police thought. Sam was arrested and put to trial, eventually being found guilty of second-degree. He was acquitted, however, when his version of the of being struck turned out to be true. When DNA evidence finally came into play, it cleared Sam of being the killer. Though there is a suspect, Marilyn's true murderer was never brought to justice.
5. An Attack On Art
Once upon a time, Cleveland was known as
Bomb City, USA
. This dark history in local history was largely due to the reputation of Daniel John Patrick "Danny" Greene, an infamous gangster that liked to fight fire with fire... literally. Around 1 a.m. on March 24, 1970, the bombings shook the city to the core when locals realized that our Rodin-supervised cast of 'The Thinker' was bombed. It was never repaired, and whoever committed the crime was never brought to justice.
6. The Disappearance Of Yvonne Regler
Yvonne Regler worked at a Sunoco in North Olmsted, but on August 8, 1977, she was filling in for an employee at the Fairview Park location on Lorain Road. She was working by herself, so nobody knew where she went when the next employee came in to relieve her of her shift. Her purse, cigarettes, and other personal items were left behind... but there was no sign of 17-year-old Yvonne Regler. Money was still in her purse, and nothing appeared to be missing from the register. Yvonne is thought to have been abducted, to this day her whereabouts are a mystery.
7. The Murder Of Barbie Blatnik
Barbara Ann "Barbie" Blatnik was a 17-year-old Garfield Heights resident in 1987. She was with friends on December 19, 1987, and they dropped her off at midnight in town. However, the following morning led to the discovery of her body near Blossom Music Center. She was strangled, stabbed, and raped.
As of 2019, DNA found under her fingernail is being tested thanks to a partnership between local law enforcement and
The Porchlight Project
. Will this cold case finally be cracked?
8. The Christmas Tragedy Of Charles Clark
As the 1950s came to a close, Charles Clark was celebrating Christmas Eve with his wife. At 35 years old, this Mentor resident was an all-American man. He was an engineer and a Boy Scout leader, and he even planned to spend the evening caroling with the boys. However, as he was helping his wife open a can of pumpkin, a bullet came through his kitchen window and struck him in the temple. Wife Lois Clark admitted to having affairs, and suspicion fell on an Air Force sharpshooter. After the man was found innocent, the case went cold.
9. The Enduring Mystery Of Mel Wiley
Mel Wiley was declared legally dead in 1993, but his disappearance is so unusual that one can't help but wonder if he just walked off and started a new life. Wiley was the police chief out in Hinckley Township, but in 1985 his 1980 Toyota station wagon was found abandoned near Lake Erie's shore. The car was locked, but inside authorities found his wallet, a pack of smokes, and some neatly folded clothes.
Mel Wiley didn't like to swim, so he likely wasn't enjoying an evening at the beach, and his apartment was not left in any disarray. However, his typewriter ribbon revealed that he wrote to an acquaintance that he wished to disappear. His desk at the police station was found to be empty, save the presence of one key, and he made no major withdrawals from the bank leading up to his disappearance. Whatever happened to Mel Wiley?
These local happenings are both shocking and incredible, and locals are amazed that they remain unsolved to this day. Do you remember hearing about any of these events in the news?
Believe it or not, Cleveland is much safer than other cities in Ohio. Check out
this list to see where Cleveland ranks. Address: Cleveland, OH, USA
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