South Dakota February 19, 2019
The Story Of This Brutal South Dakota Serial Killer Still Haunts People To This Day
Overall, South Dakota is a peaceful place with some of the kindest people you will ever meet, but even the best of places can still turn out some of the worst kinds of tragedies. Case in point: In the mid-20th century, one of the most gruesome of murders took place right here in South Dakota, which still haunts people to this day:
Everyone remembers the horrors of Ted Bundy, Charles Manson (pictured), and Jeffrey Dahmer... but do you remember Jake Bird?
Born in Louisiana in 1901, Bird was a transient and railroad "gandy dancer" who traveled the United States laying and maintaining tracks, including those in South Dakota.
Because he was constantly on the move, Bird was able to commit numerous crimes without being detected, including both robbery and the gruesome murders that went unsolved for several years.
While the names and exact number of those murdered in South Dakota are unlisted, Bird is said to have killed more than 46 people not only here, but also in Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.
It wasn't until the unimaginable ax murders of two women in Tacoma, Washington (pictured) that Bird was finally caught, resulting in his incarceration and execution in 1949.
Aside from the gruesome murders, Bird is best remembered for the "Bird Hex," where -- after his conviction -- he cursed everyone in the courtroom. "I'm putting the Jake Bird hex on all of you who had anything to do with my being punished. Mark my words, you will die before I do."
Bizarrely enough, six of the people connected to the trail did in fact die within a year, including the judge.
Since the case of Jake Bird, things in South Dakota have remained relatively peaceful, with the high hopes that nothing like this ever happens again.
Need something a little more upbeat to read about after this? Check out these
11 Biggest Secrets That Only True South Dakotans Know.