On the heels of his Chicago triumphs over Al Capone's empire, gangbuster and G-Man Eliot Ness became Safety Director of Cleveland in 1935. Cleaning up "the most dangerous city in America" was both a personal and professional challenge he met with great skill and aplomb; within three years Cleveland earned the National Safety Award. But Ness was caught off guard by what laid in wait for him and other victims of the Torso Murderer, who appeared from nowhere about the same time Ness arrived on the scene. Thirteen dismembered victims littered the seedier parts of Cleveland, and the case became one of the first known instances of serial murder in the United States. So for Ness, modernizing safety standards and ridding the city of organized crime and corruption was one thing - but tracking down the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run was quite another. That investigation, and its aftermath, became the defining episode of Ness' life. It rendered the killer impotent, but left Ness with a career sacrificed to the vagaries of popular opinion and a personal life troubled by alcohol. Business letdowns struck hard, as did his apparent failure to catch the Mad Butcher. Married three times, Ness' delicate family life became his only refuge. But that too was cut short.
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