One day later after Anna Furlong was found murdered in her South Side room, six blocks away at 251 Armour Ave, two small boys came across something wrapped and frozen inside four towels. It was the victim's head with her mouth cut from ear to ear. The skull was crushed.
During this investigation, Coroner Hoffman noted the coincidence that on the same date of January 20th, two years before, almost to the hour, another woman was murdered. She was found in Lake Michigan off Jackson Park. She was nude and the corpse was headless. A portion of the lower jaw clung to the torso. The top of the head was completely missing. Most of the bones in the body were broken and the police wondered if the body had also been caught in a steamer's propellers. They woman was estimated to about 25 years old, stood 5'5" and was blonde. She had been nude when she went into the water, 1 month to 2 weeks before the discovery of the body.
The theory was entertained if the women had been victims of some secret cult or organization that used this date as a special anniversary. This woman was never identified.
During those days, Eugene Cleghorn of Geneva, Wisconsin came forward to identify himself as the victim's husband, but stated that he would have nothing further to do with the case.
The authorities wondered if these women had been killed by the same person. In May, four months after Jennie Cleghorn's death another victim was found murdered. She was killed in a West Side rooming house located at 133 South Morgan Street, with her head nearly severed and the body terribly slashed. The young woman's body was found fully clothed within ten hours of her death. The room exhibited evidence of a terrific struggle. The golden haired girl remained unidentified.
In June 1910, Galesko Enchevy (also spelled Alseco Inchevy, Galesko Enchev, Galenco Enchiff) was arrested for the murder of Jennie Cleghorn. It appeared he had told several persons that he had committed the murder. When police searched his room they found a book on surgery, a pair of surgeon's shears and a dirk knife that appeared stained with blood. After his arrest, he was sent to Cook County Insane Asylum at Dunning. Then he was deported to his native Bulgaria where he escaped from an insane asylum, then smuggled himself back into the United States.
Two years passed, and the newspapers reported on the death of the Pfanschmdit family. They claimed it was the work of the axman who had killed several families in the midwest and had returned to Illinois. The family consisted of the parents, and their daughter Blanche, and a fourth person Miss Emma Maempen. They were killed in the house and then it was burned down. The newspapers said the number of the axman's victims totaled 26.
By 1914, Assistant Chief Schuettler suspected that Galesko Enchevy the confessed slayer of Jennie Cleghorn was the axman. He wrote incoherent, taunting letters to Schuettler. It was during these years that the various killings of families throughout the midwest were reported.
Schuettler described each murder occurred just after the change of the moon from the last dark quarter, and always on Sunday night which alienists reported as when most lunatics were active. The crimes were committed as the killer moved eastward along railroad lines.
In 1914 another family had been slain on Blue Island again with the use of an axe. What became known as the Midwest Ax-Man Murders were never solved, as were the killings of the three women in Chicago between 1910 to 1912. Was it the work of the same person? This question also remains unanswered.
PART 1 OF THE STORY
Stranger Than Fiction Stories by Marlene Pardo Pellicer