Ness Vs. The Torso Murderer

Title: American Demon:
Eliot Ness and the Hunt for America’s Jack the Ripper
Author: Daniel Stashower
Genre: True Crime
Pages: 308 (plus citations, index, etc.)
Rating: 4 of 5
(Thank you to the author and publisher for a free eARC via NetGalley. This in no way affects the content of my review.)

Eliot Ness’s fame rests on his involvement in taking down Al Capone, especially as portrayed in the various incarnations of the highly sensationalized The Untouchables. In this book, Stashower recounts what came next for Ness as safety director of Cleveland, though he also rehashes & demythologizes Ness’s Chicago days. As the title suggests, the book focuses mostly (but by no means exclusively) on Ness’s investigation of the string of gruesome murders and dismemberments that rocked Cleveland at this time.

If you are a fan of true crime, this book is worth your time. Don’t expect everything to wrap up in a nice, neat bow (the torso murders are still technically unsolved), but the author brings it to a satisfactory conclusion. You should be aware that this is more about the career of Eliot Ness than about any sort of innovative new approach to the murders. As long as you go into it with that understanding, it is an excellent true crime read.