The Corpse in the Cellar

And Further Tales of Cleveland Woe

John Stark Bellamy, II


The third book in Bellamy’s popular series delivers 25 more true stories of Cleveland crime and disaster. Includes crotchety vigilante Jarvis Meach, who shot down robbers in cold blood; wicked stepmother Mary Garrett, who locked her stepdaughters in their bedroom and set fire to the house; the great Ashtabula bridge disaster; and more.

Softcover / 302 pages / 5.5 x 8.5 inches / 103 photos

ISBN: 9781886228337


“Bellamy writes with razor-edged wit and his own particular brand of charm.” — Medina County Gazette

The third book in this popular series delivers 25 more incredible but true stories of Cleveland crime and disaster, including:

• Crotchety old vigilante Jarvis Meach, who shot down robbers in cold blood with his beloved shotguns, “Old Bunty” and “Little Pet.”

• Medina’s Wickedest Stepmother, Mary Garrett, who locked her stepdaughters in their bedroom, set fire to the house, and did all she could to get the furniture out unharmed.

• The horrible Ashtabula Bridge Disaster, which killed more than 80 holiday travelers trapped in a fiery inferno after their passenger train plunged 82 feet to the snow-covered ground;

• The strange death of Minnie Peters, who bashed in her own head with her husband’s machinist’s hammer in a most gruesome act of suicide;

• Cleveland’s saddest circus, when 15 minutes of raging fire killed more than 50 animals. The show went on again that evening;

Bellamy’s signature style brings to life the colorful characters who took part in some of Cleveland’s most exciting and tragic moments. Crooks and cops, heroes and villains, ordinary folks who found themselves in extraordinary circumstances.

Additional information

Weight0.81 lbs

Table of Contents



“Jesus save me from the chair” (The Lonesome Death of Michael Hahnel, 1924)

“Murderer in short breeches” (The Gothic Doom of Maggie Thompson, 1889)

The Incredible Vanishing Killer (Cleveland’s “Black Widow”, 1922)

Murder on Millionaires’ Row (Herbert Noyes’s “Danse Macabre”, 1900)

“We are going down!” (The Ashtabula Bridge Disaster, 1876)

City Hall Cadaver (Robert Mercer’s Unquiet Grave, 1913)

Medina’s Wickedest Stepmother (The Garrett Tragedy, 1887)

Stand by Your Man (The Joe Filkowski Story, 1931)

A Shot in the Dark (The Rayner Tragedy, 1910)

“To get a woman or else” (The Sheila Ann Tuley Horror, 1948)

Revenge of the Graybeards (The Fabulous Meach Brothers of Rochester, 1902)

“With demons you’re dealing” (Dr. Chapin’s Date with Death, 1917)

“They ought to give him the whole works” (The Ruth Steese Murder, 1932)

The Case of the Careless Killer (The Mentor Marsh Murder, 1923)

The Scovill Avenue Mystery (The Murder of Sonny Hoenig, 1907)

“Jump, boys, it’s a crash!” (The Doodlebug Deathtrip, 1940)

“All will have gone to decay” (The Billy Whitla Story, 1909)

Death on a Davenport (The Assassination of William E. Potter, 1931)

“Shootin’ and shootin’ and shootin’” (The Awful Death of Mary Kelly, 1877)

“Step aside, Daddy, and I’ll fill him full of lead!” (The Insouciant Mabel Champion, 1922)

“This is my last day!” (The Strange Death of Minnie Peters, 1906)

Cleveland’s Saddest Circus Day (The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Fire, 1942)

“In the name of violated chastity” (The Terrible Stalking of Tamsen Parsons, 1865)

Assassin from Nowhere (Christina Lispcomb’s Terrible Secret, 1908)

The Phantom Flapper Killer (The Mystery of Margaret Heldman, 1928)

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