The Maniac in the Bushes

And More Tales of Cleveland Woe

John Stark Bellamy II


Thirteen more incredible true stories of Cleveland crime and disaster from the author of “They Died Crawling.” Meet Martha Wise, the Merry Widow of Medina, who poisoned relatives because she enjoyed funerals; Cleveland Safety Director Eliot Ness and his nemesis, the “Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run”; and many other local heroes and villains.

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Softcover / 298 pages / 5.5 x 8.5 in. / ISBN 9781886228191


“Morbidly fascinating and wickedly entertaining.” — The Plain Dealer

The second volume in Bellamy’s popular series includes 13 more incredible true stories of Cleveland crime and disaster, including . . .

• Martha Wise, Medina’s not-so-merry widow, who poisoned a dozen relatives with arsenic—including her own husband, mother, brother, niece, and nephews—because she enjoyed attending funerals;

• The legendary Torso Murders, which baffled Cleveland safety directory Eliot Ness, two Cuyahoga County coroners, and the entire Cleveland police force as they tried in vain to catch the perpetrator—whom newspapers dubbed the “Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run”;

• The unspeakably horrible Collinwood School Fire of 1908, in which 172 schoolchildren perished in panic because of obstructed fire exits;

• Hammer-wielding Velma West, a big-city girl of Cleveland’s Jazz Age driven to murder her small-town husband by the slow pace of life of Painesville—and her own obsession with another woman;

• The Flats lumber fire of 1914, which leveled Cleveland’s industrial Flats, melted bridges, and very nearly set the entire city ablaze;

• The enduring mystery of ten-year-old Beverly Potts, whose puzzling disappearance from west-side Halloran Park in 1951 launched Cleveland’s greatest manhunt;

And many other local heroes and villains in these compelling tales of mayhem, melancholy, and mystery.

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Weight0.76 lbs

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