CHICAGO – Following a break in communication of nearly three decades, Chicago homicide detectives say they have received a new letter from the “South Bend Shovel Slayer,” one which supposedly details the whereabouts of nine additional “mummified” bodies.
Though the full text of the letter has yet to be made available to news outlets, a key portion read in part:
“Back again. To [sic] long away. Looking forword [sic] to fun. Looking forword [sic] to blood. More soon.”
“Our experts have reached a consensus that the letter is authentic,” said Chicago Police Commissioner Terrance Evans. “Whether this has anything to do with the bucket of organs recently delivered to the 5th precinct or the ear we found nailed to a patrol car, we aren’t sure at this time… but we’re leaning that way.”
The infamous “Shovel Slayer” gained his name from a series of grisly murders in the South Bend, Indiana area in 1958, many of which were perpetrated with a snow shovel. In the following decades, a host of mutilated corpses were discovered throughout Chicago and the Midwest, all bearing hallmarks of the killer. Many estimates put his number of victims well above that of the notorious Green River Killer.
“The Slayer is probably the most prolific American serial killer,” said researcher and author Meredith Nelson. “One site alone had forty-two tongues in a jar. Nothing else. Another just had a pyramid made out of skulls. We are dealing with a deranged individual here.”
As the body count grew, by the 1970s and 1980s the Slayer began sending taunting letters to newspapers and police departments, with most featuring coded messages, puzzles, and random bullet holes, though these letters abruptly stopped after a message in 1990:
“Things difrent [sic] now. Might stop 4 while [sic]. But might not. Ha. Ha.”
With the Slayer’s reemergence, and the prospect of new victims, some are theorizing the killer may have taken on some sort of “apprentice” recently, given that the Slayer himself is estimated to be in his eighties or nineties.
This last chilling point is supported by a portion of the newest letter, which experts believed may have been written by a different hand:
“Not alone now. Never again.”