This week, Rachel travels to Mansfield, Ohio to share a variety of stories about the Ohio State Reformatory – from the horrible conditions, to the Mad Dog killers, to the hauntings that followed. Then Emily heads overseas to Lisbon, Portugal to tell the story of one of Portugal’s first serial killers, Diogo Alves. Hopefully, you’re horrified.
Trigger Warning: sexual assault, gruesome violence
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Hi, welcome to horrible history. I’m Rachel Everett-Lozon
And I’m Emily Barlean. How are you? Happy Episode 37. I don’t know why all of a sudden I’m like numbering them.
I know the numbers. I’m doing good. I’m doing good. We got to thank our patrons. Before we get started. We got a new patron this week, Amanda, she wrote us the sweetest message and also a couple of recommendations. So we will definitely get to them. Yeah, but she is basically like your podcast gets weaker the workday which straight up almost made me cry. That was so sweet.
I was telling my parents today I was telling them about our new patron. And yes, I mean, you get face time with our people, because you’re important to us. Yeah. And I was telling them about the new Patreon and what she had said, and I was like, I’ve written that to podcast hosts before, and now someone wrote it to me and I’m just like, yeah, like mind blown, what is this world?
It was so validating. It felt so good. Thank you, Amanda. You made us feel famous even though we’re just a couple of dumb bitches who love true crime so
thank you very much.
One of my friends was texting me about like you need a hot girl summer and I was like, I need a basic bitch fall. That is what I want. That is what I need. I need the dancing pumpkins. All of the things pumpkin spice latte.
You know how freakin excited I am to have a house on a cul de sac, which means I might actually get trick or treaters.
I know. I know. I’m so excited for you.
I never got trick or treaters at my townhouse because it was like in a little like secluded area. So no one came back
Well, and townhouses is very hit or miss. My mom and I took my kids to ride one of two car railways in the entire us here in Colorado, which was very fun, huh?
What’s a cog railway?
I wish you hadn’t asked me that. It’s like, Oh, it’s an old train. It’s like it’s a type of old train. The other one is in New Hampshire, America’s taint. But so we went to the top of Pikes Peak, which was super fun. And on the way home, I don’t know what it was about this train. You’re riding through pike National Forest. There’s all of this ambient noise, cuddling with my four year old and I was so tired. It seems like I really needed a nap. But I couldn’t because you know, I had to be a responsible parent. And so on the way home for obvious reasons. We were trying to find a drive through Starbucks. And we we rode through because we Google Maps it and I specifically was like I need a drive thru. And of course it brought me to a Safeway where it was not a drive thru and I’m like you bitch,
I hate that.
I hate that. But outside of said Safeway, jack o’ lanterns
It’s commminnngggg…. Already it is. It’s July 25.
On the day of August is like the end the last of summer, even though it’s still relatively hot in September for me at least. But once it does hit September 1. I’m like I should start getting my scarves in then I try to wear them even though it’s like 80 degrees out and I’m like
yeah, August and September are the hottest months in Colorado. It’s so damn hot here but I’m all sweaters? pumpkins?
just pump up the AC it’s fine. Yeah.
You know that Tom Hanks sketch where he’s just like at what did he call himself like the
He’s like… Jeffrey Pumpkins or something like that?
You guys are all screaming at this right now.
God, it’s gonna drive me crazy.
I’m gonna google it real quick.
I’m “Something” Pumpkins!
David pumpkins his name is David Pumpkins
immitating Tom Hanks “I’m David Pumpkins!!”
immitating Tom Hanks “I’m David Pumpkins!!” Yeah, so that is me every time It’s September 1, even though it’s like 95 degrees.
And meanwhile, I’m like, it’s Leo season, baby. Oh,
I know. I know. I’ve been thinking a lot about your birthday present.
I was at a bar yesterday and this guy across the bar was talking about it being his birthday. And he goes “Leo’s baby!” So I was like, I’m a Leo too like, across the bar and he was like, LEO!!! Then he bought me a tequila shot. I was like,… this is a mistake!
Niiiice. And that is why Emily was so drunk. She could not write her story until the day of recording. So bear with me, guys.
Bear with us.
I went to this place in Omaha last night. Let’s say afternoon… yesterday afternoon at three o’clock me and my friend…
interupts Emily was day drinking. Listen. It’s fine.
Me and my friend Colleen. We went to this place called the Homy Inn and I texted her about it and I was like, what’s this place like and she goes, they have champagne on Tap. And I was like, What? That is incredible. And so I was like, is it fancy? Like, should I dress up? She’s like no, like it is such a dive bar. And so it is this tiny divey place. They literally have a claw machine…….. That claw machines, sex toys.
but like how much do you have to pay for that?
You get it’s $1 to play the machine. What if you get something that’s like a deal?
That is a bargain. That is a bargain sex toy.
But so I, we had they have flights. So we had four full glasses of champagne, and they had jello shots. We did one of those too. It was a fun time!
So next time I’m in Omaha… we’re going?
Yeah. But I also went to bed at 930
I know Emily usually stays up way later than I do. So we send each other tiktoks and just random shit until probably 11pm Mountain Time and she’s an hour ahead of me. And last night I’m all texting her and not getting any response and I’m like WHAT IS THIS?
Because I was passed out… with Amigos on my face. Ice cream in my hair. All that good stuff.
All right. Okay, sorry. Delay delay.
Travel Tips: Mansfield, Ohio
Speaking of sexy. Today, I’m going to Ohio. So don’t you equate Ohio with sexiness now?
Ohio’s for lovers.
Yeah. And we’ll explain that in a moment. Emily, you’re jumping ahead here. I am taking us to Mansfield Ohio. So it’s not a huge city. It’s about maybe an hour away from Cleveland hour away from Columbus. So kind of close to big things. Not huge, but it’s not tiny. If we’re going to play tourists in Mansfield, we would hit up the blueberry patch first. It’s exactly what it sounds like. Obviously we go full basic bitch. Eat some delicious berries after we pick them ourselves.
In a scarf!
In a scarf… it would have to be fall. Come on now. They also have a winery that serves woodfired pizza, wine and pizza. Yes, please. Hello. Yeah. We would also go to carousel antiques because we are having a basic day. And it’s a place it’s a store and I googled some pictures and it has a carousel inside the store. Like an old carousel.
I’m obsessed with antique shops. I haven’t been to one in years.
I was gonna ask you if you liked antiquing,
Loooove antiquing. So my mom used to be super into antiquing. And so we’d go to like those big antique malls where like people buy booths and so you can like walk up and down and see like tons of crazy stuff. That’s why I collected tea cups when I was little because it was like a try entice us to go to antique malls with her. My mom would say like you can buy one teacup and so I would look through the entire mall for the one that I I liked and get it Yeah, but you have occupied me while she actually like look for you know furniture and like nice stuff. But it’s stuck with me. I like it like you can just find some treasures or see some crazy shit.
Yeah, and I was just thinking maybe some haunted dolls. After we did Robert the doll. I’m like, I want to find a haunted doll and then just mail it to someone with no explanation.
Just pick it address and send it off.
That’s right. That’s right. And let’s go ahead and end our basic bitch day in Mansfield by just checking out the north end Farmers Market, because why not?
But for a real reason of going to Mansfield, Ohio, I need to do a little prepping. This one is a little bit of a collision of worlds for me, because it’s my nerdiness and my husband’s nerdiness colliding. So I am very much a nerd about psychology and true crime and all of that good stuff. My husband very into gaming, he’s a video gamer. He’s part of a discard group. Discard? Discord. See this is how much I know about games.
Guessing You discard the cards while you’re playing…?
Yeah, I guess because I think he’s playing like Magic the Gathering or something. I know Emily’s face is like that is nerdy. But we’re not going to make fun of them because they gave us this recommendation, Emily!
OOh we love you.
We love you. And I radically the group is called Ohio is for lovers. Which I don’t think I told you. So when you said that. I’m like wait for it. Great name, by the way. So they he reached out to the group and said, hey, my wife has this podcast. What story should she do from Ohio? And they gave him this story to give to me. So thank you, Ohio is for lovers. I hope I can do it justice. Yay.
Story 1: Mansfield Prison
Today, I am going to tell you about the Ohio State reformatory at Mansfield, aka Mansfield reformatory.
okay. I have no idea what this is going to be.
Okay. You will by the end of this story. I am sure you’ve heard of this place before because it’s pretty famous. Okay, okay. Let’s back up to the Civil War for a sec. Mansfield reformatory was built on what used to be camp Bartley. About 4000 soldiers had come through the facility. But by the late 1800s 1890s the camp was pretty much gone. So a Cleveland architect named Levi t Schofield begin planning for his, this is a quote, “spiritually uplifting building.”
He modeled after old German castles, which was weird to me because it was always supposed to be a prison. Spiritually uplifting prison.
Yes, that’s in parentheses like in really small text…
Spiritually uplifting (prison). Yeah. Originally, originally, Mansfield, reformatory was going to be like the Goldilocks of prisons. So it’s for men that are too old for the boys industrial School, which I think is like juvie, but not quite criminal enough for the Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus. So they’re like, we’re going to rehabilitate these people and reform them and cure them and put them back into society.
By the summer of 1890, morbid curious, started flocking around to watch the construction on this massive prison. I will post pictures it is fucking huge. It looks like a castle. At least on the outside. I get that it was the 1800s. So not a lot to do. But people bring a sack lunch and just hang out.
These are our people.
These are our people they’re like, what else are we going to do cartwheels by the prison? By September 1896, the prison started admitting some inmates and they were put to work on the building. Because like I said, this place was massive. And it wasn’t finished until 1910. So for those of you who need quick math, 20 years of construction on this prison.
That’s a long time, considering they can put up a Quick Trip and like 10 days time now. It’s like you leave on vacation, come back. There’s a whole new building. It’s like, where the…? That wasn’t there when I left.
Yeah, seriously. You think that because Mansfield reformatory was not filled with incredibly hardened criminals. It wouldn’t be that bad, right? Wrong, because that’s not what this podcast is about. So we’re gonna run down some bad shit that happened there. I have a few different smaller little blurbs, one big story and then obviously, some hauntings.
Oooo I love a haunting. Yay!
I know. I know. November 1926. One of the prisons officers Urban Wilford became the first staff member killed in the line of duty. A parolee named Philip Orlick came to the prison to help another prisoner escape, and he shot Urban Wilford in that process. Of course, with such a high profile murder at the prison, he murdered a guard, Philip orlick was caught and he ended up being executed in the electric chair a year later. Then, a few years later, October 2, 1932, Frank Hanger, one of the prisons guards was beaten to death by several prisoners during an escape attempt.
I can’t imagine wanting to be a prison guard… like… sounds so dangerous.
Yes, it sounds terrible. And I watched, I think the first two three seasons of Orange is the New Black and I was just like, that sounds terrible. Yeah, couldn’t do it. Oh, no, not that that’s real life. But still, it’s loosely based on a true story.
Two of said inmates, Chester Probasky and Merle Chandler were convicted of Frank Hangers murder and also executed in the electric chair. So, arguably, the most famous event / murder happened in July of 1948. Two former inmates Merle Robert Daniels and John West wanted vengeance against the prison.
The WHOLE prison? the building itself?
Yes. No, they felt like they were mistreated by some of the guards and they really wanted to get at this certain guard in particular, and I will get into that. morale who I I saw some sources column morale and some services column Robert. I’m going to call him Robert, because I think that’s what most people call him. Also ironic because my husband preferred me the story. And Robert was a psychopath.
Yes. So Robert was a psychopath with average intelligence, who had served some time for an armed robbery. And he was paroled in September of 1947. John West had an IQ of 60, which for those of you who are not super up on IQ is lower than the standard of what’s considered normal. Right? So it would be considered mentally handicapped.
And he was called, quote, gun crazy by local newspapers. Always a great good gun, crazy person, fan fucking tastic. He was serving time for grand larceny, and he was paroled in March of 1948. After serving only a year, ironically as you will come to find out both of these assholes were paroled for good behavior.
Of course, there’s not much to do bad in prison.
I mean, when John West was paroled, he called up his old buddy, Robert Daniels and immediately asked him to come for a visit. And thus – the Mad Dog killers were born. And they started their horrible plan.
In early July 1948, the two men stole a Pontiac from a parking lot and started drinking and driving. Oh, and you know, they were armed because America, guns, guns drinking, we. do. what. we. want. America. They robbed a gas station, unnecessarily beating the shit out of an attendant. Because of these douchebags speculation brought up the worst in each other. Oh, yeah. In
Is this another folie a deux? You’re kind of on a roll here.
I mean, I think they were just like murderers who met in prison, and I think they were already bad guys. It wasn’t like, Oh, you also made me want to kill someone one day. That’s so interesting. I mean, because they were already in jail. So on July 9 1948, they went into Joe’s Grill, waving their guns around and shooting at the ceiling. They robbed the restaurant and ran, stopping on their way out at Earl Ambrosus Tavern, for a quic drink, quick drink.
Earl Ambros was the owner and he attempted to run when he saw these drunk guys with guns come in. But he was shot in the back three times. A female patron whose name I didn’t see was also shot. But she survived. Robert and John made it out with $8,000, which is a lot of money. I didn’t do the Google calculation on how much of it now but it’s a lot of money. Even now.
I feel like that’d be a lot of money now to have like in a bar or a restaurant on any given day.
I’m guessing that was like, between the gas stations, the restaurant, the bar poodle, cumulatively 1000. A witness was able to write down the license plate of the stolen vehicle as they were leaving the bar and gave it to the police. But they were still able to get away and start plotting phase two of their spree.
While they were on the run, they were doing that thing that slightly smart criminals do because neither one of these guys especially smart, but they were driving. I didn’t write down all the states, but they were crossing state lines quite a bit. And they were drinking a lot and hitting on ladies in what I’m sure was a very creepy way.
Engaging in some smaller, like less high profile robberies to continue to finance their stupid plan. Then eventually, after a week ish, they decided it was time to go back to Mansfield to complete the plan that they had started forming when they were in prison together. So these killers wanted to kill some of the guards who they felt were especially brutal to them. Willis Harris was the prime target.
But remember, I mentioned a couple times that neither of these guys was incredibly smart.
You’ve mentioned it…
I will keep talking about it. They were driving around crossing the state lines finally deciding to get to their end game. But they realize at some point, they didn’t know where Willis Harris lived. They’re like let’s go shoot the guy. They have no idea.
They’re like, you know in Love Actually where he just goes and knocks on it like every until he finds the girl and I’m like you’re the freakin Prime Minister. You think you could look up her address but like, that’s how they’re going to every door like is so-and-so here?
They are this spree-killer versions of Hugh Grant. Yeah.
Awww I <3 Hugh Grant. As I tweeted on CPH’s Twitter one time on accident.
Oh my god. So, unfortunately, they did know that the prison Superintendent john kneeble lived in a small farmhouse near the Mansfield reformatory. So they figured they would go to his house and get Willis Harris’s address from there. Because, you know, like, instead of keeping addresses at your office, you always have them written down in your address book at your house where your family lives. No. I mean, I work from home. I don’t fucking know.
I don’t know, my office and my house are the same.
Yeah, this guy did it. All right, this was the 40s. So around midnight on July 20 1948, Robert knocked on john kneeble’s door saying his car was broken down and he needed to use the phone. So as john Knievel let him in john West, charged inside, and Robert Daniels pulled the gun on the superintendence.
So… why didn’t the superintendent recognize these prisoners that were at his prison?
I’m thinking, well, there were a ton of prisoners there. It was massive. Yeah. And so I’m thinking he just didn’t know the individual prisoners. And what are these guys, john West, he was only there for a year. So I’m guessing that was part of it. They didn’t necessarily he didn’t recognize their faces or it was dark, and he just saw a guy who needed help. It’s late. It’s like midnight. So it could have been a variety of things.
So they got charged. Or, they charged in they ransacked the house, they grabbed John’s wife, Nolanda, and their 21 year old daughter Phyllis from their bedrooms. They weren’t originally intending to kill john Knievel. But they did need to stall. So they needed to get Willis Harris’s address and then go and kill him without the police being on to them. And they worried that the Knievel family would call the police. And like I said, I don’t know three times now. These guys are fucking stupid and they don’t think out their plans.
So they took the Kneivel family to a cornfield. They tied them up and gagged them. And trigger warning as if that wasn’t enough. Robert Daniels raped Phyllis. Then in the privacy of the cornfield. Robert and john killed the entire Knievel family. Yes, it’s gross. It’s really gross.
The bodies were found the next day, when John Knievel didn’t come into the prison for work. It’s one of those like they were so consistent. If they’re not here, they don’t call something’s clearly wrong. Police got a tip that the stolen car had been seen in front of the nipples home and it was easy for them to connect the murder to the string of robberies and other kinds of spree kills.
By July 23. The murders were in tiffin, Ohio looking to rest and steal a new car and then cross the state lines into Indiana. This your souls may or well may as well have been on vacation. They stopped at what would now be considered an Airbnb. They cut a show they got some food, and they were eyeballing some Buicks to steal because for some reason their next car had to be a Buick. I don’t know why it has to be it has to be odd. Yeah, they they don’t think things through.
It’s just like, there’s these commercials out here now where it’s like, they’re like, that’s a Buick like, it’s like the new Buick still don’t look like Buicks or whatever in there. That’s what I wanted. Gotta have a Buick.
Gotta have a Buick. Should have had a V8. …. I almost made Emily spit out her tea. …. You ok?
There’s something in my water. Also, look at this. Look at my boot cup.
Classy. Very Nebraska of you?
Yeah, my Grandma had onewhen I was little and I got this at an antique mall because I saw it and I was like, Grandma!!!!
That’s so cute, what if it was hers?
She still has hers, so…
She’s still alive. Okay,
I’ll get the pair when she dies
Cool, cool, cool…
Way to just assume she’s dead.
What because I have two dead grandma’s not everybody has two dead grandma’s whatever. All right, you listen. So unfortunately, Robert Daniels and john West did spot a Buick. This particular car. They found one! It belonged to Jim and Rita Smith. The couple have been married for only two years. And this is so wholesome. You’re gonna want to gag. They were enjoying a root beer together on the way home from playing cards with Rita’s parents. Is that the most wholesome shit you’ve ever heard?
I’m picturing them and they’re like in an old Buick. You know, because it’s the 50s or whatever. And they bought have a Rootbeer in the middle, and they have two straws.
Two straws! Yes, yes, exactly! That is exactly what I’m picturing. When Jim and Rita started heading home, john and Robert followed them. The Killers ran the young couple off of the road. JOHN last asked Jim for his wallet, which he handed over, but then he shot and killed Jim. Anyway, Robert forced Rita into the backseat and then jumped in behind her. But luckily, Rita was a bad house. She grabbed the handle and jumped straight out the door. Stop, drop and roll. Escape. She ran away.
She’s like there’s two doors on this sucker.
Yes, exactly. I did read. I didn’t include him. I started I don’t know why. But I guess the car the backseat door, like on the driver side was kind of sticky and the handles and noise work. And so she was feeling really nervous that it wouldn’t work, but she was able to get out. And this makes me very angry. They don’t even keep the Buick. Because Rita can ID her own car and she got away. So they killed this guy for literally nothing. Not that there’s other reasons. Like there’s no good reason to kill somebody, but…
It was just like so extra. Yeah. So sad. They were just married still too.
I know. I know. So they drive to a rest stop and they see a car transporter carrying five brand new cars. The driver was 24 year old Orville Taylor. Orville was a husband and a father and he was getting some rest in the cab of his truck. Robert woke up or Orville and pulled him from the track. JOHN walked over some walked him over to some waves near the restaurant and shot him twice. Killing yet another innocent person. And then you know, as as they do, they stopped for a hamburger and a beer.
All that killing makes you hungry.
What the actual fuck? Why?
Also, I don’t know why, but I just keep picturing them seeing that truck that’s got a bunch of Buicks. It’s got a bunch of Buicks on it and they’re just like… boiiiinnnggggggggg (immitates the sound of a spring). BUICKS!
Buicks It wasn’t Buicks. I didn’t write down the type of car because I didn’t know what it was. I’m just not. I’m not up on my car knowledge.
I know. I know. I’m like it was a white car. I don’t know. Yeah.
They were new and shiny and looked fast. So, obviously, at this point, local Ohioans are freaking out. So these spray these sprinklers are hitting up these beloved places and shooting anyone who seemingly doesn’t follow a pattern. They’re just kind of going for it. And at this point, police aren’t sure what kind of vehicle the Mad Dog killers are driving. So they set up all sorts of roadblocks and eventually catch them. Because again, they’re dumb.
They didn’t do their research. I guess the car, like you know how usually if you’re transporting a bunch of new cars, you’re taking them to a dealership. So they had all of these car transporters going one direction, and then this one car transporter going the opposite direction. I guess he was in that one. Yeah, so they had made it through like three roadblocks undetected because of the vehicle they were in. And eventually, somebody was like, wait a minute. That’s not right.
Did they kill that guy that they were trying to kill that they got the address for??
I don’t think so. No. Okay.
Okay. I was like, Did I miss that part???
No. Okay. I don’t think they ended up getting the address because like, why would it be at his house? Right? So they they’re supposed to all of this plan, just a comedy of errors? If you think it’s funny to murder people, but no, it’s like, they’re stupid. And they don’t think things through and it doesn’t go with their plan and they just, they’re just psychopaths. So dogs, mad dogs.
So officers do pull them over at like the fourth block. And Robert Daniels pretends to wave the white flag and he felt like I gave it up I gave up. But gun happy john West was like down in one of I can’t remember which one of them was driving. One of them was driving and the other one was like sitting in one of the cars that they were transporting. But john West is like he’s sneaky sneak. And he starts shooting. While Robert Daniels is like, I’m sorry. It was me.
Waving his whitey tighties out the window. “I give up!”
Yes, exactly. So obviously this starts to shoot out with a police. JOHN West was shot at he ended up dying at the local hospital, and a police sergeant lettered Khan was also killed in the shootout. And officers were able to arrest Robert Daniels. So he was taken into custody where he confessed and even bragged about all of the killing. But then he did our favorite fucking thing and pled insanity. Yeah, after he had bragged about it, but nobody bought it.
And he was electric, or electrocuted, executed in the electric hair the following January. So if you thought, rich, wow, what a horrible story. You are right. And wait, there’s more. So let’s go back to Mansfield reformatory for a minute because that was a famous story that happened near the present and because of the present, but not at the present. I want to talk about the living conditions. Brace yourself. By the 1950s Mansfield reformatory was being accused of having inadequate facilities. There was overcrowding, there were terrible living conditions. Many prisoners didn’t die from violence among themselves. They died from illnesses like the flu or tuberculosis.
It just spreads in those type of facilities.
Yeah, like when COVID started, and it was very dangerous in jails. Yeah. But of course, the inmates couldn’t self advocate. If any of them complained they would be sent to solitary confinement, aka, the hole. So it was 20 different cells, and each was a small, dark room. The length of time a prisoner would spend in the hole was completely arbitrary. It really depended on how the guards felt what color they were wearing that day. I don’t fucking know. There are multiple stories about inmates going insane while they were in solitary confinement, which makes sense.
Yeah. There’s a great documentary out there. I think on Netflix, it’s been years since I watched it, but it’s about solitary confinement and like what it does to your brain, and it’s just really inhumane.
Yeah, absolutely. People need connection with other people. It’s literally how our brains are wired.
Well, and the whole concept of being like, in a dark room, or like not even, like, even if you’re a hermit, like at least you can move around and like, be in your home. But that little space, you can’t like move your body around even and your sensory deprived, like all of that is really bad.
Yeah, for sure. So at least one inmate hanged himself dying by suicide, but others did try and hang themselves, they just did not complete suicide successfully. Allegedly, one prisoner set himself on fire, which was awful. Another time, two inmates were left together in a single cell. When the guards finally allowed them to leave. Only one inmate walked out. His cell mates body was found down beneath the bunk
Gross. and why didn’t they check on them?
Let me tell you. So in 1957, there was a riot among prisoners and there were multiple riots, but this is the one I’m going to talk about. So this right ended with over 100 prisoners sentenced to a month in the hole. If 100 seems like too many for the space, you were picturing. You’re right. We had 20 cells. But that didn’t deter prison officials who staffed all 100 men inside those 20 cells.
What did they expect was going to happen? Like seriously?
Horrible. And since this horrible event, many people say that the hole is haunted. People have heard footsteps and muffled cries coming from what used to be solitary confinement, even though clearly now it’s empty. By the 1970s. Yes, two decades after people started recognizing how inhumane the living conditions were, the state of Ohio was all you know what? This reformatory does not meet state guidelines for correctional facilities
A little too late, bud!
and it wasn’t until the 80s that they started transferring prisoners and employees to other facilities. And the building started to be demolished in 1994. Wow. But before this haunted nightmare could be destroyed, guess what? It was going to be a STAR.
In 1994 a little movie called The Shawshank Redemption was filmed at Mansfield reformatory. There’s also been a bunch of movies. I hadn’t heard of all of them. So I didn’t put them in. I’m like, if I don’t know me, I know. Probably people are like, bitch, what the fuck we know. It’s my podcast, and I do what I want. That’s right.
But some scenes from Air Force One were also filmed there. And also Godsmack and Lil Wayne had filmed music videos there, of course, of course. And like I said, the place is fucking haunted. Most commonly, people have said they hear voices around what used to be the superintendence quarters.
Of course, the Hole too, but there’s a reason for the superintendence quarters. Allegedly, in 1950, the wardens wife was trying to grab a jewelry box from a shelf in the closet. And the the warden had a pistol hiding behind there that I don’t think she knew about it fell down shooting her as it hit the ground.
Oh my god,
and she died. And then a few years later, the warden suffered a heart attack in his office and also die.
Yikes. At least they can be together forever.
Well, and honestly, that’s what people think. They think that the warden and his wife are still talking to each other locked forever in a conversation at the place that took both their lives which like, goosebumps.
I’m always so shocked. Like, if so when someone drops a gun and it goes off and actually hits that more, I’m just like… what are the chances?
I mean, probably pretty high and I’m clumsy. That’s why I don’t have a gun. Exactly. But now you can go pretty much any time like it’s inhabited by there are people taking care of the property that you could just go there. And people hold ghosts on set. They’re present trying to make contact with lost souls, which would be kind of fun and spooky, huh. Mansfield reformatory was a working prison for 94 years. And it house. Yeah. And it housed over 154,000 inmates. It’s now a historic landmark. And we should absolutely go visit.
Yeah, I am so glad they didn’t doze it. Like when you said they were taking it down. I was like, NOOOOOO.
Yeah, but that’s the whole story of Wow, there’s more that you can Google. Definitely some horrible things that occurred at Mansfield reformatory, so thank you, Discord. Thanks Ohio is for lovers. I hope none of you love that.
But you should all go visit and take pictures and send them to us.
Yeah, and then like, if you’ve been there, send us your stories for where in the world on Patreon because we love listener stories email@example.com
Do it. Do it. That was so good. Nice. I love it good. Like haunty creepy story, and I had a murderous killer spree. All kinds of good stuff.
Yeah, I thought it was gonna be really short because I couldn’t find details on the Mad Dog killers anywhere. And then I did and was like, YEEEEEEEESSSS.
Travel Tips: Lisbon, Portugal
Okay. So, today, I am taking us over seas. I am going to Lisbon Portugal, have you?
No, no, I’ve never been out of the country before. Please don’t judge me.
That’s right. Yeah. I’ve never been to Portugal, either at all, but it really looks lovely. And I would like to go someday. Obviously, my list is everywhere. So it’s shortlist and a very long list at the same time.
Yeah, I have to ask, I don’t know, I definitely haven’t talked about this in the podcast. But my brother and sister in law actually lived for a couple of years in Spain. They just sort of were like, We don’t really know what to do. We’re going to go teach English in Spain for a couple of years. So I’ll have to check with them and see if they went to Portugal at all.
Yes, that would be good. Yeah, it’s nice and close. Definitely both along the Mediterranean. So that would be a good call. Okay, well, so I definitely want to go especially after reading more about this like charming capital city. So Lisbon is one of two global cities in Portugal.
And so even though it’s a really big city, it’s also known for having like quiet little side streets and quaint little corridors, like the type of places where you’ll see grandmothers leaning out their windows to like people watch and I love that winds blowing in the wind, like between the buildings and stuff. So like lots of idyllic scenes, which is just precious to me.
And it also has some great food. Likely, like I said, Because it’s right by the Mediterranean Sea like great, great food and seafood. Mediterranean food so good. I tried to do the Mediterranean diet once and it was just like, too hard to keep up with the like salmon. You know, it’s like all the like,
lots of like olives and like,
yeah, and all that stuff because it’s supposed to be really good for you
You do get red wine every night though, which I’m into that, huh?
So in terms of food, I found a place called the Seagull Method Cafe and, this droolworthy brunch. The pictures on their website had this avocado toast. But it was avocado toast dolled up with eggs and salmon and like seasoning all over it. And it just looked so freakin good and beautiful. They have a breakfast burger with it has like eggs instead of a burger.
So, it’s like a keto situation.
And this like shiny delicious bun.
Oh, nevermind. That sounds better.
So good. So good.
I love bread.
I do too. Oh my gosh, I had a burger for dinner tonight with my parents. And it was so good. I had this been that was like, so good. Yeah, sometimes the bread makes it or breaks it
the bread absolutely makes it.
Yeah. So don’t even try to give me a lettuce wrap burger you assholes.
Look, we like to be healthy, but not as much as we like carbs. So don’t put that evil on us!
100% Oh, there’s also this Michelin rated gourmet place that sounds incredible, but expensive and hard to get into. It’s this place called local. And it is an experience. So this restaurant has three top quality chefs. And they make seafood cuisine for 10 people a night. That’s it. Yeah, it’s a tiny hole in the w all restaurant. They do two seedings per night one at seven and one at nine. So they do like five, either 10 and 10 or five and five. I didn’t see the exact number but it says like for 10 people so I would assume like five and five.
I don’t know if this is just my personality or if this is human nature. But if you tell me I can’t have it or it’s really hard. I have it. I want it like I happen to have that thing. I want it bad. Yes.
Yeah. And so you have to book your spots way in advance online. The menus always changing based on the season. But then it’s a five course dinner when you go Oh, it is 10 so you but it’s like a thing for couples, I guess like are two people go cuz cuz we go well go together. Because it says like, I just read this combined with the experience of sitting with eight other strangers with the same appreciation of food. I assume you’re all kind of together and because it’s such a tiny place and so I can just imagine it being like you leave with friends. You know? We’re all friends.
Like when you go on? I’ve never been on a cruise. But when you go on a cruise and you hear about people making lifelong friends. Friends, yes. Yeah, exactly.
We also apparently are supposed to try this. pastry. It’s called pasties de nada, which I probably said wrong. But it’s like an egg custard tart pastry that’s dusted with cinnamon looks pretty yummy. It’s very specific to Portugal. And then there’s a lot of very cool cultural things. So as basic bitches, there’s one place called the pink Street, which I think is going to be a great Insta spot for us to go take a pic. Apparently, this part of town was like the red light district of Lisbon back in the day. And then in 2011, the city decided to revitalize that neighborhood and so they painted the street pink like as part of the campaign. I love that red light district anymore. It’s a pink street play, you know, like it’s fun.
That is what is going to take us off — influencers. Our like 700 followers are like – haha!
Yes. And then the other spot we definitely have to check out. It’s definitely on brand for us is Capela dos ossos. Okay, this is a building built by a Franciscan monk. It was a chapel erected in the 16th century to encourage contemplation about the afterlife and our fleeting time on Earth.
Dos Osos like two bears
I don’t know if it’s the same in Portuguese as it was in Spanish as in Spanish, but yeah, It’s spelled with two s’s and I think Oso is bear… “Osos” and this is OSSOS… Three S’s overall.
Okay. I do have, I was going to tell a story. I will save it for where in the world because I know, neither of us had been to Portugal. But I do have a story about a creepy guy named two bears. So make sure you head on over to patreon.com/horriblehistory. And I will tell you mine.
It could be the chapel of two bears. You never know.
This guy lived in a van…but he did have a dream catcher. So like very spiritual. He’s actually a Portuguese monk. I didn’t tell you that.
Okay, so when you walk into this little chapel, it has the skeletons of 5000 monks, skulls and bones like cover the pillars inside the structures and all over the walls, to skeletons hanging from ropes. Like what the heck. And then the ceilings brick and painted with themes of death.
So like, I grew up, we both grew up Lutheran, right and it would always freak me out. If I would go to a Catholic Church.
It’s like why is your cross have dead Jesus on it why
does your cross have dead white Jesus on it like this is completely wrong. But like if it was actually bones… Ew!
Right!? Spooky, dios de los muertos situation up in here? Yes, yes. So yeah, not for the faint of heart. But I guess it’s definitely on bread for us to go and see 5000 skeletons like come obviously. Okay, let’s get to the story now.
Story 2: Serial Killer, Diogos Alvez
So, listeners, I want you to close your eyes, and engage your imagination with me. Once you put yourself in this scene. The year is 1835. And so if you’re a woman, you’re wearing white cotton blouses, black ankle length, skirt, maybe a shawl, maybe a head scarf, probably some black low heeled clogs. If you’re a man,
you lost me at clogs. I’m closing my eyes trying to be into it. And I’m all EWWW
go on. If you’re a man, you’re wearing a linen pullover shirt, you’ve got sleeves, a deep button cuff on your cuffs, a big color, you’ve got long tails to tuck into your trousers because the tails that tucked into your trousers were meant so that your butt didn’t get shaved because they didn’t wear underwear back then. They just had a longer shirt to like cover that area. And it was like Ohhhhhkay.
Okay, stupid question about history. But when was underwear invented?
I don’t know, but apparently not in 1835. In Portugal
Dibs on the history of underwear as a future story at some point. Exactly.
Okay, so back to our imaginations. So you are a farmer. You’re in rural Portugal, you’re just outside of Lisbon. You work super hard. You work with your hands, you’re likely on a farm. Even if you’re a woman, you’re experiencing long, hard, grueling dates. And so some days after work, you decide to go into Lisbon, you know, experience the joys of the city like at a bar, or sell your goods potentially, and sort of get to Lisbon you have two options.
You can either walk through the valley through difficult terrain, or you can walk over the Aqueduto das Águas Livres or the aqueduct of the free waters. Oh, and this is like this massive Aqua dot but so it’s like a bridge at the top essentially. And while you’re on it, you can basically like get across this rural landscape from above. So this very tall bridge, aqueduct, whatever is 200 feet tall, which is about 25 feet taller than like the tippy tip top of Cinderella’s castle at Disneyland, so pretty tall.
It’s less than half a mile long. So I can imagine that at night. When you’re walking across this cool bridge. It’s a pretty like nice stroll. You know you’re high above the ground, there’s a nice cool breeze it’s like 65 degrees at night. You can probably see the stars feel the dirt path beneath your feet. See the city lights up ahead or behind you hear the sounds of nature. And you probably have a few dollars in your pocket. You know either you’re heading to the city to go to the bar or you just coming from the city having just sold your goods Oh, actually you’ll have you’d have euros not dollars because you’re in Portugal.
But even though that sounds kind of magical and lovely and like a nice stroll I’d like to take walking across this aqueduct was also a bit dangerous. Because this was the prime hunting ground for Diogo Alvarez, the man that is often cited as Portugal’s first serial killer. Okay, so, Diogo Alvarez was born in 1810.
And he travelled to Lisbon early in his life, to work as a servant in an affluent home. So we’ve heard this story a million times before, right? He’s a young man from a super poor family. He’s walking into the homes of this wealthy people and seeing all the affluence and these idiot jerks who live in luxury, and he has to work his ass off every day just to make a buck. You know, like, sure he’s angry, it boils his blood, he’s jealous and envious. And he’s just like, why can’t I have these things? So it’s not long before young Alvarez is like, the life of crime is the life for me. A pirate’s life for me.
I’m gonna put that on a bumper sticker.
The life of crime is the life for me. You get pulled over every single day.
Excuse me, ma’am. Did you mean for this to be in your car? It’s right below the sticker on my car that says “I used to be cool.”
Yeah, on your minivan. So he’s like, I’m definitely gonna make more money being a criminal than being a servant. So yeah, he devises a somewhat brilliant plan, I guess. He discovered a hunting ground. You see, he noticed that that tall tall bridge that we were walking over earlier, had a relatively consistent stream of people traveling across it. Were they all super wealthy? No, of course not. But did they all have money and goods with them? Basically? Yes.
And so it was a top the aqueduct that Diogo’s unsuspecting victims met their fate. So here’s how it went down. Diogo would loiter around on the top of the bridge, essentially, waiting until the bridge was relatively clear, except for one person. One person crossing the bridge to head home or head into town. And as long as it was nighttime, he was there waiting, watching, creeping, you know. And then when the moment was just right, he would attack them and rob them all their money, and then throw them over the edge of the aqueduct
falling to their deaths. yikes.
I will never understand like, wear a scary mask and take their money. Don’t kill them. Traumatize them. Don’t kill them.
Like, they are not gonna know you are God. Yeah, yeah. Well, between 1836 and 1837 he repeated this process, at least 70 times.
seven zero. 70. Yep. Yep. So it is said that that number can’t be 100% confirmed. Because all throughout the 1830s this aqueduct, also offered an option to people, you know, wanting to pursue to say, you know, complete suicide. And so this reputation of the bridge essentially provided him with camouflage for this killing spree. So initially, they the police were kind of like, man, there’s a lot of suicides happening more than usual, you know, and so they didn’t really look into it.
But then as it started to get to be like 70 plus suicides in a year. They’re like were shutting down this awkward. Good. Yeah. People are starting to get scared. They’re like, I don’t I don’t know something fishy is going on there. Of course, closing the Aqua docks means this Diogo has to find a new way to rob and kill people. Right, obviously,
and if we’ve learned anything from Criminal Minds, when you force a serial killer could change their M.O they get very upset. So mad, everything goes to hell in a handbasket. real fast, real fast.
Yeah, exactly. Well, so what Diogo decided to do is form a gang?
Sure, as one does, a real gang or like a Westside story gang.
I’m picturing a real because this gang was breaking into houses to kill and Rob families.
Yeah, yeah, no. There’s no musicals about that.
There’s no snapping here. Yeah, no. Um, so this gang attacked a lot of different people. There’s no numbers to represent how many families were robbed and or murdered. But he was finally found out when he messed with the wrong family. Oh, so that all happened on the night of the 26th of September in 1893. When a wealthy physician named Pedro de Andrade, had gone out on a social call.
And so he was going to be out of the house for the night. His housekeeper Maria requested his permission to use the dining room to serve a homecoming supper to her son, who was a sailor, who had just landed from his assignment at sea. She had her two daughters with her 19-year-old Emelia and 17-year-old Vincenzia. And so she wanted to have a family dinner basically,
this sounds too sweet. something bad’s going to happen.
Yeah. Spoiler alert.
Yeah, that is this podcast. We talked about it if you don’t like that. This isn’t for you.
How did you get to Episode 37? Yeah,
Yeah it’s called horrible history. Horrible.
So this kindly physician grants her her her wish and says Sure, you can use the house for for your dinner. But the homes footman, Manuel Alvez, who is in no relation to Diogo, but is a douchebag. He decides to take advantage of this arrangement and made some plans of his own. He says, For cut of the profits, I’m going to unlock the doors of this house for you local gang. And you can come and Rob this wealthy physician. He’s got endless riches, like come on in.
And so of course, this was Diogo’s gang. Of course, the robbery was not just a robbery, it turned super violent. Jose Ellias. Or Elias, who was the housekeeper son, who had just come back from war, fought tooth and nail and tried to repel the thieves and fight to protect his family. But it did not work out unfortunately, and all four members of the family what were killed by Alvez and his gang.
So the next morning, this four butchered bodies were discovered. And they were ultimately autopsied and tossed into a common grave, because the wealthy physician did not want to pay for their burial.
You son of a bitch! Are you kidding me??
Right? Like how awful. And the footman, man, well, he got what he deserved, because apparently he survived the night but did not survive his association with yogo. Because they were like, we’re not sure if you’re loyal to us, like, for all we know, you could give us up and so they killed him and discovered karma. Yep. And he was basically never mentioned again, like, no one knows what happened there.
But this physician’s reputation, essentially carried the crime to court. You know, Lisbon, as a city was like, will not tolerate violence against one of our finest citizens.
Not a doctor!!!
yeah. He wasn’t even there. But he was robbed. And this is one of those stories that it’s like, this tells us exactly which bodies matter and which bodies don’t and totally scheme of things. The aqueduct victims, no listing of them. No one knows who they were. They literally were referenced by this group name, which I should have written down, but I didn’t but it’s just like, the victim
like the people, those those guys
those 70 people. The Flores victims didn’t matter. The family they didn’t matter. Yeah, but Gosh, heaven forbid a wealthy doctor gets robbed. Like to this day. They know the precise number of knives and candlesticks and broaches and watches that were stolen from the man. They don’t know where the body is of Maria and her three children were even put to rest no clue where they are the bodies of these people, but oh my god, the candlesticks, you know, but it is a plus, because Diogo was discovered and arrested and tried.
And there was an interesting reading during his trial, a man probably his defense attorney, but the sources were kind of unclear. He stood up before the court and he read an excerpt from Cesar Bukhari’s 1764 Treaty on Crimes and Punishments, hoping to sway the jury away from a death sentence. He read this,
“Cesar Bukhari and Jeremy Bentham formed the backs down of the classical School of criminology. Both were against the death penalty. They believed offenders committed crimes not because of a moral failure, or an innate propensity, but because crimes are objectively worth committing. To correct this, they suggested a legal system that emphasize the detection and prompt punishment of each and every infraction with no exceptions and no delays. the certainty of being swiftly caught and brought to justice will surely dissuade the would be offenders with no need to resort to the pointless cruelty of capital punishment.”
Sure, just tougher punishments catch them sooner you know happen sooner war on drugs, we all know that worked out really well. Now.
Well, this empassioned plea did not work and Diogo was hanged. So, couple of fun facts. Not only do many people regard Alvarez as the country’s first serial killer, he’s also sometimes regarded as the last person to die by hanging in Portugal. But neither of these things are actually true.
There was a woman named Louisa de Jesus, who admitted to poisoning 28 children in 1772. And she is the first recorded serial killer, which PS she was whipped, hanged and burned in the streets for her crimes.
And Alvez who was hanged to death in February of 1841, was one of the last people to die by capital punishment, because they did away with the practice all together in 1867. But there were probably half a dozen people between his death and that timeframe. So he was not the first serial killer, nor was he the last person hanged.
But even so, once he was hanged, scientists and doctors in Lisbon were baffled by the fact that a human being could kill so many people. Like Yeah, they just wanted to know what motivated this man, because murders like this had never happened before. I mean, yes, 100 years prior, there’d been this woman, but like, they didn’t remember that. So they’re all like, this is the first time we’ve seen this. He’s killed 100 people like what the hell?
They’re desperate to understand his evil,
Yes, exactly. After he was hanged, they took his head to study it.
Because you see, at this time when he was executed, phrenology, which is the belief that certain mental or character traits are determined by the shape of your skull was like taking off and yeah, now it’s a pseudoscience today, like people don’t believe it. But back then, its premises were simple. And its conclusions were like revolutionary, like, Oh, so the brain houses all aspects of our personality, probably in physically distinct areas. And so, right, it’s so funny now that we know,
I mean, you’re kind of right, but then you just like ran past the logic, a little bit too far
Too far too far. So they’re thinking, Oh, so the shape of your skull reflects the internal organization of your brain. And so personality traits and criminal propensity could be like, felt and measured based on their skull. It’s basically no surprise when you know, that, that they wanted this notoriously wicked person to study, you know.
So the phrenologists, from that time, requested his head be severed and preserved for posterity so that they could study it and see what his where his criminal urges came from, and all of that. So there’s actually not a lot of evidence that any kind of study actually took place at the university where these scientists were.
But there were some similar ones that did take place because there was this man Francisco, Mattos Lobo, who was like a contemporary of Alvez, who butchered a family of four and then threw their dog out a window, which is like what the hell?
Never the dog, right?
Never, never the pets. Though… if you threw a cat out the window, it would just land on its feet and be like eff you and run away.
It’s true, that cat hated you anyway,
It’s fine… it will thrive, it’s fine.
So they definitely did examine this guy’s head in 1842. But okay, one final Fun fact, not only did scientists cut off his head and preserve it so that they could study it. To this day, his head remains in a jar. And you can go see it here in Lisbon, and you stopped by the anatomical theatre at the University of Lisbon Faculty of metal medicine.
Okay, that is fun!
right? So many describe the head swimming and yellowing formalin bearing a calm expression pretty much the opposite of a raving psychopath, that terrorized Lisbon, but a lot of people are just like, that’s super disconcerting because he’s got just this serene expression on his face. He’s dead like somebody pose him. Yeah, serene-looking and put them in a fucking job. And it does also seem like the jar is a bit too small for the head. So press up against the wall of the jar. Well, and you can go and see that lovely site. If ever you’re in Lisbon. I’m gonna text you a picture of it now.
Do not text a picture of it. I dan’t want it… I don’t want it.
You’re going to have to see it anyways, because we’re gonna post it on our Instagram. It’s awesome looking.
mocking tone “Oh, I’ll do the social media. You stupid past Rach, bitch.
I just like doesn’t even look human. His head looks really big. If it’s maybe like expanded or if that’s just the glass.
like at some point does moisture go into it? And he’s just a little bloated. Like, serious. I don’t understand science. I don’t understand science. Everybody look okay, that’s not what this podcast is about.
Hey, look, a text message… OH GOD!!!!
Isn’t that creepy?
It’s so interesting, right? Because we look at like, drawings of people from maybe like Renaissance reformation time period, which is a couple 100 years earlier than this. But he looks like one of those European drawings. You know, his big face. Yeah, yes. With a big face with all the fat babies and the women just letting it all hang out white Jesus like, though that time period. That’s what it looks like.
Yeah. And he has like facial hair like it’s it’s so very intact because it’s been preserved for so gross.
We’ll post it it’s gross.
Like that dude is from 1842!!! like, over 100 years old.
I mean, I almost said, “I love an old head” but then I realized how that sounded halfway out. Sorry, mom.
My mom bought the Sorry, mom notebook. And she said it’s really good quality.
Good. I’m wearing my morbid curious crew sweatpants right now. Love them. They’re so cozy. Yes.
So that’s the story.
Yeah, speaking of. We’ve got merch!
Merch, merch, merch, merch merch!!!
On website horriblehistorypodcast.com
Yeah, horriblehistorypodcast.com check it out.
Yeah, you can also hit us up on social media where at horrible history pod on Instagram and Tiktok, firstname.lastname@example.org send us your stories.
We really want to hear from you. And thank you to everyone who sent in recommendations from Instagram, tik tok, email, now from our new patrons. Like, we love it. My List is getting so so long because I keep adding to it. Next week. And the following week, I’m doing listener recommendations, which you guys you know, that’s a big deal. For me. That means I rearrange my whole schedule. So
type threes hate that
hate it. So be happy about it.
Damn it, and join Patreon if you want more from us. patreon.com/horriblehistory.
Yeah, thank you so much for listening.
Hopefully, you’re horrified
Transcribed by https://otter.ai