Monday, March 07, 2016

Dayton's 'Death Lane': Layton Hines & 'Jack the Strangler'

The victim, Anna Markowitz

The following information was published nationwide during August 1907. It's not a paranormal related post...but it does offer glimpses into crime & justice at the turn of the 20th century. Unfortunately, much of what happened back then is relevant today:

Anna Markowitz, Horribly Killed by the Mysterious Man-Gorilla of "Death Lane"

Dayton, Ohio, August 12. On the outskirts of Dayton is a wooded spot bathed in human blood that is more to be dreaded by women and young girls than the darkest areas of Africa.

So many are the hideous crimes committed along its shady paths that the place has become known as "Death Lane."

After dark it Is the hiding place of some unknown beast In human form, whose fiendish delight is to pounce upon innocent and helpless

Pretty Anna Markowitz was the last to fall into the clutches of this mysterious man-gorilla. With the death of Abraham Cohen, her companion, the crime becomes a double murder. Intensified in horror by the assault alleged to have been committed upon the young woman before she was strangled.

Cohen, a traveling salesman, had gone for a stroll with the Markowitz sisters, Anna and Bertha. They were seated in a grove near the Soldiers' Home. As the three chatted together pleasantly two shots were heard. Cohen ran to the road. He fell fatally wounded by two bullets. An unknown monster rushed upon the girls. Bertha fled until she sank unconscious to the ground.


Anna was found, strangled to death, and mutilated. Evidence pointed to a fearful struggle. The clothing had been nearly torn from her body. The arms were crowded down over the eyes, as if to shut out a horrible picture.

Last fall the bruised form of beautiful Dona Oilman was found only a short distance away, and within the last several weeks there have been three other assaults in the same vicinity.

Who is this mysterious stranger whose special prey are young girls? Such Is the question that is causing brave men to shudder and women to spend sleepless nights.

Whether he is half man - half maniac, who is of good appearance in daily life, but occasionally lapses into a sort of beast, or a mental and moral degenerate of uncommon appearance - certain it is, the residents of the neighborhood cannot rest in peace he roams at large.

NOTE: After coming across this previous article, I wondered why the perpetrator was referred to as a 'man-gorilla.' I checked the history of the "Death Lane" murders...and found the following. The reason for the moniker was quickly apparent:

In the summer of 1907, the murder of an 18-year-old Jewish woman in Dayton made the newspapers around the country and abroad.

Anna Markowitz, her sister Bertha and their friend, Abraham Cohan, were walking home at night from the recreational park at the Soldier’s Home.

During the way, they heard gunshots and were chased by a man. Bertha escaped but Abraham was shot and would die of his wounds two days later. According to Bertha’s testimony, the attacker caught Anna; she was found strangled to death.

Authorities arrested and put Layton Hines on trial. During the trial, the young African-American confessed to killing Anna and Abraham.

The facts in the Hines trial were murky.

“He was accused of rape and murder,” Heckman said, “but he’s not charged with the murder of Abraham Cohan as part of the same incident, and if I remember correctly, they’re not specifically charging him with the rape. It begs a lot of questions if you delve into the case. Was Layton Hines a scapegoat or not?”

A group that was outspoken in support of Hines in the courtroom was the Ohio African American Protective Association.

Josh Cain, program manager for the Old Court House and other Dayton History sites, said the jury consisted of only white men, which was the practice at the time.

Dr. Charles H. Clark, superintendent of the Cleveland Hospital of the Insane, championed the theory in 1909, and several newspapers covered the serial killer angle, including The New York Times.

Anna’s brothers were initially believed to have committed the crime, then Hines ‘confessed.’

Newspapers took sides, the defense accused the sheriff, prosecutor and coroner of ‘coercing’ the confession from Hines.”

Heckman said there was contradictory testimony from witnesses among those called by the prosecution and defense.

A small Dayton Daily News article also stated the members of the Jewish Race rarely murder, in reference to Anna’s brothers when they were suspected of her murder.

Too bad the local press seemed to have prejudged the defendant.

NOTE: Ohio vs. Layton Hines - The case featured the 1907 trial of Hines for the killing of Anna Markowitz. This is a case where Dayton police arrested Hines on circumstantial evidence...but many in the national press reported the police had “misgivings” about Hines guilt. The misgivings later fed into press reports that the Markowitz murder was one committed by the serial killer dubbed ‘Jack the Strangler’ by the national tabloid news. A book was written by Brian Forschner which described 'Jack the Strangler' and the Hines trial - Cold Serial: The Jack The Strangler Murders

The description of the book reads:

"Cold Serial" is narrative non-fiction that tells of five girls who were raped and murdered in Dayton, Ohio, and possibly victims in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the early 1900s. Their deaths left a legacy of better protection for the safety and rights of women, led to the annexation of large areas into what is now modern day Dayton, initiated restructuring of the Dayton Police department, led to the creation of the first chamber of commerce in the United States, and involved intriguing relationships with what is still a major United States company. These stories provide the background and lay the groundwork for understanding social issues facing women today, such as rape, assault, and discrimination, and the impact of religion, politics and the media. Telling their stories is doing the work of justice.

The Cases That Haunt Us

Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape

Bestial: The Savage Trail of a True American Monster

Bind, Torture, Kill: The Inside Story of BTK, the Serial Killer Next Door


The Messengers: Owls, Synchronicity and the UFO Abductee

Stories from the Messengers: Owls, UFOs and a Deeper Reality

Impossible Realities: The Science Behind Energy Healing, Telepathy, Reincarnation, Precognition, and Other Black Swan Phenomena

I Am the Word: A Guide to the Consciousness of Man's Self in a Transitioning Time

Silent Invasion: The Pennsylvania UFO-Bigfoot Casebook

Astonishing Encounters: Pennsylvania's Unknown Creatures, Casebook 3

Encounters with Flying Humanoids: Mothman, Manbirds, Gargoyles & Other Winged Beasts

Monsters of Texas

Don't Look Behind You: Following Ghost Roads Into the Unknown

Beyond the Seventh Gate: Exploring Toad Road, The Seven Gates of Hell, and Other Strangeness in York, Lancaster, and Adams Counties

Bigfoot in Pennsylvania: A History of Wild-Men, Gorillas, and Other Hairy Monsters in the Keystone State

Wood Knocks Volume 1: A Journal of Sasquatch Research

Wood Knocks Volume 2: A Journal of Sasquatch Research

Wood Knocks Volume 3: Journal of Sasquatch Research

The Black Eyed Children

Strange Intruders

The Essential Guide to Bigfoot

The Lake Michigan Mothman: High Strangeness in the Midwest

Hunt for the Skinwalker: Science Confronts the Unexplained at a Remote Ranch in Utah

The Monster Book: Creatures, Beasts and Fiends of Nature

A Menagerie of Mysterious Beasts: Encounters with Cryptid Creatures

The Mothman Prophecies: A True Story

The Time Before the Secret Words: On the path of Remote Viewing, High Strangeness and Zen

The Zozo Phenomenon

The Djinn Connection: The Hidden Links Between Djinn, Shadow People, ETs, Nephilim, Archons, Reptilians and Other Entities

Beyond the Seventh Gate: Exploring Toad Road, The Seven Gates of Hell, and Other Strangeness in York, Lancaster, and Adams Counties

The Beast of Boggy Creek: The True Story of the Fouke Monster

Lizard Man: The True Story of the Bishopville Monster

Momo: The Strange Case of the Missouri Monster

Beyond Boggy Creek: In Search of the Southern Sasquatch

The Beast of Bray Road: Tailing Wisconsin's Werewolf

Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America

Monsters Among Us: An Exploration of Otherworldly Bigfoots, Wolfmen, Portals, Phantoms, and Odd Phenomena

The Royal Arch of Enoch

The Real Men In Black: Evidence, Famous Cases, and True Stories of These Mysterious Men and their Connection to UFO Phenomena

The Van Meter Visitor: A True and Mysterious Encounter with the Unknown

Monsters of West Virginia: Mysterious Creatures in the Mountain State

Venus Rising: A Concise History of the Second Planet

Final Countdown: Rockets to Venus

Cosmic Ray's Excellent Venus Adventure

The Brimstone Deceit: An In-Depth Examination of Supernatural Scents, Otherworldly Odors, and Monstrous Miasmas

Thieves in the Night: A Brief History of Supernatural Child Abductions

Voices From the Cosmos

Humanoid Encounters Series - Albert S. Rosales

Monsterland: Encounters with UFOs, Bigfoot and Orange Orbs

The Chilling, True Terror of the Black-Eyed Kids: A Monster Compilation

Beasts of Britain

Abduction: Human Encounters with Aliens

Passport to the Cosmos

Weird Winged Wonders: The Twilight World Of Cryptid Creatures

Fingerprints of the Gods

Into The Fringe: A True Story of Alien Abduction

The Candle and the Crossroads: A Book of Appalachian Conjure and Southern Root-Work

Creole Religions of the Caribbean: An Introduction from Vodou and Santeria to Obeah and Espiritismo, Second Edition (Religion, Race, and Ethnicity)

Slenderman: From Fiction to Fact

The Starchild Skull -- Genetic Enigma or Human-Alien Hybrid?

Passport to Magonia: From Folklore to Flying Saucers

Grimoire for the Green Witch: A Complete Book of Shadows

The Lost City of the Exodus: The Archaeological Evidence behind the Journey Out of Egypt

Moses and Akhenaten: Brothers in Alms

The Crystal Bible

Encyclopedia of Crystals, Revised and Expanded

Winged Cryptids: Humanoids, Monsters & Anomalous Creatures Casebook

Alien Disclosure: Experiencers Expose Reality

Mothman Dynasty: Chicago's Winged Humanoids

Haunted Rock & Roll: Ghostly Tales Of Musical Legends

Angel Medicine

Toward the Light: Rescuing Spirits, Trapped Souls, and Earthbound Ghosts

Light the Way: A Guide to Becoming a Rescue Medium

Owl Medicine

Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure

Pow-Wows, or Long Lost Friend: A Collection of Mysterious and Invaluable Arts and Remedies, for Man as Well as Animals

Energy Essentials for Witches and Spellcasters

Powwowing Among the Pennsylvania Dutch: A Traditional Medical Practice in the Modern World (Pennsylvania German History and Culture)

The Mothman Prophecies: A True Story

Operation Trojan Horse: The Classic Breakthrough Study of UFOs

The Eighth Tower: On Ultraterrestrials and the Superspectrum

Our Haunted Planet

Strange Creatures From Time and Space