Three unrelated stories of a strange, unusual or dark nature.
January 23, 1556
A large number of fatalities occurred on people who lived in 'yaodongs', artificial caves dug into the cliffs of the Loess plateau. Loess is essentially a loose, silty soil that had accumulated in the area as wind storms carried it from the Gobi Desert. Millions of people lived in these cave dwellings (up to 40 million people still live in yaodongs today in China) and when the earthquake took place many of these homes collapsed, caved in, burying the occupants alive.
Aftershocks from this earthquake continued for six months.
January 24, 1972
In 1943, Yokoi, along with his regiment, arrived on Guam. In 1944, when American forces took the island, Yokoi and ten other soldiers went into hiding. Eventually their numbers dwindled to just three. Although the three men hid separately they would visit each other. Unfortunately, in 1964 (or thereabouts), the other two Japanese soldiers were killed in a flood leaving Yokoi alone.
For eight years Yokoi hid and survived alone on the island - hunting at night, creating everything he needed from natural resources and, most importantly, hiding from the local population.
On January 24, 1972, Yokoi was stumbled upon by two men who were checking their shrimp traps in a river. Yokoi attacked the men, fearing his discovery and that he was in danger. The men got the better of him, knocked him out and carried him from the jungle.
When interviewed about his time in hiding Yokoi stated he had known since 1952 that the war had ended but feared disgrace should he have come out of hiding.
Yokoi's words on returning to Japan:
"It is with much embarrassment, but I have returned"
Shoichi Yokoi is the third to last of the Japanese 'Hold Outs' - Japanese soldiers in the Pacific Theatre who continued on with war time orders after the end of World War II (either due to not knowing the war had ended, or who had not believed in the formal surrender of Japan), the last of whom was discovered on December 18, 1974.
January 26, 1936
Six months later another victim was discovered, decapitated. A month after that another victim, this time the victim had been dismembered, and while still alive. In September that year half a torso was discovered – another victim.
By April, 1938, the number of victims hit ten with the discovery of dismembered body parts in a river and around a bridge. On August 16, 1938, the final victims were discovered in the Lakeshore Dump. Out of twelve victims only the identities of two are known for certain. All victims were decapitated and many were dismembered. It is believed that several other murders in Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Youngstown Ohio were also by the same killer.
In 1939, Frank Dolezal was arrested for the murder of Florence Polillo. He was interrogated for nearly two days straight before confessing. He later recanted the confession, stating he had been beaten until he gave detectives what they wanted. Although the killings did stop after Dolezals arrest there is no hard evidence that he was the killer. Dolezal took his own life in his cell before he was found innocent or guilty of the murder/s, however, the lead investigator on the case did note in his memoirs: “This is the first time that I've ever known anyone to confess to a crime that didn't know the details of the crime to which he was confessing."
The Cleveland Torso Murderer aka 'The Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run' is still unidentified.