Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Mad Dog Killers of Mansfield Reformatory

Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio might be better known by its unofficial name, Mansfield Reformatory. The former reformatory is renowned for its paranormal activity and spooky appearance, which has led many to dub the facility, "Dracula's Castle." Today, it is known in the paranormal field as something of an ideal training grounds for would-be ghost hunters to learn the tools of the trade. After all, the prison is steeped in legends of past inmate violence and other notorious goings-on. In fact, sometimes it is quite difficult to separate the legend from reality, For example, it is not uncommon to hear that the Ohio State Reformatory housed the worst of the worst in the state of Ohio. In reality, it was an intermediate facility whose inmates were those too old to serve in a juvenile detention center, yet too young for the hard life awaiting them at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Columbus. That's not say that the facility did not have its bad apples and bloodshed. In fact, today is the anniversary of one of the reformatory's most notorious crimes.

July 21, 1948 marked the start of a two-week crime spree that would take the lives of six innocent civilians and spread fear throughout the community. Interestingly, the crimes were sparked not by inmates then serving time, but rather two men who had recently been paroled. On this day 61 years ago, Robert Daniels and John West returned to Ohio State Reformatory to enact revenge on an employee of the prison. When that individual could not be located, the two men went to the home of the prison's farm superintendent and kidnapped the man, his wife and his daughter. They took the three souls to a nearby cornfield and executed them in cold blood. As it turned out, the crime spree had only just begun and it would last for two weeks longer until it ended in a shootout with West dead and Daniels in handcuffs. Robert Daniels would ultimately be executed for the crimes, for which the press dubbed the men the "Mad Dog Killers."

Read more of the history and the stories of ghostly activity at the Ohio State Reformatory.

-Casey H.


Chris 'Frog Queen' Davis said...

Great history! Looks like a cool place. Definately want to visit when I am in Ohio. Thanks for sharing!


Anonymous said...

My group went there last year. It was definatly a fun experience. We did have a few experiences.

PumpkinBrain said...

The place looks very cool. If I go in Ohio one day, I should visit this place.

Unknown said...

john west is my great-great-great uncle...
scaryy to think he is part of my family