The History of Eli Cobbs
On September 29th, 1937, police in O’Fallon, Missouri
arrived at the dilapidated farmhouse of Eli Cobbs, who was
at the time suspected in the robbery of a local general
store and disappearance of its owner. Receipts indicated
that Cobbs had been the last customer at the store.
Cobbs' desolate farmhouse was a study in
chaos. Inside, junk and rotting garbage covered the floor
and counters. It was almost impossible to walk through the
rooms. The smell of filth and decomposition was overwhelming.
While the local sheriff, Ethel Woodrow, inspected the kitchen,
he felt something brush against his jacket.
When he looked up to see what it was he
ran into, he faced a large, dangling carcass hanging upside
down from the beams. The carcass had been decapitated, slit
open and gutted. An ugly sight to be sure, but a familiar
one in that deer-hunting part of the country. It took a
few moments to sink in, but soon Woodrow realized that it
wasn't a deer at all, it was the headless butchered body
of a woman. Beatrice Cobb, Eli's wife.
A quick search of the house turned up the
bodies of his children, Joshua age 12, Emily age 9 and Adam
age 4, in the large back room that served as their bedroom.
Each child's body had been laid in bed as if they where
asleep, however later evidence turned up to suggest Cobb
hunted them down in what reporters eventually dubbed his
"maze of death." The Maze, which was completely
overlooked during the initial days of the investigation
was created by Cobb cutting confusing paths into his cornfield,
some of the "walls" where reinforced by plywood
or barbed wire.
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