In a small cemetery alongside the railroad tracks across from the Southwest Highway in Palos Park, one stone is engraved with the name Butcher and holds a story of greed, murder, and cannibalism.
In the 1890’s, a man named for his profession, Butcher, owned a deli in Palos Park. When a major depression hit America livestock was in short supply, which caused many other butchers to go out of business. Even thought Butcher had to raise his prices as meat became more and more scarce he still retained most of his customers.
Butcher and his apprentice began unloading a large shipment of beef when his apprentice, who usually carried the meat down to the basement meat locker due to Butchers bad back, slipped when walking down the stairs carrying a load that was too heavy for him and broke his neck on the bottom step and instantly died. Butcher knew that he should call the authorities but thought the scene looked as if the boy had been pushed. Before he could tell anyone he dragged the boy’s body into the freezer and hit it behind several crates and packages.
Days after some began looking for the young man and Butcher told the apprentice’s family he had no idea what had become of the young man. The father remained suspicious and went to the police. When
two detectives came by to question the butcher, although they went away, made the butcher become even more nervous.
Late one night Butcher butchered part of the body and packaged it to sell as beef. He waited someone to complain as customers snatched up the meat but to his surprise, they loved the meat. Fearful that they would ask what kind of meat it was, he butchered the rest of the body and began to think of a way to find more meat.
Soon, the man began searching the streets during dark for hobos and bums that would not be missed, lured them off the streets with promises of free food, slaughtered them and sold their flesh as beef. People were excited that there was more meat but soon the hobos and bums were gone and again he was faced with a shortage dilemma.
Butcher made his fatal mistake when the first of the local children vanished. After more children disappeared, townspeople began to wonder, what really did happen to the butcher’s apprentice? A mob of local men stormed down to Butcher’s shop and began searching the place. They soon ended up in the meat locker where they found packaged body parts thrown about and the remains of a child hanging from a hook.
The mob became outraged, stormed over to Butcher’s house, and pulled him into the yard. Axes, hammers, and knifes rose in the air and fell, decapitating Butcher while spraying blood across the wall. The head was eventually buried under the fire pit on Indian Hill, which is now on present day property of Children’s Farm. As for the rest of his body, it was buried in cemetery across the street with a gravestone that marked his last name. Nothing else was engraved into the stone as it serves only as a reminder of the awful events that had taken place.