The Serial Homicide Case of the Day, from "Hunting Humans, the Encyclopedia of 20th Century Serial Killers" , by Michael Newton
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A homosexual drifter, Kenneth Neu claimed his first victim on September 2, 1933, in the person of wealthy New Yorker Lawrence Shead. The men met in Times Square, and Shead followed Neu to the latter's hotel room. Once there, Shead was beaten to death with an electric iron, stripped of money and his suit, which Neu appropriated for his long flight southward, to New Orleans.
In the Crescent City, Neu attached himself to Sheffield Clark, a hardware store proprietor, threatening Clark with "exposure" as a homosexual if cash was not forthcoming. The merchant responded by reaching for his telephone, to call police, and Neu strangled him to death before looting the victim's home, departing in Clark's stolen car. Apprehended in New Jersey, the killer was still wearing Lawrence Shead's suit at the time of his arrest.
Tried and convicted of murder in December 1933, Kenneth Neu was sentenced to death. Appeals delayed the execution of his sentence, but the verdict was affirmed, and Neu mounted the scaffold on February 1, 1935. Before the trap was sprung, he treated witnesses to a spirited rendition of an original song composed especially for the occasion. Its title: "I'm Fit as a Fiddle and Ready to Hang."
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