Washington’s Worst Serial Killer Lived in Walla Walla
We've all heard of the Green River Killer, but do you know about Jake Bird?
On October 30, 1947 Jake Bird was convicted for the murder of Bertha Kludt and her 17-year-old daughter Beverly Kludt with an axe in Tacoma, Washington. Bird is thought to have killed at least 46 people!
After he was sentenced Bird was allowed to make a final statement. In his final statement he said he was putting the "Jake Bird Hex" on anyone who had to do with his prosecution and cursed them to die before he did. Sure enough, six people connected to the trial died. Among the dead were Judge Edward D. Hodge, one of the officers who took his first confession, the officer who took his second confession, the court's chief clerk, and one of his prison guards.
His execution date was set for January 16, 1948, but he claimed he committed 44 other murders and was willing to help police. His execution date was postponed while police from other states questioned him.
During the interviews they found out that he was knowledgeable enough about 33 other murders to be considered the prime suspect. His interviews with the police made it possible to solve many unsolved murders all across the U.S. in the states of Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Wisconsin. His victims were mostly white women whom he killed with either a hatchet or an axe.
He was hanged on July 15, 1949, at 12:20 a.m. in front of 125 people and was buried in an unmarked grave in Walla Walla State Penitentiary's cemetery.