A classic bogeyman, the "Slugger" terrorized Toledo's population during 1925 and '26, assaulting women, beating some of them to death and leaving others gravely wounded in the wake of his attacks. Before the madness ran its course, the faceless suspect also stood accused of lighting fires and planting bombs in a bizarre and motiveless campaign of terror aimed at random targets. The war of nerves began in 1925, when several lumber yards were torched within a period of hours. Guards were posted, and the unknown arsonist -- or someone else -- then started bombing homes and tenements. The FBI was called in when explosives wrecked the mailbox of a Catholic priest, and suddenly the bombings ended, as mysteriously as they had begun. The madman was not finished with his game, however. As contemporary newsmen put their case, "the alleged fiend then turned to attacks upon women," killing three or four and wounding at least five others in a series of brutal rapes, invariably ending with the victim clubbed insensate. Rewards totaling $12,000 were raised for the maniac's capture, with no takers, when suddenly the violence ceased. It started up afresh in late October 1926, with two more slayings added to the Slugger's tally in a single day. The first victim was schoolteacher Lily Croy, age 26, bludgeoned and raped within sight of her classroom in the early morning hours of October 26. The second victim, 47-year-old Mary Allen, was discovered in her home that afternoon. Police initially ascribed her death to gunshot wounds, but later changed their story to report that Croy and Allen had been murdered with the same blunt instrument, the evidence recalling other Slugger homicides. Around Toledo, lapsed rewards were dusted off and boosted by another rash of contributions, while police swept up a crop of local "odd-balls," finding several who had slipped away from mental institutions. Another rash of arson fires erupted on November 23, inflicting $200,000 damage at a single lumber yard, sweeping on from there to damage an ice company ($10,000), two other businesses, the city street department's stable, an apartment building, and a railroad freight car. Officers got nowhere in their search for the Toledo Slugger, but again, as during 1925, the crime spree ended of its own accord. Was one demented individual to blame for all the rapes and beatings, fires and bombings? Did police create a monster in their bid to "clear the books" on unsolved local crimes? Whatever else he may have been, the Slugger stands reliably accused of half a dozen homicides, together with an equal number of assaults in which his victims lived to tell the tale. He remains unidentified at this writing, another of the ones who got away.