In a culture where every other TV show and movie romanticizes murder, we have become somewhat desensitized to it. But, have you ever stopped to think about how many murderers you have passed in your lifetime? Or how many you know personally?

Serial murder is the unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s), in separate events.

You might even have come in close contact with a serial killer. According to former chief of the FBI's Elite Serial Crime Unit, John Douglas, there are 25 to 50 active serial killers in the United States at any given moment. This does not include incarcerated killers or mass shooting killers.

Douglas goes on to explain in his People interview that "Serial murder is defined by the FBI as "the unlawful killing of two or more victims by the same offender(s), in separate events." This is someone who hunts other people for sport; who has no regard for human life.

So, it got me thinking... Has this area seen the handy work of a serial killer?  The answer: yes.  This is my first installment of a new series The Underbelly of Evansville.

Evansville Public Library/EPD

Leslie Irvin also known as "Mad Dog," was convicted for killing six people in the Evansville area in 1954 and 1955. The killing took place in Vanderburgh and Posey Counties in Indiana, and also in Henderson, KY.  All six victims were shot at close range by Irvin. In his final murders before being apprehended, Irvin slaughtered a family, the Duncans of Henderson in 1955. Though shot and blinded, one woman, Mamie Duncan survived the incident and a young girl was spared.

This case set a precedent in the school of law.

A tip from a group of neighborhood teenagers led to Irvin's arrest, after a car seen at the Duncan House met the description the boys had read about in the paper.  Acting on that tip, Leslie Irvin was arrested and stood trial, for the first time in late 1955. He broke out of a Princeton, IN, jail in January of 1956 and headed to San Francisco where he was caught and sent back to our area. This case set a precedent in the school of law.  It was claimed that Irvin could not get a fair trial due to pre-publicity of the trial. Read more about that here.  Ultimately, Irvin went to prison in 1962 and sentenced to Life in Prison. He died in prison of lung cancer in 1983.

The other case of an alleged serial killer in our midst happened in 2014, when a man walking his dog along the banks of the Ohio River thought he saw a body floating down the river.. According to a "news source,"  police then searched the area and discovered at least 17 murder victims wrapped in individual plastic bags in various states of decay and dismemberment. After inquiries from the local media, Henderson Police and the Kentucky State Police publicly announced that this incident is classified as a hoax.

Keep looking for further installments of my Underbelly of Evansville blogs and videos, coming soon.