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Who is Jacob Kell?

Jacob Kell is a name that few of heard of. In 1945 Jacob Kell butchered more than 30 people near the town of Wenden Arizona. You've most likely never heard of it. That's because a small group of vigilates took it upon themselves to find, try, and kill Jacob Kell. The mourning period was brief and the victims and their alleged killer were all buried and quickly forgotten by the townspeople. Finding information on muriders or the alleged pupetrator of these murders is not an easy task. The information often contradicts other reports and even the final tally of victims is unclear. This site has been created to try and piece together the truth of what took place in September of 1945 when a 15 year old young man named Jacob Kell snapped and killed so many.

The Timeline:

September 13, 1945:
From what I can piece together based on what little I have found regarding the murders it appears that on September 13, 1945 police found 2 people dead at the residence of Jacob Kell's Family. Harold Kell, age 38 and Marian Kell, age 35 are both found dead in their small shack of a home. The Harolds body is reportedly torn apart limb from limb, the Marian head has been bludgeoned and her body covered by a sheet. The son, Jacob Kell, age 15 and daughter Melissa "Sissy" Kell, age 10, are both missing. Jacob Kell is immediatly sought as a suspect for the crimes.

That same day Jacob is reported to kill 5 more people at another home over a mile away from the first crime scene. This time a witness sees a large man walking away from the house with the body of a small girl over his shoulder. The family's name is Furier, I have not been able to find the individual victims name nor any information on who the witness was.

September 14, 1945:
In the morning 2 more victims, motorists, are found dead on a local roadway. The new story I found only gave the description of the vehicle, "A black Ford", but the names of the victims had not been determined. These victims were said to be mutilated. Their vehicle left on the road and their bodies drug from the vehicle and place in front of the car. I was able to find a photograph of this scene which can be viewed to you left. At this point things start to get harder to piece together.

This same day more bodies are found at another home. I have not been able to determine how many were found as the report I found is actually from a newspaper in California that picked up on the story some weeks later. However that paper reports it as an unsolved crime and does not speak about any murders that occured after it and only mentions the motorists in passing as if they simply were in the wrong place at the wrong time and very near this murder site.

September 15, 1945:
On this day a newspaper story is run in the Republic that runs interviews with locals near the Kell home. They paint the picture of Jacob Kell as a 15 year old boy that's retarded and very large for his age. In fact a Mary Ferguson states the boy is over 6 ft tall and "husky". She also says that Jacob is mistreated by his parents and was often seen sleeping outside at night. No murders are reported in the paper this day except a recap of those bodies that were found the previous day. Nothing new is reported however another article from a Texas paper does report more bodies being found in 3 other homes but I cannot determine if these are contradicting reports or if these are killings that take place after the 15th and are picked up by other papers.

September 16, 1945:
On another newspaper search I did find a report that ran in an Ohio paper for Columbus in Late September of 45' that details the events of this day. Around 9AM a rancher discovers an abandoned vehicle on a road near is property. Blood is found inside the vehicle along with a unharmed child in the back seat of the car. When the rancher, who's name is never given, finds the car the baby is screaming for his parents. No exact age is given for the child. His parents are found a quarter of a mile away from the vehicle by police later that day. The bodies are described as mutilated and not identifiable. No names are given for the couple and the baby is reportedly taken in by a local orphanage. The paper does detail that the person responsible is suspected to be local named Jacob Kell and that he's wanted in relation to 12 other murders including his own family.

September 17, 1945:
I've yet to find any reports for this day.

Update 01-02-04: I received an email from a viewer in London! They have found a story from the London Times that calls Jacob Kell the "Arizona Ripper". In honor of Jack perhaps? He tells me that the article tells that he is wanted for killing 31 people and that he is still at larger. The only names given as victims are his own family. Again the details are very ambiguous, and often sound like they were senstionalized for effect. Apparently this ran in the paper twice. The second time the number dead is 27 and the refer to Jacob as "Killer Kell".

September 18, 1945:
This is the day Jacob is killed. I have not found any information about this day. In fact I have not been able to find any records, of any arrest, any victims, any resolution or explanation whatsoever as to why the newspaper stories stop. Nothing is reported locally in Arizona at this point that I've been able to uncover. However I did speak to someone, via email, who lives in Wenden AZ. He tells me that he has heard stories about "Killer Kell" since he was a kid. He tells me that Jacob was said to be tracked down by a posse to the MacAdie house, a house that up until 25 years ago still stood near Wenden. Kell kills the MacAdie Family and barracades himself in the home. The Posse finds him, they storm the house and find him with the body of his sister, Melissa "Sissy" Kell. He's apparently shot to death by an enraged posse wanting some vigilate Justice and the body is destroyed. My informant tells me that older people who were living in 1945 will say very little about Kell and the people that died by his hands. The local cemetary has no fewer than 23 stones that have the Dates of death as September 1945. There is no stone for anyone named Kell. However there is a stone for MacAdie.

my informant also emailed me a picture of the MacAdie home. which you can view below. I cannot confirm whether this photo is authentic or not.

Reasons for the cover up:
This all took place in 1945 just as WWII was coming to an end. I imagine this had a lot to do with it. The posse that killed Kell was said to be made up of fairly important people from the area, several ranchers, and the local sheriff. Obviously vigilate justice is not something that you'd want to make public. I have not been able to find much about these murders beyond what is here now. if you have any information please email me at findingkell@yahoo.com

Update: 04-16-05
I've heard some rumors that this story is being made into a movie. It's untitled at the moment but here's the synopsis :"Serial killer Jacob Kell murdered in Arizone by a group of vigilates ending his killing spree that left 35 people dead. Now in 2005 He will be reawakened but something far worse will be returning with him"

Sounds like it's about our guy. As soon as I find out more I'll post it here.

-Souce: IMDB

Update 08-29-09
Just got confirmation that The Nest, The haunted house based on the murders by Jacob Kell, will be reopening this year in a new location at CJS Film Studios in Avondale AZ. Visit their Site at www.thenesthauntedhouse.com