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Hi! Welcome to Vertigo's Fun House. Here, you'll find write-ups on unsolved mysteries and serial killers. Thanks for stopping by! It means a lot.

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Mini Mystery 14: The 3X Killer

This mystery will be covered more extensively and thoroughly in A World of Terror towards the end of next year. Nevertheless, this entry will cover everything there is to see that's necessary to get the picture of the killer who called himself 3X.




When I began planning A World of Terror, I knew I wanted a roughly 25-75 split of unsolved and known serial killers respectively. This split was so I had a larger focus on the minds of those we know—whether they be those the public knows or a more obscure name—and a smaller focus on the names that chill the everyman, torment detectives, and captivate the amateur sleuths of the world. With this mindset, I got to work finding names that truly defined those three categories.


Two that instantly sprang to my mind were the Zodiac and the Monster of Florence. The former is known around the world as one of the most infamous unsolved crimes—and mysteries as a whole—in history, rivaling the likes of Jack the Ripper in popularity. The latter meanwhile is the European counterpart to the Zodiac, but a significantly more sexually motivated killer. He's also believed by some to also be the Zodiac; the idea being that he fled the United States and went to Italy to continue his rampage.


As I went through numerous stories, lists, and files on unidentified serial killers, I realized something. Many of these individuals echoed any other madman with a gun or knife. There was little to separate them from the sea of other unidentified person who terrorized a neighborhood or city. This forced me to make a decision: either I changed my 25-75 split or I had to dig deeper into the pool of serial killers I'd amassed for stranger stories that I'd otherwise save for a lazy, rainy day to write about.


I contemplated this a bit before deciding that the idea of reducing the split would hinder my ultimate point, which is that while law enforcement can end the terrible reigns of truly evil people, not all will be caught. There are instances in which local police are ill equipped to handle a situation like a serial killer, the killer themselves is one step ahead (the Zodiac falls into this category as an example), or the killer may in fact have law enforcement training and knows how to leave behind little to no evidence.


With that in mind, I got to work digging through what I call my bag of strange. The mysteries and crimes that are more enigmatic than they are chilling or creepy. Stories like the Prophecy of the Popes fall into this category. Their nature is something that I try my best to save for once in a blue moon as they I believe minimize the subjects that I wish to present when discussing a mystery.


Today's mystery is one that fell into that category, but has slowly moved out of it. Known as the 3X Killer (known from here on out as 3X), this mystery is one that I've very rarely seen talked about. The YouTube channel Criminally Listed has covered it, which pleased me and there is a Reddit post on these murders. On the flip side, this story lacks a Wikipedia page. This actually led Tyler—this blogs coauthor—to outright ask me if this mystery was even real, though the details to the mystery itself didn't help matters. It wasn't until he found a New York Times article from back in the 1930s that he realized I wasn't joking about any of this and everything regarding 3X wasn't a joke or exaggeration.


I don't blame him for that skepticism either. Most serial killers are people who murder for the thrill—be that sexual or not—they get from taking another person's life or for extreme hatred towards another gender or race. In the case of 3x, neither of those are applicable. His actions and motivations are much closer to those of a hitman that was hired by an organized crime syndicate.


This isn't terribly uncommon given the time period. The 3X murders happened back in 1930 and as we'll learn, America back then, especially in New York City, had a very real and serious problem with the Mafia. Someone like 3X wasn't necessarily abnormal to everyday life. What him stand out however was how he treated what he did. You see, most hitmen do their job and collect their pay. Should a cop or federal agent have come their way, they'd what they could to make sure they looked the other way. The Shotgun Man is someone who fit this description should you believe the stories of him. Hush money was powerful back then and as we've seen in cases like Harvey Weinstein and Jeffrey Epstein, it's still powerful.


No, what made 3X stand out was his vocal nature. He sent many letters to the press explaining what he did, why he did it, and what could be done to end his reign of terror before he claimed more lives. This action is something I've rarely, if ever, seen done. 3X seemed to hold the entirety of New York City for ransom and his demands were centered on one man and one many only. This paints a very peculiar picture for the psyche and profile of the man, which we'll discuss after we've covered the story itself. All I'll say for now is that I don't believe that 3X was a man who didn't know what he was doing.


All of this and more is why for this Halloween, we'll take a look at what I consider to be one of the most bizarre serial killers in the world; a crime spree that reads more like a hybrid of a Mission: Impossible film and David Fincher's Zodiac. The final thing I'll note is that, as stated at the very beginning this story will be expanded upon when I get to the World of Terror entry for 3X. That entry will expand upon the journalistic, psychological, and other criminological elements of the case—to the best of my amateurish ability anyways. For the time being, let's go over the case.



Take Me to the Place You Call Paradise: The Mystery of the 3X Killer


The location is New York City. Sometimes referred to as The Big Apple and The City That Never Sleeps, this place has been the home to an array of violent, despicable men and women. This was no different back in 1930, though times were much different and the look of the city wasn’t quite like it was today. Sure, the hustle and bustle was the same and the overall look was more or less the same (that of a concrete prison with skyscrapers that loomed overhead), but the image one had of the city wasn’t quite the same as it is today.


Nowadays most see New York City in one of three ways. Either it’s one of the most iconic cities on Earth and the person must visit at least once in their life, it’s a concrete prison that’s a dystopian hellscape, or it’s a symbol of a better future. Back in 1930, it was almost consistently the third option. To many, New York City was a symbol of paradise and a chance to have a better life.


There was a catch however. The Great Depression had begun back in 1929, and New York City was one of the hardest hit locations by this. So much so that a neighbor of mine (God rest her soul, she died a few years back from Alzheimer’s) had a relative jump out of a window when he lost everything.


As such, paradise had been lost to the financial catastrophe. Such a time period was ripe for evil to make its move and take advantage of the tumultuous situation.


That brings us to June 11th, 1930 in Queens, New York. A 39-year-old man by the name of Joseph Mozynski told his wife he was going to run a few errands. In the first of a few inconsistencies in this case, Joseph's surname has been spelled in one of two names. The second is Moyzynsky. For the sake of consistency, I'll be spelled as Mozynski as it's the way I've seen it spelled most often.


The owner of a small grocery store, Mozynski was a man who by all accounts was a nondescript, well-to-do man. However, behind his seemingly normal demeanor, he had a dark secret. After bidding his wife farewell, he left his sedan and picked up 19-year-old Catherine May, his mistress. After this, he drove to a well-known lover's lane close to Whitestone in College Park.


At this point, Mozynski's affair with May had been ongoing for two years, though they had no reason to fear that their tryst would be discovered. The location was secluded and Mozynski's wife had two children to look after. It also wouldn't be for close to half a century when David Berkowitz—better known as the Son of Sam—would instill terror into the entirety of New York City


Like a precursor to the “Summer of Sam” however, the summer of 1930 would become the playground for a maniac to hunt lover's lanes. As Mozynski and May set their seats back, a short, slender man approached the car and shot Mozynski without any warning in a manner reminiscent of the Zodiac. May was then ordered from the car and raped. It bears mentioning that is yet another major inconsistency as some say he didn't lay a hand on her. Whatever the truth is, the killer proceeded to rummage through May's purse, removed a few letters, and burned them.


That isn't the only version to the story though. While not terribly surprising given the unusually obscure nature of this case, it's always bothersome when there are multiple ways in which a crime occurs as it creates murky waters right off the bat, thus giving no discernible path to follow.


Nevertheless, it's worth mentioning that the one I just told comes from author Michael Newton. This next one comes from a Reddit post. While not exactly the most prestigious of sources, I believe it's still worth mentioning solely for completion's sake.


In the version on Reddit, the man approached their car and brandished a gun. In a thick German accent, the man ordered Mozynski to get back into the driver's seat as he entered and sat next to May. He proceeded to order Mozynski to start the car before aiming his gun at Mozynski's head and shooting him twice. The first bullet supposedly caused Mozynski to spin around, while the second went through his teeth and out his cheek. In spite of this, May could supposedly hear him still breathing as she was forced out of the car, though unlike in the other version, she wasn't raped.


The concept of a handgun being able to spin a grown man around as described in this version is enough to leave me laughing for years on end. Unless Mozynski purposefully spun around like an Olympic ice-skater, I'm inclined to believe that this was embellished to make the story more interesting.


I digress though. Whichever version you believe, it all ends the same: the killer escorted May to a nearby trolley. She was also given a letter and ordered to not open it until the following day.


May went and reported the incident to the police, who found the story to be absurd. Rather, they suspected that May had orchestrated Mozynski's murder and that she was a material witness to said murder. As for the letter, it was written in crimson ink.


Joseph Mozynski


3X3-X-097


Two days after Mozynski's murder, a letter was mailed to a local newspaper. Below is a photocopy of the letter that's been cropped from the newspaper clipping above. I originally found this on a website called Tapatalk, though there was nothing that felt identifiable in the way of which paper this originates from. As such, I cannot verify the legitimacy of it, though I've found nothing to suggest it's a forgery. Nonetheless: leave a comment if it is indeed fake.



For those who can't read that, it says:


Kindly print this letter in your paper for Mozynski's friends: “CC-NY ADCM-Y16a DQR-PA . . . 241 PM6 Queens.” By doing this you may save their lives. We do not want any more shooting unless we have to.


At some unknown point, though presumably around the same time this letter was mailed, this composite sketch was made.





I'm unsure as to why it appears that the killer is wearing a ski mask as he's never once been described as having worn one (rather, he was said to have been wearing a black suit and sported a bow tie and black fedora).


With little to go on, the police released May. Not long after that, on June 14, a third letter arrived. In it, the killer labeled Mozynski as a “dirty rat”. He also gave a motivation for what he was doing by stating he was looking, “to get certain documents, but unfortunately they were not in his [Mozynski's] possession at the time”. The killer also threatened that should these documents not be obtained, “14 more of Mozynski's friends will join him”. It's also in this letter that he have himself a name: 3X. Some claim that the name was given in the letter before this however.


It's worth mentioning that to prove he was the real killer, 3X detailed what kind of firearm was used, along with the type of ammunition. Presumably, both of these facts were withheld from the media. This is a tactic used in order to verify the information from those who submit tips or confess to crimes.


With the legitimate threat of more innocent people dead, police were working against the clock before 3X would strike again. Unfortunately, they wouldn't have to wait long. Two days later, on June 16, Noel Sowley and Elizabeth Ring—who was apparently described as being the daughter of a policeman—were parked at another lover's lane when a man approached them, demanding Sowley's driver's license.


After examining it, the man turned away and shined a flashlight in what has been described as appearing to have been a “coded signal”. Once he turned back to the couple, he said, “You're the one we want, all right” and that, “You're going to get what Joe got”.


Without another word, 3X shot Sowley dead, searching his body for contents still unknown. Afterwards, he turned to Elizabeth, who held a religious medal in front of her. Whether out of pity, respect or a lack of interest, 3X didn't rape her, though she was given a note just like May was.


Much like with the first murder however, there's another version to this. The one I told once again comes from author Michael Newton. The second one I found on another blog, which you can read here. In this write-up, by a man named Robert A. Waters, it's said that Elizabeth was raped, but 3X stopped once she held the religious medal in front of her attacker's face. Only then did he stop just as quickly as he'd begun, after which he brought her to a bus stop. It's also said that Sowley had a newspaper, which was opened to an article on Mozynski's murder, placed on him (this specific part can also be found with some unlinked, but still cited, sources on a website called angelfire). I, personally, am unable to verify what Mr. Waters claims, so make of this version what you will. I'm likely overlooking something.


Whatever the case may be, the contents of Elizabeth's letter are, to the best of my knowledge, unknown. Despite that, 3X mailed in another letter which claimed that, “V-5 Sowley” was “one of Mozynski's friends”. It also stated that “thirteen more men and one woman will go if they do not make peace with us and stop bleeding us to death”. I cannot explain why 3X stated that 14 more of Mozynski's friends would die in the previous letter, only to threaten that 14 more will die after he called Sowley one of Mozynski's friends.


A massive search was launched and numerous suspects were interviewed and cleared—including Catherine May if Mr. Waters, who's the only person I've ever seen mention her being released at any point in time. During this search, on June 21, 3X appeared for the first and only time outside of New York City. I'm Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he mailed threatening letters to Joseph Mozynski's brother regarding “those letters”. Naturally concerned, the investigation shifted to Philadelphia, but nothing turned up.


What did turn up was yet another letter, which New York City police received. For the first time, 3X gave some semblance of a background to who he was and why he was killing people. He described himself as an agent of an anticommunist group known as “The Red Diamond of Russia”, which we'll be covering in great detail in a bit. For now, there's this other gem that comes courtesy of 3X himself.


The last document, N.J. 4-3-44 returned to us the 19 at 9 p.m. My mission is ended. There is no further cause for worry.


With that final letter, and true to his word, the man who called himself 3X vanished, leaving behind a legacy that’s as baffling as it is fascinating.


Though as a bonus, and as per Michael Newton once more: one man, author Jay Robert Nash, felt that 3X wasn't interesting on his own. As such, in his 1984 book Open Files, Nash heavily embellished the story of 3X and described him as a mad bomber who planted homemade bombs around Manhattan, specifically targeting major landmarks. There’s no evidence to support this claim and exactly why Nash made this claim is beyond me, though such a reaction can be applied to this entire case. I digress though. With the story now told, let’s advance onward to the second part of 3X's tale.


Diamonds Are A Killers Best Friend: What Was the Red Diamond of Russia?


It’s time we discuss what 3X claimed he was an agent of. If you do a Google search of The Red Diamond of Russia, you’re not going to find something like a Wikipedia page, but rather write-ups by people who are interested in the 3X case. The first one you’ll find, the angelfire website I mentioned earlier, is where my information comes from. As such, all credit for this information goes to them.


In a letter, 3X claimed that he was a former officer in the German army until he became joined the Red Diamond of Russia and became a special agent for them. According to 3X, this secretive society was international in nature and had members of all nationalities and the cryptic symbols he sent in his letters (3X would used inverted and upright V’s whenever he signed his letters) were representative of the Red Diamond and the name “3X” was his codename.


The Mozynski brothers, along with Noel Sowley, were once members of the Red Diamond. However, they were discharged due to “treason” after they “turned against” the society. Apparently, they’d turned their backs on the Red Diamond and joined up with another unnamed group of people to blackmail the organization, along with having become involved in drug smuggling. However, 3X never specifically states where in the world this happened, so it’s possible this was in New York, Poland, Germany, or Saudi Arabia.


3X went on to claim that one of these three men stole three documents, one military, one political, and one commercial. With these documents, they’d been using them to blackmail the Red Diamond. Once this was forwarded to the “Supreme Council” in Russia, a dozen agents of were called upon. To decide which would be tasked with retrieving these three documents, the group drew from a deck of cards. 3X was the lucky winner, having drawn a king of diamonds. As he put it, he was, “selected to punish, and to inflict death if necessary”.


With this said, the inverted and upright V symbols became key in figuring out which letters were and weren’t legitimate—or appeared to be legitimate—in nature. There were letters mailed after the “final” letter from 3X, but none of them had the symbol of the Red Diamond. As such, those letters were, and still are, regarded as being hoaxes. It could be argued that 3X was remaining in touch with the New York City police incognito, but given how he seemed to be extremely loyal to the Red Diamond, it begs the question as to why he’d risk what could be regarded as treason.


I digress though. The Red Diamond of Russia is something that’s certainly odd in nature, but the truth behind it is something that’s perhaps more mundane than fantastical. It’s the first theory that we’ll be going over (and it’ll be an extremely short theory at that). However, there’s one thing that I want to talk about before we get to that.


An Everlasting Legacy: An Inspiration For the Zodiac Killer?


This is something that's always stood out to me in the case of 3X. While, once again, merely a theory, there are those that believe the infamous Zodiac killer was inspired by the 3X Killer. This isn't the only unsolved serial killer case that's been connected to the Zodiac, the other being the Texarkana Moonlight Murders (better known as the Phantom Killer), but our focus here is strictly on 3X. As for the Phantom Killer, we'll get to him sometime next year.


To start this off, let me make one thing extremely clear. This is pure speculation on my part. I don't know of the origin to this, though I personally found it on Tapatalk, which I mentioned earlier. If you wish to read the full thread, click here.


The idea for this theory goes as follows: the Zodiac, at some point in time, heard about the 3X killer, be it via a newspaper while on a trip to New York or through a second or third hand source, and used the method[s] employed by him to “create” the image of the Zodiac. There are a few similarities such as:


1. The usage of cryptic messages/ciphers in the letters that were sent to police.


2. The near or complete lack of communication with his victims.


3. The letters were very direct and concise in their wording.


4. The killer coined his own nickname.


5. The murders took place at a lover’s lane (this doesn’t apply to every one of the Zodiac’s murders however).


6. The usage of a flashlight (this one is likely purely a coincidence though, especially given the theory that the Zodiac’s first murder was failed).


These six points are merely my understanding of the theory and may be expanded upon in the future when I have more time to comb through various similarities on my own. That said, there’s an argument to be made in favor of it on a more broad level rather than solely on the level of it being exclusive to the Zodiac. One case I’d like to draw attention to are the failed hijackings that took place in the wake of the infamous Dan Cooper (better known, albeit incorrectly, as D.B. Cooper). Given that Cooper got away with the money that he received in exchange for the passengers of Northwest Flight 305, there were several copycat hijackings, each of which failed miserably.


Copycats like this are common with killers—serial or not. They also are generally less “successful” in nature, though every now and then, you get someone who manages to exceed the “original”. It’s possible that the Zodiac was one of these cases. If it is, I’d be inclined to believe the Zodiac took cues from 3X (and likewise, the aforementioned Phantom Killer) after his first failed murder, likely having figured that a flashlight to blind his victims was efficient and his use of a firearm rather than a trying to murder up close and personal (why he changed this for his lakeside murder is beyond me).


I leave this theory up to you to decide. I personally believe that it’s plausible and likely possible, but given who I believe the Zodiac was, I can only speculate if the man was ever in New York state or if he had any knowledge of unsolved crimes.


Profile


This section is going to become a norm with future unsolved serial killer entries. The idea of creating a profile is to give an idea as to who this person—or persons—may have been, or perhaps still is, like. In the case of 3X, we know a few things.


1. He was said to be around the age of 40.


2. He stood around 5 feet, 6 inches (roughly 1.67 meters).


3. He had an extremely thick German accent, which means he more than likely didn’t live in the United States, or had recently immigrated. Given his claim of being a member of a foreign organization, the former is the more likely of the two possibilities.


4. His use of a firearm to murder indicates that he had no emotional attachment to his victims. A murderer who uses a gun generally feels powerless or emasculated; they take no gratification, sexual or otherwise, in what they do. They want to kill and they want to do it quick. It also indicates they likely have no confidence in their ability to overpower their victim[s]. This aspect leads to two possibilities when discussing 3X as a killer that we’ll get into when we discuss theories, so just keep it in mind.


5. In the case of the letters, I asked a friend of mine who has a bit of knowledge in the realm of handwriting analysis. Two things stuck out to him. The first was that they frequently ended up using too much space when writing as the writing would get cramped. The second is that they used a lowercase B when they spelled “by” towards the end of the letter, which may mean that 3X wasn’t well educated in the English language. Given the thick accent he was said to have, this isn’t surprising.


With these five pieces of information in mind, we can paint one of two pictures. The first is that 3X was who claimed to be: an agent of an international anticommunist group, like a hitman or assassin of some sort with severe anger issues judging by the rape of Catherine May. The second is that 3X was a lone wolf who wanted to embellish himself with some sort of terrifying visage that would scare the whole of New York City in a similar way to 1915’s Jack the Ripper did.


That said, now that we’ve created ourselves a profile, let’s go over the theories and figure out which is the most likely.


Theories


1. The Red Diamond of Russia


Our first theory claims that 3X wasn't lying about the Red Diamond of Russia and that the Mozynski brothers, along with Sowley, were detectors. As for why we've never heard of this society, believers of this theory claim that they were erased from history during Stalin's Great Purge.


While that explanation isn't implausible, the only way to prove it in that case would be for the Russian government to reveal it. Given how Russia seldom, if ever, reveals its secrets or the atrocities of the Soviet Union, there's no way that we'll ever learn about whether or not it existed.


As for the theory: it's easily the most fantastical and interesting, though it's stuck in-between being unprovable and not being disprovable. Whether or not you believe it I entirely up to you and, to a degree, how you view secret societies. I’ll be going over the society a bit more in the future when I inevitably talk about the Illuminati. For now, I’d file the Red Diamond of Russia as something that’s impossible to prove or disprove without hearing it from the horse’s mouth (in this case: the Kremlin).


2. An unknown New Jersey man


Six years after the murders ceased, an unnamed man from New Jersey confessed the he was the man who called him 3X. This man was later cleared by detectives before being thrown into an asylum. Few, if any, believe this man to really be the 3X killer, but I figured I'd make mention of him for the sake of completion.


3. Bruno Hauptmann


If you've ever had any sort of interest in unsolved mysteries of any kind, I can almost guarantee you've heard of this guy. Richard Bruno Hauptmann is one of the most controversial figures in the realm of unsolved murders and at the center of a mystery that's as notorious as the likes of the Zodiac and Jack the Ripper. That said, that notoriety is mostly known in the United States.


For those who don't know: Bruno Hauptmann was the man who was convicted, and subsequently executed for the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh Jr. It was dubbed the “Crime of the Century” and over half a century later, the case remains heavily contested. Some believe Hauptmann was behind it while others think law enforcement had tunnel vision for him and he was wrongly convicted.


The entire story is extremely long and I fully intend on some day covering it. For now, let's focus on Hauptmann. He had a criminal record in his home country of Germany, having been charged with robbery. This is one reason some suspect he committed the kidnapping as Lindbergh Jr. was held for ransom. Here's what the letter said.


Dear Sir!


Have 50.000$ redy 25 000$ in


20$ bills 15000$ in 10$ bills and


10000$ in 5$ bills After 2–4 days


we will inform you were to deliver


the mony.


We warn you for making


anyding public or for notify the Police


the child is in gut care.


Indication for all letters are


Singnature


and 3 hohls.


Suffice to say, Hauptmann wasn't very good at writing in English. That alone should clear Hauptmann of any wrongdoing in the way of the 3X murders given the latter's letters were, for the most part, grammatically coherent. Nevertheless, the look of Hauptmann, his Germanic roots, and his pension for being a less-than savory individual has led some to suspect he was 3X. In my eyes, it's understandable, but it's not too likely. Not to mention, Hauptmann also hadn't had any history of murder prior to the death of Lindbergh Jr.


On the other hand, there is one aspect that needs to be addressed. Hauptmann was said to have acted alone in the case of Lindbergh Jr's kidnapping. This has been disputed, with some saying he had accomplices. In the case of 3X, he speaks—and outright states—he isn't working alone. This has led some to think the two are one in the same.


Personally, I don't think so, but should you wish to see what those more heavily invested in the Lindbergh case think, there's a forum thread on this theory that you can read here. When we discuss the Lindbergh mystery in its entirety, this theory will be spoken about in much greater detail.


4. A power focused serial killer


This is easily the most benign theory, yet it’s also the one that opens up the most questions. The idea is extremely simple: 3X was something made up by a deranged maniac in an attempt at instilling fear into the population of New York City in the same way the Zodiac wished to instill fear into Vallejo when he said he was “collecting souls [to be] his slaves” and threatened to blow out the tires of a school bus and shoot the children as they exited it. It’s an attempt at feeling in power and in control. In the case of the Zodiac, it worked. In the case of the 3X killer, it also worked.


Supposedly, the investigation into the 3X killer was the largest in New York City’s history—for quite some time. There were over 2,000 uniformed officers on patrol with assistance from over 400 specialized units. Despite these efforts, 3X eluded authorities and he seemed to take great pleasure in that given he mailed several letters at a faster rate than the Zodiac would 39 years later (with his first confirmed murder having been 38 years later).


There are a few issues with this theory however. The first is that 3X ended his reign of terror after two murders. Most power centric serial killers don’t do this, and not so quickly. This may not be the case as seven years after the final 3X murder, two more lovers were murdered at a lover’s lane in Queens. Lewis Weiss and Francis Hajek—both aged 20. Weiss murdered in a similar fashion to Mozynski and Sowley, having been shot in the head. Hajek, however, was stabbed a total of seven times in the upper portion of her torso. The aspect that separates this double murder from the 3X killings however is that circles were drawn on the foreheads of the victims.


Nevertheless, these two murders make some believe that 3X continued his killing spree even after he claimed it was “done”. This isn’t implausible as the character (as I’d call it) of 3X may have been a ploy to throw law enforcement off of his track and to make it seem as though there were multiple serial killers running around. The question is: were there any murders in that seven year gap that fit the modus operandi of 3X, or did he truly take a hiatus in that time? Given the busyness of New York City and the issue of the Great Depression, it’s unlikely we’ll ever know for certain. One can merely speculate unless the case is reopened.


5. A scorned lover


Our final theory is one that was popular among law enforcement initially. The theory that the 3X title and claims were merely a mask for the fact the murders were over jealousy.


Per Angelfire: Catherine May had been supposedly telling conflicting stories. As such, police had begun to suspect she was really covering for the fact she was jealous of Mozynski's wife because he, presumably, wouldn't divorce his wife (likely due to how his social status would be forever tarnished). As such, May enlisted the help of someone to murder Mozynski.


There are a lot of holes in this theory, though sex isn't unheard of at the scene of a murder. I need to only mention Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, who had sex after murdering a child. As such, one can argue the rape that May claimed was likely an excuse to not draw suspicion to herself.


On the flip side, this begs the question as to why Noel Sowley. This is where an alternate version of this theory comes in: killer had a crush on both women and murdered their lovers as acts of revenge; the idea of 3X remaining the same.


Your mileage may vary on this theory. For me, it doesn't add up. One can explain May's conflicting stories having been because of trauma. Nonetheless, it's fairly popular—or it was anyways.


My Take


Originally, I thought that this man may have been a spy of some sort. As time has gone by, however, I'm convinced that he may have simply been someone who craved power and attention. I attribute this to the friend who assist with looking at the letters in particular.


My main reasoning behind this is primarily due to me being extremely skeptical of most secret societies acting in the way people claim they do. Does that mean they don't exist? No, that's silly. However, the way the so-called Red Diamond of Russia is said to have, or is, acted is peculiar. That, combined with many power focused serial killers always embellishing themselves as being superior or the dominant one, generally doing anything they can to come across as being in control, leads me to believe that 3X was nothing more than someone who craved being in power.


This doesn't mean that 3X couldn't be a spy mind you. There are still aspects that don't truly add up for me personally. One of the biggest what happened to him. Generally, killers don't simply stop that suddenly. Yes, they will “retire”, but not this quickly. The only explanation to this angle in particular I have is he grew bored and gave up.


Other possibilities are that he was arrested on unrelated charges or that he fled back to his home country. Both are purely speculative though. Personally, I lean towards him having grown bored. It isn't unheard of for killers to outright give up, though it's rare.


Conclusion


In all likelihood, we'll never know the truth behind the man who called himself 3X. Not without an extremely lucky break. That said, it remains one of the most fascinating stories I've ever had the pleasure of discovering. It's bizarre, enigmatic, and it goes down a rabbit hole that never ends. For me, those are the mysteries that are the most fun to discuss. Their ever increasing insanity shines a light on how truly bizarre crime and the world can be. For me, the 3X killer is in the top three strangest unsolved crimes I've ever read about and in the top five strangest unsolved mysteries.


Hope you all enjoyed reading this story and as always: if I provided any misinformation, 3X1-2-019. Then tell me where and I'll correct it.

Edit: for those interested, here is a website with proof of death for Joseph Mozynski.

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