Born in 1925 Cain Alexander was the result of a flapper-era fling that had the misfortune of growing up in depression-era New Orleans. For Cain and his mother, who raised him alone, posessions were few and hard to come by.
His mother, a well-known alcoholic, did little to support her son who by the age of 13 had already begun earning a meager living digging canals and clearing brush in the city. It was hard labor but it earned an honest wage that kept the small family afloat.
Cain had but one material pleasure: Baseball cards. He collected them obsessively, saving his few leftover pennies to buy cards from the golden and silver era. Cards today that are worth many tens of thousands of dollars, he had in perfect condition.
He was meticulous and fanatic in the care of his cards and was unbelievably thorough in the building of his collection. He took great pride in his work and received great satisfaction pouring over his well-cataloged and preserved collection.
But things changed in 1943. Having turned eighteen, Cain was drafted in to WWII. He served in the European theater and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, helping secure the Allied victory.
However, Cain did not come home to parades or parties. He returned home to find his mother his mother living destitute in their small apartment and his baseball card collection gone.
After an argument, Cain’s mother admitted she had sold the collection one week when money was tight. She pleaded with him, saying she needed the money for food and rent. But Cain looked around the apartment. The floor was littered with empty bottles of booze and the entire place reeked of cheap alcohol.
Cain picked up one of the bottles and thrust it into his mother’s face. “Is this what you spent the money on?” he said screaming.
“No,” she pleaded, “It’s not like that.”
Cain looked deep into his mother’s eyes and saw how lifeless they were. She was lying and she didn’t even care about it.
Then something within him snapped. Grabbing the neck of the bottle he swung it, striking his mother in the side of the head. She fell to the ground, bleeding and dying. Her skull crushed.
He hid the body, or at least most of it, under his house even though there was little need. It would be months before anyone noticed the reclusive Ms. Alexander was gone. When the police finally did come to ask about her, Cain simply said he hadn’t seen her since his return. It was widely assumed she was one of Dr. Loren’s unnamed victims, her alcohol problems having put her in and out of psychiatric hospitals in the past.
Cain, however, was never the same. He never bought another baseball card. Instead, he held onto a souvenier from his mother: Her skull. Carefully stripped to the bone and placed on a shelf, it became the first item in his new collection.
Using his job with the city, which he picked back up after returning, as cover, Cain learned the cesspools and the swamps of the town well. He also used his GI money to purchase a new house, one with a garage he could use as his “workshop”.
Over time, that garage became something of a torture chamber. A place where captured men and women were brought, held, killed and cut up so their various parts could be put in the appropriate collection.
It was only through sheer luck that Cain was stopped. A delivery man heard muffled screams coming from the garage when he brought a package to the wrong house. He called the police who quickly raided the garage. There, they found 22 skulls, of all kinds, as well as a vast array of body parts, torture devices and cutting tools.
Cain quickly became known as “The A-to-Z Killer” for his attempt to kill 26 people, one who’s name started with each letter in the alphabet. In the end, he fell four short.
However, in 2009, Bernie has brought Cain back for a little visit. The workshop is open again and you are invited inside. Be warned though, he may be looking for a skull with your letter on it.