Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

John Rulloff: The Genius Killer

The Eatery

John Rulloff
John Rulloff

At 411 College Avenue in Ithaca, New York, stands a pub named for Rulloff.  They use his likeness and offer his history as the "learned murderer."  Despite some doubt over his actual scholarly abilities, the eatery's Web site touts Rulloff as possessing the skills of a physician, lawyer, scholar, draughtsman and carpenter.  They also claim that he spoke 28 languages and dialects, although he didn't satisfy other learned men about this claim.  His theory about language was not well received, nor did most people who knew him consider him to be "mannerly."  The restaurant's Web site puts a brighter sheen on his character than comes across in Bailey's book or Crapsey's New York Times articles.  Nevertheless, it's clear that Rulloff was an unusual man, and while he's been more or less forgotten, he certainly merits a place among the more complex serial killers in America. 


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