Brooklyn Thrill Killers

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The Brooklyn Thrill Killers were:

  • Robert Trachtenberg
  • Jack Koslow
  • Melvin Mittman
  • Jerome Lieberman
The boys, handcuffed, alongside the corpse of Willard Mellard

According to a 1954 article in Time Magazine, one of the boys turned State's evidence and another had the charges against him dismissed. The other two boys, aged 17 and 18, were found guilty of felony murder during the act of kidnapping because one victim had been dragged several blocks before being thrown in the river. This allowed the jury to suggest life in prison rather than send two youths to the electric chair. While Time didn't identify any of the boys, one of the two sentenced to life in prison was 18 year old Jack Koslow, identified by AP reports at the time as the 'brains' of the group.

Dr. Fredric Wertham cited the Thrill Killers as an example of the potential harm caused by comic books.[1]


In 1999, Derek Davidson and Paul Franco wrote and directed a short film about the events surrounding the incident. The film starred Chip Zien, Anne Meara, and Dan Fogler.[2]

See also