The Axeman

By Jordan Balmaceda

The Axeman

The Axeman is one of the most popular and interesting serial killers of all time. What makes this story more interesting was that he was never caught. This unsolved mystery is one of my favourite stories. The reason why the killer was called The Axeman of New Orleans was that he would murder people with their own axes in New Orleans. The Axeman would usually grab their axes from their sheds and brutally murder his victim(s).

The Axeman's first murder occurred on May 23, 1918. His first victim was Joseph Maggio. Joseph Maggio and his wife Catherine Maggio were slit by their throats by a razor then slammed by an axe. The Axeman never used his own weapon, he grabbed axes from the people’s homes. Joseph was found dead by his brothers.

The next attack occurred on June 28, 1918. Louis Besumer and Anna Lowe were found dead by a baker who does morning deliveries. Anna survived for 7 weeks after the attack before dying. Anna described the man as a large white male with a hatchet. During that time, the cops arrested a 41-year-old African American male. There was no evidence to arrest him, but they did it because he was around during the time of the killings.

The third attack the Axeman had done happened on August 5, 1918. Mrs. ED Schneider was a pregnant woman who was 8 months pregnant. Luckily, she and her baby lived during the attack and she gave birth successfully. As Anna Schneider described her experience, she saw a large dark figure over her bed and she was brutally bashed on the face repeatedly. Her face was covered in blood. Luckily her husband found her in time to call the ambulance.

On March 13, 1919, the Axeman sent out a letter to the police station.

β€œHell, March 13, 1919Esteemed Mortal of New Orleans:They have never caught me, and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether that surrounds your earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit and a demon from the hottest hell. I am what you Orleanians and your foolish police call the Axeman.When I see fit, I shall come and claim other victims. I alone know who they shall be. I shall leave no clue except my bloody axe, besmeared with blood and brains of he whom I have sent below to keep me company.If you wish you may tell the police to be careful not to rile me. Of course, I am a reasonable spirit. I take no offence at the way they have conducted their investigations in the past. In fact, they have been so utterly stupid as to not only amuse me but His Satanic Majesty, Francis Josef, etc. But tell them to beware. Let them not try to discover what I am, for it was better that they were never born than to incur the wrath of the Axeman. I don't think there is any need of such a warning, for I feel sure the police will always dodge me, as they have in the past. They are wise and know how to keep away from all harm.Undoubtedly, you Orleanians think of me as a most horrible murderer, which I am, but I could be much worse if I wanted to. If I wished, I could pay a visit to your city every night. At will I could slay thousands of your best citizens (and the worst), for I am in close relationship with the Angel of Death.Now, to be exact, at 12:15 (earthly time) on next Tuesday night, I am going to pass over New Orleans. In my infinite mercy, I am going to make a little proposition to you people. Here it is:I am very fond of jazz music, and I swear by all the devils in the nether regions that every person shall be spared in whose home a jazz band is in full swing at the time I have just mentioned. If everyone has a jazz band going, well, then, so much the better for you people. One thing is certain and that is that some of your people who do not jazz it out on that specific Tuesday night (if there be any) will get the axe.--The Axeman”

This letter was a threat to the town and the police decided to send out the letter to warn others. This is one of my favourite reasons why it makes the Axeman so interesting. He made the whole town play jazz music as if they were like his puppets. No death occurred on that day. The city was alive with every place playing jazz music. It also inspired a song called β€œDon't Scare Me Papa.”

There have been more attacks by the Axeman. On October 27, 1919, was recorded as the last attack by the Axeman. The victim was Mike Pepitone, who was struck 18 times in the head and died two hours later. Esther, who is the wife of Mike, said she saw the Axeman leave as well with another person on his side. She didn't get a good look at them. Esther survived the attack and moved to Los Angeles where she found her new husband named Angelo Albano. Unfortunately, Angelo disappeared after ending a business relation with a man called Joseph Mumfre.

The reason why this is important is that on December 5th, he visited Esther and demanded jewellery as well as $500. Joseph later threatened her by saying, β€œI will kill you the same way I killed your husband.” Esther then pulled out a revolver and shot him. She was not charged with murder due to her telling the cops that the person she killed was, in fact, the Axeman and the cops also had some reason to believe due to his actions; for example, he leads a blackmailing gang. There is also a reason to believe he is not because he was in and out of prison during the Axeman attacks. Therefore, there is a possibility it couldn't be him. There are theories that say that the Axeman had copycat killers or the other killings was part of his blackmail gang. The Axeman was never found. In the end, the Axeman killed 6 people and left 12 injured. No one knows if all these were connected but it was most likely. The Axeman story is truly interesting in my opinion.

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