The Murderous Axeman Of New Orleans May Sound Like A Myth, But It’s Far From It

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The Axeman of New Orleans is one of the scariest unsolved murder mysteries you”ll ever hear. From the spring of 1918 and the fall of 1919, the serial killer claimed 8 victims, though even more are speculated. As you probably could have guessed from the name, The Axeman of New Orleans murdered the residents of New Orleans with an axe (or sharp razor). Being that most of the victims were Italian, the murders are thought to be racially motivated.

An illustrated map of The Axeman of New Orleans” murders.

An illustrated map of The Axeman of New Orleans

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While The Axeman of New Orleans” identity is still unknown, it”s no mystery that they were a big fan of jazz music. In fact, in a letter penned by the serial killer, a threat was posed to all New Orleans establishments that were not playing jazz.

Hell, March 13, 1919

Esteemed Mortal:

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 whom 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 offense 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 were better that they were never born than to incur the wrath of the Axeman. I dont 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, 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 on Tuesday night (if there be any) will get the axe.

Well, as I am cold and crave the warmth of my native Tartarus, and it is about time I leave your earthly home, I will cease my discourse. Hoping that thou wilt publish this, that it may go well with thee, I have been, am and will be the worst spirit that ever existed either in fact or realm of fancy.

The Axeman”

This is certainly not a sight that I would like to wake up to.

This is certainly not a sight that I would like to wake up to.

Despite the terrifying and open-ended nature of the murders, The Axeman of New Orleans became quite the fixture in pop culture. I suppose the old adage about laughing to keep from crying is true. While this must have felt like salt in the wounds of the victims” families, it likely helped others deal with the stress of living in a city with a murderer that”s on the loose.

One song that was particularly popular during the time was “The Mysterious Axman”s Jazz (Don”t Scare Me Papa).”

One song that was particularly popular during the time was "The Mysterious Axman

Listen to a modern playing of the song in the video below.

While The Axeman of New Orleans was never officially caught, it is thought by some, including crime writer Colin Wilson, that the killer was a man named Joseph Momfre. Momfre himself was murdered by the wife of one of The Axeman”s victims in 1920.

(via Wikipedia)

If The Axeman of New Orleans is still alive, they”re too old to even lift an axe. Right? Because if not, there”s no way I”m going to sleep tonight.

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