the axeman

The letter written by the alleged "Axeman of New Orleans"

The letter sent by the alledged Axeman of New Orleans to The-Times Picayune and the New Orleans Police Department

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 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, 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

The letter apparently worked, as no one died that day. 

Between May 1918 and October 1919, New Orleans was tormented by the Axeman. 12 people were attacked in greater New Orleans, with 7 meeting their deaths at the hands of the killer.

In most cases, the Axeman would carve a small hole out of the back door of a home before climbing through and bludgeoning the inhabitants with an axe. The weapon would often belong to the victims themselves and would be left at the crime scene, along with the chisel used to gain entry to the house.

Little is known about the Axeman of New Orleans, including his identity, but a particular incident suggested the killer had a fondness for jazz. In a letter allegedly penned by the Axeman, the killer warned that he would kill anyone who did not have a jazz band playing at 15 minutes past midnight on March 19, 1919. In panic, citizens rushed to dance halls and parties where jazz was played. The Axeman kept to his word and everyone was spared.