Axeman of New Orleans

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The “Axeman”

Who will be next is the question…

Crimes happen everyday; even at this right moment, somewhere in this world, there is probably someone breaking in through the door or murdering someone. Every year the crime rates increase slowly. Where do criminal minds come from? What makes people commit crimes? Everyone has different thoughts but I believe that there are possibilities that someone might be charged of a murder or other type of crimes that happened accidentally; however, most of the crimes that happen occur in a planned fashion.

There are so many unsolved mysteries that have been buried from the new cases that come in every day. One of the top unsolved mysterious is called “Axeman of New Orleans.” Briefly summarizing, the criminal–known by everyone as the “Axeman,”–gruesomely murders numerous people, mainly attacking grocers, chopping them into pieces with axes.

Lets get into details. May 22, 1918: this is the start of this unsolved case, which soon grabbed everyone’s attention. Andrew Maggio, a barber in New Orleans returned home around two o’clock after drinking. Jake, his brother, was already asleep in the room that Andrew shared with him. Joseph, Andrew’s older brother, used the room adjacent to his with Catherine, his wife.

It was 4 o’clock when Jake woke up at the sounds of groaning and moaning. He froze, carefully listening to the sound again that seemed to come from the room next door. He went to check what the sound was and was shocked by what he saw. Joseph and Catherine were lying on bed surrounded by blood. Catherine wasn’t breathing and Joseph had a big hole on his head. There was a trace of an intruder because a small portion of the door was chiseled. Both the chisel and the axe that the criminal had used to intrude and kill the married couple were lying on the ground. Jake called the police and the ambulance. Soon, Corporal Arthur Hatener arrived to help Joseph and see the scene but it was too late—Joseph stopped breathing.

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Joseph and Catherine after the attack

The next day, this incident was on the front page of all the newspapers with a photograph of Joseph and Catherine. Jake and Andrew were prisoned to be questioned of the incident. Jake was released but Andrew wasn’t, for it seemed that he was lying in some parts. Andrew was devastated for being prisoned after having been grieving for his brother. Andrew confessed that he did not remember much for he was drunk but he said that he noticed someone entering their house at around 1:30 a.m. Later he was released because there was no real proof that Andrew was related with the crime.

The coroner continuously searched for any clues of shot he criminal was when he found something peculiar. In front of Joseph and Catherine’s grocery store, there was a message written in a small chalkboard: “Mrs. Maggio will sit up tonight just like Mrs. Toney.” They started digging into prior incidents parallel with the crime. It turned out that in 1911, there were around four similar axe murder cases. All four cases and this one had similarities: the victims were all grocers. Is there a possibility that it’s the same criminal for all cases?

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Newspaper head title during the incident

The first victim was Cruti, second was Rosetti who got murdered with his wife, third was Schiambra whose wife was also killed and lastly, Tony was murdered. The coroner suspected that there might be a chance that Tony had to do with “Toney” in the mysterious chalkboard message.

After two weeks of the Maggio’s incident, there were several other upcoming events that people did not imagine would happen. Besmer, a grocer, and his wife were attacked with an axe and a few days later, Edward Schneider’s wife who was pregnant was hit down with an axe. After 5 days, on August 10, there was an intruder in Mary Bruno’s house who was holding on axe on his right hand but just ran away after her loud scream.

Reading all these happenings in the newspaper, people were horrified that they might be the next victim. People started to believe that this was a planned by Mafia. Officers and coroners tried their best to catch some clues but the criminal was professional in not leaving his trace behind. What was interesting was that the criminal mainly attacked men who had a wife, grocers, he didn’t leave his fingerprints behind, he used an axe as a weapon and entered through the door that he chiseled.

One day, the unknown Axeman wrote a letter to the people in New Orleans. This is a part from the letter:

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 to the Angel of Death.

Now, to be exact, at 12:15 (earthly time) on next Tuesday night, I am going to visit New Orleans again. In my infinite mercy, I am going to make a 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 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 those people who do not jazz it on Tuesday night (if there be any) will get the axe.

Scared of the murderer, people did what was told. That night, there was no death.

No one knows about Axeman’s identity; it is still left as a mystery.

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