100-year Anniversary of the Axeman of New Orleans

On May 23, 1918, the Axeman of New Orleans claimed his first victims.  Focusing on Italian immigrants, specifically grocers, the Axeman terrorized the city for over a year, killing 6 people and wounding another 12.  His real claim to fame, however, is the letter he wrote to newspapers in March 1919 that claimed he would kill again on the following Tuesday night (March 18th) but anyone with a "jazz band in full swing" that night would be spared.  While there are many theories about who the Axeman really was, he remains a mystery to this day.  His identity and motives have been the speculation of non-fiction and fiction alike.  Here are just a few of our favorite books that focus on him and his legend.

The Axeman of New Orleans!

On May 23, 1918, around the bicentennial of New Orleans, a serial killer began his spree. Killing for more than a year, the culprit was never caught. A hundred years later, the Axeman of New Orleans has inspired many writers to create their own version of the killer. Here are some books about the Axeman, as well as some intriguing fictionalized versions.


Fiction: Based on a true story, The Axeman brings to life a vibrant, volatile New Orleans filled with as much desperate ambition as utter fear.

American Horror Story: Coven, the third season of AHS, offers a fascinating take on the Axeman of New Orleans.

Fiction: Skip Langdon, a New Orleans homicide detective, chases a serial killer who claims to be the legendary Axeman, a turn-of-the-century New Orleans murderer who would not kill in a house where jazz was being played.

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