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The Story Of The Serial Killer That Frightened New Orleans Remains Unsolved

Who was The Axeman?

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Starting around 1918, New Orleans was shaken by a serial killer later known as the Axeman. This is the story of what happened:

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The Terrifying Axe Man of New Orleans

Over a period of roughly 18 months, the Axeman was responsible for possibly 12 attacks and 6 deaths. He only attacked people while they slept and never used his own tools besides what he could find in the victims household.

They were discovered by Joseph's brothers, who also lived in the house. Nothing was heard or seen and no valuables were taken. The bottom panel of the kitchen door was knocked out and the only thing found was a bloody axe.

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Louis survived the attack and Anna survived another 7 weeks before dying. Before her death, she recounted to the police that a large white man with a hatchet attacked them. Similarly to the first case, the bottom panel to their bedroom door was missing and the only thing found was a bloody axe.

Roughly a month later, Mrs. Ed Schneider was brutally attacked and discovered by her husband. She was rushed to the hospital and not only survived but successfully gave birth a week later.

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And with the consistent murders starting to frighten people, New Orleans newspapers sent out a warning to the Axeman that people were starting to protect their families while police were actively looking for the person responsible. The warning seemed to work, and for awhile the Axeman was off the grid...

Five days later, The Times-Picayune, a New Orleans newspaper, received a letter from the apparent axeman. He not only threatened and insulted the police but told the people of New Orleans that he could be much worse.

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However, the most important piece of the letter was a specific proposition to the people of New Orleans. The Axeman stated that on the night of March 19, 1919, he would roam around town and spare anyone who listened to jazz music.

But on August 10, 1919, Steve Boca was badly injured due to another attack by the Axeman. He survived the attack and staggered to a friend's home to call the police. Unfortunately, he couldn't regain his memory of what happened that night.

The last attack was on October 27, 1919, the suspected axeman attacked Esther and Mike Pepitone. Esther survived the attack and Mike was struck in the head 18 times and died two hours later. Esther saw two figures in the bedroom but couldn't identify them as they fled the scene.

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Now, let's get into the theories of who the Axeman could have been:

The second attack that caused speculation was that attack of Louis Besumer and Anna Lowe. If you recall, Louis survived the attack and Anna did not. He was later charged with her murder. Police had found letters written by Besumer in Yiddish and Russian and came to the conclusion he was a part of a German spy ring. The last strong piece of evidence was before dying Anna allegedly blamed Louis and claimed Besumer was a Nazi spy.

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She later moved to Los Angeles and remarried Angelo Albano. However, on the second anniversary of Mike's death (her former husband), her current husband, Angelo disappeared and was never found.

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He led a blackmailing gang in New Orleans that targeted Italians, which was very similar to the Axeman's M.O. since most of his victims were Italian. Mumfre was also in and out of prison for the past 10 years but during the times he was out of prison coincided with the Axeman attacks. But with that being said, there wasn't enough evidence to link Mumfre to the Axeman's crimes.

In the end, there weren't leads on the identity of the notorious New Orleans Axeman. Was it the work of a series of copycats or was it, one individual? For now, the case remains...unsolved.

  1. Who was the Axeman?

    Who was the Axeman?
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Joseph Mumfre
    Correct
    Incorrect
    Copycats
    Correct
    Incorrect
    A supernatural figure
    Correct
    Incorrect
    They were a series of mafia killings
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