Title: The Axeman of New Orleans
From 1910 to 1919, New Orleans suffered at the hands of its very own Jack the Ripper–style killer. The story has been the subject of websites, short stories, novels, a graphic novel, and most recently the FX television series American Horror Story. But the full story of gruesome murders, sympathetic victims, accused innocents, public panic, the New Orleans Mafia, and a mysterious killer has never been written. Until now.
The Axeman repeatedly broke into the homes of Italian grocers in the dead of night, leaving his victims in a pool of blood. Iorlando Jordano, an innocent Italian grocer, and his teenaged son Frank were wrongly accused of one of those murders; corrupt officials convicted them with coerced testimony. Miriam C. Davis here expertly tells the story of the search for the Axeman and of the eventual exoneration of the innocent Jordanos. She proves that the person mostly widely suspected of being the Axeman was not the killer. She also shows what few have suspected—that the Axeman continued killing after leaving New Orleans in 1919.
Only thirty years after Jack the Ripper stalked the streets of Whitechapel, the Axeman of New Orleans held an American city hostage. This book tells that story.
Author: Miriam C. Davis
Published by Chicago Review Press Source: Author
Published: March 1st 2017
Genres: Crime Drama, Historical Mystery, Mystery
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I’ve always loved reading different genres of books but lately everything I read is romance. The Axeman of New Orleans was a nice departure, taking me back to true crime.
Miriam Davis has done an amazing job researching this book. The amount of detail she provides for a century old crime is incredible. Using quotes from multiple newspapers, police reports and archive photos, Davis supplies more than enough evidence to support her premises on various murders. Some she is able to discount as work of the Axeman by reasoning through the circumstances and facts and others she makes sounds cases for assuming they were the same killer. She provides insight into the period; New Orleans life, politics, police practices and crime scene analysis techniques. At times she even adds humor to an otherwise grim topic.
Davis provides so much detail on the victims that we get to know them. They are real people, not just corpses in the coroner’s office. We also get to know the police, politicians and neighbors in depth. Davis paints an accurate and detailed picture of the effect the murders had on the entire city especially the Italian immigrants and even more so the Sicilian grocers.
The Axeman of New Orleans is a very well written book about one of histories most baffling unsolved series of murders. It will be interesting to see if Davis’s final statement comes true and at some point someone will relate murders in other locations or find some elusive evidence to answer the question of who the Axeman was.