The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story

The Axeman of New Orleans: The True Story by Miriam C. Davis

“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. “


First off, I could have sworn that I’ve read a book about this before, yet can’t find it in my read lists and am only seeing cheesy looking ones that I’d most likely never read when I do a google search. If you remember a serious one, shout out the title, please and put my poor brain out of its misery.

That being said, there was little earth-shatteringly different about this one except I appreciated that Davis followed each person’s story to the end of their lives to show the effects, if any, their involvement in the case had. The story is never over when the bad guy is caught or the innocent man is freed or even when the cut or gunshot wound heals, the trauma lingers like a ghostly shadow for the rest of that person’s life.

If you like your true crime tied up neatly in a bow, this isn’t it. There are a lot of unanswered questions, not because the author didn’t do the work, but because either the people at the time didn’t or there just aren’t any. Another thing I noted was how justice used to move so slowly and yet be more permissive then, one of the family members of the people accused of murder was allowed to hold his wedding in jail!

I can’t end on a better note than that. It wasn’t even a jailbird, but all were worried that the trial might end badly or go on forever, so the Sherriff approved. Love conquers all.








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