|“||They have never caught me and they never will. They have never seen me, for I am invisible, even as the ether that surrounds your earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit and a demon from the hottest hell. I am what you Orleanians and your foolish police call the Axeman.||„|
|~ The start of the Axeman's letter.|
His modus operandi usually consisted of the Axeman using a chisel to remove the back door, then enter the house and kill the residents with either a personal razor blade or an axe belonging to them (giving him his epithet). On March 13, 1919, he had a letter published across various newspapers in which he claimed he would continue his spree on the 19th, but would leave any household that played jazz music alone. Bands played jazz music at hundreds of house parties that date, and true to his word, the Axeman took no lives that day. Despite this, not everyone feared him, as some weapon-armed citizens actively and publicly dared him to pay their residences a visit.
The Axeman of New Orleans' motives are unclear. They were unlikely to be robbery, as no items were ever taken from the houses after the attacks. Some suggest they were nationally motivated due to most of the victims being of Italian descent; others hypothesize that he targeted women since the men were left unharmed except for instances where they tried to intervene. One less popular theory proposes he did the murders just to promote jazz.
Despite the lack of information on him, the sheer age of the murders means that the Axeman has likely long passed away by this point in time.
- Joseph and Catherine Maggio, May 22, 1918. Killed.
- Louis Besumer, June 27, 1918. Survived.
- Harriet Lowe June 27, 1918. Besumer's lover. Died two days later.
- Anna Schneider, August 5, 1918. Survived and gave birth days later.
- Joseph Romano, August 10, 1918. Survived.
- Charles Cortimiglia and Rosie Cortimiglia, March 10, 1919. Survived.
- Mary Cortimiglia, 2 years old. March 10, 1919. Killed.
- Steve Boca, August 10, 1919. Survived.
- Sarah Laumann, September 3, 1919. Survived.
- Mike Pepitone, October 27, 1919. Killed. Suspected Mafia killing.