Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Descending from Evil: The Story of Herman Webster Mudgett

Descending from Evil: The Story of Herman Webster Mudgett:
I found this article and interview very interesting.  This is the kind of story I'm after with regard to the Midwest Axeman.  To date I have found only a handful of descendants/relatives of victims and unfortunately, very few of them really know anything about the crimes.  I'm still convinced, that somewhere in the U.S. is a person, or persons, with a family story of a kind of strange uncle or cousin who collected odd nick-knacks like old keys or earrings.  Maybe a hair pin or broken key chain.  A guy who was shy around women and restless at night, possibly pacing around the house.  Anybody have a family story like that, from around the 1920's?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Other Axe Murders – The Axeman of New Orleans

I have received a few emails asking about other, possibly related crimes.  The two most spoken about are the Louisiana-Texas Axe murders and the Axeman of New Orleans.  Now I have some thoughts on both of these subjects but I’m going to address the New Orleans case for now.  For those of you who might be unfamiliar with it, during the years of 1918 and 1919 an unknown assailant was breaking into peoples houses in New Orleans and assaulting them. Usually the weapon, an hatchet or axe, belonged to the victim.  This case is made colorful by the inclusion of a strange letter sent to the Times-Picayune for publication.  The header is an obvious reference to the Whitechapel ripper murders of 1888 and the notorious “Lusk Letter” which was addressed “From Hell.”  The Axeman letter starts out “Hell, March 13, 1919.”  As if the Axeman was some kind of toe-tapping "Angel of Death" on Passover (which was a month away FWIW) the letter demanded the citizens of New Orleans to play jazz music in their homes on the night of March 19th in order to avoid a visit from the Axeman.  This letter lead to the writing of the song “Axeman’s Jazz.”  The majority of questions about the Axeman of New Orleans naturally are of the “Do you think they are related” variety.  So, do I think they are related?  No, I do not.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monmouth 101: Inside

I've posted SketchUp models of the crime scenes before.  I have a couple of different layouts for the Dawson's house in Monmouth, IL.  This one is incomplete, intended to be a top down model of the house.  I say it's incomplete because I haven't added most of the interior doors nor are there any windows.  There are other things "wrong" with it, likely, so if you have knowledge let me know.

The back door is in the kitchen, where the stove is sitting.  William and Charity Dawson's room was the small room in the north.  Georgia Dawson was in the larger room to the south.  The front door was found locked but the back door was unlocked.  According to reports, those who discovered the bodies walked through the kitchen into the parlor and discovered Georgia in her bedroom first.  I post this on the 101st anniversary of the murders in Monmouth.