serial killers by name [t] amazon
     
  TEXAS AXEMAN USA ... ... ... 49
1911 1912 TX LA

 : ...

... ... ...
Verdict/Urteil: Unsolved
 

Between January 1911 and April 1912, an unidentified killer (or killers) slaughtered 49 victims in the states of Louisiana and Texas, leaving police baffled. In each case, the dead were mulattoes or black members of families with mulatto children. The killers were supposed, by blacks and law enforcement officers alike, to be dark-skinned Negroes, selecting victims on the basis of their mixed-or "tainted"-blood. The first attack took place in early January 1911, at Rayne, Louisiana, when a mother and her three children were hacked to death in their beds. The following month, at Crowley, Louisiana-ten miles from Rayne -three members of the Byers family were dispatched in identical fashion. Two weeks later, the scene shifted to Lafayette, where a family of four was massacred in the small hours of the morning. Texas endured the killer's first visit in April 1911, when five members of the Cassaway family were axed to death at their home in San Antonio. As in preceding cases, the victims died in their sleep, with no evidence of robbery or any other "rational" motive. On the last Sunday of November 1911, the action shifted back to Lafayette, Louisiana. Six members of the Norbert Randall family were butchered in their beds, each killed with a single blow behind the right ear. This time, police arrested a black woman, Clementine Bernabet, on suspicion of involvement in the crime. She would be held in custody through spring of 1912, but her incarceration would not halt the carnage. On January 19, 1912, a woman and her three children were hacked to death as they slept in Crowley, Louisiana. Two days later, at Lake Charles, Felix Broussard, his wife and three children were killed in their beds, each with a single blow near the right ear. This time, the killer left a note behind. It read: "When He maketh the Inquisition for Blood, He forgetteth not the cry of the humble -- human five." Stirred by the quasi-Biblical implications, police made several arrests, including two members of the miniscule "Sacrifice Church." Rev. King Harris, leader of the sect, had addressed a meeting in Lafayette on the night of the Randall massacre, and informants reported links between the "Sacrifice Church" and certain voodoo cults in New Orleans. Try as they might, police could find no evidence against their several suspects, and all were soon released. On February 19, 1912, a Mulatto woman and her three children were axed in their sleep at Beaumont, Texas. Seven weeks later, on March 27, another mulatto mother, her four children, and a male overnight guest were slaughtered in Glidden, Texas. Police began to notice a geographical pattern in the crimes. Since November 1911, the killer(s) had been moving west, striking at stops on the Southern Pacific Railroad line. The next murders, likewise, would occur further westward on that line, at San Antonio. Meanwhile, in early April 1912, Clementine Bernabet surprised authorities with a confession to the early crimes. While she admitted sitting in on meetings of the "Sacrifice Church," Bernabet insisted that the slayings were related to a voodoo charm -- candja -- purchased from a local witch doctor. The charm reportedly insured Bernabet and her friends that "we could do as we pleased and we would never be detected." For no apparent reason, they had chosen to test the magic by committing a series of ax murders. Police were ultimately dubious, and Bernabet was never sent to trial. On the night of April 11-12, five members of the William Burton family were hacked to death in their beds, in San Antonio. Two nights later, at Hempstead, the ax-wielding prowlers claimed three more mulatto victims, thereafter lapsing into a four-month hiatus. The lull was broken in San Antonio, at 4 a.m. on August 16, 1912, when the wife of mulatto James Dashiell woke to the pain of an ax shearing through her arm. The killer had missed his target for the first time, and he took to his heels as anguished screams roused the sleeping family. His shaken victim glimpsed only one prowler, but she could offer no coherent description to police. The bungled raid in San Antonio wrote finis to the murder spree, and left police without a single solid piece of evidence. Defectors from the "Sacrifice Church" referred authorities to a text from the New Testament Book of Matthew -- "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire'' -- but detectives never managed to identify a valid suspect in the case.

Between January 1911 and April 1912, an unidentified killer (or killers) slaughtered 49 victims in the states of Louisiana and Texas, leaving police baffled. In each case, the dead were mulattoes or black members of families with mulatto children. The killers were supposed, by blacks and law enforcement officers alike, to be dark-skinned Negroes, selecting victims on the basis of their mixed-or "tainted"-blood. The first attack took place in early January 1911, at Rayne, Louisiana, when a mother and her three children were hacked to death in their beds. The following month, at Crowley, Louisiana-ten miles from Rayne -three members of the Byers family were dispatched in identical fashion. Two weeks later, the scene shifted to Lafayette, where a family of four was massacred in the small hours of the morning. Texas endured the killer's first visit in April 1911, when five members of the Cassaway family were axed to death at their home in San Antonio. As in preceding cases, the victims died in their sleep, with no evidence of robbery or any other "rational" motive. On the last Sunday of November 1911, the action shifted back to Lafayette, Louisiana. Six members of the Norbert Randall family were butchered in their beds, each killed with a single blow behind the right ear. This time, police arrested a black woman, Clementine Bernabet, on suspicion of involvement in the crime. She would be held in custody through spring of 1912, but her incarceration would not halt the carnage. On January 19, 1912, a woman and her three children were hacked to death as they slept in Crowley, Louisiana. Two days later, at Lake Charles, Felix Broussard, his wife and three children were killed in their beds, each with a single blow near the right ear. This time, the killer left a note behind. It read: "When He maketh the Inquisition for Blood, He forgetteth not the cry of the humble -- human five." Stirred by the quasi-Biblical implications, police made several arrests, including two members of the miniscule "Sacrifice Church." Rev. King Harris, leader of the sect, had addressed a meeting in Lafayette on the night of the Randall massacre, and informants reported links between the "Sacrifice Church" and certain voodoo cults in New Orleans. Try as they might, police could find no evidence against their several suspects, and all were soon released. On February 19, 1912, a Mulatto woman and her three children were axed in their sleep at Beaumont, Texas. Seven weeks later, on March 27, another mulatto mother, her four children, and a male overnight guest were slaughtered in Glidden, Texas. Police began to notice a geographical pattern in the crimes. Since November 1911, the killer(s) had been moving west, striking at stops on the Southern Pacific Railroad line. The next murders, likewise, would occur further westward on that line, at San Antonio. Meanwhile, in early April 1912, Clementine Bernabet surprised authorities with a confession to the early crimes. While she admitted sitting in on meetings of the "Sacrifice Church," Bernabet insisted that the slayings were related to a voodoo charm -- candja -- purchased from a local witch doctor. The charm reportedly insured Bernabet and her friends that "we could do as we pleased and we would never be detected." For no apparent reason, they had chosen to test the magic by committing a series of ax murders. Police were ultimately dubious, and Bernabet was never sent to trial. On the night of April 11-12, five members of the William Burton family were hacked to death in their beds, in San Antonio. Two nights later, at Hempstead, the ax-wielding prowlers claimed three more mulatto victims, thereafter lapsing into a four-month hiatus. The lull was broken in San Antonio, at 4 a.m. on August 16, 1912, when the wife of mulatto James Dashiell woke to the pain of an ax shearing through her arm. The killer had missed his target for the first time, and he took to his heels as anguished screams roused the sleeping family. His shaken victim glimpsed only one prowler, but she could offer no coherent description to police. The bungled raid in San Antonio wrote finis to the murder spree, and left police without a single solid piece of evidence. Defectors from the "Sacrifice Church" referred authorities to a text from the New Testament Book of Matthew -- "Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire'' -- but detectives never managed to identify a valid suspect in the case.
Copyright 1995-2005 by Elisabeth Wetsch
spacer spacer spacer
spacer