The Axeman of New Orleans

The Axeman of New Orleans
The Axeman of New Orleans

The Axeman of New Orleans

The True Story
By Miriam Davis


320 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Cloth, EPUB, Mobipocket, PDF, Trade Paper

Cloth, $26.99 (US $26.99) (CA $35.99)

ISBN 9781613748688

Rights: WOR

Chicago Review Press (Mar 2017)


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From 1910 to 1919, New Orleans suffered at the hands of a serial killer. The story has been the subject of short stories, novels, and the television series American Horror Story. But the full story of gruesome murders, accused innocents, public panic, the New Orleans Mafia, and a mysterious killer has never been written—until now. The Axeman broke into the homes of Italian grocers in the dead of night, leaving his victims in a pool of blood. Iorlando Jordano and his 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 exoneration of the Jordanos. She proves that the person suspected of being the Axeman was not the killer—and that the Axeman continued killing after leaving New Orleans in 1919.


"Fantastically detailed, thoroughly documented, frightening and fascinating. Ms. Davis's account of the Axeman is likely to be the final word on the subject.” Keven McQueen, author of Gothic and Strange True Tales of the South

"Tackling one of the most perplexing serial killer cases in the annals of American homicide, Miriam Davis has produced an exemplary work of historical true crime.  Exhaustively researched,  crisply written, and as briskly paced as any fictional thriller, it is sure to stand as the definitive work on the subject. —Harold Schechter, author of The Serial Killer Files

“No American murders are stranger or more mysterious than those committed by the Axeman of New Orleans. And none are more desperately in need of the attentions of a first-rate writer and historian. Thankfully, Miriam Davis is both those things. Her account is original, revelatory—and also very exciting." —Mike Dash, author of The First Family and Satan’s Circus

“A riveting story of a serial-killer investigation in a time long before modern-day investigative techniques, or even the term ‘serial killer,’ was invented.” —Booklist, starred review

"Miriam Davis leaves no stone unturned in her study of a classic unsolved serial muder case, pursuing leads where no researcher has gone before and revealing previously unreported crimes, victims, and suspects. Those who think they 'know it all' about the Axeman are in for a thrilling surprise." —Michael Newton, author of The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers

 “A superb read for those who love historical true crime writing, New Orleans history, and real-life tales of serial killers.” —Library Journal

“That’s how it reads: a page-turner of violence and skillful research.” —The New Orleans Advocate

“This book is distinctive in the canon of Axeman literature… Robert Tallant is a legend among New Orleans history and literature lovers, so it’s no small hurdle Davis clears when she discredits some of his assertions…” and “…the book reads like a modern-day thriller.” —Louisiana Life

Author Biography

Miriam C. Davis has a PhD in history and is the author of Dame Kathleen Kenyon, a life of the most important female archeologist of the twentieth century. She lectures for Smithsonian Journeys and lives in Montgomery, Alabama.