1. Marie Delphine LaLaurie's Slaves
Marie Delphine LaLaurie built this mansion in the French Quarter in 1832. She lived there with her third husband, two daughters, and several slaves. In 1834, the kitchen caught fire. During attempts to put the fire out, neighbors discovered a slave chained to the stove, who told them about the torture and mutilation of other slaves. Marie is also accused of killing several of her slaves, and bodies of both adults and children were found in her yard.
2. The Axeman of New Orleans
New Orleans’ most infamous serial killer was never caught. The perpetrator, dubbed, “The Axeman,” busted down the doors of people’s homes and, in some cases, slaughtered whole families with his axe. The murders occurred from May, 1918 to October, 1919; the victims were mostly Italian-Americans. The Axeman killed six or seven victims (accounts vary), and left another six or seven seriously injured.
3. The Murder Of Addie Hall
Addie Hall was the girlfriend of war hero and veteran Zachary Bowen; the two met during Hurricane Katrina. After a tumultuous year, Addie was reportedly ready to leave Bowen. On October 17, 2006, he jumped to his death from the roof of a parking garage near the Omni Royal Orleans. A suicide note in his pocket led police to his apartment, where they found the head, hands and feet of Addie in pots on the stove, and her arms and legs in a roasting pan in the oven. Bowen had strangled, then dismembered Addie.
4. The Fancy Prostitute of Basin Street
Kate Townsend, a prostitute in New Orleans, did quite well for herself. Her $100,000 renovation of her brothel on Basin Street in 1863 was the talk of the town. She had a fancy boyfriend, Treville Egbert Sykes, too, but things got dicey when she fell in love with another man. When Sykes annoyed her, she threatened to kill him. However, Kate was the one who would die. On November 3, 1883, Sykes fatally stabbed eleven times, claiming self-defense. He was tried and acquitted.
5. The Road Rage Incident And The Football Player
On April 9, 2016, defensive end Will Smith, previously of the New Orleans Saints, was shot and killed by Cardell Hayes. The shooting occurred after a road rage incident involving two collisions. Mr. Hayes claims self-defense, and the city of New Orleans mourns one of its former football heroes as this recent homicide case unfolds.
6. The Unfortunate Husbands Of Minnie Wallace
Minnie Wallace met politician James Walkup when she was just 15...and he was 48. Minnie was living with her sister and mother in the family’s boarding house in Storyville, the red-light district. The two married a year later, but James died just one month after the wedding, of poisoning. Minnie was charged with his death, but was acquitted. Later, her second husband died in 1897...also under suspicious circumstances. In 1914, Minnie’s male companion died from cyanide poisoning.
7. The Sultan Of The LaPrete Mansion
The unsolved murders of multiple people in the LaPrete Mansion in the late 1830’s still haunts New Orleans. Jean Baptiste LaPrete, the owner of the home, rented it to a wealthy, young Turkish man who brought an entourage with him. The home hosted parties almost every night, but one morning, neighbors noticed blood flowing from beneath the front door. Police found everyone in the house murdered and dismembered. The wealthy, young man, known as “The Sultan,” had been buried alive in the backyard. Police speculated that the murders were a revenge hit.
8. The Upstairs Lounge
On June 24, 1973, the deadliest attack on LGBT people in history occurred at The Upstairs Lounge, a gay bar at 141 Charles Street. An unknown assailant started a fire using lighter fluid. About 30 people were able to escape, but another 30 were trapped on the second floor. The windows were covered with security bars, and the fire raged for sixteen minutes before help could arrive. 28 people died during the fire; four more victims died en route or at the hospital.
9. The Vampire Brothers
John and Wayne Carter live in the French Quarter in the 1930s and appeared to live normal lives...until a girl escaped from their home and went to police, claiming that they had held her captive and fed on her blood for several days. When police arrived, they found several more people being held captive, all with their wrists slashed. Fourteen bodies were also found, having been drained of all their blood. Both brothers were found guilty and executed.
10. The Mass Murderer
Mass-murder Mark James Robert Essex is responsible for the deaths of nine people and serious injuries of thirteen. The racially-motivated killings were meant, in his words, to “avenge years of racial abuse in the name of black power.” On December 31, 1972, he hid in a parking lot and began shooting policemen, killing two. He evaded capture. The following week, on January 7, 1973, he entered the Howard Johnson’s (now a Holiday Inn), and began shooting guests and employees. He set several fires in the hotel, then hid and shot more police officers who arrived on the scene. He was eventually shot by police, but not before killing seven people.