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Axe murder

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Title: Axe murder  
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Subject: Axe murder, Murder, November 1911
Collection: Axe Murder, Murder
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Axe murder

Axe murder is a murder where death was caused by the use of an axe or hatchet on the victim.

List of axe murders

Some notable perpetrators and victims include the following.

  • Wenno von Rohrbach, the first Master of the Livonian Brothers of the Sword, was killed by the knight Wickbert with an axe in a quarrel, 1209.
  • Mary Russell (ship) murders, in which ship's captain William Stewart dispatched seven members of his crew with crowbar and axe, 1828.
  • Frankie Stewart Silver, first woman executed by state of North Carolina for murdering her husband Charles, 1833.
  • Helen Jewett murder, in which Richard P. Robinson was tried and acquitted of the murder by hatchet of the prostitute in the New York City bordello that employed her, 1836.
  • The Smuttynose Island murders, in which Louis Wagner was tried, convicted and hung for the murders of two Norwegian immigrant women, one with a chair and one with an axe, on an island off the coast of Maine, 1873.
  • Vacelet Family Murders, in which Jean Desire Vacelet, his wife Victoire, and his sons Francis and John were murdered by an axe wielding assailant in Vincennes, Indiana on October 24, 1878, allegedly by Alsace immigrant Pierre Provost, who committed suicide in his jail cell.[1][2][3]
  • An unidentified serial killer known as Servant Girl Annihilator committed eight murders, mostly those of young women, with an axe in Austin, Texas in 1884 and 1885. These murders are also nicknamed the "Austin Axe Murders".
  • Lizzie Borden, charged and tried for the hatchet murders of her father and stepmother but acquitted, 1892.
  • Meeks Family Murders, in which Gus Meeks, 33, and his family, wife Delora (30), and daughters Hattir (4) and Mary (18 months) were murdered near Jenkins Cemetery in Browning, Missouri (one daughter Nellie, escaped), on May 18, 1894.[4]
  • Lord George Sanger, English showman and circus proprietor, murdered with a hatchet at his home by employee Herbert Charles Cooper, for unknown reasons; Cooper subsequently committed suicide, 1911.
  • Villisca Axe Murders, 1912.
  • Axeman of New Orleans, a serial killer active in New Orleans, Louisiana (and surrounding communities, including Gretna, Louisiana), from May 1918 to October 1919.
  • Eva Dugan, first woman and last person executed by hanging by state of Arizona for murder of chicken rancher Andrew Mathis, 1927.
  • John Barkoski, a worker, murdered by being beaten to death with pick-axes by the Coal and Iron Police February 9, 1929.
  • Victor Licata, who killed his father, mother, two brothers, and a sister with an axe in Tampa, Florida, allegedly while under the influence of marijuana, which inspired the film Reefer Madness, 1933.
  • Leon Trotsky, assassinated with an ice axe by Soviet agent Ramón Mercader, 1940.
  • Toivo Koljonen murdered a family of six with an axe and became the last Finn executed for a civilian crime, 1943.
  • The Kludt Murders, in which self-proclaimed serial killer Jake Bird[5] was convicted and executed for the axe murders of Bertha Kludt (age 52) and her daughter Beverly June (17) in Tacoma, Washington, 1947.
  • Elifasi Msomi a.k.a. The Axe Killer, a South African serial killer who was convicted and executed by hanging for 15 murders, 1955.
  • Kumudini boat massacre, an incident in which at least 23 minority Sri Lankan Tamil men, women and children on a ferry boat named Kumudini sailing from the island of Delft to the island of Nainathievu were alleged to have been hacked to death with a hatchet by Sri Lankan Navy personnel, 1985.
  • private investigator who was investigating police corruption, found dead with an axe wound to the back of his head, 1987.
  • The Night of the Pitchforks, an incident in which Israeli Arab guerrillas from the Wadi Ara area, members of the Islamic movement, infiltrated into an IDF military recruit training base near Kibbutz Gal'ed in the Plain of Manasseh, and killed three Israeli soldiers with axes, knives, and a pitchfork, 1992.
  • Greenough Family Massacre, the axe murders of Karen MacKenzie, 31, and her three children, Daniel 16, Amara, 7, & Katrina, 5, at their remote rural property in Greenough, Western Australia, 400 km north of Perth, on 21 February 1993,[6] by William Patrick Mitchell, 1993.
  • Ramil Safarov, an Azerbaijani soldier hacked to death and almost decapitated an Armenian soldier during a NATO partnership for peace training in Budapest. Hungary returned him to Azerbaijan in 2012, where he was immediately pardoned and given a hero's welcome, and causing an international incident.[7][8]
  • Anthony Walker, a black British student of African descent from Huyton, Liverpool, England, who was murdered with an ice axe by Michael Barton and his cousin Paul Taylor, in an unprovoked racist attack, 2005.
  • South African rugby player Joseph Ntshongwana, who played for 2010 national champions the Blue Bulls in the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup tournaments, arrested in 2011 for allegedly hacking three men to death and wounding a fourth with an axe to avenge the gang-rape and subsequent HIV-infection of his daughter, 2011.[9]
  • Tyree Smith, alleged murderer and cannibal, arrested in Connecticut in 2012 for murdering a homeless man with a hatchet and devouring parts of his body.[10]


  1. ^ Recker, Lynne. "VACELET family - Bians-les-Usiers, Doubs". Geneaology Forum. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "BRUTAL BUTCHERY, 1878. Vacelet Family Ax Murder Perhaps Knox County's Most Horrendous Crime". The Weekly Western Sun. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "RETRIBUTION. The Quadruple Murder of the Vacelet Family Avenged by the Accused Murderer’s Own Hand". Weekly Western Sun. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Meeks Family Murder". Murder by Gaslight. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Jake Bird is hanged for the murder of two Tacoma women on July 15, 1949.". HistoryLink. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 
  6. ^ Nicole Cox (19 May 2007). "Throw away the prison keys".  
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Former South African rugby player accused of triple axe murder in Durban". London: Daily Mail. 31 March 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2012. 
  10. ^ Calhoun, S. Brady. "Police arrest accused cannibal Lynn Haven authorities say suspect brutally killed Connecticut man". Panama City News Herald. Retrieved 24 March 2012. 

See also

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