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The Mulatto Ax Murders 1909/1911-1912

The Mulatto ax murders are the some of the most horrific murders in American History they are also the least well known.

The 1910s in life was rough for most people especially black or mixed-race people especially in the deep south, where it was the hay day of the Jim Crow Laws, and thus I think that is the main reason as to why these crimes were reported so little.


The series of events that I am about tell you are disturbing and readers discretion is advised.



On November 13, 1909, in the small town of Rayne Louisianna, Edna Opelousas was attacked in her sleep with her three children, sometime after midnight the Opelousas neighbors woke up by the screams of the children, when the neighbors arrived to the house, they found a gruesome scene, they found Edna with her head bashed in with her own ax and the children were also struck with the ax were alive but badly hurt.

Sadly, the children died a bit later that morning due to their wounds, the Opelousas family lived in the "Negro Quater" in Rayne.



On Jan 25, 1911, in the town of Crowley Louisianna, the Byers family were murdered in their sleep the victims where Walter Byers, his wife Sylvia and their six-year-old son, their skulls where split open the bodies were discovered a day later by another family member.


In Lafayette Louisianna a month later Feb,25,1911 the Andrus family who lived in the poor African American neighborhood, right off the train tracks were murdered in their sleep with an ax.


The victims were Alexander Andrus, his wife Mini and their two children 3yo Joachim and 11-month-old Agnes.

The scene was described as incredibly bloody the newspaper described.

"The head of each member of the family was crushed with terrible blows. their brains splattered all over the room, and their bodies horribly tortured."

The axman posed the bodies of the family to were Alexander and Mimi in a kneeling pose, so it looked like the parents were praying over the children.

This time the axman took the ax with him.


The killer then traveled west to San Antonio Texas, his next victims were a mixed-race family the Casaways, the victims were Louis Casaway a black man, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Casaway a white woman and their 3 children.

Louis was lying in a day bed with his 6yo daughter Louise, their heads where crushed, in the next room Lizzie was lying in bed with the bodies of the other two children. Five-month-old Alfred was lying in his mother's arms with a crushed skull and at Lizzie's feet was 3yo Josie who police thought woke during the attack and tried to get away. It was Lizzie who got the most rage from the killer receiving the most blows.



The killer once again traveled back to Lafayette Louisiana, on November 27, 1911, six members of the Randall family were murdered in their home. Like the Casaways they were a mixed-race family, consisting of Norbert Randall his wife Azema and Albert 8, Rene 6, Norbert Jr 5, Agnes 2 and their oldest daughter (unnamed) 10 who discovered the bodies.


The victims had been bludgeoned to death except Norbert he was shot in the head,

the bodies of Norbert, Azema and Agnes were piled in one bed and the three boys were found also in a pile on the other bed.

The most bizarre part of this particular murder is that Norbert Randall and Alexander Adrus were brothers in law. The crime scenes where eerie similar they had striking differences like Norbert been shot in the head. By noon that same day Clementine Bernabet was arrested, after neighbors claiming witnessing that she was near the house right after the crime.


While it is believed that Bernabet committed that crime and not the ax man she was never convicted, to some believe she was mentally disturbed, because she claimed that she purchased a voodoo charm to commit crimes and protect her.



However, the killings didn't stop on January 21, 1912, the killer returned to Crowley Louisiana and murdered Felix Broussard, his wife and three children.



This time however the killer left a note written in the children's blood that read.

" When He Maketh the inquisition for Blood. He forgetteth not the crime of the humble- human five"

This made the investigators look harder on Bernabet, her ties to voodoo cults in the area, and her claims of the result of the voodoo charm she purchased. She would be incarnated, as she is believed to have murdered the Randalls until 1923 when she was released.


The killings continued, on Feb 19, 1912, in Beaumont TX, where Hattie Dove 30, Ernest 14, Ethel 16 and Jessie Quirk 18 who was separated from her husband, were all found murdered by an ax while they slept. The odd thing about this crime scene is that ax did not belong to the family another ax was used.


On Mar 27, 1912, in Glidden TX, Ellen Monroe and four of her 14 children who still lived with her as well as a boarder were all murdered. Ellen was 46, Alberta 8, Jessie 11, Dewey 12, Willie 16 and the boarder Lyle Finucane 37.



The investigators realized that the killer was using the Southern Pacific Railroad line, that's how it could travel town to town pretty anonymously.


On April 12, 1912, five members of the Burton family were murdered in their bed with an ax, in San Antonio.

On April 14 the ax man took the lives of three more mixed race people in Hempstead Texas.


Many were questioned no one was ever connected to the crimes, then after almost four months of peace.

Then on August 6, 1912, the wife of a mixed-race man James Dashiell, woke up to the pain of an ax cutting through her arm, her screams scared her attacker, which somehow, he missed as he was trying to aim for her head. He fled the house, Mrs. Dashiell couldn't give a coherent description of her attacker, with this my dear reader the killing spree of whoever this man was came to an end.



We will never know the reasons for the killer crimes we can speculate that it was racial motivated as he, never stole anything, always washed his hands on the crime scenes and usually not always used the family's ax and always targeted mixed race people.

In total this monster because let's face it this monster took the lives of 45 men, women and children across 12 families in total.


And with this my dear reader I bid you good night until we meet again.

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