Who did it? : The Axeman Murders of Louisiana

When looking for a subject for the digital project I knew that I didn’t want to do some boring manuscript collection about an old dead guy. I started asking around at the Center for Louisiana Studies, where I work, if anyone had an idea of a cool topic that I could use for this project. I was presented with the Axeman Murders that happened in Louisiana during the early 1900s. And “Who did it? ” The Axeman Murders of Louisiana” was born.

James Wilson, an employee of the Center, has been working with the newspaper articles from the case (that is relatively unknown by the general public) for a few years now. He told me that many people still call him looking for information on the case and asking what documents he has regarding the case. Wilson was very excited for me to digitize and/or use already digitized documents, including newspaper articles, court documents, and pictures, in order to tell the narrative of this murder case that was never solved within Louisiana.

With this project I intend on creating a timeline of events for the murders by using the documents to tell the narrative of what was going on during the time. With the timeline I want scholarly researchers, as well as, crime enthusiasts who are looking for specific information on the case to be able to go to a certain year and find the articles that relate to that year to better their research. Hopefully my project will aid researchers in bringing to light what actually happened to the victims and possibly who committed the murders so long ago.

I intend on using a timeline creator by the name of Timeline.Knightlab.com. This website will allow me to input pictures of the articles and documents into a timeline design that will be easily used by the public. Although there are many different timeline designs to choose from on this website, I chose to use one that is more interactive. (As shown below) As you can see the viewer will see a timeline and will be able to pick which document they want to view based on the inscription. Once the viewer clicks the events a picture, explanation, and link will pop up so that the viewer can determine if this is important to them or not. It will be an interesting way of looking at documents without them being so stagnant.


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I am a graduate student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette studying Public History.

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