By August of 1918, the city of New Orleans was paralyzed by fear. In the dead of the night, the Axeman of New Orleans (as he came to be known) broke into a series of Italian groceries, attacking the grocers and their families. Some he left wounded; four people he left dead. The attacks were vicious. Joseph Maggio, for example, had his skull fractured with his own axe and his throat cut with a razor. His wife, Catherine, also had her throat cut; she asphyxiated on her own blood as she bled out.