The proverbial “axe murderer” is a staple of many urban legends. It’s been the subject of countless works in film and fiction, inspired by very real events like the Villisca Axe Murders and the Axeman of New Orleans.
Ack Hale burst into the Bristol police station on the night of March 27, 1907. He told authorities he’d just been near the East Hill Cemetery when a beautiful woman ran in and shot herself.
The Wentz mystery is a phenomenon that hit Southwest Virginia in the early 1900s. It’s imperative to understand rural Appalachian life to explore the historical context of this mystery.
One of the worst episodes of deadly incompetence in southwest Virginia was enacted by a group of men who called themselves “Regulators.” They wore bandanna masks and carried Winchesters, but it would be a deadly game of dress-up before the night ended.