Vampire based on a True Story
The Vampire based on a true story of New Orleans, was active in a cluster of communities of Louisiana, for a period of one year. During the height of public panic, the suspect mailed a letter to a newspaper, in which he claimed he was not human. He boasted he had the power of invisibility. His crimes were not motivated by robbery. Items never disappeared from the homes of his victims. Instead the victims themselves disappeared.
Some parishioners of Saint Beatrice church, approached the priest, in fear of the trouble in Louisiana. Whole families were disappearing, like dust in the wind. "Father Jette," they pleaded, "protect us from the vampire". It was 1911, and of criminal insanity, the public was blissfully ignorant.
Father Henri Jette comforted them, and he promised he would investigate. Henri's first thought was to seek the advice of his friend, his only friend who was not a Catholic, but was a physician living in his parish. The doctor's name was J.J. Aubochon, also known as John.
Whether the culprit was a member the Roman Catholic parish, the men did not discuss, but Henri agreed with John that the suspect was most likely not a vampire. "It cannot be," the doctor protested. Henri replied, "However if it is, it must be exposed to sunlight."
The suspected vampire always entered the homes of his victims in the same way. He used a chisel to remove a panel from the door, then unlocked the door by reaching inside. With a piece of chalk John marked on a map, the homes of the nine missing families. A pattern formed, a trail which followed the path of the railroad. Then the physician and the holy man, waited on a bench, every night, outside different railroad stations. At one station they witnessed four policemen rousting a vagrants' camp, which was hidden in the forest, just beyond the railroad. But law enforcement was looking in the wrong place. John believed the suspect to be an employee of the railroad itself.
When they had already seen dozens of loading docks, they staked out the station at Cheneyville, which was along the suspect's route, but was not yet implicated in any of the disappearances. Cheneyville was due for a visit from the vampire... or was it the home town of the culprit. They observed the movements of train personnel.
They observed the arrival of a porter, of middle age and red hair. His appearance was a match to the description of two witnesses. Within 24 hours they knew his name, Auguste Delagrange. He was an employee of the T&NO train, and they found his home address. It was a shack in the Bayou... no neighbors. When they knew him to be at work, they searched his house. A chisel was found, which matched the marks left on the doors. Now it was hard for the two investigators to come up with an excuse, not to return when Delagrange would be at home.
It was night when they returned. Henri laughed because it occured to him suddenly, that neither he nor the doctor had a weapon. At the sound of laughter, Delagrange burst out of his hovel. But they were ready for him. John wrestled him to the ground. The priest held onto his legs. No one knows how the two men managed to restrain the suspect throughout the long night. No one since then has ever asked of them, what did actually happen to the vampire, at the rising of the sun? Did he burst into flame, or did he crumble into ash.
This is the story they tell, and you may ask, where is the evidence. But there is evidence... at the vampire museum, on the fringe of the French neighborhood, the public may view the skeletal remains of Auguste Delagrange, including his mummified heart.
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