The Katrina Cannibal

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New Orleans, 2006-
Addie Hall and Zach Bowen were bartenders living in New Orleans when hurricane Katrina hit, they stayed in the French Quarter where they lived in a one bedroom apartment above the city’s infamous Voodoo Spiritual Temple. While the rest of the state was in severe panic mode, these two were in their element. They were thriving on the chaos, it was a sort of honeymoon for them. Neither had to work, they just hung out with others who had decided to brave the storm; they drank and got high on drugs for days on end.

Everyone loved the good looking and gracious bartenders who brought them drinks, the two became local celebrities. The problems in their relationship began once real life and reality seeped back in – first the electricity, the bills, work, and responsibilities, and finally Zach’s estranged wife and kids. The honeymoon was over; Zach became very jealous of Addie, who was described as a party girl. She was an awesome bartender, flirty, even a bit provocative; the attributes which had first attracted Zach to Addie had become the things he hated about her. And Addie couldn’t stand the fact that Zach was bisexual, that he’d been intimate with a man. Yes, it’s fair to say that this relationship was doomed, but the two just couldn’t stay away from each other; people who knew them say that they were deeply in love but they fought and broke up on practically a daily basis.

In October Zach was found dead on top of a parking garage; surveillance video caught him walking to the edge of the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel rooftop and just stepping off. Looking for identification, police checked his pockets; this is where they found a suicide note which read:
“This is not accidental. I had to take my own life to pay for the one I took. If you send a patrol car to 826 N. Rampart, you will find the dismembered corpse of my girlfriend Addie in the oven, on the stove, and in the fridge and a full signed confession from myself. Zack Bowen.”

Investigators went straight to Zach’s residence above the voodoo shop. When they walked in, they found Zach had left a letter in Addie’s journal describing the days before Zach took his life, all the gory details. He wrote about the fight with Addie 12 days before he’d committed suicide; Zach detailed how he’d strangled the woman he was supposed to have loved, then sexually violated her corpse. Necrophilia. Afterwords Zach had dragged Addie’s remains to the bath tub where he cut her to pieces, set the A/C to 60° to help keep the rotting at bay, and told everyone who asked that Addie had left him after a fight. Eventually Zach put Addie on the stove. After Addie was dealt with, Zach spent $1,200 on drugs, alcohol, strippers, and food. He burnt himself with a cigarette 28 times, one burn for each miserable year he’d been alive.

In his madness Zach had painted words on the walls of the apartment. One said: “Please call my wife. I love her. I’m a total failure. Look in the oven. Please help me stop the pain.”. On the stove were the words, “Don’t look“, and there were lidded pots on the burners. One contained Addie’s head, it had been cooked so thoroughly that the scalp and hair were pulled back from the skull; a large pan which would usually be used for a Turkey contained Addie’s hands and feet. It’s said that she was actually well seasoned, and that there were chopped carrots and potatoes on the kitchen counter. Police would say it looked as if the meat had been picked at, like someone had eaten pieces. Inside the refrigerator police found the rest of Addie, her torso.

At autopsy it was found that Zach did not have human remains in his digestive system at the time of his death, but that doesn’t stop anyone from believing he did feed on Addie. Why go through all that trouble, why season something you do not plan to eat?

People who knew the couple, especially those who knew Zach, of course they have a terrible time understanding what happened. Prior to this, Zach was well loved by people in the French Quarter. He had been a good looking, fun loving man. People just couldn’t understand how this could’ve happened; maybe it was just too much drugs and partying? Was it the depression, did the hurricane trigger his PTSD? People in Louisiana can be a very superstitious lot, many locals believe that some bad magic from the Voodoo Temple under the apartment had something to do with it.

As far as the Voodoo Spiritual Temple, there was an electrical fire in 2016. I’m adding some photos of the Temple and Priestess Miriam, who owned the place. An article written right after the fire stated that the owners didn’t have insurance to cover the damage and that the place had been condemned, yet if you search the place you’ll find very recent reviews. I’m unsure as to what’s going on with the building, but whatever the case, Priestess Miriam is still doing her thing.

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One Reply to “The Katrina Cannibal”

  1. There is an episode of Buzzfeed Unsolved where they visit the apartment and temple. It’s an interesting tie in to the story.

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