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|“||If women will not dance to the sound of my ax I shall make them dance with the other.||„|
|~ The Axeman|
|“||Esteemed Mortal, They have never caught me, and they never will. They have never seen me for I am invisible even as the ether which surrounds your earth. I am not a human being, but a spirit and fell demon from hottest hell. I am what you Orleanians call the Axeman. When I see fit, I shall come again and claim other victims. I alone know whom they shall be. I shall leave no clue except my bloody ax||„|
|~ The beginning of the Axeman's letter.|
The Axeman is a major antagonist in American Horror Story: Coven. He is based off of the real life New Orleans serial killer.
He was portrayed by Danny Huston, who also played Erich Ludendorff in Wonder Woman, Victor Maynott in A Monster in Paris, William Stryker in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Marlow Roderick in 30 Days of Night, and Wade Jennings in Angel Has Fallen.
In 1919, after gaining notoriety from a killing spree, the Axeman types up a confession claiming murder victims, which is printed in the news. The witches at Miss Robichaux's Academy, after reading the letter, debate on whether to play jazz music, which the manifesto claims will spare them from murder, but ultimately decide to ban together to oust the Axeman rather than allows themselves to be intimidated. Later, the main witch who decided to take the stand against the Axeman leads him (in a saxophonist's guise) from a bar to the Coven. He prowls the house quietly, stopping the recording in a room where the witch reads Tarot, pulling the death card and claiming "It's for you." The Witches stab the Axeman to death.
Zoe Benson makes a faux deal with the Axeman's spirit to release him if he tells her the location of Madison Montgomery, which he does. The Axeman appears in Cordelia Foxx's room, wanting release and says that Zoe reneged on her deal, leaving him in between worlds. He chases her around the room, chopping up furniture and threatening her. Zoe, Queenie, and Nan manage to save Cordelia by chanting an incantation, which unbeknownst to the girls, gives him enough strength to go out into the real world. He is seen walking up to Fiona in a club, sitting down next to her and offering to buy her a drink.
Fiona follows him to "his" apartment - the owner was killed and left in the bathtub - where he attempts to seduce her, but her desires are stifled by her impending death by cancer and her chemotherapy taking her hair. He still convinces her to stay for sex, using his technique with the saxophone as a metaphor.
The next morning he awakens to find Fiona ready to leave, where she refers to the dead body in the bathtub - he counters with his knowledge of her lifetime, as he was trapped in the house since his death in 1919. He recounts how he killed a bully who was tormenting a group of younger students (amongst whom was a young, defiant Fiona), and how she grew to be a strong and powerful woman. Fiona rebuffs his advances, but her insecurities about her mortality leads her back to him.
The Axeman and Fiona discuss plans of running away together.
During Marie Laveau and Fiona's meeting with Delphi Trust, The Axeman poses as a waiter and massacres a majority of the staff minus Harrison Renard. The Axeman hands over his axe to Fiona, who slices Harrison's neck and kills him.
Later on, Cordelia barges into his house to warn him about her mother. She warns him that Fiona cannot love anyone but herself and is planning to leave the country without him.
He later ambushes the Coven, attempting to kill them while Misty and Madison are brawling. However, all the witches present use their telekinesis to throw him against the stairs. From the blood dripping from him, Cordelia realizes that he killed her mother and fed her body to the alligators, which prevents Misty from possibly bringing her back to life. Kyle pulls the Axeman away, but Madison cuts him with his axe, hacking at his abdomen. Misty, Zoe, and Queenie use their telekinesis to get knives from the kitchen, and kill him by stabbing him to death.
Fiona had planted a memory in the Axeman's mind (with his consent) to fool the coven into thinking that he has killed her. When Cordelia read his mind, she had seen the false memory and thought Fiona was dead. Fiona was hoping this would give her more time to find the next Supreme and kill her off. However, Fiona's plans are foiled and she succumbs to cancer. After Fiona passes away, she awakens to an eternal afterlife with the Axeman in his farmhouse.
- Although his name is not revealed (due to the real life figure's identity being unsolved), a waitress refers to him as "Joe", a likely reference to the case's prime suspect; Joseph Momfre.
- This revelation makes it possible, if not likely that Coven's adaptation of the Axeman is indeed Joseph Momfre.