The Ax Murders of Saxtown

(Credit: Nicholas Pistor)

Growing up as a boy in Millstadt, Ill. Nicholas Pistor heard ghost stories about an ax murderer who killed an entire family in nearby Saxtown more than a century ago.

As a student at Saint Louis University, a conversation with Father Francis Cleary turned his childhood fears into curiosity about the truth behind the story. He began to track down newspaper articles written at the time of the murders, later returning to his research when he became a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.