Known by locals as the “Rampart Street Murder House,” 826 N. Rampart will forever go down in history as being the location of one of the city’s saddest, and most recent gruesome murders. Nick and Katrina are the first team to ever conduct an investigation on the property. After reading the details we’re about to lay out for you here, you’ll know that their investigation was a particularly troubling one.
Addie Hall and Zack Brown fell in love during the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. To locals, they were known as heroes because the had refused to evacuate during the storm. They felt it was their duty to the community to stay behind and help in any way possible, even if it was only serving high balls to other die hard locals and first responders that stuck around with them.
In October 2006, they moved into an apartment above the city’s well respected Voodoo Spiritual Temple—a mere coincidence at the time. Addie and Zack, both transplants to New Orleans, had lived there long enough to make friends and establish roots by working as bartenders in the bustling French Quarter. To the passing eye, their new relationship was off to a great start. But that was all about to come to a terrible end.
Shortly after moving in to 826 N. Rampart, the couple began to have terrible, drunken fights that inched toward violence. Addie stopped showing up at her job at the popular bar The Spotted Cat, and Zack fell into destructive patterns of drugs, heavy drinking, and infidelity. Only weeks after moving in to their new home, Zack committed suicide by jumping from the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel. A note and key were found in his pocket which led police back to his apartment, where they found additional death.
“This is not accidental,” Zack’s note began. “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.”
The apartment was a blood-soaked crime scene. When they arrived, Investigators found 2 pots on the stove. One contained Addie’s decapitated head, the other held her hands and feet. Inside the oven, detectives reportedly found trays containing cooked legs and arms and in the refrigerator, they found a Addie’s torso. Also found in the tiny 1 bedroom apartment was a letter he had written on eight small pages from his girlfriend’s journal.
The entire 8 pages was an extremely graphic description of his last days, the murder and desecration of Adriane’s body. And, spray painted on the walls was a message from Zack that said: “Please call my wife. I love her. I’m a total failure. Look in the oven. Please help me stop the pain.”
Investigatrs finally concluded that Zack had become enraged after Addie signed their lease without including his name. She knew that Zack was cheating and didn’t want to continue to live with him. Zack, in a drug and alcohol fueled rage, then strangled Addie and spent the next few days cutting up her body with the apparent intent to cook and eat the remains, although autopsy reports show he didn’t follow through, with the eating part, that is..
A 2014 documentary, Zack and Addie, Doc explores the details before and after the horrendous event. He attempts to understand how this could have happened. One theory is that dark forces surrounding the Voodoo Spiritual Temple took hold on the couple, especially Zack, and drove them to madness. I think there may be something to that, but in taking a closer look at Zack, the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place. Zack was a war vet, in fact he was a decorated Sergeant in the U S Army that had served in Iraq. There were things in that suicide note found on his corpse that were not immediately released to the public. Here is what we didn’t know at the time:
According to his suicide note, after murdering Addie, he left to work where he had been delivering groceries, and spent $1,500 on food, drugs, and strippers. Further investigation and notes left by Zack, suggested he suffered from Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), accelerated by alcohol, drugs, and depression.
On his body was found 28 cigarette burns marks “one for each year of my existence.” he left in his note. “Failures — school, jobs, military, marriage, parenthood, morals, love. (…) Every last one of these I failed at (…)” Zack was married before Addie and had two children, a girl, and a boy.
In the wake of these events, those who have lived at 826 N. Rampart since this grisly murder, have experienced severe paranormal activity. Reports include residents hearing disembodied voices, feeling as though they’re constantly being watched, or like the apartment itself is pressing in on them. There is a force so ominous attached to this property that it can be felt by those that walk down the street in front of it.