Editorial, September 2007, By Irv “The Trapdoor Spider” Metcalf
(By Patrick M. Tracy)
This month, we look back to le belle epoch of the mid-twenties for an historical sketch of one of my favorite ladies, Miss Emmy “Machete” March.
Virtually unknown to the aficionados of today, Emmy March’s career compares well with the great names in the craft, regardless of era. Let’s dig right in:
Emmy March appeared in the French Quarter of New Orleans just after the soldiers returned home from The Great War. She was in her late twenties by then, and had some facility with Spanish, English, and French. A tall, imposing woman with broad shoulders and powerful arms, the belief is that she had grown up cutting sugar cane, possibly in Jamaica. She arrived in New Orleans with one silver dollar, two changes of clothes, a fine Spanish guitar, and a machete.
“She was big and raw-boned, a girl that done some work in her life. Still, she was pretty about the face, and her bosoms was high and firm as you like. More’n a few men tried to be her one and only.” Francis Gobert was unable to cite a source for that quote directly in his book, She Cut ‘Em Down Like Cane, but it’s about as good a first-hand account of her as we have today.
Miss March found sporadic work as a musician, but her primary employer was Townsend Rebbenack, the owner of Townie’s, a raucous gin joint where fighting and trouble were part of the nightly entertainment. Along with a few other rough individuals, Emmy worked as both a bouncer and a street enforcer for Mr. Rebbenack. With her machete, she broke up countless fights inside the bar. No one knows how many of these interventions resulted in someone being deposited deep in the bayou, but it’s clear that many people walked into Townie’s, only to be carried out and never heard from again. Gobert alludes to the fact that it was a well known understanding in the ‘Quarter that making trouble in Townie’s was tantamount to taking your life into your hands.
Those unconfirmed kills aside, a cryptic accounting ledger from the year 1927 indicates that Townsend Rebbenack ordered fifty-one murders that year. At the least, Miss March accomplished half of these. If we extrapolate that total for her whole career, which stopped just after the crash of ’29, when she left Louisiana for parts unknown, we have to assume that she accounted for dozens if not hundreds of murders-for-hire.
“She didn’t care. It was just a job to her. She wouldn’t lose no sleep over shortin’ a man down to the shoulders and leavin’ ‘im for the gators. Shit, that’s what she was good at,” reports Quinn DiSilivio, one of her associates, in a letter dated June 5th, 1951.
It is possible that Miss March used a variety of methods to accomplish her assignments, but we know that her preferred tool was the machete. One can only imagine her virtuoso’s skill with the long blade, considering the volume of craft she performed in a few short years. If we expand our inquiry into the theoretical, the yawning vista of her full dossier becomes a thing of legends. Her body of work is truly astounding, even beside the great masters. To think that she, a woman in the Deep South, had to blaze her own trail in the craft at the same time…it truly moves the imagination, challenging all of her modern counterparts to improve their efforts.
While a few vocal individuals in our community insist that murder for gain and the purveyors of such shouldn’t be included in any discussion of our craft, I feel that is too narrow and provincial a viewpoint. Of course, they will always point to war-related killings and mutter about “slippery slopes”, but I, for one, feel that mass killers, especially those who opened new realms of inquiry and paved the way for those who came afterward, should be duly noted and praised.
Editor’s Note: Bloodcraft.org is not real. There is no newsletter for serial killers and mass murderers. Any resembelance to real persons or crimes is purely accidental. We do not endorse or encourage any sort of murderous behavior. Furthermore, we take no responsibily for the behavior of our audience. We serve only to entertain, not as some sort of “handbook” for the budding serial killer.