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A.K.A.: "Bricktop"
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Prostitute with violent temper
Number of victims: 4
Date of murder: 1856 - 1861
Date of birth: 1836
Victim profile: Male acquaintances
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Status: Sentenced to 10 years for one count in 1861. Reprieved by new governor when Union troops occupied New Orleans nine months later

Mary Jane “Bricktop” Jackson, New Orleans Serial Killer - 1860

New Orleans prostitute Mary Jane Jackson (the scourge of Gallatin Street) was as “a husky, full-bodied strumpet whose mop of flaming red hair had earned her the sobriquet of Bricktop”. She was never bested in a brawl (against man or woman), and during her career as prostitute in New Orleans she killed four men and stabbed many others. She clubbed one man to death in 1856 for calling her a whore and stabbed another, known as Long Charley (almost seven feet tall), with a specially designed knife which had been made to her order from her own design; it had a heavy five-inch blade at each end, with a center grip handsomely mounted in German silver. With this fearsome weapon clutched in her fist, she could slash, cut, and stab in any direction without changing the position of her hand.

Finally serving a short prison term for one of her killings, “Bricktop” linked up with John Miller, former boxer and temporary jailer. Miller had lost an arm and augmented his stump with a formidable iron ball and chain, which he used as a weapon. In 1861, he made the mistake of deciding to thrash “Bricktop” with a cowhide whip. She grabbed it and delivered him a flogging instead. An attempt to strike her with his ferrous prosthetic had her seize the iron orb in mid-air and drag him around the room by his own ball and chain. She bit his hand when he pulled a knife, then used his own weapon to kill him. [summary of text from: Herbert Asbury,  The French Quarter, 1936]


Killed The Man Who Had An Iron Ball For A Hand

Along with Bridget Fury above, Mary Jane 'Bricktop' Jackson also legendarily roamed the streets of seedy New Orleans and in eight years killed four men. Along with a career in the dance-houses in New Orleans, she was reported to have a favorite knife she designed herself, "it had a heavy five-inch blade at each end, with a center grip handsomely mounted in German silver". Needless to say, she was a complete psychopath, who fittingly had an also-murderous-prostitute roommate, which only could have been the worst possible influence.

Anyway, so back to her knife: with her weapon, she could cut and slash in any direction "without changing the position of her hand," according to her. It's safe to assume that many men fell to her blade before the murder that inspired her disappearance.

In 1857, she moved into a house with Bridget Fury after having been banned from the dance-houses and became a prostitute out of necessity.

In 1861, she "brutalized" John Miller, a former boxer who, get this, lost his left arm in a fight and fastened AN IRON BALL AND CHAIN TO THE STUMP. He made his arm into a mace. You know that REAL men have died out once we live in a time where it doesn't seem reasonable/necessary to attach a medieval weapon to where one of your most important limbs used to be. Oh, the good old days.

As recorded in this book (The French Quarter, by Herbert Asbury), the way everything got started was that Miller (the guy with the Bond-villain arm) threatened Bricktop (the girl with the unsexiest prostitute name ever) with a whip and said she needed to be lashed (while probably wasted out of his mind, or just bored from busting in too many heads with his awesome cannonball-arm).

Bricktop stepped forward, snatched the whip defensively and beat him. He attacked with his iron ball, charging at her and she was able to actually take the ball and use it to drag him down to the floor. As a last resort, he tried to stab her, but she pushed him up against the wall and furiously knifed the beejesus out of him using her pride and joy.

She was sent to prison, released a year later and never heard from again.


Mary Jane Jackson


MO: Prostitute with violent temper; stabbed male acquaintances.

DISPOSITION: 10 years for one count, 1861; reprieved by new governor when Union troops occupied New Orleans nine months later.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans



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