The Chopper at Carter Lake: The Chilling Case of the ‘Hex Killer’, Jake Bird

An axe-wielding maniac put a powerful hex on anyone connected to his case.

Jonathan Harker

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In late 1928, the city of Omaha, Nebraska was gripped by terror as a series of brutal axe murders and attacks occurred. The assailant, dubbed “The Chopper” by the press, targeted victims near Carter Lake, hacking them with an axe and leaving a trail of blood in his wake. After a harrowing attack on newlyweds Harold and Mabel Stribling, police arrested 26-year-old drifter Jake Bird as the prime suspect.

The Stribling Attack

In the early morning hours of November 30, 1928, Mabel Stribling awoke to find a young black man standing over her bed, axe in hand. He struck her husband Harold three times in the head before Mabel could scream. Injured but still conscious, Mabel pleaded with the attacker to spare her and her baby daughter Mollie. The assailant forced Mabel to walk with him for hours, marching her down Carter Lake Road. He seemed indecisive, sometimes threatening to kill her, other times sitting silently lost in thought. Mabel tried to reason with him and offered him money to leave. Finally, after nearly 3 miles, he released her at the state border and fled. A passing patrolman discovered the bloody and hypothermic Mabel…

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Jonathan Harker

Hey! My name is Jonathan. I’m a true crime writer and podcast producer.