A man’s body was on the rooftop of the parking garage. On Oct. 17, 2006, at about 8:30 pm, New Orleans police got a distressing call from the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel.
Upon reaching and seeing the severely damaged body, it was apparent the man had died in a collision. Uncertain if they begot a suicide, murder, or tragic accident on their hands, the investigators began combing the body for an ID. In the man’s rear pocket, they found a letter reading:
“This is not accidental. I had to take my own life to pay for the one I took. If you send a patrol to 826 N. Rampart, you will find the dismembered corpse of my girlfriend, Addie, in the oven, on the stove. And in the fridge along with complete documentation on the both of us and a full signed confession from myself… Zack Bowen.”
Police hastened to address a tiny apartment above the Voodoo Spiritual Temple. Notwithstanding the warm October weather, the apartment was cold, and the air conditioning was established on 60. One message on the wall led them to the stove. A human head burned past recognition with hands and feet in a pot on one of the stoves. Inside the oven were arms and legs burnt. Investigators remarked that there appeared to be seasoning on the limbs. Inside the refrigerator, in a big plastic bag, they discovered the torso.
The couple’s friends were offended when they understood the news. No one could have foretold such a gruesome closing for either of them.
Bowen and Hall had convened when they were both bartenders in the French Quarter.
Bowen, tall and good-looking, was moderate of a charmer, and Hall was a free-spirited creative type who wrote poetry and trained dance classes.
They fell in emotion during Hurricane Katrina when Hall let Bowen stay with her to ride out the storm. Their tale of passion and vivid survivalism attracted several in the media. The couple was even featured in the New York Times.
Hall had been molested when she was young. Some said she was bipolar, and she likely had PTSD from being molested. She was acknowledged as to be a heavy drinker.
Bowen had served as a military police officer in Kosovo and Iraq. Like several others who served in those wars, he retreated home depressed and grieving from PTSD. Despite earning the Presidential Unit Citation for his duty and a NATO medal, plus his commanding officer’s recommendation that he get an honorable discharge, he was released with only a general discharge.
The two wounded, heavy drinkers also began doing cocaine on the regular. Their relationship worsened to the point that they were “arguing constantly,” and Bowen’s associates said that he often lamented about Hall.
On Oct. 4, the day before her killing, Hall moved to their landlord to hold Bowen got off the lease. He had cheated on Hall, she said, so she was beaten by him. She went to accomplish it out with her boyfriend. That was the last chance anyone noticed her breathing.
In the eight-sheet confession letter Bowen recorded in Hall’s journal, he explained in graphic detail what occurred next.
“I killed her at 1 am. Thursday, Oct. 5,” he wrote. “I very calmly strangled her. It was swift.”
After exterminating her, he sexually attacked her corpse many times before passing out after it. The following day, he got up and left to work. When he returned, he left Hall’s corpse to the bathtub, where he dissected it employing a hacksaw and a knife. Afterward, he meticulously washed the bathroom. His confession letter asserted that he needed to enjoy his last days on earth to the fullest, entertaining in “good food, good drugs, good strippers.” Despite the crime scene, the autopsy established no human remains in his system.
It also showed his body was wrapped in cigarette burns. The safety cameras at the Omni Royal Orleans captured Bowen advancing towards the terrace and looking over it many times. Ultimately, he downed a final drink, then forced himself to his death.
And yet, this sad, grim tale doesn’t end here. The later exploitation of this terrible event angered residents in a spectacularly forthright town about its gruesome crime history.