[Read] ➪ Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans By Ethan Brown – Horse-zine.co.uk

Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans chapter 1 Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans, meaning Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans, genre Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans, book cover Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans, flies Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans, Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans bd619ee6598ca A Charismatic Young Soldier Meets A Tragic End In This Moving And Mesmerizing Account Of The War In Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, And No Safety Net AmericaZackery Bowen Was Thrust Into Two Of America S Largest Recent Debacles He Was One Of The First Soldiers To Encounter The Fledgling Insurgency In Iraq After Years Of Military Service He Returned To New Orleans To Tend Bar And Deliver Groceries In The Weeks Before Hurricane Katrina Made Landfall, He Met Addie Hall, A Pretty And High Spirited Bartender Their Improvised, Hard Partying Endurance During And After The Storm Had News Outlets Around The World Featuring The Couple As The Personification Of What So Many Want To Believe Is The Indomitable Spirit Of New OrleansBut In October , Bowen Leaped From The Rooftop Bar Of A French Quarter Hotel A Note In His Pocket Directed The Police To The Body Of Addie Hall It Was, According To NOPD Veterans, One Of The Most Gruesome Crimes In The City S History How Had This Popular, Handsome Father Of Two Done This Horrible Thing Journalist Ethan Brown Moved From New York City To The French Quarter In Order To Investigate This Question Among The Newsworthy Elements In The Book Is Brown S Discovery That This Tragedy Like So Many Others Could Have Been Avoided If The Military Had Simply Not, In The Words Of Paul Sullivan, Executive Director Of Veterans For Common Sense, Absolutely And Completely Failed This Soldier Shake The Devil Off Is A Mesmerizing Tribute To These Lives Lost


10 thoughts on “Shake the Devil Off: A True Story of the Murder that Rocked New Orleans

  1. says:

    I have a lot of thoughts about this book and I don t know how to even begin to put them into words This book is so much than I thought it was going to be I bought it because I spend a lot of time in New Orleans and was familiar with The murder suicide of Addie and Zach I had even met Addie once when she was bartending at the Spotted Cat I thought it was going to be another grisly true crime recap of the horrific details of the murder I was not expecting to read such a thought provoking and deep look at not only Zach and Addie but life in New Orleans post Katrina and the plight of the soldiers of the Iraq Afghanistan war, and the devastating state of our mental health provisions in the US I loved seeing the familiar names of NOLA musicians and my blogging friends who I have come to know from their words and some in person in the past 4 years Amzie Adams, John Boutte, Freddy Omar, Karen Gadbois, Mark Folse, Andrei Codrescu, Joshua Clark, Louis Maistros, Poppy Z Brite, and most importantly Ashley Morris, who upon re reading a brief synopsis of his involvement in post K NOLA, brought tears to my eyes I learned than a few things about the War and about the situation in NOLA Although I pride myself on keeping up with the news, politics and issues current to the city, I was surprised to read about some murders and circumstances surrounding some murders that I was not aware of before Goes to show that people outside the city really don t have a full grasp on what s going on in the city.I strongly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in US politics, New Orleans, mental health issues, PTSD, Katrina, the War in Iraq Afghanistan, or true crime The only thing missing is a better picture of Addie, and how she came to be the person she was We have such a complete picture of Zach that I feel like I want to know about Addie I don t know if that was intentional by the author or if Addie s family friends were not as forthcoming or interested in this project.


  2. says:

    I just finished reading this book agree with Doug that this is short stories 1 the story of the 527 MP Co in Iraq Afghanistan 2 Mr Brown s experiences living in post Katrina New Orleans, which I have no interest in Mr Brown is also very obvious with his sympathies to Zack Bowen He attempts to justify why Zack killed then dismembered Addie.Quite honestly, I was appalled that while Mr Brown was humanizing Zack Bowen he painted a picture that other murderers in post Katrina New Orleans as monsters As a native of New Orleans pre post Katrina , I identified many inaccuracies in Mr Brown s depiction of New Orleans, its laws, its culture sub cultures, and its immediate post Katrina life Specifically, Mr Brown neglects to inform his readers that the post Katrina murders he mentions occurred in very specific neighborhoods.Mr Brown also neglects to explore Addie Hall s pre Zack Bowen background His judgment of Addie are strictly limited to 1 a former friend 2 an ex boyfriend who befriends Zack and 3 Zack s estranged wife.I remember when this happened I worked only blocked away from Zack Addie s Rampart St apartment and across the street from the Omni Hotel With that being said, I must admit that the Times Picayune did a better job of covering this murder than this book.


  3. says:

    The author finally admits, when the book is almost complete, that he is sympathetic to the murderer He stops shy of this admission, actually, writing that his wife felt he was, to the point of being angry with him This book is an apology for the murderer, and the author forgot that the murder was not a quick act of passion, but rather a planned, gruesome saga that involved living with the corpse for over two weeks, and setting up a horrid tableau in order to scar those who followed the instructions in his suicide note Brown works so hard to exonerate, somehow, the murderer from the full guilt of his crime that the book becomes a history of the war at some points.


  4. says:

    Half Crime Story and Half Blame Game This book intrigued me primarily because I distinctly remember the initial news story that first drew national attention to Zack Bowen and Addie Hall Two young adults who weathered the wrath of Hurricane Katrina and found a way to find happiness together amid the devastation While the story was meant to be a feel good story, I distinctly recall the accompanying pictures telling a different story battered survivors finding a way to keep the N awlins party spirit going There was an ominous sense that the happiness in the midst of disaster scenario and the relationship, for that matter would be short lived and the individuals would simply fade into obscurity So, the subsequent murder suicide of Zack and Addie a year later was somewhat of a shock even so once the grisly details were revealed SHAKE THE DEVIL OFF presents the titillating opportunity to delve deeper into lives of at least one of these two tragic individuals and follow his path of destruction While author Ethan Brown delivers a descent overview of the general story, he comes across as a little too sympathetic to Zack the perpetrator throughout and appears determined to blame all Zack s wrongdoings on prior military service even though he presents other logical rationale for Bowen s demise.The story of Zack and Addie simply serves as another colorful tile that comprises the mosaic that is New Orleans, a city that can simultaneously embody the light and dark sides of mankind A city that embraces the exuberant highs of Mardi Gras and accepts it s mysterious and seedy underworld as a trait that makes it unique Brown s account of Zack and Addie s lives and their demise is almost symbolic of post Katrina New Orleans damaged souls struggling to survive against the odds While the book covers the murder suicide story, the majority centers solely on Zack, a gangly and awkward Californian with a difficult childhood Brown paints Zack Bowen as a tragic figure from the very beginning by detailing his troubled home life, his difficulty in school and a burgeoning drug habit His eventual move to New Orleans seems almost romantically fitting a lost soul finding happiness in a place that gladly accepts all types where the outcast finds a familial sense of security among all the other outcasts Brown details the process of Bowen s maturation from bartender to husband father to career oriented soldier Just when readers are getting use to this upward trend in the young man s life, the Iraq War changes everything and the young man s once promising future hits a major roadblock as Zack suddenly bails on his military career and ends up with a less than honorable discharge that simultaneously destroys his marriage Rebounding back to familiar territory in New Orleans, Zach meets Addie and tries to balance life with his new girlfriend and child when Hurricane Katrina arrives to deliver a final devastating blow to Zack s fragile mind.An intriguing read throughout, Brown provides a great deal of detail on the issues he chooses to cover The book is clearly centered on Zach, who somehow comes across as both protagonist and victim, but never quite a villain even though he commits a grisly murder Brown s thesis seems to focus on Zack s stint in the Army and importantly, his time in Iraq as events that planted the seeds of evil in the young man s brain and heart only to come full bloom following a visit from Hurricane Katrina The premise is that the horrors of Iraq and the insensitivity of the US Army initially destroyed the man s psyche and the violence of Katrina triggers a dormant PTSD related homicidal rage within him While this angle is certainly plausible, Brown appears to have chosen this angle and run with it, rather than explore other avenues enough to provide some balance to the story Readers are only briefly introduced to Zack s drug use, as well as his unfortunate up bringing and self esteem issues serious problems that may have significant, detrimental long term effects on any person especially when they are all combined We get relatively no background on a big piece of the puzzle Addie When Brown introduces readers to Addie she s portrayed as being less than pleasant nasty, actually Temperamental, loud, aggressive and petite she s the absolute opposite of Zack Rather than a potential catalyst herself, she simply remains the unfortunate victim of a bigger victim, Zack Even interviews with the mother and ex wife paint a sympathetic picture of Zack the Army and Iraq bear the brunt of their blame for his demise Most people already get the point, war is horrible and it can further destroy already fragile minds, but Brown s point of view is that Iraq is the sole cause for this tragedy, even though he leaves the door open to speculate other causes One has to wonder why Abu Ghraib is designated an entire chapter in this story when it had nothing to do with Zack other than to speculate the event triggered Iraqi rage that resulted in a close member of his unit being killed speculation, not fact.While I was engrossed by the story, the author pushes his war theory a little too much for me It would have been appreciated had readers been given a broader, balanced overview of the story that allowed us to draw our own conclusions The the author presses in finding excuses for Zack s behavior, the less empathy I felt toward Zack as being a victim he is, after all, a murderer The biggest hole in the story, though, was the lack of information about Addie We never really get to know her like we do Zack no family recollections, only mutual friends we get nothing Addie is the saddest aspect of the entire story in that her sacrifice seemingly meant nothing to anybody.


  5. says:

    First of all, let me say that I have huge respect for Ethan Brown His book on the Jeff Davis 8 was one of the memorable books I read in 2017 and his reporting is thorough and engaging throughout this book He took an unbelievably horrific crime and I m kind of a murder junkie, I feel like my tolerance is higher than the average and humanized the murderer and makes a super strong case about the tolls of PTSD and the war in Iraq and Hurricane Katrina on Bowen s psyche Also a beautiful and dark ode to New Orleans, which I appreciated.However.I couldn t shake the uncomfortable feeling that the account isperhaps too sympathetic to Zack Bowen From a sheer real estate standpoint, Bowen is much the focus of the book than Addie, and Addie is characterized as abusive and drunken and toxic all of which may have been true, and Brown does speak frequently of her as creative Zack, on the other hand, is characterized as traumatized and in pain and misguided all of which is probably true too, but how can you overlook the fact that he murdered his girlfriend, dismembered and raped and then lived with AND COOKED her corpse I mean I couldn t I appreciate that Brown is trying to paint a portrait of someone who was not evenly presented as a human being by the press, but the magnitude of the crime to me, one of the appalling parts being how long Zack lived with the corpse and recorded feeling unmoved about it sometimes feels downplayed and Addie certainly doesn t get the same full color treatment Ominous mentions of Zack s dark side, recorded by several friends and Addie herself, get somewhat glossed over as well To his credit, Brown does mention that his wife thinks he finds Zack too sympathetic, somewhat acknowledging the issue I d read by Brown But probably not for a while.


  6. says:

    I wrote a long, quite possibly fabulous review of Shake the Devil Off and then accidentally deleted it Basically what I wanted to say was that it was quite clear that Ethan Brown s sympathies were with Zachary Bowen, who strangled and dismembered girlfriend Addie Hall in 2006 We read of numerous interviews with Zack s family, friends, co workers, and military colleagues but do not hear from anyone who knew Addie outside of the few years she spent in the French Quarter Brown even travels out of the way to meet up with young men that Zack served with in Iraq Yet we never hear from Addie s side of the story, other than a fleeting mention of some childhoold abuse What we do hear of Addie is from her years in New Orleans her quirky bike rides through the Quarter, moody arguments with friends, or how she and Zack refused to evacuate during Katrina and rode out the aftermath Brown argues post traumatic stress disorder due to serving in Iraq and surviving Hurricane Katrina contributed to Zack s unstable state of mind when he murdered Addie It seems Brown would like the reader to consider Zack a victim, but for me it was pretty obvious who the victim of this tradgedy was.


  7. says:

    I found parts of this book interesting and I did finish it, so that says something but overall, this book was underwhelming However Brown tries to draw a parallel between our military s indifference to many of its veterans and the indifference that our government showed during Katrina The parallel is easy to make because Addie Hall was murdered in New Orleans and Addie and Zack decided to ride out the hurricane and subsequent tragedy in the French Quarter rather than evacuating But that is as far as the parallel goes Perhaps the murder could have been avoided, but perpetrator and victim were both very unstable and seemed to be on a headed toward a tragic ending from the start Criticizing our government for the response after Katrina is certainly appropriate Being against the Iraq War is certainly understandable While both of those factors are relevant to the story, it is the human story of these two people that draws readers The last several chapters are devoted to the staggering murder rate in New Orleans, the military s unwillingness to help its vets, and Brown s own inexplicable love for New Orleans While the evidence about the lack of mental health care for military personnel is compelling and the murder statistics for New Orleans are mind boggling, the chapters on them feel like they belong in another book Also, Brown s own story of moving to New Orleans and falling in love with the people of New Orleans is worthy of an epilogue, but did not belong in the body of the book Overall, this book feels incomplete No one from Addie s family is even interviewed regarding her death and there is no explanation as to why There is no way to answer all the questions about this story, but some of the most basic ones are not even asked.


  8. says:

    As a New Orleanian who saw this story when it hit the news and was also acquainted with both people I read this with great trepidation I was so glad that Mr Brown told the story with the no sensationalism Bowen was not a monster and Hall was not a saint He told the story well and many of us here were glad he did.


  9. says:

    I vaguely recall reading the headlines a few years ago about this young couple Fast forward a few years I see an episode on ABC of a program called Final Witness It features the commentary of the now infamous Margaret Sanchez, suspect in the recent murder of Jaren Lockhart Google it.I got around to checking this book out from the library, and I couldn t put it down Things I liked It pulled me back into the nonfiction realm I hadn t read a NF book in awhile Now I m adding all sorts of true stories to my to read list, especially those based on and around New Orleans It sparked my interest and made me think about important issues like the Iraq War, homicide rates corruption in New Orleans and post traumatic stress disorder.Things I didn t like The book focused mostly on Zack Bowen Why market the book as a story about the couple when we only got the background of one of them I wanted to know about Addie Hall s background Zack Bowen was portrayed so sympathetically I found myself just completely feeling sorry for him I guess this falls under things I didn t like because I don t want to feel sorry for someone who strangled his girlfriend, dismembered her, and cooked her body parts Life is not black and white Humans are complex, and I appreciate the fact that the author did not paint Zack as a monster because that would be too easy However, I feel that the book overlooks how truly sad and awful Addie s story must have also been Her remains sat in a morgue MONTHS after this happened It would take some serious investigating to find out what kind of family she came from I guess the author had willing friends and family to speak with on Zack s side The focus of the book sort of went in different directions While all of it was interesting, the second half the book dealt with murders of other people in New Orleans, Veterans Affairs and their treatment or lack of soldiers coming home from Iraq, Hurricane Gustav, etc It almost felt like the second half was just sort of tacked on Notice. I still give the book 4 out of 5 stars It kept my attention and made me dig deeper into some other nonfiction books I want to read, including the author s other two books Any book that can keep me from taking a nap on a lazy, rainy Louisiana afternoon is a winner, even if it IS about such a disturbing subject.


  10. says:

    This book is about Zachary Bown, who, on a morning in New Orleans, goes to an expensive hotel and spends the afternoon drinking After a while he goes up to the roof of the hotel and throws himself off to his death The police find in his pocket a suicide note that is also a confession to a murder He has killed and dismembered his girlfriend Addie Hall, and the note leads the police to their shared apartment Although this is a true crime novel, it cannot focus on the police investigation or a trial, because the murderer is dead by the start of the story Instead, the novel focuses on the couple and tries to examine how an atrocity like this can happen The story follows Zachary Bowen as he meanders through high school and eventually falls for a stripper named Lana and she becomes pregnant They marry, and in order to support them, Zachary enters the army, just before 9 11 He ends up in Kosovo, and begins to see the tragedies of war, but that will not prepare him for the horrors he will see when he ends up in Iraq Eventually, he leaves Iraq but only recieves a general discharge with honors because of some failed physical exams when he returns He returns to New Orleans, and his marriage falls apart At this time, hurrican Katrina comes through New Orleans and Zachary meets Addie and they refuse to leave the city. They become a pair of refugees, staying in the French Quarter and helping where they can But eventually, they have to face the real world when it returns Both Addie and Zachary are damaged, and the author makes a case for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, when gone untreated can spiral out of control Unfortunately, we may never know It is a sad story, but interesting, and you learn quite a bit about the Iraq war and New Orleans during Katrina along the way.


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