The Black Hills Ax Man

Ashmore Estates ghost
More Than You Asked For at Ashmore Estates
November 18, 2016
Witches of Sylvan Lake
November 25, 2016
Black Hills Ax Man


Deep in the darkest part of the Black Hills awaits a man. A man of…interesting qualities. This man, of course, is special. He is a strong build, middle aged and before it’s forgotten to mention, he’s a murderer. This man lives in a shack, tucked away deep in the hills and if you blink you might miss the road that takes you to it. The path or road that leads there is long and bumpy. During the rainy seasons its wet and muddy. Pine trees tower over the path. This road is not for the luxury car. The best vehicle to use would be a four by four or an ATV.

The ax man has a name, he had a life before all of “this”, but we won’t get in to that quite yet. The shack that he resides in has a entry way that is a enclosed porch. The kitchen and living room are all in one. There is a bathroom down a small hall and one bedroom directly across from that. On the back side of his house is a broken down shed. Everything he has in rugged condition and it wouldn’t make much sense for a serial killer to keep a clean place of living. The shed has all of his tools he uses in his kills. Well should we say after he has killed. Every person he takes, they are killed with an ax. He brings them back to his home, usually walking for miles and miles, then uses his special tools in the shed to shorten them up and give them a “proper” burial. The ax man has been feared for years. Law enforcement have searched countless hours and days for the criminal. Each time they think they’re onto something the trail runs cold. The ax man may be hillbilly and backwoods but he is far from dumb. He stalks his victims for months. Going over their every move. He wants to be prepared as possible because there isn’t a chance he wants to be caught.

Black Hills Ax Man


Now on to the heart of everything, who is the ax man? How did he become a serial killer and will he ever stop? Well we must go back quite a few years, twenty to be exact. Joe Trenton is his real name. Joe had a family and a beautiful life. The kind of life everyone strives for, or most people I should say. He had a wife and two amazing daughters. Joe and Susan had been married for ten years. Ten long years if you’re asking either one of them. Their two daughters just happened to be twins. That’s right, imagine raising two identical people. That is a challenge and a task in itself. This family was picture perfect. It’s sad how when some people see something so good, they get jealous and they want to rip it apart. That’s exactly what happened with Joe’s family. Susan and the twins were walking downtown with Joe and a car pulled up and started firing at them. The twins and Susan were murdered. The car was never found. Joe was shot three times and had been laid up in the hospital for three months recovering. For the first month he was in a coma. After he woke up, as any other person would do, went into complete shock. Everything he loved and cared about was taken from him. It changed him and not for the better. He was cold, jaded, hurting and wanting revenge. Murder turned him into the grim reaper. In his mind if he wasn’t happy, no one else could be either.

Once he left the hospital he sold their house. His hair was already getting long and his beard was full. He took his current Escalade and went driving through the hills. Looking for a plot of land that he could buy and build his own slice of murder paradise on. He found it just outside of Keystone. It was tucked away on a mile of rough dirt road. This would be perfect for everything that he had planned for the rest of his life. His end goal was to find the low life’s that murdered his family. For the time being…no one was safe. He sold his Escalade for a old beat up Ford pickup. He was going to need this to travel the road to the land he just purchased. It was time to start building.

Black Hills Ax Man


Joe built his cabin. Which through the years he didn’t do proper up keep on and of course it turned into a run down shack. That never phased him. A majority of the time he wasn’t ever at home anyways. He was out scouting his next victim. Whether it be on a hiking trail, at a lake or camping in the middle of the woods. No one was safe from Joe. If his victims begged he never gave them a chance. Once his mind was made up that’s how it was going to be. His family was always in the back of his mind during ever murder. It was strange to think about because each victim that he killed did have a similar quality. He never killed any women or children. The only men he killed were ones that were troubled. Troubled as in gangs, vandalism or evil in the heart. Joe was a terrific judge of character. Most of the time the people that he killed had either been in trouble with the law before or had been lucky evading the law. In either case, he made himself the law. No, Joe wasn’t a saint, murder is never something you should do but it is understandable. Especially if you’re married or have children. You shouldn’t kill people at random or just for the fun of it but trying to find who did it and make them pay, that’s completely relatable. Revenge is a cruel mistress.

Joe found his first victims not far from his cabin. It almost seemed like fate. They were two rowdy and ruthless boys. Obviously not as ruthless as Joe, but they were troublemakers, nonetheless. He had been out walking along his property when he came upon a small campsite. He hid back behind some trees and bushes and did some scouting. Only one tent was set up there. Out popped two men. They both had their hats on backwards and were cursing up a storm. These two qualities of course didn’t make them problems but what they did next did. Both of the boys each had a shotgun. They loaded up each gun with bullets and started shooting wildly. Blowing apart trees and wounding animals wherever they went. Joe stood back and watched all of this take place. It wasn’t usually his nature to attack during the day. He waited until evening. People were most vulnerable and the evenings brought a sense of terror to all sorts.

Black Hills Ax Man


The sun was beginning to set and the two boys went back to their campsite. They brought out some logs and tree branches and started up a fire. They joked with each other about the animals they killed and how they tried to carve their names into the trees. Ruining the forest, which Joe considered his home, was a crime to him and one that each of these poor souls were going to pay for.

Joe stood by and watched them start the fire. The campsite lit up and he saw their tent and everything that surrounded it. One boy brought out a bottle of Jack and began guzzling down on it like it was going out of style. His friend joined in and Joe sat back and patiently waited. It wouldn’t be long before either of them knew what was going on and wouldn’t be able to tell up from down. This was exactly what he was waiting for and would be best for what he was about to do next. He moved closer to their campsite. Each of the men were dancing around the fire and making fools of themselves. That’s par of the course for anyone that is under the influence of alcohol. Let it all loose and hang out.

Both of the boys went to bed in the tent and that’s when Joe decided move in. He wanted to bring a fear among them and a fear is what he brought. He walked around the tent and snapped large branches. Unfortunately these two had drank to much to wake up for such petty taunts. So, Joe decided to step his terror up. He grabbed their tent, which they both were sleeping in, and began to shake it. Still neither one of them woke up or even moved. Joe grabbed the tent and pulled it completely over. Both of the men flipped over and landed firmly on the ground. One of them unzipped the tent and saw Joe, standing there with an ax, smiling.
The other boy finally gained his sense of awareness and looked over at his friend. He saw a ghost like stare in his face. Pale and white looking up at the sky. He also looked up and saw Joe standing there with his ax. In any classic horror story, a blood curdling scream was let out and yes it almost sounded like a woman scream. That goes to show just how scared those boys were. Anyone in their shoes would be just as terrified.

Carolina’s Curious Circle


Joe lifted up his ax and swung it down at the boys. They both rolled away from each other and it slammed into the dirt. Each of them got to their feet and jetted towards the thick forest. Luckily they both had the wherewithal to run in the same direction. Sure if they spilt up one of them might have a better chance than the other to escape. That’s not how they wanted their lives to end. Surely this wasn’t what they had planned for their grand camping adventure.

Joe pulled his ax up out of the dirt and started walking after them. He never did run after anyone. He knew eventually they would run out of steam or get lost and for as long as he’s lived here, he knew everywhere like the back of his hand. Joe knew the back trails and the hidden ones. Some of the trails he even made himself. It brought them closer to him and made his work much easier. It really wasn’t work but it’s all he did, so it might be considered as such.

The two boys were running for what seemed like an eternity. They came into an open clearing with a field in front of sticks and broken up trees in front of them. They each decided they would split up here and each move to one side of the field. The stars were so bright that night everything was lit up. Both boys could clearly see each other in the hiding spots they had chose. Joe was getting closer and had a good idea where they might be. He slowly crept up to the clearing. He could hear a rustling out in the filed on both sides. There was a decision that had to be made. Which boy to go after. He decided to go after the smaller one, off to the right of the field, hoping this was the right choice. Joe snuck through the field, crouching behind trees and being almost undetectable. He reached the boy who was shaking and scared out of his mind. Joe peeked around the log and said, “Hey”. The boy quickly turned, with deer in the headlights look, Joe swung his ax and it went into his arm. The boy let out a scream that could be heard the for miles. His arm fell to the ground and blood was gushing everywhere. His friend stood up from where he was hiding and saw Joe staring at him from across the field.

Black Hills Ax Man

The trail.

The boy started running at Joe. Hopping over logs and dodging branches. There was no way he was going to let his friend die at he hands of this madman. Joe drew up his ax and began swinging it around. He was trying to anticipate the boys moves and what was going to happen. Just as the boy reached Joe, he looked down and saw a bottle and a large branch. He picked up both of them. One in each hand he leapt off of a log and into the air heading straight towards Joe. This wasn’t the first time someone has tried to fight Joe. There have been countless others and all of failed. Joe raised his ax and smiled. He slashed upward and hit the boy right in the chest. He came crashing down and didn’t move. Joe walked back over to the other one, who was sitting by the log, holding his arm in agony. He said, “Your turn”. Joe swung and hit him in the chest too. Both boys lied there in pools of blood that mother earth was now soaking up.

Joe grabbed both of the boys by the feet and dragged them back to his cabin. He tossed them in a pit out back, poured lighter fluid on them and tossed in a match. The fire lit up the forest that surrounded his house. Another kill well done.

The End

Keenan Angel
Keenan Angel
My name is Keenan Angel. I'm a photographer, writer and all things art related. I have my own style of writing which hopefully one day I can be known for. I enjoying inserting some of my pictures I take into my stories to bring everything to life. I feel if I can write a story and photograph the general idea of what I'm thinking it helps seal everything into a nice artistic package. I hope everyone enjoys my stories, my thoughts and art.

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