The Tragic Story Of Zack Bowen And Addie Hall

Often referred to as the Rampart Street Murders, the deaths of Addie Hall and Zack Bowen shocked the city of New Orleans in 2006. Hall and Bowen had gained notoriety for staying in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which garnered them national media attention. In fact, it seemed like a romantic story of a couple who fell in love during one of the greatest natural disasters in New Orleans history. However, there was a dark side to Hall and Bowen's relationship - one that involved excessive drinking and drug use that eventually led to violent fights.

It was in the early hours of October 5, 2006, that the relationship took a fatal turn when Bowen strangled Hall in their French Quarter apartment. The murder would remain a secret until 12 days later when Bowen took his own life and left behind a full confession of what he had done.

The violent murder of Addie Hall and the suicide of Zack Bowen have spawned television shows, a documentary, and endless speculation on the internet. This list covers the verifiable facts of Hall and Bowen's relationship, their deaths, and the macabre aftermath that followed.

  • In October 2006, Zack Bowen Was Found Dead With A Note In His Pocket Instructing Police To Check His Apartment

    At approximately 8:30 pm on October 17, 2006, police received a call from the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel about an apparent suicide. Someone had jumped from the hotel's rooftop bar and landed on top of a parking garage seven stories below. Police were able to ID the victim as 28-year-old Zack Bowen. Bowen had placed in the front pocket of his pants a plastic bag containing a note, army dog tags, and a key. The note was signed by Bowen and stated the following: "This is not accidental. I had to take my own life to pay for the one I took." Bowen also wrote that police needed to go to his apartment at 826 North Rampart Street to investigate.

    It was later learned that Bowen had a final drink at the Omni Royal bar, then paced nervously before jumping from the roof.

  • The Police Arrived To A Tragic Scene At The Rampart Street Apartment

    The Police Arrived To A Tragic Scene At The Rampart Street Apartment
    Photo: Final Witness / ABC

    Upon entering the apartment, police found notes spray-painted on the walls, including one that read, "I'm A Total Failure." When police entered the kitchen, they found an arrow spray-painted on the front of the stove. They had been told to look in the oven per Bowen's note. In a gruesome discovery, police found two pots on the stove containing Addie Hall's head, hands, and feet. Hall's arms and legs had been seasoned and then placed on trays in the oven. Much misinformation would follow, but autopsies of Hall and Bowen later confirmed that there was no evidence of cannibalism.

    It was eventually learned from Bowen's signed confession written in Hall's journal that he had strangled Hall to death on October 5, 2006, and then left her body in their bed for several days. Bowen eventually dismembered Hall's body in the apartment's bathtub, then cooked her remains in an attempt to dispose of her body. Police also noted that the apartment's air conditioning was blasting in an effort to slow down the decomposition of Hall's remains.

  • Bowen’s Confession Note Attempted To Explain How He Got To This Point

    Bowen’s Confession Note Attempted To Explain How He Got To This Point
    Photo: Final Witness / ABC

    Bowen's eight-page confession written in Hall's journal described both his feelings about the murder and what he did in the two weeks between killing Hall and jumping from the rooftop bar. Bowen wrote, "I scared myself not by the action of calmly strangling the woman I love for one and a half years... but by my entire lack of remorse. I’ve known forever how horrible a person I am..."

    Bowen also explained that he had withdrawn $1,500 from the bank following the murder, which he said he spent on "good food, good drugs, [and] good strippers." Bowen apparently knew he was going to die by suicide and wanted to enjoy the final days of his life as much as possible.

    During Bowen's autopsy, it was discovered that his body was covered in cigarette burns. According to the written confession, Bowen had burned himself for every year of his life to mark all of the mistakes he had made.

  • Bowen Ended Up In New Orleans After Leaving His Home In California

    Zack Bowen grew up in California and moved to New Orleans while he was in high school to live with his father. Bowen reportedly struggled with depression and school but was able to finish high school in New Orleans. After graduation, he got a job bartending when he was 18 years old.

    It was during his time bartending that Bowen met 28-year-old Lana Shupack. The two eventually had a child, got married, and then had a second child. Bowen had entered the military to better provide for his family but eventually left with a general discharge rather than an honorable discharge, which Bowen saw as a failing on his part. Shupack would later note that Bowen seemed like a completely different person once he returned from Iraq. The couple eventually got a divorce, but Bowen continued to co-parent his two children.

  • Addie Hall Was A Gifted Artist Who Reportedly Struggled With Bipolar Disorder

    Addie Hall was also a New Orleans transplant, having come from North Carolina. Friends say Hall enjoyed writing poetry, dancing, and making art. She lived a "bohemian" lifestyle and fully immersed herself in the French Quarter community. She was often seen riding her bike around town.

    Hall reportedly grew up in an abusive household and went through several abusive relationships. Friends also believed Hall had undiagnosed bipolar disorder, which could explain her unexpected, violent outbursts.

    Hall and Bowen met in the weeks leading up to Hurricane Katrina and were said to have had an intense relationship. Both were known to drink excessively and do drugs together. Hurricane Katrina would unexpectedly become the event that bound them together for just over a year.

  • Bowen And Hall Decided To Stay In New Orleans During Hurricane Katrina To Help The Community

    Bowen And Hall Decided To Stay In New Orleans During Hurricane Katrina To Help The Community
    Photo: Final Witness / ABC

    Before the events of October 17, 2006, Addie Hall and Zack Bowen had been well known for staying in the French Quarter during Hurricane Katrina. The couple had only been dating for a few weeks when Hall invited Bowen to stay with her during the storm, which seemed to be what bonded them together in such a short amount of time.

    In the immediate aftermath of Katrina, the couple created a community amidst the destruction that had fallen on New Orleans. Hall and Bowen would serve drinks to neighbors in exchange for food and water, an effort that earned them media attention, including an article in The New York Times.