New Orleans prostitute Mary Jane Jackson (the scourge of Gallatin Street) was as “a husky, full-bodied strumpet whose mop of flaming red hair had earned her the sobriquet of Bricktop”. She was never bested in a brawl (against man or woman), and during her career as prostitute in New Orleans she killed four men and stabbed many others. She clubbed one man to death in 1856 for calling her a whore and stabbed another, known as Long Charley (almost seven feet tall), with a specially designed knife which had been made to her order from her own design; it had a heavy five-inch blade at each end, with a center grip handsomely mounted in German silver. With this fearsome weapon clutched in her fist, she could slash, cut, and stab in any direction without changing the position of her hand.
Finally serving a short prison term for one of her killings, “Bricktop” linked up with John Miller, former boxer and temporary jailer. Miller had lost an arm and augmented his stump with a formidable iron ball and chain, which he used as a weapon. In 1861, he made the mistake of deciding to thrash “Bricktop” with a cowhide whip. She grabbed it and delivered him a flogging instead. An attempt to strike her with his ferrous prosthetic had her seize the iron orb in mid-air and drag him around the room by his own ball and chain. She bit his hand when he pulled a knife, then used his own weapon to kill him. [summary of text from: Herbert Asbury, The French Quarter, 1936]