H.H. Holmes

H.H. Holmes started his criminal career as a medical student by stealing corpses from the University of Michigan. He used them to collect insurance money from policies taken out under fictitious names. When he moved to Chicago he started a drugstore empire from which he made a fortune. He built a hundred-room mansion complete with gas chambers, trap doors, acid vats, lime pits, fake walls and secret entrances. During the 1893 World’s Fair he rented rooms to visitors. He killed most of his renters and continued his insurance fraud scheme. He also lured women to his “torture castle” with the promise of marriage. Instead, he would force them to sign over their savings. After he would throw them down an elevator shaft and gas them to death. In the basement of the castle he dismembered and skinned his prey and experimented with their corpses. When police grew suspicious about H.H’s activities, he torched the castle and fled. In the burnt hulk of the building, authorities found the remains of over two hundred people.

Later in life, as he waited for the final confirmation of his death sentance, H.H. Holmes wrote various confused accounts of his life. At times he presented himself as the victim of a simple miscarriage of justice, yet in other passages of his confessions seemed to reach much closer to the mark:
“I was born with the devil in me. I was born with the Evil One standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered into this world. He has been with me ever since.”
By the time he reached the end of his life on May 7, 1896, twitching for 15 minutes on the end of the rope following a botched hanging, few would question this judgement.




He wriggled for 15 minutes that would have been funny to watch.

Jeffery Paul Hale

There's a nice little documentary on Netflix. It's been a little while since I've seen it, so I cannot confirm if it's the one with the bad narration. Though, I can't really seem to think there's really more than one documentary on Mr. Holmes. None that I've seen at least.


I'm reading the book The Scarlet Mansion right now, very loosely based on H.H. Holmes.


The lightly fictionalized story of America's first known serial killer, Herman Mudgettalias Dr. Henry Holmeswho, during the 1800's, murdered at least 133 people. His 105-room Chicago mansion contained mostly toture devices, gas chambers, and incinerators. In a dramatic cross-country pursuit by Indianapolis Detective Frank Geyer, Mudgett is finally arrested in Boston and executed.