WORD fails to describe HH Holmes – the man who was once called America’s first serial killer.
Charming, manipulative and a “complete psychopath”, said the author Erik Larson The sun he would “kill you when you buy a drink”. We give you more information …
Two portraits of the convicted serial killer HH Holmes[/caption]
Who was HH Holmes?
HH Holmes, born Hermen Webster Mudgett, was a pharmacist and convicted serial killer.
Holmes was born on May 16, 1861 into a wealthy family and is said to have slaughtered as many as 200 people.
But he has been directly linked to nine murders, including those that took place in London 1888.
Holmes grew up in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, had a privileged childhood and was said to be very intelligent.
After attending the University of Michigan to study medicine, he moved to Illinois, Chicago in 1885.
It was there that he changed his name to Henry Howard Holmes, to hide from the frauds he had committed.
In 1889, he built the World’s Fair Hotel in Chicago, which had as many as 100 rooms.
But it later became “Murder Castle”, as locals became aware that it contained a maze of corridors, trapdoors and horrors.
Holmes is said to have seduced women into listing him on their life insurance policies before he murdered them.
When they met their later friend Benjamin Pitezel, the couple planned to fake Benjamin’s death to get around £ 7,400 ($ 10,000) from a life insurance company.
Holmes eventually killed Pitezel and told his widow that her husband was still alive and hiding.
He eventually convinced her to let him travel with three of Pitezel’s children, all of whom became his victims.
He died on May 7, 1896, when he was hanged for the murder of Pitezel.
Can HH Holmes be the real Jack the Ripper?
HH Holmes was a fraud and businessman.
When he watched the murders to which he was directly connected, Holmes killed people to collect life insurance policies and to cover his neighborhoods.
Holmes targeted his victims at a specialized Factory of Death hotel and was executed in 1896 – with some theories suggesting that he had traveled to Britain to unleash the horrific murders of London’s East End to become Jack the Ripper.
Jack the Ripper was a Victorian serial killer who slaughtered at least five women in a terrifying four-month spree in 1888 in Whitechapel, London.
US records show that there was a gap in the data on Holmes’ movements from mid-1888 to early 1889 – the exact time of the Ripper murders.