ByJancy Richardson, writer at Creators.co
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

The silver screen has brought us hundreds of depraved killers, but none quite so prolific and devious as the curious case of H.H. Holmes.

Confessing to 27 murders but suspected of up to 200, Holmes - Dubbed 'America's First Known Serial Killer' - saw human bodies as nothing more than cold, hard cash and a chance to kill in his Murder Hotel...

This is Herman Webster Mudgett a.k.a. H.H. Holmes

He began his criminal career stealing cadavers in medical school. He would mutilate them and then make fraudulent insurance claims on them! Of course, eventually he moved on from body-snatching to murder.

----------------------------------------------------------

H.H. Holmes' Hotel of Horrors

In 1886 he moved to Chicago, building a giant hotel to cash in on the Chicago World Fair - but this was no ordinary hotel. The building was designed like a Labyrinth, with no windows on the top two floors, staircases leading to nowhere and soundproofed rooms.

Most horrifyingly of all, Holmes employed many different architects so that nobody except himself would know the true secrets of his murder hotel.

----------------------------------------------------------

In the secret rooms, the killing began

Diagrams and floor plan for the murder hotel
Diagrams and floor plan for the murder hotel

Holmes targeted mostly female guests, gassing them through secret pipes that fed into their soundproofed, windowless rooms. Then, like Sweeney Todd, he sent the corpses down a chute to the basement, where he would remove organs and scrape the bones clean for sale to medical scientists. Holmes used lime, acid and giant furnaces to dispose of unwanted bodily scraps.

----------------------------------------------------------

Child Killing at Christmas

Little Howard Piteze's teeth, found in the hotel
Little Howard Piteze's teeth, found in the hotel

It was Christmas Day, 1891, when Holmes killed Julia Conner and her daughter Pearl. He sold the mother's skeleton to a school for $200. He also killed an accomplice, Benjamin Piteze, not only burning the man alive but, incredibly, attaining custody of Piteze's children, Alice, Nellie, and Howard. He killed them, too - fragments of little Howard's teeth were later recovered by police, badly burned.

----------------------------------------------------------

He was finally arrested - for stealing a horse!

A diagram of a secret chute in the murder hotel
A diagram of a secret chute in the murder hotel

Fortunately, the minor charge led to a fuller investigation, uncovering the horrors within Holmes' murder hotel. Holmes was hung in 1896, but not before he uttered these chilling words:

I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing — I was born with the "Evil One" standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered into the world, and he has been with me since.

Poll

Do you think H.H. Holmes was 'born with the 'Evil One''?

Sources: Fox Chicago, Wikipedia, Murderpedia, Mysterious Chicago

Trending

Latest from our Creators