posted on Apr, 27 2003 @ 02:05 PM
I read a book about this person about 15 years ago, it's a chilling early tale of psychopathic / systematic muder in America.
In the early 1890's, Chicago became the site of a kind of world's fare celebrating the four hundred year anniversary of Columbus's voyage to
America. Holmes's castle was a perfect place to lure tourists, steal their money and murder them. There were gas jets in the rooms to asphyxiate the
victims and the kilns below to cremate the bodies. Fifty tourists who visited the Columbian Exposition and took rooms in the Castle never returned
home. Many of those who met their doom in the "Castle of Horrors" were young women.
At 63rd and Wallace, Holmes began the construction of his castle. The 50-foot x 162-foot corner lot took on a mystery of its own. When the workers
started to ask questions, they were replaced, usually within a week or two. In fact, by the end of the construction over 500 carpenters, laborers, and
other craftsmen had been employed. An amazing fact considering the building was only three stories. One of the requirements of employment with Holmes
was a life insurance policy for $5000 naming Holmes as beneficiary. This was money in the bank in case his other swindles slacked off.
Holmes began his seduction: sightseeing, flowers, dinner, jewelry and compliments. By summer they were lovers and Emeline had written back home about
her fiancé, Robert E. Phelps, an alias Holmes told her to use so as not to jeopardize his eminent divorce from Myrta. Emeline wrote her sister
Philomena, that they might be moving to England to share an estate with her beloved’s father, an English lord.
Another victim, Mrs. Pansy Lee, a widow from New Orleans, took a room in the Castle. Holmes used his usual charm after learning Pansy had $4000 in a
false bottom of her trunk. He asked her to let him put it into his vault for safekeeping. Pansy refused, insisting she could take care of the money as
she had done travelling all over the United States. Holmes killed her and cremated her body in his custom built oven.