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Murder Castle Chicago, IL

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posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 01:38 PM
For those who don't know, Herman Webster Mudgett, better known under the alias of Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, was one of the first documented American serial killers in the modern sense of the term. I never heard of this man until recently and then began looking into the stories and crimes that made him so famous (yet still unknown to most). His stories came from my neck of the woods, Chicago, IL and are some of the more twisted crimes you will ever hear about. Many believe Jack the Ripper was the worst serial killer, I believe this man gives him a run for his money.

H. H Holmes seen in the picture below, was an educated man and I believe the educated serial killers are some of the creepier ones around.

So his story goes like this...


Born in 1861 in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, Dr. H. H. Holmes (an alias) was one of America's first ser4ial murderers. He took over a Chicago pharmacy and built it into an elaborate maze of death traps to which he lured numerous victims during the 1893 Columbian Exposition. He was eventually captured and hanged in 1896. Erik Larson portrayed Holmes in the book "The Devil in the White City."


Serial killer, con artist. Born Herman Webster Mudgett in 1861 in Gilmanton, New Hampshire. Sometimes referred as the Beast of Chicago, H. H. Holmes killed many of the city’s inhabitants in his specially constructed home later nicknamed the Murder Castle. He has also been linked to deaths in other parts of the United States and Canada.

Born to an affluent family, Holmes had a privileged childhood. It has been said that he appeared to be unusually intelligent at an early age. Still there were haunting signs of what was to come. He expressed an interest in medicine, which reportedly led him to practice surgery on animals. Some accounts indicate that he may have been responsible for the death of a friend.

His life of crime started out with various frauds and scams. As a medical student at the University of Michigan, he stole corpses, which he used to make false insurance claims. Holmes may have also used the bodies for experiments as well.


In 1886, Holmes moved to Chicago. He soon found work in a pharmacy, using his now infamous alias, Dr. Henry H. Holmes. Eventually he took over the business and its original owner mysteriously disappeared. Holmes had a three-story building constructed, creating an elaborate house of horrors. The upper floors contained his living quarters and many small rooms where he tortured and killed his victims. Some of these rooms had gas jets so that Holmes could asphyxiate his victims. There were also trapdoors and chutes so that he could move the bodies down to the basement where he could burn his victims’ remains in a kiln there or dispose of them in other ways.

During the 1893 Columbian Exposition, Holmes opened up his home as a hotel for visitors to the world’s fair. Unfortunately, some of his guests did not survive his hospitality. Many of these victims - no one knows for certain the total number - were women who he seduced, swindled, and then killed. Holmes had a habit of getting engaged to a woman and then for his fiancée to suddenly “disappear.” Others were lured there by the offer of employment.


All the while, Holmes continued to work insurance scams and it was one of these scams that led to his undoing. He joined forces with Benjamin Pitezel to collect $10,000 from a life insurance company. The two traveled around for a time committing other frauds. Landing in jail in Texas, Holmes brought fellow inmate Marion Hedgepeth - who knew Holmes as H. M. Howard - in on the life insurance scheme with Pitezel. When Holmes failed to deliver Hedgepeth’s share of the deal, Hedgepeth tipped off the authorities.

While they eventually identified Howard as Holmes, the authorities did not catch on to Holmes soon enough to stop his final murders. He killed Pitezel and then convinced Pitezel’s widow that her husband was still alive. Becoming concerned that the five Pitezel children might expose him, he went away with three of the children, eventually killing them


At first, Holmes was charged with insurance fraud. He later stood trial for the murder of Benjamin Pitezel. During his time in custody, Holmes gave numerous stories to police, once admitting to killing 27 people. Estimates range from 20 to 100 victims, with some going as high as 200 victims. If Holmes even did half of the crimes associated with him, he clearly surpassed later American serial killers, such Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy, in his depravity.

After his conviction, Holmes appealed his case, but lost. He met his end on May 7, 1896, when he was hanged for the Pitezel murder in Philadelphia. His life as one of America’s first serial killers has been the subject of many books and documentaries, including The Devil in the White City (2004) by Erik Larson.

Like i stated earlier, this man was one of the more intelligent creepy serial killers we've seen over the last 2 centuries. The crimes he did are not known like some of the more famous serial killers, but I do believe this mans story deserves some recognition. For those who live in Chicago (or close to) the area where murder castle was is in the Engelwood neighborhood (dangerous south side today) at 63rd and Wallace if you want to check it out.

I wanted to share this story with ATS, to see if others have heard about this man.


Mods- I ran a search nothing came up

posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 02:08 PM
reply to post by jhn7537

Seen few documents of this man, he was very clever and the hotel he built was also a "work of art" sort of speaking.
He rented rooms during big events as Chicago World fair to people who travelled alone mostly. And he offered cleaned skeletons for the medical schools and pharmacies.

posted on Dec, 1 2012 @ 04:21 PM
reply to post by dollukka

Thanks for the add of the clip, great stuff, definitely shows how dark and twisted his ways were...

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